Our complete grades for the SF Giants’ 2020 MLB draft
After the Giants selected NC State catcher Patrick Bailey with the 13th overall pick yesterday, they were the only team with more than 5 selections on Day 2 of the MLB Draft. The Giants used their six picks on a slew of prospects to give them the following draft class.
13. Patrick Bailey, Catcher, North Carolina State
49. Casey Schmitt, 3B/RHP, San Diego State
67. Nick Swiney, LHP, North Carolina State
68. Jimmy Glowenke, SS, Grand Canyon
85. Kyle Harrison, LHP, De La Salle HS (CA)
114. Roderick (RJ) Dabovich, RHP, Arizona State
144. Ryan Murphy, RHP, Le Moyne College
Check out my grades and reports on each pick.
Who the Giants took: Patrick Bailey, Catcher, North Carolina State
13th overall pick
Expected Signing Bonus: Just below or at slot value
Future-Value Grade: 45
The Giants had some more exciting options available on the board at 13. Prep righty Mick Abel, catcher Tyler Soderstrom, and shortstop Ed Howard were three of my favorite prospects, but Bailey wasn’t a stretch. Expected to go in the early to late teens, Bailey’s selection fit right in line with his draft stock, and any fans’ frustration is more rooted in a preference for different profiles.
Catching is always valued more highly by pro teams than fans and one baseball insider told me they loved what the Giants did by adding Bailey to a system that already has Joey Bart the Giants put them in a great position to have a great replacement for Buster Posey and potentially move the other if they both pan out.
Early reactions focused on Bailey’s elite defense behind the plate, but the more I talked to insiders, the more positive reviews his bat got. While Bailey has struggled at times with swing-and-miss, most people I talked to have confidence that he’ll be able to be an above-average hitter.
The public scouting community consensus seemed to view his offensive profile as a poor man’s comp of Joey Bart with a ceiling for his hit tool around 50 and power at 55 that probably ends up as a 45/55 profile (Bart is more around 55/60 and likely 50/60). However, it seemed that a few insiders believe Bailey has the potential to be above-average across the board.
Bailey’s approach helps alleviate some of the contact concerns. Over his career at NC State he walked 86 times in 578 plate appearances alongside 93 strikeouts. In fact, his career triple-slash line of .302/.411/.568 is quite comparable to his former teammate and recently acquired Giants prospect Will Wilson when he played at NC State.
A switch-hitter, Bailey has been equally effective from both sides of the plate, so there does not appear to be too much platoon risk and his makeup gets consistently rave reviews. In fact, he was actually in Wilson’s wedding. Bailey, like Bart, called pitches for the entirety of his collegiate career (and even called pitches in high school).
Still, Bailey’s closest thing to a premium tool is his work behind the plate. A “premium defender” according to one insider, Bailey was the best defensive catcher available in the draft.
One wrinkle that hasn’t been discussed with Bailey is the potential for him to play elsewhere. Since he’s a consensus solid defensive catcher scouts never really questioned whether he’d have to move positions, but with Bart already in the organization it remains an open question.
Bailey is considered a good athlete for a catcher, but it’s unclear if that translates elsewhere on the diamond. It’s worth noting that last year the Giants suggested they thought their second-round pick (Logan Wyatt) could handle the outfield when almost everyone considered him a first-base only prospect, implying they may have faith in their ability to teach positional flexibility.