San Francisco Giants: Early Look at Possible 2017 Draft Picks

Aug 4, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; General view of a San Francisco Giants hat and glove in the dugout against the Atlanta Braves in the third inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Aug 4, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; General view of a San Francisco Giants hat and glove in the dugout against the Atlanta Braves in the third inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

With the high school and college baseball seasons almost ready to start, it’s time to start thinking about who the San Francisco Giants might take in the 2017 MLB Draft.

As of right now the San Francisco Giants have the 19th overall pick in the 2017 MLB First Year Player Draft, which is better than last year when they didn’t have a first round pick.

Last year the San Francisco Giants didn’t make a selection until the 59th pick in the draft where they got outfielder Bryan Reynolds from Vanderbilt. They took another outfielder with their next pick when they took Heath Quinn out of Samford with the 95th pick.

Living in the Southeast I actually got to watch both of those guys play a lot in college, and I absolutely love both of them – especially Quinn – and I can’t wait to see what they do in their careers.

After taking starting pitchers with their first picks in the draft in 2014 and 2015, they used their first two picks in the 2016 draft on position players.

Not only that, but the San Francisco Giants have been taking a lot of college players early in the draft in recent years.

I think the San Francisco Giants go back to grabbing starting pitching early in the draft this year. There are a lot of good college arms who should be available at 19.

Baseball America just released its top 100 draft prospects, which gives us some names to keep an eye on for the San Francisco Giants.

Here we’ll take a look at a few guys that the San Francisco Giants could target this July.

May 15, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; A general view of the Major League Baseball "Play Ball" logo on the field before the start of the game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Detroit Tigers at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

May 15, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; A general view of the Major League Baseball “Play Ball” logo on the field before the start of the game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Detroit Tigers at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Tanner Houck

We’ll start with 6-foot-5 junior pitcher Tanner Houck from the University of Missouri. In his sophomore season for the Tigers he posted an ERA of 2.99 in 15 starts, while striking out 106 batters in 105.1 innings pitched.

As a freshman he went 8-5 with a 3.49 ERA in 15 starts and struck out 91 batters in 100.2 innings pitched. He only walked 12 batters in those innings, proving that even at a young age he has great control of his stuff.

Coming in at 215 pounds this guy has the frame to be a workhorse type of pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, or whichever team drafts him. This guy has the look of a durable, top of the rotation pitcher.

He has a very good mix of three pitches. His fastball sits in the mid-90s, but his best pitch might be his hard-breaking slider. As I mentioned, he has great control of all of his pitches and is able to throw them for strikes.

He is listed as the eighth best college prospect by Baseball America, and 10th best overall prospect by Perfect Game, so he would have to fall quite a bit for the San Francisco Giants to snag him at 19.

Oct 24, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; A general view of a Major League baseball during work out day prior to the start of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 24, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; A general view of a Major League baseball during work out day prior to the start of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Brendan McKay

Brendan McKay is a very interesting player, and one that I have kept my eye on for the past two years. This junior, left-handed pitcher for Louisville reminds me a lot of Madison Bumgarner.

He’s not nearly as big, coming in at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, but he’s a great two-way player who can pitch and rake at the plate.

As a freshman he dominated the ACC by going 9-3 in 20 games (13 starts) and picking up 4 saves. He also struck out 117 batters in just 96.2 innings pitched. He also was third on the team that year with a .308 batting average in 211 at-bats with a team-high on-base-percentage of .418.

He followed that up by going 12-4 in 17 starts his sophomore season, while striking out 128 batters in 109.2 innings pitched. At the plate he hit .333 in 228 at-bats with 6 home runs and 41 RBIs to go along with a .414 on-base-percentage.

This guy was made to be a pitcher in the National League.

The one downside I will note on him as a pitcher is that he gets a little erratic at times. Last year he walked 42 batters and had 9 wild pitches.

He has a fastball, curveball and change-up mix. His fastball reaches up to 93 MPH, so he doesn’t necessarily overpower hitters. His curveball is a big 12-6 breaker, but sometimes he struggles to control that pitch.

Baseball America has him as the fourth best college prospect, while Perfect Game has him as the 14th best overall prospect. So again, he would have to fall quite a bit for the San Francisco Giants to grab him.

I think his abilities fit extremely well with what the San Francisco Giants are doing, and a National League team has to grab this guy.

Mar 11, 2015; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; A San Francisco Giants giants hat sits in a bucket of baseballs during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Scottsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Mar 11, 2015; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; A San Francisco Giants giants hat sits in a bucket of baseballs during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Scottsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Tristan Beck

Tristan Beck is an in-state guy from Corona, Calif. He was highly recruited out of high school, but stayed true to his commitment to Stanford. He is draft eligible as a sophomore, but it could be hard for a team to get him to sign since he has so much leverage.

As a freshman he went 6-5 with a 2.48 ERA in 14 starts, while striking out 76 batters in 83.1 innings pitched. Those numbers don’t’ exactly pop out at you for the college ranks, but there is a ton of upside with this guy.

He is tall and lanky at 6-foot-4, 190 pounds. I would love to see him put 20-30 pounds on this season to help his durability.

He has a mid-90s fastball with a quality off-speed offering.

If the Giants take him this year he will be more of a development; unlike the other two guys mentioned in this article who could be a year or two away from the big leagues.

Anyone drafting Beck this year is drafting him for his tremendous upside potential. If he has a stellar year at Stanford this season and proves he can control all his pitches, he won’t be making it to the San Francisco Giants at 19.

With his sign-ability being in question, I’m not sure the Giants take a chance on him in the first round any way. But if he happens to fall all the way to the Giants 58th pick because of his sign-ability concerns, San Francisco should keep the local product in-state.

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