SF Giants 2021 MLB draft grades
Round 2 (50th): Matt Mikulski, LHP, Fordham
Round 3 (85th): Mason Black, RHP, Lehigh
Round 4 (115th): Eric Silva, RHP, JSerra Catholic HS (CA)
Matt Mikulski was a mid-round prospect coming into the spring, but reworked mechanics unlocked premium velocity and added some intriguing deception to the southpaw’s repertoire. Against Fordham’s relatively weak competition, Mikulski recorded an elite 1.45 ERA, struck out 124 hitters, and walked 27 in 68.1 innings pitched (11 starts). He finished his collegiate career with 272 strikeouts over 213 innings pitched with 92 walks and a 3.17 ERA.
On the flip side, Mason Black looked like a potential Day 1 prospect heading into the season but seemed to make some mechanical adjustments that limited his pitch arsenal. He’s flashed the ability to sit in the high 90s and consistently reach 99 and 100 mph, but this season, he mostly worked around 91-94 mph. His slider has looked like a plus pitch at times but similarly seemed to take a step back this spring. As with Mikulski, Black seems to have a decent shot of ending up in the bullpen, but it’s not a bad gamble in the third round.
The Giants passed on Watson to give them more flexibility for later in the draft, and a decent chunk of that savings will probably go to Eric Silva to pull him away from a commitment to UCLA. Silva was not one of the biggest prep pitchers in the draft but was viewed by many public draft boards as a second to fourth-round prospect. As with Black, the Giants are betting on their ability to develop Silva’s premium arm. Time will tell if it pans out.
Silva is a bit undersized, listed at around 6’0,” but has elite arm action and a smooth delivery. He has shown the ability to sit in the mid-90s, touching 98 mph. However, it dipped by the end of the JSerra season, raising questions about his durability. He’s shown a good feel for a low-80s slider and has had occasional flashes with a changeup, but his fastball is his carrying pitch right now.
Silva is more of a control than command pitcher at this point, consistently finding the strike zone while struggling to locate with much precision when there. Of course, that’s fairly normal for a prep prospect. Other than size, he looks exactly like the kind of athletic prospect with easy velocity and consistent delivery that scouts want to see at his age.