SF Giants MLB draft 2020: Ranking pitching prospects available at No. 13

SF Giants hat. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
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SF Giants MLB Draft potential pick: RHP Mick Abel, Jesuit High School

There has been a lot of talk surrounding prep pitcher Mick Abel and the San Francisco Giants recently.

After all, Mike Axisa of CBS Sports and Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com both speculated the Giants would be taking the hard-throwing Abel.

Though these are only mock drafts, it is interesting that two writers independently produced a mock draft within the last week that connects the Giants to Abel. Beyond the first few picks, there is going to be a lot of variability in what teams will do when they are ready to pick.

Abel would be an interesting target for the Giants as teams tend to be shying away from high school, right-handed pitchers in the first round due to the injury risk factor and the amount of development needed to reach the major leagues.

With that being said, the right-handed hurler features some of the best stuff in this year’s class. His 6-foot-5 frame generates a fastball that sits in the mid-90s comfortably with the potential to add another tick or two as he matures.

He mixes his this with three secondary offerings including a slider, changeup, and curveball. The slider and changeup rate as potentially plus pitches, while the curveball grades out as average:

Given his size and projection, he could be one of, if not the first, prep arm off the board with top-of-the-rotation upside.

However, there are going to be concerns unique to this draft with any prep pitcher in that he will not have a senior season to analyze. So, any team that selects a pitcher like Abel will be in the uncomfortable position of using a top pick for a pitcher that has not pitched competitively in 2020.

The spring before each draft is where a lot of movement happens on a team’s draft board, but due to the hiatus, draft boards are being set without much recent information.

Similarly, any team that drafts Abel will need to sway him away from his commitment to Oregon State University, so he does possess added leverage and signability concerns.

There is inherent risk present, and a team with a higher risk tolerance may be more in favor of drafting an arm like Abel. I do not believe the Giants have the leverage of a strong farm system to be able to take on that type of risk yet.

There is no doubt that their farm system is improving, but it is not at the point where they can take this type of risk in this year’s draft. That could change in one or two years as the organization churns out more talent to the major league roster.

In addition to this, I do have concerns about potential injuries down the road. He throws very hard for his age while showing a good, repeatable delivery, but the injury factor is always going to be greater for a pitcher than it is a position player.

That might be a subjective opinion, but it is a concern I cannot shake off. So, of the three pitchers who could be available for the Giants, Abel is the least favorite of the three.

Still, the Giants will be in a position to really inject top-end talent into the farm system as they hold seven picks in the first three rounds. The first round really has some intriguing names available, and San Francisco is poised to grab a player who will help them turn the corner in their rebuild.