3 pitchers the San Francisco Giants could take in 1st round of 2015 MLB draft


The Giants have the 18th pick in this year’s draft and most prognosticators have them tabbed to select a pitcher, which makes a lot of sense as the team’s pitching staff is a bit long in the tooth aside from Madison Bumgarner.

The team’s top 30 prospect list, as decided by MLB.com, is made up of mostly pitchers but only one (Kyle Crick) makes the list of top top 100 prospects. Given the cost and uncertainty of starting pitching on the free-agent market, developing pitching leads to more opportunities to spend elsewhere or make trades when necessary.

With 17 teams picking before them and a team history of being difficult to predict, the Giants may surprise with their first selection. Even so, we’ll make our best guesses by leaning on the mock drafts composed by experts around the web.

Mike Nikorak – RHP, Stroudsburg (Penn.) HS

A prep pitcher with a fastball regularly in the low 90’s with good sink and the ability to touch 97 MPH is the kind of upside that comes off the board early. A good breaking ball to compliment that heater doesn’t hurt, either. It also helps to stand at 6’5″ and weigh in at 225 pounds at the age of 18.

Nikorak’s dominance was displayed in his 22-2 record in Pennsylvania where he won the Gatorade Pennsylvania Player of the Year award. He has one thing that neither of the other players on this list have, too—a track record of good health. This alone might make him the top choice for Brian Sabean and his staff.

The latest mock draft from Baseball America has him going to the Giants.

Kolby Allard – LHP, San Clemente (Calif.) HS

As an alumni of San Clemente High School, I’m a bit biased in my hopes that Kolby Allard’s name is called for the 18th selection. My bias has nothing to do with the very real possibility that Allard may be one of the best talents on the board at any point of the draft. Several months ago, he was the consensus top prep pitcher entering draft eligibility. A back injury derailed the sky-high hopes teams may have had for him, but his talent is still good enough to go in the first round.

With three plus pitches—a mid 90’s fastball, wicked curve and good changeup—he has the repertoire few players can boast of at such a young age. His frame is considered small at 6 feet and 170 pounds. Having seen what “small” can do in Tim Lincecum, the Giants may not be as turned off as some other teams. His standout performance as a pitcher was at the 18U Pan American Championship where he struck out 17 of the 29 batters faced.

Brady Aiken – LHP, IMG Academy

Most of us know the story of last year’s first-round selection. A year later, the Astros look much smarter than when they failed to sign their top choice. But a year from now, many teams may be kicking themselves for passing up on this superb pitcher. 

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Aiken’s talent has never been in question, but his current recovery from Tommy John surgery has dampened the enthusiasm for him. To pick a former No. 1 draftee in the teens is unheard of. It’s also wildly unpredictable as to how teams in front may view him, and he could be long gone before the Giants are up.

Reports are that his recovery is going well, and there is a history of teams using first-round picks to select pitchers in recovery from Tommy John. My own speculation is that he could quite possibly be signed for slightly under slot money due to the fact he likely will not be able to pitch again until shortly before next year’s draft.

No matter who they end up picking, rest assured that the Giants have done their homework and are all set for what is sure to be an exciting day for the organization.

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