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SF Giants MLB draft preview chat: What will they do at 14?

North Oconee's Bubba Chandler throws a pitch during game one of a GHSA AAAA semifinal between Benedictine and North Oconee in Bogart, Ga., on Saturday, May 15, 2021. Benedictine defeated North Oconee twice in a doubleheader and advances to the state championship game.
News Joshua L Jones
North Oconee's Bubba Chandler throws a pitch during game one of a GHSA AAAA semifinal between Benedictine and North Oconee in Bogart, Ga., on Saturday, May 15, 2021. Benedictine defeated North Oconee twice in a doubleheader and advances to the state championship game. News Joshua L Jones
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SF Giants, Matt McLain
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MAY 02: Matt McLain #1 of the UCLA Bruins at-bat against the Oregon State Beavers at Jackie Robinson Stadium on May 02, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andy Bao/Getty Images)

SF Giants MLB draft preview chat: What would you do?

WR: I want to ask if there are positions in the farm system you would like for the Giants to find depth via this draft class. For me, as I said, I kind of want to see them draft pitching.

MD: Good question. Honestly, no. I just want tools and upside. That’s been the consistent place I’ve deviated from the Giants over the past few years, under Barr or Holmes. They have such system depth. I want them to take some bigger risks with upside. Although, to be fair, they took some swings with players like Hunter Bishop, Armani Smith, and R.J. Dabovich, but I would like to see a stronger lean towards prep prospects.

WR: So you kind of leaning towards wanting the front office to draft someone like a Montgomery (there’s also shortstop Colson Montgomery), Ford, and other top prep names in the first three rounds rather than settling on college guys like a Wicks, UCLA’s Matt McLain, or Louisville third baseman Alex Binelas.

It’s fascinating to think that the best performers in the Holmes-led draft classes have been from the college ranks, with Harrison being the lone exception. It’s still early on in the process, especially for the prep prospects, but they seem to develop college prospects pretty well so far.

MD: Well, to be honest, I don’t know what I’d do. In the past, I’ve been all over the volatile prep players (especially pitchers) that I thought were undervalued and might be willing to take an under-slot deal from the Giants based on where San Francisco was picking (Matthew Liberatore & Kumar Rocker in 2018, Daniel Espino in 2019, and Nick Bitsko (or even Cole Wilcox on the collegiate side) in 2020. This year the two prep arms I liked most relative to the rankings I saw were Chase Petty and Thatcher Hurd, but Hurd announced he’s going to UCLA, and Petty has been such a big name it’s hard to envision him taking a below slot deal at 14th in the draft.

The Cincinnati Reds really feel like a cloud hanging over the Giants pick as well because they have several comp picks, which gives them a huge bonus pool that prospects can leverage against the Giants. If I’m Ford or one of the Montgomery’s, I’m not taking a cent below slot from the Giants and might insist on an over-slot deal since the Reds would probably give that to me at 17. I don’t know if I’d take one of those preps for a $4.2 million bonus if I could get a college player I liked (Jud Fabian comes to mind for me) to take $3 million. Of course, this is probably exactly the kind of calculation that led the Giants to pass on Tyler Soderstrom for Bailey in 2020, which looks like the wrong decision right now.

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