Earlier in the week we went over some of the pitchers that the SF Giants could target in the upcoming MLB Draft, here. One of the options that was mentioned, D.J. Hall, was also listed as the Giants pick in Baseball America's most recent mock draft. With that in mind, here are some batters to keep an eye on.
Riley Adams, C- Previously drafted by the Cubs back in 2014, Adams might possibly be the best catching prospect in the draft class. He moves well behind the plate for a guy with a height closer to Joe Mauer than Yadier Molina. With a strong arm and quick transfer, he could be at least an average defender behind the dish. He hit well in the Cape last season and has continued doing so this season as he starts to tap into his plus raw power. There will be holes in his swing due to his height, but he has the look of at least average hit and power potential. I like Adams a lot and if the Giants will pull the trigger on him, it’s a good pick.
Mike Rivera, C- He might not be a top catching prospect to dream on in the first couple of rounds, but he should be somewhere in the ballpark, possibly as early as the 3rd round. With very athletic actions and an accurate and fairly strong arm, he projects as an above average defender. His bat will be the key if he’s going to be an everyday catcher. The swing is quick and he has raw power, but struggles to tap on it. The Giants could draft him in the later rounds if he falls and could be an everyday defensive catcher with tremendous makeup and leadership skills.
Ricardo de la Torre, INF- If there is a toolsy infielder in this draft, de la Torre can be lined up among the best. Even though some are skeptical that he will stick at short, he got the above-average speed, an arm that can throw 95 MPH and smooth actions to stick there. His bat is the thing that I have concerns about. While he has good bat speed and strong hands, he pushes his bat and doesn’t generate home run lift. I think he can be an average bat that can spray all over the field. I also think de la Torre is one of the good projects to develop in this draft class and the Giants can afford that when he’s around a little later.
Adam Hall, SS- If the Giants draft Hall, he’ll be a nice find. Wiry and twitchy with plenty of projection, Hall has five tool potential. He is crazy fast with a 6.27 in the 60-yard dash, giving him tremendous range all over the diamond. He has smooth and easy actions at short with an arm that can pump 88 MPH in the IF, he can play anywhere. His bat is pretty intriguing as he has surprising pop and good feel for the barrel but the front leg load needs tinkering and the approach is pretty raw. He can be sneakily picked in the 3rd to 4th round and he will be a nice prospect if the Giants select him.
Brian Miller, CF- Guys that can play center field and excel in wood bat leagues like the Cape are the Giants main targets, and since they love those types of players, Brian Miller would be perfect for them. The guy has 3 above average or better tools at hand with plus speed, potential plus defender with great CF coverage and potential plus hitting tool that goes with a smooth stroke and innate feel for the barrel. His power is average at best and the arm strength is average too. I think the Giants are really taking a hard look at him as a potential table setter that can move quickly in the system.
Kyle Jacobsen, RF/LHP- Jacobsen flashes five impressive tools and the Giants will have a shot at him potentially as early as the 3rd round. He has very good raw speed that allows him to have great range in the outfield and with an above average arm (see video below), he can be a potentially above average defender there. His swing looks sound and smooth and if he adds more to his frame, he can have better than average pop with solid hit tool. He will be 19 in June. Back in November he was ranked as Baseball America's #69 HS prospect.
Daniel Cabrera, OF- A lefty bat, Cabrera only has fringe average speed that might lose a step if he fills his out body and his arm is only a fit in left field, so he needs to have an impact with the bat. Luckily for him, his bat looks promising. With a really good feel for the barrel and a smooth and easy swing, I project an above average pop on him. The Giants don’t really mind getting offensive prospects and he fits the mold really well. BA ranked him as their #38 Draft prospect back in March.
The Giants have a lot of options currently with their early round selections as to whether they take the strategy that works, which is to draft players that excel in high levels like the Cape plus the ability to hit with wood bats and players having down seasons but have shown promise. With that in mind, I think the Giants will draft a college player in their first pick like Hiura/Warmoth/Miller as hitters or a pitcher like Peterson/Little/Schmidt then draft some high ceiling talent late like possibly Peter Solomon in the 3rd round or later. I like the present strategy and it’s up to the brass if they will stick to the typical plan of action.