Written By: Wrenzie
Follow Him on Twitter: @GiantProspectiv
Follow Prospects Worldwide on Twitter: @ProspectsWorldW
*Hello, it’s Giant Prospective. I’m piggybacking Tieran with this post and I’m going to be covering the Giants for Prospects Worldwide moving forward, where I provide scouting reports, performance analysis, and other good stuff. Tieran wrote the intro and the reports on Patrick Bailey (oh, and buckle up because it’s a really long one), Jimmy Glowenke and Casey Schmitt’s hitting ability while I write the rest.
The MLB Draft has finally come and gone with the Giants adding some elite talent and some not so elite talent to their farm in the draft. The Giants held seven selections in the shortened draft this year with their first selection being at #13 overall. They held one pick in every round and an additional two picks at #67 and #68 as compensation for Will Smith and Madison Bumgarner leaving the team in free agency after rejecting a qualifying offer.
In this article, we will go over every player the Giants selected and I’ll give my thoughts on all of the picks. This will not include the overall team or pick grades or say if these are good picks as I can not see the future, I’m just evaluating who the players they got are as prospects and what their upside might be.
There are several things that did stick out from the Giants draft class before we get into it. First is a preference for young college players but does not necessarily apply to prepsters. Next is the preference for players who has good walk rates, and players who have good knowledge of the strike zone that they can refine to hit for more power their hitting lab. With pitchers, they think very progressively as the pitchers do not have elite velocity (except for Dabovich) either have perfect backspins on their fastball or a flat fastball approach, or a combination of both that they can improve on in their pitch lab. With the talks of Bailey playing on the field aside from the squat relaying the signs, there’s a value on overall athleticism that the coaches hope they can tap on these players to potentially play other positions in the future.
1.13: C Patrick Bailey – NC State University (NC)
B/T: S/R – HT: 6’2″ WT: 207 lbs – Age: 21.0 Y/O – ETA: 2022
|25+ / 45||45 / 55||40 / 35||55 / 55||55 / 60||45+|
The Giants shocked everyone in the first round when they chose to take Patrick Bailey with their first pick in the draft. The Giants chose to take a catcher in the first round when they already have Joey Bart who is the #2 catching prospect in all of baseball and they also have future Hall of Famer Buster Posey. I get that you don’t draft on need in the MLB but seriously a catcher? You only need one of those not three, right? That is wrong.
Based on what we’ve seen in recent years, historical track record, and Farhan’s previous decision making when it comes to catchers both with the Dodgers and Giants we can make a very reasonable case that you do not, in fact, need one starting catcher but multiple starting-caliber options. You could even make an argument that taking Patrick Bailey is the best decision the Giants could make.
“When you catch, they tend to focus on a lot of mobility in the legs. When you have loose hips, bro, you have loose springs. When you have loose springs, I’m telling you right now, like I think the reason catchers struggle hitting is they have fucking loose hips and they have trouble pulling slack out. They have the loosest hips and they can’t hit and they have the most trouble pulling slack out. And the more they catch and the more work they do, the lower they are and the more mobile they make their hips which means the harder it is to create the tension they need and hit the way that they need to.” – Jon Updike, President of Baseball Cloud and former Scouting Supervisor for the Mets.
And as good as he is and the stuff already shows, there is room to get even This quote sums up the benefit of not having a catcher catch full time pretty well. Catchers simply hit better when catchers are forced to catch less often. So many catchers start off their career as extremely talented hitters who are also good receivers and yet very few of them remain good by the time they’re eligible for free agency.
Guys like Jonathan Lucroy, Matt Wieters, Derek Norris, Yan Gomes, and Miguel Montero to name a few were All-Star caliber players for a time before the wear and tear of catching made them too terrible to get regular playing time. More catchers like Joe Mauer, Carlos Santana, Mike Napoli, and Victor Martinez moved out from behind the plate to preserve the longevity of their bat. Buster Posey might be the greatest catcher of all time but even his bat didn’t stay elite for an extended time period. Catching regularly rapidly accelerates the aging process of the bat.
