2017 MLB Draft Grades: San Francisco Giants
Best Pure Hitter: When scouting 3B Jacob Gonzalez (2), Giants scouts noticed how he worked counts and showed excellent balance, rarely getting caught on his front foot. He has a direct swing path and should develop power as well. While some scouts worried about OF Heliot Ramos (1) ability to hit with wood, he showed no such issues in his pro debut, ranking second in the Rookie-level Arizona League by hitting .348.
Best Power Hitter: Ramos hit some jaw-dropping home runs as an amateur. He’s shown that his plus power potential has translated well to wood, as he showed the ability to homer to left and right field in the Arizona League with impressive exit velocities and a league-best .645 slugging percentage.
Fastest Runner: OF Bryce Johnson (6) is a 70 runner on the 20-to-80 scouting scale and his speed plays both on the basepaths and in center field.
Best Defensive Player: Ramos has the highest ceiling of any position player the Giants have drafted since they picked Buster Posey in 2008. A big part of his ceiling is the projection that Ramos can be a plus defender in center field in addition to his power potential. He glides around center field, gobbling up acreage easily and showed the ability to track balls hit over his head.
Best Fastball: RHP Garrett Cave (4) sits at 92-94 mph and touches 95 with a fastball that shows good life. LHP Seth Corry (3) could end up with an even better fastball when he matures as a pitcher. Corry’s fastball sat at 91-94 mph as a pro after touching 96 at his best in high school this year.
Best Secondary Pitch: Corry’s command of his potentially plus curveball is ahead of his fastball command at this point. He showed an unusual ability to generate good break while pitching at high altitude in Utah. The break on his curve got even better once he was throwing at the lower altitude of the Arizona League.
Best Pro Debut: Ramos hit .348/.404/.645 with six home runs and 10 steals in 35 games with the AZL Giants. The only hiccup he faced was a stint on the DL for the concussion protocol after he was hit in the head by a pitch. Johnson hit .329/.400/.369, ranking second in batting in the short-season Northwest League.
Best Athlete: Ramos was one of the younger players in this year’s draft class, but he already has present power, strength and speed, giving him a chance to be a well-rounded impact player if the hit tool develops.
Most Intriguing Background: Gonzalez’s father Luis was a five-time all-star outfielder for the Diamondbacks who hit 354 homers in his 19-year MLB career and had the game-winning hit in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series. SS Nico Giarratano (24) played for his father Nino at the University of San Francisco.
Closest To The Majors: The Giants drafted high school players with their first three picks so this isn’t an immediate impact draft but Cave could move quickly if he moved to the bullpen to be a power reliever.
Best Late-Round Pick: OF Aaron Bond (12) didn’t play his way into being a regular in San Jacinto (Texas) JC’s loaded lineup until April after many scouts had moved on. But area scout James Mouton believed in the bat and was rewarded as Bond hit .306/.368/.565 in the AZL and ranked among the league’s best in slugging percentage. OF Logan Baldwin (21) impressed with his speed and defense at Georgia Southern. If he can hit—and he did in his pro debut—he has a chance to be a useful outfielder.
The One Who Got Away: RHPs Blake Rivera (32) and Liam Jenkins (40) were a pair of large-framed, hard-throwing junior-college pitchers who could develop into useful arms. Jenkins is at Louisville; Rivera is back at Wallace State (Ala.) JC.