SF Giants: Wrenzie’s five 2021 draft prospects to watch

SF Giants hat in the dugout. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
SF Giants hat in the dugout. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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Wrenzie’s 5 SF Giants Draft Prospects to Watch:
Jordan Wicks, LHP, Kansas State University

Quick Ceiling Tool Grades: FB 50 | CH 70 | SL 45 | CB 40 | CMD 55

Over the past couple of years, the Giants have earned a “B for Boring” rating from me for their early-round hauls. The Hunter Bishop pick from 2019 was exciting, but what if Bishop was taken before the Giants made their pick? We could have possibly looked at a Will Wilson-Logan Wyatt duo in 2019 and a Patrick Bailey-Casey Schmitt duo last year. Not exactly a shot of adrenaline, right?

Well, I believe this year could be no different as they try to look to save bonus pool money with lower-ceiling players. Enter Jordan Wicks. He basically ticks most of the boxes in our trends to look for: he is a three-year starter for Kansas State, a spin-over-speed pitcher, and a potential money-saver.

His changeup is easily his best pitch, but before I talk about it, watch a highlight. It stands out.

His changeup is a disgusting pitch, and the folks from D1 Baseball have his changeup generating gyro action.

"“What makes this pitch really unique is how it comes out of Wicks’ hand. It sits below 90% in spin efficiency (88.88%, 17th percentile), which tells us that he gets around this pitch a touch at release, making it profile more as a cut-change. Instead of getting just backspin and sidespin, there is an element of gyro spin (or “bullet spin”) here, which in turn kills the amount of vertical lift on the pitch.”"

Yet, as unique as his changeup is, in my opinion, Wicks’ best trait is his absolute confidence and conviction with the pitch. He is willing to throw it in almost any count, and the data speaks for itself.

Wicks’ fastball velocity is only in the low-90s, but its above-average spin rate and ride help the pitch play above its velocity. While Wicks loves to throw his fastball low in the zone, he could actually benefit more if he started targeting his fastball up at the letters more often.

While Wicks fills the zone with strikes, the quality of his breaking balls are mediocre at best. His slider is a mid-80s pitch that is a tweener of a cutter and a slider in terms of movement and shape. His curveball is more of a show-me pitch at the moment. He will need to refine one of those pitches to be more than a back-end starter or long reliever.

There’s a decent chance that Wicks will be the pick if he is available for Holmes and company. Wicks may not have a high ceiling, but his excellent changeup, good enough fastball, and ability to fill the zone and offset a hitter’s timing gives him a solid chance of reaching the majors as a back-end starter sooner rather than later.