There is also considerable amounts of evidence to suggest that catching every day causes the bat to under perform in that very season and not just future ones. Gary Sanchez had his best season when he only caught a hundred games in total between the minors and majors and has since already begun to fall off as all catchers do. Will Smith came up from the minors this year and immediately established himself as one of the best catchers in baseball, I expect a drop off in offensive production during the next full-length season.
Mitch Garver caught a career-low eighty-three games this year and emerged as the best offensive catcher in baseball. That’s probably not a coincidence. Danny Jansen had a promising rookie season where he posted a 116 wRC+ in a part-time role. When he was made the full-time starter, his wRC+ dropped to a mere 68. Elias Diaz went from a 114 wRC+ to a 61 wRC+ as an everyday player. I could go on and on with the examples but the point is that catchers bats play down when asked to play full-time.
Split time catchers have had incredible success in recent years. This year the Mariners split playing time between Omar Narvaez and Tom Murphy who are both below-average players on their own but they combined for a 121 wRC+ which is the most production any team got out of their catchers in 2019. Even when you factor in defense, they still combined for 5.0 fWAR which was the fourth-best catching core in the MLB. That isn’t even the second-best catching group tandem in the last three years as that honor is rewarded to the Braves duo of below-average catchers who combined for a whopping 5.9 fWAR and 8.1 WARP. Tyler Flowers and Kurt Suzuki are both historically mediocre players but in 2017 they combined for a whopping 119 wRC+ and provided elite defense behind the dish.
The best duo also comes in 2017 when Yasmani Grandal and Austin Barnes combined for a whopping 8.7 WARP in split time behind the plate with both getting action at other positions as well to keep their hard-hitting bats in the lineup. The only player this century to exceed 8.7 WARP behind the dish is Brian McCann in 2008, and the only team whose catching core had exceeded 8.7 WARP this century is the Braves in 2008, 2009, and 2011 (The Giants also had 8.7 WARP as a team in 2014).
Suffice to say using part-time catchers is absolutely a good strategy in today’s MLB. Usually, teams who use part-time catchers use them because they don’t have a good one but the Giants could look to replicate the 2017 Dodgers and use two catchers because both are good enough to play every day and they hit better by rotating days behind the plate.
Taking Patrick Bailey gives the Giants a chance to implement a similar strategy and improve the longevity of Joey Bart in the process. Both players are athletic enough and have a plus arm so they could potentially spend some time at third base or the corner outfield as well as the obvious first base option on their days they don’t catch and with the likely addition of the DH to the National League, they can also spend time there when you want both of their bats in the lineup on any given day. We know that Farhan loves versatility and ultimately that is what this pick gives the Giants, versatility behind the plate, and gives Kapler the chance to be creative with his lineups. So with the rationale behind taking a catcher out of the way, let’s finally look into just who Patrick Bailey is as a player.
Now for the scouting. Patrick Bailey is a switch-hitting three true-outcomes type catcher who should be above average at the plate and behind it as well if we ever get electronic strike zones. His swing is universally better from the left-handed side so it might be worth ditching switch-hitting and only focusing on that side. His pelvis opens up fully way quicker from the right-handed side and his hip-torso separation is lackluster as well. He does a good job loading his swing with a powerful leg kick from both sides and he generates impressive pull-side power with an incredible feel for loft in his swing, especially from the left-handed side.
He has a tendency to over-rotate at times with his pelvis leading to him ineffectually continuing the kinetic chain during his swing, again especially from the right-handed side. His hands are efficient and he does well at getting the barrel of the bat into the strike zone. He has some serious swing and miss issues, likely borne out of his somewhat steep vernacular bat angles and partly just poor timing but he sees pitches well and will work a lot of walks so he should still run an above-average OBP.
His raw power is incredible, to say the least, and with his feel for loft, he is a safe bet to get to at least a plus grade in games. In the COVID shortened season Patrick Bailey had a hard-hit rate of nearly 75% which is quite frankly absurd. His raw exit velocities were also top ten in the draft class according to trackman which is again quite good for a catcher. He’s a forceful hitter who stops really well from the left-handed side and puts balls in the air with regularity.
