Wrenzie’s 5 SF Giants Draft Prospects to Watch:
Zack Gelof, 3B, University of Virginia
Quick Ceiling Tool Grades: Hit 50 | Power 55 | Speed 50 | Arm 55 | Glove 45
Michael Holmes and the amateur scouting department have made their reputation spreading out their draft pool to maximize the depth of talent acquired via the draft. In doing so, they have targetted college hitters willing to take under-slot signing bonuses in the first round of the draft.
In the current landscape, I struggle to find a good fit for the Giants to target as an under-slot pick. Their draft range is currently littered with prep talent and college pitching (about time, Michael and Farhan!). However, I often come back to a guy that is a favorite of mine ever since diving into the draft class last year, Zack Gelof.
Gelof has traits that the Giants want their hitters to have: a strong eye and plate discipline (15 walks to 12 strikeouts this year) with plenty of power that he has yet to tap into in games consistently. The way Gelof swings the bat is very handsy, kind of reminiscent of Ian Kinsler, but he generates hard contact, and his pretty low hand set-up allows him to generate the launch angle to elevate. If he could use his lower half better, he could become an above-average power hitter.
Defensively, Gelof has the range, arm strength, and baseball IQ to stick at third base though I can see him being moved all over the dirt as he is athletic enough to do so. There are still things to iron out with his first step at the hot corner, but his present defense is decent, with the potential to improve.
The only thing that works against Gelof is his age (21.7 years old on draft day). Relatively old for his draft class, teams that rely on statistical models, like the Giants, might be hesitant to pull the trigger. However, we have seen the Giants go head over heels for a college performer with a rather average collection of tools and strong peripherals alongside potential defensive versatility. Yes, I am talking about Will Wilson.
Taking Gelof at 14 would be a reach, but with so many prep prospects that can be in play in the middle rounds of the draft, saving money while getting what I believe is a back-end 1st round talent in Gelof could potentially be in play.