There might not be a baseball season this year, but there will be a draft. The 2020 MLB Draft is set to begin Wednesday, June 10, and the Giants are in great position.
With seven picks in the shortened five-round draft, the Giants can go a number of different ways with their top pick at No. 13 overall when they're on the clock. The extra picks also could give the Giants the chance to take more of a risk on some talented pitchers.
San Francisco hasn't selected a pitcher in the first round of the draft since taking Phil Bickford out of the College of Southern Nevada with the No. 18 overall pick in 2015. The Giants went with Tyler Beede at No. 14 the year before. There are some talented arms they could take this year, however, they come with some risk.
In some mock drafts, right-hander Cade Cavalli out of the University of Oklahoma has gone to the Giants. While he has a bit of an injury history and comes with some risk as someone who hasn't thrown more than 60 innings in a season as a former two-way player, the names listed below have higher upside in my book.
After looking through mock drafts and prospect rankings, here are four risky pitchers the Giants could select with their top pick in the draft.
Garrett Crochet, LHP, Tennessee
There's a real chance Crochet has the best fastball in the draft. He also is one of the biggest wild cards.
The 6-foot-6 lefty missed the first three weekends of the college season with shoulder soreness, and then hurt his back in an unannounced relief appearance where he threw 3 1/3 innings out of the bullpen, striking out six batters. Those were the only innings he threw this season after striking out 81 batters in 65 innings last year.
Again, he throws absolute heat and has a nasty slider.
Thought this was cool pic.twitter.com/GSdXQ4om3m— Garrett Crochet (@GarrettCrochet) May 27, 2020
The best overall stuff in the 2020 draft class?@Vol_Baseball's Garrett Crochet has a case.— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) April 6, 2020
His fastballs sits between 96-100 and he has a plus breaking ball.
Here's a full scouting report: https://t.co/oh6IjO7Yc9 pic.twitter.com/WagCUKIMLw
Crochet has been connected to the Giants throughout the draft process. There's a chance he might have to be a reliever one day, however, his potential is sky-high.
Mick Abel, RHP, Jesuit High School (Oregon)
While the coronavirus wiped out Abel's season before it even began, his stock continued to rise this spring. How? With bullpens like this.
The 6-5 right-hander has hit 100 mph this spring, and consistently sits at 92-95 mph. His slider was voted as the best breaking ball in this year's high school class by MLB scouting departments in a poll done by Baseball America. At times, he looks unhittable.
Don't be fooled, though. Right-handed high school pitchers are by far the riskiest position to take in the first round, and Abel tore his non-pitching side left labrum sliding during his sophomore season. Talent wise, it doesn't get much better than Abel.
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Nick Bitsko, RHP, Central Bucks East (Pennsylvania)
Speaking of intriguing right-handed high school pitchers, meet Nick Bitsko. Standing 6-4 and weighing 225 pounds, Bitsko looks like a prototypical right-handed starter. But he also is just 17 years old, reclassified from the 2021 class and then had his season canceled.
So, Bitsko is quite the enigma.
He also throws in the upper-90s and hit 98.5 in a recent bullpen posted for scouts. The Athletic's Keith Law has him going one spot behind the Giants at No. 14 in his latest mock draft, but Baseball America has him as high as No. 8.
Prep righty Nick Bitsko up to 98.5 mph in a bullpen today per his Instagram https://t.co/9eobneQfv6 buzz in today’s mock that he could go in the top half of the first round https://t.co/fxOA5jwbHV pic.twitter.com/9qqASBhWMB— Kiley McDaniel (@kileymcd) May 26, 2020
In two high school seasons, Bitsko has a 1.27 ERA with 68 strikeouts in 33 innings.
J.T. Ginn, RHP, Mississippi State
Ginn is the least likely to go this high out of the bunch, but he certainly has the talent. He's a draft-eligible sophomore since he already is 21 years old and entered this season as a likely top-10 pick.
And then, his elbow blew out after his first start this year. Ginn had to get Tommy John surgery, which certainly will hurt his draft stock. If one team has previous knowledge of Ginn, though, it's the Giants.
Zaidi drafted Ginn out of high school with the No. 30 pick in the 2018 draft when he was the Los Angeles Dodgers' general manager. Ginn wound up not signing and went 8-4 with a 3.13 ERA and 105 strikeouts in 85 1/3 innings as a freshman for Mississippi State.
Ginn throws heat, has a dirty slider and has developed a plus-changeup. His talent would be worth the injury issues, especially if he somehow fell to the Giants' second-round pick. Zaidi might just love him enough to get him at No. 13, too.