There are reasons to be concerned about the hit tool, in large part due to his struggles with wood bats in limited-exposure but the likely outcome here feels like Mike Zunino type of production offensively albeit with more walks and he won’t be the same caliber of defender which might not sound exciting but that is still at least an average catcher offensively and an above-average regular behind the plate when you look at his entire skillset packaged together.
Defensively I’ve heard Patrick Bailey be called a butcher by some scouts while others praise his defensive aptitude and call him one of the better defenders in the draft class. The difference between the valuations of his defense comes down to how the scout looks at framing. He’s a bad framer, not Omar Narvaez bad by any stretch but a below-average one for sure, his hands tend to drift in the direction of the ball’s movement when he catches it and he doesn’t have the quick snap towards the strike zone as most good pitch framers do. His technique is rough but framing is very much a teachable skill and electronic strike zones could make him into a double-plus defender.
He’s one of the best pitch blockers I’ve seen. He’ll catch from a one-knee setup when there are no runners on base and he’ll move quickly from that position to smother balls in the dirt. On bunt attempts, he’s always the first one to the ball and he’ll fire strikes to first to prevent any free hits. His arm is also above average with an average pop time of 1.95 seconds in his college career. The quick instincts make him a surefire thing to stick behind the plate is a robot umpire world and give him a real chance of being a capable defender at another position if the Giants want to move him.
Considering that Patrick Bailey is expected to sign for under-slot, it’s hard to get too upset about this selection as he should be at least an average regular with the upside of more and it’s a pretty likely upside to be realized, all things considered. He provides versatility and a chance to longer enjoy the dominance of Joey Bart so it’s a really good pickup all things considered. I hated this pick at first but I’ve quickly come around to see this as a good pick.
2.49: 3B/RHP Casey Schmitt – SD State University (CA)
B/T: R/R – HT: 6’2″ WT: 200 lbs – Age: 21.3 Y/O – ETA: 2023
|25+ / 50||45 / 50+||40 / 40||60 / 60+||55 / 55+||40+|
|45 / 50||50 / 55||30 / 45||35+|
The Giants shocked everyone once again with their first of three picks in the second round when they chose to take Casey Schmitt, as he went a bit earlier than most people expected as the Giants snagged him within the top fifty picks. It is unexpected but it does not mean it’s a bad selection right away as Schmitt is one if not the only top true two-play college prospect on a lot of top prospect lists.
While not considered as a top 75 prospect in the draft class, there’s still plenty to like about Schmitt as a two-way player. It’s certainly good that the Giants will slot him primarily as a third baseman once he sets foot on the pro ball. Not only it will help Schmitt focus on an aspect that he has a better chance of sticking with, but also it will accelerate his progress as a hitter because there are still things to work on that side of the ball.
Schmitt is a natural at the hot corner, with above-average hands and actions. He keeps his eyes on the ball and only started to focus on the base that he’s throwing to once he gets a firm grip of the ball. He is loose with his footwork as well as with his hips and torso. His first-step reaction is also very good and he can do routine and some spectacular plays. His low to mid-90s velocity on the mound translate in the dirt as well, with the ability to throw from multiple angles without sacrificing accuracy.
Evaluating Schmitt as a hitter is tough. The raw power is above average with a strong build and pretty quick hands. He gets solid hip torso separation because he lands with his front leg open after a pretty big leg kick. However, he shelves his leg kick to more of a heel lift on two-strike counts. Schmitt is great at getting underneath the ball and hitting it off of the ground with a relatively flat swing and a good feel for the barrel. He’s also shown patience and control of the strike zone, as he’s posted strong walk rates while keeping his strikeout rates to a decent number, over the past two seasons.
