During the Around The Foghorn 2022 Prospects Week, I cast a wide net in terms of the 2022 MLB Draft prospects that the SF Giants could target.
Five more 2022 MLB Draft prospects that the SF Giants should consider
Now that the draft is officially less than a month away, it suffices to say that it is in need of an update. However, it's also pretty nice to see that I have noted plenty of prospects who went to have standout seasons that boosted their draft stock like Cooper Hjerpe, Jackson Holliday, and Jett Williams or had held serve like Henry Bolte. Of course, there are still prospects like Hjerpe or Williams who have often been mocked to teams before the Giants will make their first-round pick but there is still a chance that either or both are still on the board when the Giants will make their selection. For the record, I still see Dylan Beavers, Eric Brown, the aforementioned Bolte, Noah Schultz, and Andrew Dutkanych, prospects that I have written in my pre-season piece, as prospects who are in play for the Giants.
As I said, the 2022 college and high school seasons have produced prospects who are off the radar before the start of the Minor League regular season that is now considered players whenever the Giants will make their selection. Here are five new 2022 MLB Draft prospects that fit what the Giants are looking for based on their previous draft classes during the Farhan Zaidi-Michael Holmes era.
Jones was considered as a top-100 prospect as a high school prospect back in 2019 as a two-way player but made it to the Vanderbilt campus after sustaining an elbow injury in his senior season. His pitching days ended once he stepped into college and had a rough going in his first two years as a Commodore. However, a strong appearance in the Cape last year (.902 OPS) and a breakout junior season, his first full season, (.370 average, 1.130 OPS, 12 HRs, 14 SB) saw his draft stock rise into the top two rounds.
At 6'7", Jones naturally has a big strike zone (30.4% strikeout rate at the Cape, 30.4% in his sophomore season, 23.5% in his junior season) but he swings like he's someone a couple of inches shorter with a clean stroke that has some loft and his plus athleticism shows out. His raw power is on full display at this year's MLB Draft Combine where he posted the highest exit velocity at 112.2 MPH and an average of 103.6 MPH. He has at least above-average speed that plays well on the bases (plus home to first times) plus he is savvy on the basepaths (14 SB, 1 CS this season). He has pumped 94 MPH on the mound as a prepster and he has regained most of that arm strength back.
I love what Jones brings to the table and the Giants have not been afraid to take these kinds of power-over-hit, toolsy profiles before (see: Hunter Bishop). Jones makes sense as a NorCal native, pretty young for his class, toolsy, position player prospect that could sign for under-slot (he's being seen as more of a second-round than a first-round talent at the moment) and the Giants' hitting philosophy could fully unlock his power potential.
It has been well-known that the Giants love to take known names in the first round from Hunter Bishop to Patrick Bailey to Will Bednar. If I made this post a couple of months ago, I would have zero hesitation to not put Beck's name to potential Giants prospects targets. Right now, however, there's some chatter that he could be available when the Giants are on the clock.
Beck is your prototypical corner outfielder college prospect. Beck will always be power-over-hit, a Giants preference of course, with some ability to take pitches but his long swing and his fastball-hunting nature could leave him open to breaking balls. The power is legit though with 25-homer potential in full bloom. His power also comes with caveats, specifically his struggles to tap on his raw power on the Cape. He plays in the corner outfield for the Volunteers because Drew Gilbert is their center fielder but he could see some time at center at the start of his professional career but will likely be a corner outfielder at the end of the day where his strong arm is a fit in either left or right.
I would honestly not be thrilled if the Giants ever select Beck because the profile that the Giants look for in the Zaidi era in terms of power-over-hit prospects have not bore much fruit and Beck is pretty much a square peg on a square hole in terms of philosophical fit. There are some prospects with as much if not more risk like Jud Fabian, Jacob Melton, and Ryan Cermak that have piqued my interest more than Beck. If Beck gets selected, I get it but I am not a fan of it.
