By the third round of the 2020 MLB Draft on Thursday, even the analysts on MLB Network were surprised by some of the picks. They scrambled to text sources and find out more about players who might have made just a couple of appearances this spring before the coronavirus shut the sports world down.
For as detailed as the coverage was, there were picks in the fourth and fifth round who didn't have photos or video available as they were talked about. That's the reality most years with the baseball draft, but this year it was ramped up because teams had so little time to form a consensus on who the top couple hundred prospects were.
There were 160 players drafted over the last two days and the Giants walked away with seven of them, tied for a league-high. They took catcher Patrick Bailey in the first round Wednesday and then followed that up with three college pitchers, a local high school pitcher, a college shortstop and a college third baseman.
The plan is for all of them to reach Oracle Park, but that'll take years. You can start to learn about them now, though. Courtesy of scouting director Michael Holmes, here's what you need to know about the six newest Giants.
No. 49: 3B/RHP Casey Schmitt
A two-way player from San Diego State, Schmitt is a good defensive third baseman who had a .323/.386/.452 slash line in the shortened season, along with six saves. He has a very strong arm at third, and that showed on the mound. The Giants might allow him to pitch at some point, but the focus right now is on his bat.
Holmes: "We look at Casey as a plus defensive third baseman with a plus, possible double-plus arm. He can really throw. Top-of-the-scale type throwing arm and defense. We see him as a strong, physical, athletic player who can really control the zone. Right now he's a real line drive gap-to-gap guy but we think the power is going to come on as he continues to mature, not only physically but also as a hitter. He's a guy that we're extremely excited about."
No. 67: LHP Nick Swiney
Taken with the pick the Giants got for losing Madison Bumgarner, Swiney is a starter from North Carolina State who pitched to Bailey earlier this spring, so the Giants saw him quite often. They also heavily scouted NC State teammate Will Wilson last year. Swiney was 4-0 with a 1.29 ERA this season after moving from the bullpen to rotation. Some scouts think Swiney has more upside as a reliever because the fastball played up to 95 mph, but the Giants think the velocity will bump up over time.
Holmes: "He moved into that starting role at NC State this year and really flourished. The great thing about him is he's not only left-handed, but we've seen him with a plus changeup, we've seen him with a plus breaking ball, and we think there's velocity in there. His fastball characteristics will play in all quadrants of the strike zone and he's got a competitive edge to him. We think he's going to be a real vital starting piece for us for a long time to come."
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No. 68: SS Jimmy Glowenke
The Dallas Baptist University shortstop was taken with the pick the Giants got when Will Smith signed with the Atlanta Braves. Glowenke had elbow surgery last fall and had to DH this spring, but he was close to being healthy when the season shut down. Glowenke can play three infield spots, and while some analysts view him as a second baseman long-term, the Giants think he can stick at short.
Holmes: "Jimmy has been a constant performer at Dallas Baptist since the day he walked on campus. He can impact the baseball, he can drive the ball to all fields. Another guy who controls the zone really well and makes extremely good swing decisions. Defensively he's a really solid infielder ... he's going to be a really offensive infielder, a guy who can stay on the dirt and certainly be really productive on the offensive side."
No. 85: LHP Kyle Harrison
A year after they took De La Salle/UCSB product Armani Smith, the Giants scooped up another star from the Concord prep sports power. Harrison is an 18-year-old lefty with big upside, and on the draft broadcast he said he models his game after Chris Sale. "I'm looking to throw a dirty slider like him some day," he said. He has a fastball from a low slot that touches 93 and a good breaking ball. Harrison pitched for the USA Baseball 18-and-under team and is a UCLA commit, but president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said the Giants are confident they will get the third-rounder signed.
Holmes: "He pitched a lot of quality innings (for Team USA). He's a guy that we've really seen his development over the last eight to 10 months. We've seen his velocity improve, we've seen his breaking ball improve. He's been able to command the baseball to both sides of the plate. It's more of a three-quarter to low three-quarter slot with a little bit of a cross-body look so it's a very deceptive delivery. Hitters have a tough time seeing the baseball. This kid is a smart kid on the mound, he's got tremendous feel, he's got good stuff, and he definitely is a really competitive kid that we got a chance to know really well. Visiting with him and his family, we had a definite comfort with him."
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No. 114: RHP R.J. Dabovich
A teammate of Hunter Bishop at Arizona State, Dabovich is a right-handed reliever with a fastball that touches 97 mph. The Giants saw plenty of him last year while scouting Bishop, their first-round pick. Dabovich has been used in multiple roles and the Giants will give him a chance to start, at least early in his career. Their goal for him will be to get his innings up as soon as he hits pro ball.
Holmes: "He's got the ability to run his fastball up into the upper 90s and he complements it with a really good secondary mix. But the best way to describe him is he's just got a real power mix and he's able to find the strike zone with it. I think the one thing that describes him really well too is just his competitive nature on the field and on the mound. This guy really gets after it and he's a guy that we've been drawn to, not just this year but in years past."
No. 144: RHP Ryan Murphy
A right-handed starter from small Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y., the fifth-rounder is said to have a good three-pitch mix and a propensity for throwing strikes. His fastball is 91-92, but he commands it well.
Holmes: "The thing that he does well is he really changes speeds, he really locates his fastball. He's very effective with his mix. He's a guy that our area scout Ray Callari has been on for a while and we got a chance to do a little work on him, even in a shortened season, which was great for us, especially for a northeast kid at a northeast school that battles a little bit of a colder climate. With the ability to see him a couple times before the shutdown, we really think that he's only scratching the surface with his potential."