Extracting more power from Schmitt should be the agenda for the coaches once Schmitt steps on the backfields. He has elements that will translate for hitting for power. His lead leg gets stiff and acts as an anchor once it lands after his leg kick and releases his back leg to shift his momentum forwards. However, there are things that limit Schmitt from reaching his power. His pelvis tends to get a bit too open at times, his momentum moves more sideways than forward to impact the ball rather than English the ball, a rather solid at best bat speed is paired with a flat bat path and a contact-over-power approach that is paired with a spray-oriented approach all add up against Schmitt.
A change in Schmitt’s plate approach, possibly to a more pull-oriented one, as well as some tinkering with his mechanics, possibly shifting his momentum more forward, could all result in him tapping more power. He’s hit as many homers in the Cape last year as what he’s put up with the Aztecs last year but has failed to hit a homer in a shortened season, and had never posted an ISO above 0.140 in a normal college season. Add in his torn meniscus injury that he’s still recovering while playing in 2020 to add more questions on the topic.
All in all, offensively, Schmitt is currently a hit-over-power, defense-first third baseman that has will stick at the position for a long time but should make a number of necessary adjustments for him to hit for more power while retaining his good contact skills and zone control.
Interestingly, I feel that Schmitt’s more polished as a pitcher than as a hitter. Even though Schmitt’s numbers don’t look spectacular as the Aztecs closer for the past 2 seasons, it feels there’s potential for him to get outs in the big leagues.
Schmitt employs a pretty simple delivery on the mound. Coming from the stretch, Schmitt’s athleticism on the mound is also evident because he retains his balance pretty well after a pretty big leg kick. His back leg bends and loads well as he drives to the plate. His arm action is short and gets to the ready position with his front foot still driving and in the air, a style that is typically seen with Bartolo Colon. He keeps his front foot closed upon landing with good hip-shoulder separation. Coming from a high 3/4 arm slot, Schmitt’s arm speed is only solid to above average but does a good job of anchoring his lead leg, drive forward in a more linear way to the plate, and finishing in a good fielding position.
There are only two pitches that Schmitt throws on the mound but I feel it’s enough to get outs in pro ball. His fastball velocity is only average, ranging from 89 to 94 MPH with some running life on it. However, he pairs it up with his low-80s splitter that just falls off the table at its best and he tunnels the split with his heater well. However, there’s still work to be done with his control as his walk rates leave much to be desired and his strikeout rates are not that good. Still, there’s enough excitement that Schmitt could get hitters out in the big leagues with his two pitches.
Based on the gap between the pick that he was selected and his expected selection range, it’s very likely that Schmitt will sign an under-slot deal. That said, there’s enough excitement that’s surrounding Schmitt with respect of the intrigue that he brings to the field as a potential everyday third baseman with Gold Glove potential WHILE BEING a potential 7th inning or an arm that you can throw out to the mound if ever the bullpen is taxed and you need someone to get outs.
2.67: RHP Nick Swiney – NC State University (NC)
B/T: L/R – HT: 6’3″ WT: 187 lbs – Age: 21.3 Y/O – ETA: 2023
|45 / 50+||50 / 55||50 / 60||40 / 50+||40+|
The Giants entered the compensation round with no pitchers on the board after their first 2 picks. So, the Giants did the smart thing in their 3rd selection to draft Will Wilson and Patrick Bailey’s teammate, Nick Swiney. After spending the first two years acting as the fireman of the Wolfpack bullpen, Swiney transitioned to the rotation in 2020 and blossomed into a dominant force on the mound, albeit facing against lesser competition, before the shutdown.
Swiney is more flexibility than strength on the mound, where his flexibility and athleticism is obvious when he is on the rubber. Swiney’s shoulders do have broadness but he is more of a lean but pretty physical athlete. However, I do not see Swiney adding more muscle as his rather narrow hips do not promise that any addition of muscle in his thighs would stick around. Rounding out his weight to a 190 to the 200-pound range would definitely help him with his stamina and retain his velocity deeper into games.
Standing on the third-base side of the rubber, Swiney has a flexible, rotational drop-and-drive delivery with some effort. Swiney turns his back against right-handed hitters while his left arm reaches back as he drives forward. He loads his back leg very well and his right toenail is touching the edge of the rubber once his front foot lands, a great sign of flexibility. His front foot lands slightly open but keeps his lead leg and hips closed and even though his arm reaches back while driving, the entire arm swing is clean.
