As the calendar flips and we somehow have entered June, the 2020 MLB Draft now is less than two weeks away. Before we know it, high school and college players will hear their names called in this shortened five-round draft.
The Giants are on the clock with the No. 13 overall pick, and have seven picks in five rounds. In his first draft as San Francisco's president of baseball operations, Farhan Zaidi went with a college bat in the first round. After taking Hunter Bishop No. 10 in 2019, the Giants could be looking at a different route this year.
With seasons cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic, teams could go college heavy at the top of the draft and trust previous scouting reports. Sitting in the top half of the first round, the Giants find themselves in an interesting spot. Will they go college or high school? Hitter or pitcher?
We looked at five recent mock drafts from expert outlets. Tyler Soderstrom of Turlock High School was the choice for the Giants in three out of five mock drafts. Let's look at Soderstrom, the two others mocked to San Francisco and who else is connected to the Giants.
Tyler Soderstrom, C, Turlock High School
First things first, don't pay too much attention to Soderstrom's position. For one, he's being drafted because of bat. And second, Soderstrom also split time at third base and has the atleticism to play a corner outfield spot.
The bat can be special. He has a powerful left-handed swing that projects to play at the next level. The prep star also has plenty of experience with a wood bat, playing for Team USA and throughout the showcase circuit.
Hittrax keeping me right! 👀🤘🏻 pic.twitter.com/75nZzG7Wwz— Tyler Soderstrom (@tylersode) May 22, 2020
Prior to the high school season being shut down, Soderstrom was hitting .357 as a senior. In 28 games as a junior, he hit .450 with four homers and 12 doubles. It also isn't too surprising that he posted a video of himself taking ground balls at third base on Sunday.
Zaidi values position flexibility and Soderstrom certainly fits the bill with a lot of upside at the plate. Soderstrom was mocked to the Giants in ESPN, The Athletic and Baseball America's most recent mock drafts.
Soderstrom already has a connection to the Giants, too. His father, Steve, was selected by the Giants with the No. 6 pick in the 1993 draft.
Ed Howard, SS, Mount Carmel High School
Scouts will have to rely on their previous reports on Howard before the draft. His high school season never got off the ground this year and the team only practiced a few times before the pandemic.
FanGraphs has the Giants taking Howard, which is higher than any of the other major outlets. He hit well over the summer and has an impressive high school track record before canceled senior year. Howard hit .396 with six homers, 20 doubles and 16 stolen bases between his sophomore and junior seasons.
Fangraphs’ mock has the Giants taking SS Ed Howard (18.4Y, 6’2” 185) out of Mount Carmel HS (IL). Oklahoma commit. Excellent defender with above avg arm, will stick at SS, feel to hit, some raw power. Also links Soderstrom & Bitsko. https://t.co/2fs0DOVyGEpic.twitter.com/ibumsYUHEC— GPT (@giantsprospects) May 27, 2020
Howard is seen as the top high school shortstop and it always makes sense to draft up the middle and bet on the development of a great athlete.
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Cade Cavalli, RHP, Oklahoma
The Giants last took a pitcher in the first round when they added Tyler Beede in 2014 and then Phil Bickford in 2015. MLB.com's Jim Callis has them going back to that thinking by picking Cavalli out of Oklahoma.
Cavalli, 6-4 and 218 pounds, pitched in four games before the season came to an end. The big right-hander has a plus fastball and slider, and went 1-2 with a 4.18 ERA this year. He had a 3.28 ERA over 12 starts as a sophomore.
MLBdotcom’s new mock has the Giants taking RHP Cade Cavalli (21.8Y, 6’4” 225) out of Oklahoma.— GPT (@giantsprospects) May 28, 2020
Mid 90s FB t98, plus SL, developing CH. Erractic control, showed improvement in brief junior season. Great frame. Some injury history. https://t.co/uDioiSBVMW pic.twitter.com/1h9XprQqqK
Cavalli also is a Team USA alum and former two-way player. His control improved this year as he focused solely on pitching.
The Giants also have been connected to high school pitchers Mick Abel and Nick Bitsko, both whom are hard-throwing righties. Garrett Crochet out of Tennessee, who can hit 100 mph, could be in play as well.
If the Giants are looking for a toolsy outfielder like Bishop, Garrett Mitchell of UCLA fits the bill.
It's never easy honing in on who are the top targets for teams in the MLB draft, especially at No. 13. The closer we get, however, the better the consensus should be.