Garrett Crochet

MLB Draft 2020: Four pitchers Giants could take risk on, pick at No. 13

MLB Draft 2020: Four pitchers Giants could take risk on, pick at No. 13

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. 

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.

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

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

In two high school seasons, Bitsko has a 1.27 ERA with 68 strikeouts in 33 innings. 

[RELATED: Three hitters Giants could target with No. 13 pick in draft]

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.

MLB Draft 2020: Keith Law explains two Giants options with No. 13 pick

MLB Draft 2020: Keith Law explains two Giants options with No. 13 pick

The 2020 MLB Draft will look much different than in years past.

As baseball still waits to resume amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the draft will be shortened from 40 rounds to five. That's an extreme change and will affect all 30 teams in different ways.

The Giants own seven picks in the five rounds and first will go on the clock with the No. 13 overall pick. After taking outfielder Hunter Bishop at No. 10 last year, what will Farhan Zaidi and San Francisco's front office do this time around? The Athletic's Keith Law has heard two names come up when discussing the Giants. 

Here's a look at what Law's hearing ahead of the June 10 draft and what each player brings to the table.

Tyler Soderstrom, C, Turlock High School

The last name should sound familiar to Giants fans. San Francisco selected Tyler's father, Steve, No. 6 overall out of Fresno State in the 1993 draft.

Soderstrom landed in the Giants' lap in Law's latest mock draft. He's a catcher out of Turlock High School, though many believe he can play a corner outfield spot or on the corners in the infield. What scouts love, though, is his left-handed bat.

"He'd be drafted for his bat," Law said Saturday on KNBR's "Marty Lurie Show." "He's not being drafted as primarily a catcher. He'd be drafted because of his bat, because teams feel pretty confident about his ability to hit." 

Soderstrom hit .357 in five games as a senior before his season was shut down. He hit .450 with four homers as a junior. His versatility and high upside could be really intriguing for the Giants.

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Garrett Crochet, LHP, Tennessee

"The two names that came up with the Giants were [Soderstrom] and Garrett Crochet from the University of Tennessee -- college pitcher who throws extremely hard, maybe the hardest-throwing starter in the draft class," Law said. 

Crochet is a 6-foot-6 left-hander who struck out 81 batters in 65 innings last season. He only threw 3 2/3 innings this year before going down with a back injury. 

"He had a back injury in an unscheduled, unannounced relief appearance in the last weekend before the shutdown," Law said. "... In the past, he's always thrown hard but hasn't shown much in secondary stuff. His control's been fine, but not great." 

[RELATED: Five underrated Giants prospects who had big 2019 seasons]

The Giants are littered with bats throughout their top prospects. Perhaps they could have their eyes on an arm like Crochet. One thing is for sure, though: He and Soderstrom couldn't be more opposite of prospects.

"I just don't think you can find two more different kinds of players for the Giants," Law said.