Upon analyzing this video footage by D1 Baseball, his stride length is around 97% of his height or around 6 foot flat and his release point is a true vertical one with a release height around 5 feet 5 inches off the ground and is perpendicular to the inside first base portion of the rubber near the middle.
There is a noticeable head whack that Swiney has while throwing and it could potentially be detrimental to his command and has shown bouts with his command as a fireman in his first two college seasons. His front leg and knee have a bit of flexing and stays bent rather than pushing forward when he throws the ball. That results in some lost velocity. Hitting the weight room and doing a lot of squats should fix that.
To his stuff, while his fastball velocity in the rotation is fringy at around 87-93 MPH, there’s a lot more to his fastball rather than just velocity. Just like Ethan Small of last year, Swiney’s vertical release point is perfect for creating perfect backspin on his fastball. That backspin results in a near 22-inch vertical break, which is elite if you scale that element. His release point does not give him a lot of lateral break but that vertical break coupled with the rather lower than usual release height gives him a flatter trajectory when the ball is thrown high in the zone, and will easily blow by unsuspecting hitters and get swings and misses. Swiney fits the Giants pitching philosophy of high fastballs tunneled with low curveballs very well.
Speaking of the curveball, Swiney’s curveball flashes plus at times, although the quality varies greatly. Thrown in the mid-70s, his curveball has 12-6 traits thanks to his release point, with a true curveball shape and break. The quality of the pitch varies with how big the shape and how late the snap is, with a few looking like fringy to average.
Swiney’s changeup might be on the same boat has his curveball in terms of present quality but the changeup has shown plenty of promise, even though a vertical release point is not the ideal arm slot for such a pitch. It has plenty of late break when thrown down and out of the zone does draw out swings and misses from both lefties and righties.
Swiney is famous for getting strikeouts during his time in NC State, but his command took a huge jump in his transition to the rotation when he started dialing back, where he can reach 95 MPH with his fastball out of the pen, and focused better on pitch execution. He is not afraid to throw all of his pitches at any count and is not afraid to throw “backwards”, a good trait for a pitcher.
He will be given a lot of chances to stick to the rotation and be a potential #3-4 starting piece but he needs to show that he can still throw 91-93 after 90+ pitches in his starts in pro ball. He also needs to be more consistent with his off-speed offerings and show that his command from the rotation is real. If not, he can be a pretty effective fireman from the bullpen just like what he did for the Wolfpack. There’s a good chance that he will sign around slot value for the Giants.
2.68: INF Jimmy Glowenke – Dallas Baptist University (TX)
B/T: R/R – HT: 5’10″ WT: 185 lbs – Age: 21.0 Y/O – ETA: 2024
|30+ / 55||25 / 35||40 / 40||45 / 50||45 / 45+||35+|
With the last of their three second-round picks, the Giants took the second baseman and a lot of people consider this as a “reach” and a legitimate under-slot deal to set-up an over-slot deal to whoever prep prospect they elect to select the third round. However, there are things that Glowenke does on the field that do stand out.
His best attribute as a prospect is his ability to hit a round object with a long stick. He’s done so in his three years at Dallas Baptist, a college program known for incorporating some of the best technology that the world has to offer to their program. Glowenke never fell below .325 in his batting average in college and has hit .296 in the Cape Cod League last summer. Glowenke has some of the best innate bat-to-ball skills and strike zone control in this draft class.
There are a lot of things that Glowenke does well on the batter’s box. Standing really back on the box, Glowenke starts with a rather narrow set-up with a slight rocking motion and an already loaded set-up. He does very little with his upper half while his lower half is loading up, with a big leg kick, and then drives forward to almost double the length of his set-up. His hands only reach back slightly as he also slightly turn his back because he is already pre-loaded. He keeps his head steady all throughout his stance, giving him a great vision for the ball as well as a stiff lead leg that only loosens after ball contact.