The Giants have been known to draft prospects whose best ability is availability in their draft years (Bishop and Wyatt played at least 55 games in 2019, Bailey played 60 games as a sophomore and 17 games in the COVID-shortened year, and Bednar threw at least 90 innings in 2021). Prielipp is the exact opposite of that having only thrown a grand total of 28 innings in his college career after he blew out his elbow early last season. However, with the Giants in prime position at the end of the first round to scoop up any fallen star with a considerable ceiling, they could take this risk and I would not mind that at all.
When healthy, Prielipp was considered to be the best pitcher in the entire draft class, if not the best overall player. His MLB Draft Combine showcase proved that the stuff that made him very intriguing is very much back. His fastball sits in the 92-95 MPH range with good late sink from a high 3/4 arm slot and his ability to spin his slider north of 3,000 RPM never left. His changeup also had its moments as well. With three befuddling pitches, it's only a matter of how he locates his pitches when facing legitimate hitters, and not only throwing pseudo-bullpen sessions is the biggest thing for Prielipp.
The Giants had success in identifying Day Two arms during the Michael Holmes regime (Caleb Kilian in 2019, Kyle Harrison and Ryan Murphy in 2020, Mason Black and Eric Silva in 2021) but have so far whiffed with their first-day selection. Drafting Prielipp comes with plenty of risks but this is a legitimate first-round talent, or even top 10 talent when healthy and he's shown that he's healthy and ready to enter the Giants pitching lab.
We are sticking on the hitters' side of things, but this time around, we are selecting a prep catcher. Woah, woah, woah, did I just say catcher?? Yes, you heard it right, a catcher. Even though the Giants invested heavily on catchers in the Farhan Zaidi era, the performance of those catching prospects (including Bobby Evans' parting gift Joey Bart) has been underwhelming, to say the least. With that, let's take a look at Malcolm Moore.
Moore has one of the best hit-power combinations in the entire draft class. He has a natural, rhythmic swing, and he times balls very well. He has an exceptional loading phase and kinetic energy transfer that results in him getting the most out of his plus raw power. He has an advanced feel of the strike zone that makes him a well-rounded bat. Plenty have knocked his athleticism off and he struggles with blocking, and even though he is quick in getting out of the crouch in his throws, his arm strength only results in average at best pop times.
The Giants have surprisingly not drafted a prospect in the Zaidi era who is known to have a standout hit tool. Moore might break the norm but the Giants have shelled out big money on California prep talent over the past two years (Kyle Harrison and Eric Silva). Granted, Moore is a catcher but with the lack of well-known California prep pitching (excluding Jaden Noot) this year, grabbing a bat with plenty of pop would be an option. Moore is being regarded as a true second-round talent right now but his asking price might result for him to drop to the middle of Day Two and that's where the Giants have pounced over the past couple of years and they might do so again this year with Moore.
Speaking of Noot, I have not actually talked about him in full detail even though I had plenty of conversations with Prospects Live's Brian Recca on our DMs about his potential. If you are a guy who really wants to cross out the "Giants will pay over-slot money on a well-regarded California prep pitcher with advanced control" on your Bingo card, Jaden Noot might as well be the prospect to do it.
Noot might put hitters, umpires, and fans to sleep with how easy he throws the baseball. His tempo is good and I can compare it to Brusdar Graterol throwing with less effort. Noot throws his fastball in the low-90s with worm-killing sink and his most reliable secondary is his low-to-mid-70s curveball with some sweep but has primarily been average. His changeup might eventually become his best secondary as it has plenty of late fade and he might incorporate a slider once he gets to the next level. With how easy he throws the ball, Noot has always been around the zone but his lack of projection limits how hard he could throw as he gets older.
Generally viewed as a Day Two talent, Noot will have a steep asking price to make him forego his LSU commitment, and even though he is not a UCLA commit, the Giants did present Harrison and Silva a huge lump of cash to commit out of a well-established college program. He is closer to a Silva than a Harrison so his asking price might be more in the $1 million range and him getting selected is more of a confirmation than a sudden realization.