Last Week, the San Francisco Giants got started on their farm system re-stock in the 2018 MLB Draft. Joey Bart was the big prize, but plenty of others got picked.
The San Francisco Giants had a solid draft in 2018. They had the second pick of every single round, and have accumulated a serious amount of intriguing prospects. We're going to look at 10 of the most intriguing ones, in no particular order.
They held the second pick of the draft thanks to Pablo Sandoval's game 162 heroics. The Tigers took over the first pick in the draft with his walk-off home run, keeping the number one pick away from the Giants.
But would that have mattered? Some would argue the Giants might have taken Joey Bart first overall even if they had that pick. Others choose to think Pablo cost the Giants a shot at Casey Mize.
But enough about what could've been, and more about what actually is. Joey Bart is clearly the most well known of the Giants draft picks. It's not intriguing in any way, shape, or form. So we're not going to talk a whole lot about him. We'll have plenty on him later.
We want to look at guys drafted on day two and three. People that most didn't even know got drafted. Guys who weren't talked about on National T.V, yet still have as much upside, and a chance to make this their career. Without much more to say, here are our ten most intriguing Giants draft picks from the 2018 MLB Draft.
Number 6: Ben Strahm, RHP, Round 23
Ben Strahm is a tall pitcher out of Northeastern State University in North Dakota. He spent two years at Cowley College in Arkansas City, Kan. There he went 4-1 with a 2.89 ERA in his freshman year, and followed it up with a 8-3 record and 2.31 ERA his second season.
Strahm then transferred to Northeastern State University, and had a solid campaign, striking out 64 in 62.2 innings. He finished the season with a 4.16 despite a hot start, including back to back games with ten strikeouts.
Strahm is the younger brother of former Royals, and current Padres pitcher, Matt Strahm. He stands at 6'5", 210lbs and has a good fastball. His future is likely that of a reliever, but he does have some big league blood in him.
Number 5: Ryan McDonald, RHP, Round 37
McDonald is one of many, many community college picks. He's from the College of Southern Nevada in Henderson. He was injured for a solid month this year, but his numbers are pretty nice. In 39 innings he struck out 45, and posted a 1.62 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. He's 6'7" and has a booming fastball.
What's more intriguing about McDonald is that he was the topic of debate in High-school. The South Carolina native decided to skip High School baseball his sophomore year, with a commitment to West Virginia in tow. He decided to take on extra work to finish studying Chinese. After one year at West Virginia, where he didn't perform all that well, he made the move to CSN.
Number 4: Matt Frisbee, RHP, Round 15
One of the absolute best names in the draft, is Matt Frisbee. Frisbee, as far as I know, doesn't throw a frisbee slider. Jokes huh. Ok. But really, Frisbee throws hard. The 6'5" and 215lbs righty can consistently hit 94 on the gun, but can get it up to 97. He has decent secondary pitches as well, meaning the Giants will likely start him until it's proven he needs to switch to the 'pen.
Frisbee had a solid career at UNC Greensboro, starting 46 games in his three years there. His 2018 year (Junior), he struck out 116 in 91 innings, and shaved down his walk numbers as well. He posted an 11.43 k/9 and a 3.45 ERA. His career numbers are roughly in the middle, with a career ERA of 4.10, and 1.29 WHIP. He did spend last summer in the Cape Cod League, but didn't blow people away necessarily.
Frisbee may be better served from the bullpen. But, with as many starts as he has over his career they'll give him a shot to start from the get go.
Number 3: David Villar, 3B, Round 11
Villar is a nice get in the later rounds. He's made major strides each year of his college career to this point. The third baseman from University of Southern Florida, got 200+ at bats his freshman year. His average has improved from .239, to .290, and exploded to .374 in his junior season.
His OPS went up as well, starting at .695 his freshman year and ending at 1.111 his senior year. He takes plenty of walks, averaging an 11% walk rate over his three years at USF. He slugged 12 homers and 24 doubles in his final year, helping boost his prospect status. Overall, I think he'll have some intriguing tools, and could potentially surprise the Giants down the road as one of those "late round gems." There is, and should be, a whole lot of intrigue to this pick.
Number 2: Ben Madison, RHP, Round 9
Madison is a complete unknown to most, and was to us. He turned heads when he was announced on draft day, thanks to the strikeout graphic that is absolutely unreal. The big righty comes from NAIA school, Central Baptist University in Conway, Ark.
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In his two years at CBU, he's struck out 301 players in 176.2 innings, which is absolutely nuts. He has posted game highs of 18 strikeouts, but has walked seven on three separate occasions in just this season. The walk numbers are concerning of course. He's also playing against relatively inferior competition. However, Madison has to be intriguing, and clearly he has something electric. To average just under two strikeouts an inning is pretty insane. And oh, by the way, he can rake.
The Giants are known for racking up their #pitcherswhorake, and Madison is one of them. He has three homers and a .272 career average at the plate. The guy is an all around athlete, and was a star basketball player at his high-school. An intriguing draft pick? Oh yes. I'm excited to see what he can do against much stiffer competition this fall.
Number 1: Blake Rivera, RHP, Round 4
Rivera was a Giants Re-Draft from last year. He chose not to sign with the Giants out of the 22nd round in 2017, but the fourth round price tag surely got his attention. Rivera comes from Wallace State CC in Alabama. He's drawn comparisons to current star closer, Craig Kimbrel, a fellow Wallace State alum.
Rivera was recruited to go to Auburn and be a starter, but he's now signed with the Giants. He has nasty fastball movement at the lower nineties speeds, but can crank it up to 95 or 96. He does have a decent feel for all three pitches, so the Giants could potentially stretch him out as a starter. But if they don't, he could be great out of the bullpen. Rivera will be one to keep an eye on going forward, and is easily one of the best "later" draft picks to be excited about.
While we touched on some of the late draft picks, we've got plenty more to come on prospects, as well as the early draft picks for the Giants this season. They should be 100% excited about the potential and talent that they added to what has been a struggling system now on the rise.