What a year it has been for the 2020 MLB Draft class.
After high school and college seasons were cut short last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the Minor League Baseball season being canceled, players picked in the 2020 draft finally are back on the field. A handful of Giants prospects, including those selected last year, did take part in Summer Camp, the alternate site in Sacramento, the Arizona fall Instructional League and big league camp this spring, but this is the real deal.
Games finally count. There's nothing like in-game development, something that prospects all across baseball sorely missed last season. With that being said, how do the Giants' prospects picked in the oddest draft to date look one year later?
The Giants had an advantage in the five-round draft, adding two picks after Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith turned down the qualifying offer to sign with other teams. Here's how all seven of the Giants' picks have performed so far this season.
Patrick Bailey, C, Round 1, No. 13
Farhan Zaidi and Co. surprised many when they took Bailey with their top pick just two years after the Giants selected catcher Joey Bart No. 2 overall. But Zaidi wasn't part of the 2018 draft, and he stated his thinking that a team can never have too much catching. How both catchers get developed will be intriguing, to say the least.
Bailey skipped Low-A and has begun his minor league career in High-A with the Eugene Emeralds. The switch-hitter started off hot at the plate but has cooled down considerably ever since. He started the season on a seven-game hitting streak and was batting .303 at the time. Since then, he has hit .155 (13-for-84).
The Giants' top pick from a year ago is hitting just .197 with two home runs and a .609 OPS. He has played in 28 games and only three have ended without a strikeout.
Throughout his college career at North Carolina State, Bailey was known more for his advanced defense behind the plate than his bat. He does have power and a smooth swing, but his ability to command a pitching staff is further along than what he brings to an offense.
Bailey already has thrown out 11 runners attempting to steal, and he has played two games at first base. Patience will be needed with his bat at times, but the Giants only have been positive about Bailey's early development.
Casey Schmitt, 3B, Round 2, No. 49
Schmitt was a two-way player at San Diego State, opening eyes as a powerful third baseman and hard-throwing closer on the mound. To begin his professional career, though, the Giants are strictly using him as a hitter.
Unfortunately for Schmitt and the Giants, his career as just as a position player hasn't started too great. He's batting .169 for the San Jose Giants in Low-A with five home runs. For being a college product and already 22 years old, Schmitt still is a bit of a project.
It's extremely early, but the Giants had to have hoped for a bit more from the former Aztec. Losing a year of development certainly is a factor here. Schmitt did homer Wednesday night and easily could get hot in a hurry.
Nick Swiney, LHP, Round 2 Compensation, No. 67
Swiney was who the Giants selected with their Bumgarner compensation pick, and were very high on him in the draft. Adding to their love of NC State prospects, Swiney is a lean lefty who sits in the low-90s. He began his college career as a middle reliever before dominating in the rotation as a junior.
The Giants believe Swiney can be a starter long-term, where he really improved his command after moving to the rotation from the bullpen.
Here's the bad news: Swiney only has pitched one game this season after sustaining a concussion in early May. Here's the good news: In his one start, he struck out six batters and only allowed one hit in four scoreless innings for San Jose. He threw off a mound on May 23 but still hasn't come off the IL.
Jimmy Glowenke, 2B/SS, Round 2 Compensation, No. 68
The Giants took Glowenke with their compensation pick from Smith signing with the Atlanta Braves. Glowenke served as a DH at Dallas Baptist his junior year after undergoing Tommy John surgery but managed to hit .415 with a .509 slugging percentage in his 13-game COVID-shortened season.
Sharing the same infield as Marco Luciano in San Jose, Glowenke has only played second base so far. But he too is struggling at the plate. Glowenke is batting a lowly .220 with 24 strikeouts in 23 games.
Watching Glowenke, he could remind some of fellow Giants prospect Ryan Howard with a bit of Matt Duffy mixed in there. He's a line-drive hitter who should be able to figure it out in the near future.
Kyle Harrison, LHP, Round 3, No. 85
Bailey was the top pick, but Harrison is the top prize. The Giants did everything they could to make sure the nasty lefty from De La Salle High School didn't go to UCLA. All it took was nearly $2.5 million.
From Day 1, Harrison has continued to impress the Giants. He has added muscle, cleaned up his mechanics and gained velocity to his fastball. Compared to Chris Sale for his filthy slider, Harrison is racking up the strikeouts in San Jose.
The 19-year-old already has 39 strikeouts in 22 2/3 innings and a 2.78 ERA in his first six starts. Some control and command issues are the only thing holding him back. He also has walked 19 batters and hit five more.
That can be fixed, though. Harrison already has established himself as the Giants' top pitching prospect with high expectations for the local product.
R.J. Dabovich, RHP, Round 4, No. 114
Dabovich was one of the more intriguing arms in the draft last year. He began his college career as a starter in junior college, was used as a starter and reliever as a sophomore for Arizona State and then was named ASU's closer for his junior campaign. That was the right call.
Dabovich had a 0.77 ERA and struck out 17 batters in 11 2/3 innings. The right-hander has followed that with a dominant start to his minor league career in High-A Eugene.
Through nine appearances, Dabovich now has a 1.69 ERA, three saves and 23 strikeouts in 10 2/3 innings. Opponents are batting a minuscule 0.59 against him. He has a real chance of being a quick riser through the farm system with an explosive right arm.
Ryan Murphy, RHP, Round 5, No. 144
Murphy was the first Division-II player taken in the draft last year. He looked like an underslot selection as someone who could help the Giants save money for Harrison. Now, he looks like another steal by Zaidi.
The 21-year-old also has great strikeout numbers like Harrison but looks more polished early as a prospect. Through six starts, Murphy is 1-1 with a 2.20 ERA. He has 39 strikeouts in 28 2/3 innings and only seven walks. Opponents are batting just .212 off him and he has a 0.98 WHIP.
Surprise, surprise. This Zaidi guy's pretty good.