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SF Giants: MLB Draft Day One Recap

The first day of the draft is in the rearview mirror, so let's take a look at where the SF Giants went with their first two picks.

The first day of the draft is done and the Giants bucked their own trend (or did they?) by selecting two prep guys with their first two picks, Heliot Ramos and Jacob Gonzalez.

 

Let's start with of course, the 19th pick Heliot Ramos. I placed him at number 22 on my top 90 draft prospects and here's my own scouting report for him before I get to my analysis:

 

"Big and strong, Ramos has plus raw power on his belt to go along with his solid athleticism. His swing has some questions to be answered. I see him as a guy with a potential average hitting tool with a plus bat speed and allows the barrel to travel in the zone for a long time. His wrists are also strong to put his raw power to good use. The issue I see for him is his raw approach at the plate which is unusual and his swing can get long at times. He has tremendous speed to cover center field but I am not entirely sold with his defense in center, but he'll have plenty of time to clean out his routes to pair with his plus arm."

 

My first reaction when Ramos got picked was "wow!" I first thought of fellow Giants prospect hound Roger Munter and thought to myself "well, you got what you wished for!". I am really glad that the Giants went on high risk, high ceiling picks this season by nabbing Ramos, a physical and projectable athlete (I think that he has more looseness and athleticism than when I first saw him) with at least three plus or better tools in his raw power, speed, and arm with the defense a touch behind. His hitting ability is the biggest question. In the more recent videos that I watched, he's smoothened up his swing path and his load. He has the third quickest bat speed that I have ever seen in this draft class, behind only fellow prepsters Austin Beck (now Athletics prospect) and Jordon Adell (now Angels prospect). 

 

There's an idea that's not yet familiar to plenty that the Giants love to dig into Puerto Rico with early picks, with three in recent memory. They took a big swing this time with Ramos, possibly the best prospect in that territory since Carlos Correa. Ramos is crazily young for this draft class as he's just 17 years old and while there's already a stockpile of outfielders in the organization, it's not really bad to invest on a guy like Ramos who has as good of a shot at being a five tool player as anyone because you will never draft for need (or they did draft for need because they needed a high-ceiling prospect). Yes, there are better options that were around at that time like Jeren Kendall (who went to the Dodgers) and David Peterson (who went to the Mets) but Ramos has as much ceiling as anyone in this draft class and the Giants must believe they can help his bat to reach its full potential probably 4-5 years from now. There aren't any major signability issues that I see because I think the brass will give him close to a slot deal worth just north of $3 million. I love this pick. I really do.

 

Next is the second pick for the Giants, infielder Jacob Gonzalez. You will probably know him at first as the son of World Series hero Luis Gonzalez. I never expected them to picked him and I have him outside of my top 90, somewhere in the 110 range but I have some thoughts on him:

 

"Gonzalez has the body and the bloodlines to become a successful big leaguer just like his dad. Jacob has a tall and broad-shouldered frame that should be filled up with a good amount of muscle, giving him as much raw power as anyone in this draft class. The question is how much can he tap into it. He imparts plenty of backspin on the ball in his swing with above-average bat speed and his pure strength can allow him to have power to all fields. He can become too crouched when his front foot lands, and that can cause him to have holes in his swing. He has shown improvements in his pitch selection and approach and when he connects, he produces loud contact. His below average speed will get worse once he adds more muscle but he runs hard on the bases. His arm strength is solid and can stick third but there are concerns with his throwing motion that can be fixed with better technique. He can fit at third but he's better in first base or in left field where his profile fits well.

 

You probably scratched your head a bit when you saw Gonzalez got drafted by the Giants but it looks like he impressed in his workout enough to forgo drafting plenty of other better ranked prospects for him. If you think that the Giants deviated from their plan when they drafted two prep prospects, you are wrong. The Giants still stick to their M.O. of drafting for power, and not just simple power; it is power that will fit in any ballpark in Ramos and Gonzalez. I think that Gonzalez will be a first baseman down the road with a huge ceiling but there's a steeper floor on him due to questions on his overall hitting ability. In the end, I am intrigued by the pick with his baseball IQ, raw power, and bloodlines, but I feel the Giants could've picked someone in the prep arms industry (Tanner Burns, Blayne Enlow, Matt Tabor) or better prep position players (Garrett Mitchell, Nick Allen, Daniel Cabrera) or even the injured Tristan Beck. In terms of signability, I think that Gonzalez will sign (he will surely sign and could sign quickly) at around close to $1 million and he won't likely be a money-saving move.

 


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