His compact swing and good bat speed allow Glowenke to drive the ball to where they are located, employing an all-fields approach. His strike zone IQ is also very good as he can lay off good pitches and keeps a solid batting average. With his ability to contact the ball with ease, there’s potential that the coaches could help Glowenke add more pop to his swing. Even though Glowenke has some traits that power hitters have, most of his hits do not travel far and carry with plenty of zip.
Defensively, Glowenke is a definite mover out of shortstop because of his below-average speed and range. He had elbow surgery in the offseason and that resulted in him playing DH in 2020, further clouding his chances of him sticking at the position. If he regains his old arm strength, the 2018 MVC Defensive Player of the Year will profile well at the other side of the infield. He has soft hands and the side-to-side movement to play for the position at a good level, where his defensive highlights at shortstop will carry over positively to the less stressful position. There have also been talks about him moving to third base but it’s hard to buy that notion with his only average arm strength.
Overall, Glowenke projects as a “scrapper” on the field with a track very good record of hitting and sticking in the infield. Those traits are valued by teams, along with his age making him relatively young for the draft class. However, aside from his bat, there’s not a lot of glowing attributes that Glowenke has, possibly his glove. If Glowenke does not translate his hitting prowess in pro ball, he’ll have a really hard time getting to the Majors. If he can, however, there’s a chance of him becoming a first-division regular, but leaning more towards a utility role.
3.85: LHP Kyle Harrison – De La Salle HS (CA)
B/T: R/L – HT: 6’2″ WT: 205 lbs – Age: 18.8 Y/O – ETA: 2023
|50 / 55||45 / 50+||40 / 50+||35/ 45||35 / 50+||40+|
The Giants had a lot of projected money to be spent after the first 4 selections as Glowenke and Schmitt are both projected to sign for less money and Bailey could potentially take a bit of a pay cut. It’s all planned in order to select Harrison, an LHP from the powerhouse De La Salle HS who would sign away from his UCLA commitment for a whopping 2.5 million USD. That’s first-round money right there given to the best lefty prep pitching prospect in the draft.
Harrison has been a staple of the showcase circuit last summer, often seen on national events such as the Area Code Games, the PG National and All-American Classic game, PBR ProCase and was capped off by being one of only a handful starting pitchers for Team USA in the U18 Baseball World Cup held in Busan, South Korea last summer. While there are some that are low on Harrison because he is more of a pitchability than a power pitcher, I’m high on him because he already has the pitchability but has a chance of becoming a power pitcher as well.
Listed at 200 lbs. around the summer, Harrison added some weight over the course of the offseason and is listed by PBR at 205 lbs., possibly heavier. His frame is athletic and well-proportioned, with big thighs and hips with room to fill his torso with muscle when he pitched in the U18 tournament last year. Once he fills out his frame, there’s a big chance that he will gain more velocity.
With his big preference of attacking hitters with his fastball thrown high in the zone coming from a unique angle, very competitive nature, and winning mentality on the mound, Harrison reminds me a little bit of Madison Bumgarner. Standing on the third-base side of the rubber, Harrison comes out of his high leg kick and drives heavily with his back leg, a sign of athleticism and flexibility. His drive towards the plate is incorporated by extending his front arm and leg forward, similar to Walker Buehler. He brings the ball back but his entire arm action is clean. His front foot lands pointing forwards the plate but keeps his entire hips closed, resulting in good hip-shoulder separation. His lead leg really serves as an anchor as he drives of it very well and the ball is released on a true 3/4 arm slot, with his entire torso and left thigh facing directly towards the catcher. Even though his drive has rotational elements, he finishes in a forward direction.
Upon examining the high-speed video, his stride length for his changeup and fastball is 99% of his height and around 90% for his breaking ball. His release point for his fastball and changeup is around the tip of the right foot and around the hell for his curveball. For his arm slot, his fingers are pointing at a 45-degree angle relative to the ground and the ball is located within at least half a foot inside the left-handed batter’s box. His release height for his fastball and changeup is around 4 1/2 feet off the ground and his curveball is around 3-4 inches higher.
