SF Giants Way-Too-Early 2021 MLB Draft Targets:
1. Izaac Pacheco, SS/3B, Friendswood High School (Texas A&M Commit)
Given my suspicion that the Giants will lean towards prep prospects at the top of the draft, Izaac Pacheco immediately stood out as someone who fit the organization’s profile. Kahlil Watson and Brady House are two bigger prep names, but Watson seems like a guarantee to be a top-ten pick, while House probably only makes it to 14 if he continues slumping all spring. Pacheco is currently projected to go somewhere between 15-25 but has many traits that could lead him higher on the Giants’ board.
Pacheco is a powerful 6’4” shortstop that can handle the position for now, but most expect him to have to move to third base or first base as his body matures and he puts on more weight. Still, the Giants continued belief in players like Marco Luciano, Hunter Bishop, and Heliot Ramos to stick up-the-middle leads me to believe they might have similar confidence in Pacheco. An organization more confident in the possibility of a future at shortstop could rank him among the ten best players in the draft.
Offensively, Pacheco remains a first-round talent. There are undeniable concerns about his ability to make consistent contact, but he has potential plus power and advanced plate discipline. The Giants have been willing to target high-strikeout players, like Bishop, when they have shown a similar proclivity to draw walks. Even as a teenager, Pacheco can work counts.
The Giants have not drafted a premium high school hitter over the past two drafts. If it’s a side-effect of an organizational aversion to such prospects, players like Frelick, Hoglund, and Louisville catcher Henry Davis would rank far higher. However, given the types of collegiate hitters they have targeted, a high school prospect like Pacheco seems like a reasonable fit.
At this point, few have a sense of how the MLB draft will shake out. Over the next couple of months, as teams begin gauging prospects’ relative prices, things should become far more clear. As that information gets reported, stay tuned to Around the Foghorn for the latest updates. Still, until then, these five prospects are all worth watching closely.