The San Francisco Giants are entering a critical time for their farm system. Not only is the trade deadline fast approaching, but the amateur draft and the international free agent period are just around the corner.
The list of amateur prospects the San Francisco Giants plan to target over the next couple of months is beginning to take shape.
Recently, FanGraphs and MLB.com both came out with first-round mock drafts for the 2019 Major League Baseball draft, which will take place on June 3. The draft consists of 40 rounds and spans three days.
The Giants hold the No. 10 overall pick this year, and with it, they will be looking to bolster their farm system.
History is on their side when they hold the tenth pick.
In 2006, the Giants selected Tim Lincecum with the tenth overall pick. The following year, they picked tenth again and struck gold again when they chose Madison Bumgarner.
While getting a franchise cornerstone at No. 10 overall is far from guaranteed, it’s a spot where the Giants can find a key cog for their future.
Both of the mock drafts referenced above have the Giants selecting UNLV shortstop Bryson Stott.
The junior standout is hitting .362/.494/.638 with 17 doubles, 10 home runs and 35 RBI in 48 games this spring. MLB.com had this to say about Stott:
"“Stott is most frequently compared to Brandon Crawford, both physically and the way he plays, and that worked out pretty well for the Giants. He has a strong track record of performance and has a very good chance at staying at short.”"
Crawford turned out to be a nifty pick by the Giants in the fourth round of the 2008 draft. If Stott is anything like Crawford, he could provide yet another long-term solution up the middle.
In addition, FanGraphs speculated on Farhan Zaidi’s line of thinking:
"“The rumor is that this is another pick that will go college, and likely a college hitter, with new Giants GM Farhan Zaidi having prized versatility and defensive value when building the Dodgers.”"
Zaidi does preach versatility, and the farm system will better reflect that as his tenure progresses. Additionally, targeting a college hitter means the developmental curve should be shorter. Theoretically, a college player is closer to his MLB debut than a high school prospect.
Similar to the 2019 MLB draft, the new international free agent period just around the corner. This begins on July 2nd, but teams will often have verbal commitments with players well before that date.
The Giants are no different in that regard, and they have their sights set on a pitching prospect:
Vinicio, 16, is a 6’0″, 165-pound left-hander from the Dominican Republic with plenty of room to grow into his body.
Since the Giants will have to face a bunch of left-handed hitters in the NL West—including Corey Seager, Joc Pederson, Cody Bellinger and Alex Verdugo—19 times per year for the foreseeable future, loading up on left-handed pitching is never a bad idea.
MLB.com had this to say about Vinicio’s repertoire while ranking him as the No. 23 international prospect in this year’s class:
"“The teen throws his fastball in the low 90s and has the makings of plus breaking ball. He also shows enough of a solid changeup that the pitch projects as an average Major League pitch in the future. Evaluators also like how he commands all of his pitches and his makeup.”"
Few prospects his age have plus command of their entire arsenal of pitches, so that stands out as an appealing trait and one that could speed up his development. Given his command and raw stuff, Vinicio has the ingredients to be a middle-of-the-rotation arm with the potential for more.
For a Giants team that is in the beginning stages of a rebuild, this time of year is critical. The amateur draft and international signing periods are an opportunity to add talent to the farm system and build toward the future.
No pressure, right?