Harrison has four pitches at his disposal. His fastball that he loves to throw is only around 88-94 MPH from the left side, with the pitch hovering to more 88-89 in the summer. However, his March outing has him throwing more 91-93 MPH in the fifth inning and that’s a good sign. And looking at Harrison’s velocity profile alone is like looking at only the tip of the iceberg.
The fastball does not have a lot of movement either vertically or horizontally. But because the pitch is coming from such a low height from the y-axis and is released inside the left-handed batter’s box on the x-axis, it is coming at such an odd angle and it’s really hard for the hitters to square it up because it’s an unusual place to track the ball. Also, thanks to his low release, Harrison can create such a flat angle of approach towards his fastball that there’s an impression of the pitch actually rising and actually features a bit of sink a la Javier Lopez. Harrison knows this so he does not mind filling up the upper half of the zone with the heater. However, he does not also shy away from throwing it below the zone, where the pitch as a good sinking movement. With reports of an improved velocity this year and some tinkering with his finger placement to be more vertical to improve spin efficiency and even more rise, it has the potential to be an easy plus pitch.
Harrison’s secondaries have potential but definitely needs more work than his fastball. His best secondary pitch is his high-70s slider, and it’s a pitch that he can tunnel well with the fastball but he releases the pitch on a higher arm slot, similar to his curve. Still, it has the potential to become a wipeout pitch because, at its best, it has a wicked, two-plane break that acts like a Wiffle ball pitch and works in a similar fashion as a CC Sabathia slider at best. However, he gets under the ball for a considerable amount and has trouble locating the pitch, missing badly in terms of location.
His low-80s changeup also suffers similar problems with his slider, as he struggles to get on top of the pitch. However, on its best, the pitch has plenty of lateral movement and Harrison has the arm slot and arm action to throw a potentially above-average offering with more consistency. His low to mid-70s curveball is a distant fourth pitch as of this moment as I first thought that his slider is a power curveball but turns out, it really is his slider.
With his ability to fill the zone with his fastball quite easily, Harrison gets good remarks for his pitchability. Thinking that Harrison only has a low ceiling-high floor profile as a prep prospect but mainly looking at the radar gun will make a person think that way. Harrison does not give in on the mound, unfazed by the pressure, and is not afraid to challenge any hitter. He has no problem filling the zone with his heater but has problems throwing his off-speed pitches as putaway offerings consistently at the moment.
I honestly view Harrison has a medium-floor, medium-ceiling prospect and has the natural ability and coach-ability to become a mid-rotation starter. Some also view him turning into a really high selection if he chose to play for the Bruins, similar to what Asa Lacy has enjoyed, so there’s a good shot that Harrison has more ceiling than initially thought.
4.114: RHP R.J. Dabovich – Arizona State University (AZ)
B/T: R/R – HT: 6’3″ WT: 215 lbs – Age: 21.4 Y/O – ETA: 2024
|60 / 70||55 / 60||40 / 45+||40 / 45||35 / 45||40|
The Giants entered the draft thinking that Hunter Bishop and Carter Aldrete missed some of their Sun Devils teammates while playing in the backfields and while they missed out on drafting Gage Workman as he’s picked 12 picks earlier, drafting Dabovich ain’t that bad either. The Sun Devils closer will be pushed into the starting rotation in pro ball once the minor leagues resume and will likely sign for close to slot value.
As the Sun Devils closer in 2020, Dabovich really boosted his value after tinkering with his mechanics in the off-season and became a strikeout machine for the squad. Standing on the third-base side of the rubber, Dabovich shows great balance at the height of his leg kick and drives off the mound well. He extends his lead leg and lead arm as he drives towards the plate, similar to Walker Buehler.
One thing of the things that he’s improved over the off-season is his arm action. When he threw in the Cape Cod League last year, he reaches back in his arm action. In the abbreviated 2020 season, Dabovich now features a more compact arm action, something that you will expect from a guy who’s in a weighted ball program. The new arm action gives Dabovich plenty of deception, as he now hides the ball against righties until release point.
