Is it too soon to start preparing for the 2021 MLB draft in July? Of course not, and Prospects Live released a mock draft last week that has the SF Giants taking an outfielder with the 14th overall pick.
The SF Giants have selected outfielders in recent years in the first round with Heliot Ramos (No. 19 in 2017) and Hunter Bishop (No. 12 in 2019), and this mock has them selecting another in Colton Cowser out of Sam Houston State.
I will be the first to admit that I do not care much for the extensive draft coverage in the NFL. I think it is overblown. That said, I secretly start looking at the baseball mock drafts about six months in advance so we are right on schedule!
Mock Draft has SF Giants Selecting Colton Cowser
Cowser is entering his junior season at Sam Houston State, but he has strung together a nice collegiate career thus far. In two seasons, the left-handed bat has slashed .339/.436/.554 with 20 doubles, seven triples, eight home runs, and 60 RBI in 328 plate appearances. This includes an impressive freshman season where he posted a 1.052 OPS with seven home runs in 262 plate appearances.
The prep bat controls the strike zone well as evidenced by his 10.4 percent walk rate against an 11.6 percent strikeout rate. The Giants front office has sought to improve the organization’s plate discipline and patience, and one of the ways to do that is through the draft. Cowser clearly demonstrates good plate discipline while showing off solid contact skills as well.
Prospects Live sees San Francisco as a perfect landing spot for the 21-year-old:
"“Colton Cowser is a guy who scouts haven’t seen too much of just yet, though the limited film speaks to that of a pure hitter with burgeoning power. Cowser is a swing-tinkerer, constantly looking for the most comfortable position to hit…The bat could end up having two 55 grades on it as well as he continues to find his profile at the plate. Cowser has a great, long, projectable body that packs on good muscle. The Giants are big on culture and selecting players that will not only contribute on the field, but in the clubhouse and dugout as well. That’s Cowser to a T.”"
His swing reminds me of longtime outfielder and former Giant Denard Span, who was one of the premier leadoff hitters earlier in his career.
In the videos above, you can see some of the swing-tinkering that Prospects Live mentions, most notably the positioning of his hands.
So, does this mean that the Giants will target Cowser in the first round in July? Not necessarily. A lot can change and a player’s stock can rise or drop rapidly during the season. With that being said, normally we can predict the first 15-20 players with some certainty.
However, the outfield is a strength in the Giants organization with Ramos, Bishop, Luis Matos, and Alexander Canario leading the charge. The baseball draft is not one where teams typically draft for need. Rather, they draft the best player available. Regardless, I would bet that the Giants will likely not draft an outfielder in six months.