The MLB Draft is just five days away, and with the number of rounds cut down from 40 to five, the emphasis on every pick is greater than it’s ever been.
The consensus seems to be that the Giants will select another catcher in the first round, two years after selecting Joey Bart with the second overall pick. Is that really going to happen? According to Jim Callis, executive editor of Baseball America, if the right player is available, it’s very likely.
That player is Tyler Soderstrom, the son of Steve Soderstrom, a Turlock native who the Giants selected in the first round in 1993.
“Tyler is very talented,” Callis told Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks on Thursday. “The track record of high school catchers is not good in the first round, but those that hit, the track record is a lot better. The question I think is do you keep him at catcher, which is going to take longer to develop. I think he can catch, he’s got athleticism, but it takes a toll on his bat because of the physicality the position requires and you can’t have him in the lineup as much, or do you just go all in on the bat and move him to third, and have him in your lineup 140 times a year. Personally I’d probably put him at third base to get the most out of his bat, I can see it either way.
“He’d fit nicely in the Giants organization. You don’t draft for need, they obviously spent the No. 2 pick in the draft a couple years ago on Joey Bart who’s a catcher who’s going to be ready soon, but like I said you can always put Soderstrom at third base. I think the interest is very real at No. 13, the question is the White Sox really like him at No. 11 also, and I think unless a surprising college pitcher drops in the White Sox’ laps at 11, that he might not even make it to the Giants at 13.”
If Soderstrom isn’t available, Callis compiled a list of other possible selections.
“I think they’re looking at a group that includes Tyler Sodrstrom, Robert Hassell who’s a high school outfielder from Tennessee who’s probably the best pure hitter in the high school class this year. It’s not inconceivable that the Giants could be the first team to take a high school pitcher in this draft. If they did it would be Nick Able from Oregon, who is the consensus best prep pitcher out there. Really good fastball-slider combination that’s really polished for a high school kid. So he could really be in play.
“If they went college I think they’d be looking at guys like UCLA’s Garrett Mitchell who is interesting, because he might have the best all-around tools in terms of being a five-tool guy in the college crop, but he hasn’t hit for a lot of power at UCLA and he’s a type one diabetic, how you reconcile all that, I think he’s going to be on the board for them. They have a shot at the best catcher… Patrick Bailey from NC State could be in their mix. And another name could be Cade Cavalli who is a right hander from Oklahoma.”