Dabovich lands his front foot pretty in-line towards the plate and his back leg is already dislodged off the ground when his arm is in the ready position. What is the most impressive part for me is the amount of spine flexibility that he has when he enters the most violent phase of the delivery. His hip-shoulder separation is very good and like Harrison, faces his torso and back leg towards the hitter.
Another thing that Dabovich has changed is his arm slot. Coming from a more 3/4 release point in years past, Dabovich now features a more vertical arm slot that gives his fastball plenty of vertical break. Overall, Dabovich’s operation is pretty cookie-cutter, with vanilla-looking mechanics and is a powerful one with plenty of energy generation and his athleticism shows up all throughout.
Talking about Dabovich starts with his fastball. I’m going to let this picture talk about the pitch (From Joe Rosenstein’s Instagram story):
Yep. That’s a whole lot of 99s and a pitch that registered at 100 MPH with a lot of 99% spin efficiency. With his peak vertical break at 20.1 inches, Dabovich can live on the top of the zone with ease and just blow by hitters not just with velocity but also with the rise that his almost perfect backspin can deliver. Take it for what it’s worth, but Dabovich typically works in the mid-90s last year and in the 94-98 MPH range in the pen this year.
The pitch has the potential to become a true 80 pitch but it is being held back by his current lack of command with the pitch. He lives generally on the strike zone but lacks fine command of the pitch. If he can throw the pitch more on the top of the zone rather than the down the zone where the vertical break is rendered useless, I feel he’ll have more success.
Dabovich’s best secondary pitch is his slider, a mid to high-80s offering that features more vertical than horizontal break, a feature typically seen on Brad Lidge and young Zack Greinke. The pitch has late break consistently to get a lot of swings and misses though he needs to live down and off the plate with the pitch because there are a few that does not break as sharp and will be easy pickings.
His other secondaries include a mid to high-80s split-finger fastball that he occasionally throws against lefties that features some tumble but not really a pitch that I am excited about, a high-70s curveball that he throws a decent amount last year that looks solid average in terms of quality but I did not see a lot of it this year, and a changeup that he is working on to improve.
Dabovich has a clear-cut road to the big leagues as a two-pitch power reliever where Major League hitters will have a hard time dealing with his fastball-slider combo and his decent command potential will work. However, putting him in the rotation will give him more reps and a potential for one of his other secondaries to become another weapon, potentially his curveball, and improve on his control enough to envision him to become a potential mid-rotation starter. The way that I see it, due to his slider being more of a vertical-oriented pitch, Dabovich needs to add another lateral-oriented pitch to work in the rotation, something like a cutter or a better changeup grip.
5.144: RHP Ryan Murphy – Le Moyne College (NY)
B/T: R/R – HT: 6’1″ WT: 190 lbs – Age: 20.7 Y/O – ETA: 2025
The Giants ended their draft by selecting the right-handed pitcher that also produced current Dodgers prospect Josiah Gray, and came from the same neighborhood as former Giant Joe Panik. It is another under-slot maneuver by the front office as they look to squeeze out 1.8 million across 6 other selections in order to sign Kyle Harrison.
I do not have any new info about Murphy but based on the video above, Murphy is not the biggest guy on the mound but has serious crossfire with his mechanics, giving him a lot of deception and resulting in uncomfortable at-bats. For more information about Murphy, here’s what both Carlos Collazo from Baseball America and Jonathan Mayo from MLB.com has to about Murphy in the MLB Network’s broadcast.
“A performance pick, 87-91 MPH fastball, pretty good spin rates, lots of strikes throughout his career, three secondaries that all project as average with the slider and changeup ahead of the curveball, not the biggest guy but a solid four-pitch mix overall…Can really pitch off of his fastball, commands it well, maybe up to 92 at best but he draws a lot of swings and misses because of the command and deception, not afraid to come in with the fastball, pitched really well in the New England summer league, named the most valuable pitcher, been on the radar for the local scouts for a long time.”
Follow us on Twitter! @ProspectsWorldW