San Francisco Giants 2013 Draft Picks Rounds 3-10
After taking two high school shortstops yesterday, on Day 2 of the 2013 MLB Draft the Giants went exclusively with college players. Here they are, Rounds 3 through 10:
3rd Round (101st overall) — Chase Johnson RHP, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. After being Cal Poly’s closer as a sophomore and pitching fairly well in the Cape Cod League last summer, a wooden bat league for top college prospects, Johnson for some reason lost the closer’s role as a junior. He pitched only 23.1 innings in 2013, despite a 2.31 ERA and no reported injuries.
His fastball reaches 93 miles per hour and has good sink, and his change up and slider have the potential to be major league average pitches, according to mlb.com. He has struck out 86 batters in 107.1 IP in his college career, but has also walked 43, suggesting his command isn’t very good yet.
4th Round (132)— Brian Ragira 1B, Stanford. A three-year starter at Stanford, Ragira has never batted lower than .320 in any of his college seasons. However, he didn’t walk a whole lot or hit with much power in college — as a result, his highest OPS was only .856.
Ragira hit with a little more power in 2013 than his previous seasons, but he’s going to have to slug the ball as a professional to advance as a 1Bman. He hit nine HRs in the Cape Cod League last summer and mlb.com describes him as having “serious raw power,” so there’s certainly reason to be hopeful.
It’s worth noting that Ragira was a completely different kind of hitter in the Cape Cod League compared to Stanford. In the CCBL in 2012, he hit for power, drew many walks and had a low batting average.
5th Round (162) — Daniel Slania RHP, Notre Dame. An enormous young pitcher (he’s listed as 6’5″ and 275 lbs), he was Notre Dame’s closer and top set-up man in 2013, pitching 59.1 IP in only 24 appearances and recording 13 saves and a 1.21 ERA. He can run his fastball up into the mid-90’s, mlb.com says he has a sharp slider and a promising change up, and his command looks pretty good.
Despite his measurements, he doesn’t look overweight in mlb.com’s scouting video. I have to think he didn’t go higher in the draft mainly because his 100 Ks in 121 college innings pitched, all in relief, isn’t especially impressive at this level and teams had concerns about his ability to stay in fighting trim.
In the Cape Cod League last summer, Slania was dominating, posting a 1.51 ERA with 39 Ks and only four walks and 18 hits allowed in 29.1 IP. It seems clear that the Giants’ organization is putting a lot of weight on what players did in the CCBL last summer.
6th Round (192) — Nick Vander Tuig RHP, UCLA. Vander Tuig missed his senior year of high school with Tommy John surgery, but he came all the way back at UCLA, going 21-8 his sophomore and junior seasons. He had a 2.51 ERA this year, and struck out 77 batters in 107.2 IP while walking only 17.
In years past, the Giants liked toolsy players, typically selecting pitchers with great stuff but no command after the 4th round. This year, it seems to be the reverse. Neither Vander Tuig nor Slania, selected in the previous round, blew hitters away in college, but both certainly know how to pitch. Wouldn’t it be amazing if the Giants suddenly became a money-ball franchise?
7th Round (222) — Brandon Bednar SS, Florida Gulf Coast U. Bednar is the first position player ever drafted in the first 25 rounds out of his university. MLB.com says he’s got a good glove and could develop into a useful utility player, but that his hitting needs work.
Bednar batted .336/.394/.441 in 2013, which is good for a shortstop, but, of course, he was playing in the Atlantic Sun Conference, definitely a second-tier NCAA Division I conference. For what it’s worth, six players have been drafted out of the Atlantic Sun in the first eight rounds of this year’s MLB Draft, including 1st Round pick (18th overall) Chris Anderson from Jacksonville U. by the Dodgers.
8th Round (252) — Tyler Horan LF, Virginia Tech. The first college senior selected by the Giants, Horan was chosen for his power. He has hit 29 HRs and 77 extra base hits in 493 career college at-bats.
The knocks on Horan are his age (he turns 23 in December) and the fact that he strikes out a lot. Still, finding a player who hit as well as Horan did in a major conference this far down in the draft looks good. Horan also led the Cape Cod League in HRs with 16 last summer.
9th Round (282) — D. J. Snelten LHP, Minnesota. The first left-handed pitcher selected by the Giants, Snelton has a fastball that sits in the low 90’s and regularly touches 94 mph, according to mlb.com, but his other pitches need work. Snelten missed the first month of the 2013 season with an elbow injury, but he came back to post a 2.15 ERA in 58.1 IP; however, his strikeout and walk rates were less impressive.
Snelton is 6’7″ and 230 lbs, but mlb.com describes him as “more athletic” than you would expect.
10th Round (312) — Tyler Rodgers RHP, Austin Peay State U. Another college senior, MLB.com doesn’t even provide a scouting report for Rodgers. He was Austin Peay’s closer the last two seasons, and he was extremely hard to hit, allowing only 73 hits and only one HR in 99.1 IP while striking out 93.
Rogers is also wild as a March hare, walking 63 batters over the last two years. He’s clearly a project, but he’s got a good arm for this far down in the draft. Although he also turns 23 in December, age isn’t quite as important for a young pitcher with stuff, as it is for a position player.
As a final note, Bobby Wahl, the Ole Miss right-hander who hits 97 mph on the radar gun and at least one mock draft had the Giants selecting in the first round with the 25th pick, stayed on the board until the 5th Round when the A’s took him with the 161st pick, one before the Giants selected Daniel Slania. MLB.com had Wahl as their 30th best prospect entering the draft, and Baseball America ranked him at 36th, making his fall to the 5th round extremely surprising.
Wahl’s strikeouts were down and his walks were up this year compared to his 2012 sophomore season, reportedly because he pitched most the season with a blister under one of the finger nails on his pitching hand, which affected his slider. Even so, he pitched extremely well this year — 10-0 record and 2.03 ERA in a major conference.
This looks like a great pick for the A’s, although I suspect that Wahl may have fallen this low because he’s demanding a big bonus or teams have serious concerns about his arm health going forward.