San Francisco Giants 2020 Draft Review

Photo credit - Carol M. Highsmith / Public domain

The San Francisco Giants finished 2019 with a 77-85 record, slotting them into the 13th overall selection in the 2020 MLB Draft. The Giants failed to bring back Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith which netted them two compensation picks after Round 2. While ultimately Bumgarner signed with the rival Diamondbacks in the division, Smith went on to Atlanta, both in my opinion were good landing spots for them as they move forward in their careers. The Giants were putting the final touches on their draft prep when unfortunately the coronavirus put a damper on potential plans as we entered in this pandemic.

Major League Baseball announced in early May that the Draft would be shortened from its typical 40 long rounds to a short sprint of 5 rounds. Teams would also be able to sign any undrafted free agents to a $20,000 signing bonus. The 2020 Draft was unlike any other, however it is important to note that College Baseball decided to allow D-1 student athletes to return in 2021 with the same eligibility they had in 2020. Strategic balance would be needed by all MLB organizations in order to take advantage of the current situation.

Time will ultimately tell what quality this draft class was and while we are still awaiting many of these players to announce their decision on whether to sign with the Giants or return to school, I found this draft class to present several mid-level impact players. While drafting a catcher with the first pick initially threw me off, if he was the best player available on the Giants‘ draft board it makes sense. Players take time to develop and in Major League Baseball, teams should never draft on current roster need. After taking time to digest the draft, I am most intrigued by a high school pitcher than I am on any of the other draft picks at this time.

Round 1, pick #13:
Patrick Bailey, C, North Carolina State
Bailey is known as a quality defensive catcher with the potential to develop as a switch hitting power hitter. Bailey recently won the Johnny Bench Award given to the top C in the NCAA. It’ll be interesting to see how Bailey develops over time but he should fit in nicely in an organization with two prestigious catchers already in the fold with Bart and Posey. Having two solid catchers moving forward could help strengthen the core of the future for the Giants and help lead them in the right direction. If the universal DH sticks and all works out for Bailey and Bart, we could see the tandem in the lineup together more than what people initially thought.

Round 2, pick #49
Casey Schmitt, 3B/P San Diego State
Drafted as a 3B, many have felt the need to add P to Schmitt’s listing and with good reason. Schmitt was featured as the closer for SDSU during his tenure. Featuring a mid 90’s MPH FB coupled with a solid splitter allowed him to compile 23 saves in 50 GP. Power will be Schmitt’s calling card offensively and many think he’ll be able to hit enough to stick in the infield. Defensively he’s solid enough to make all the necessary plays to stay at the hot corner. Keep an eye on his development as many teams begin to look for the next potential two way player.

Round 2C, pick #67
Nick Swiney, LHP, North Carolina State
Considered by some as the best pitching prospect out of NC State since Carlos Rodon, Swiney spent the first two seasons as a RP before starting 4 games in brief action in 2020. Swiney compiled plenty of swings and misses as evident of his 174 SO in 115.1 career IP. Featuring a high 80’s – low 90’s FB, Swiney does a good job with keeping hitters off balance with a good CB and a fading CH.

Round 2C, pick #68
Jimmy Glowenke, SS, Dallas Baptist
Glowenke was selected with the 2nd compensation pick in the 2nd round by the Giants. The Giants really like what Jimmy can provide defensively and with good merit, he won the Missouri Valley Conference defensive player of the year in 2018. A career .340 hitter, Glowenke will need to continue to develop his swing and add some more power in the future. Zaidi likes players who get on base and do not strike out a lot and its clear this was the idea with Glowenke. In 139 GP he posted a .433 OBP to go along with a solid 67:76 BB:K ratio.

Round 3, pick #85
Kyle Harrison, LHP, De La Salle HS
The 2020 draft class for the Giants may have found their gem in the 3rd round with the selection of Harrison. Time will tell with this young lefty but there is a ton to like about his future. With a solid build at 6’2 200, Harrison features an easy delivery with some deception that should play as he matures. Sitting currently with a low 90’s FB, expect that number to tick higher as he develops later down the line. Harrison features a 3 pitch mix showing good command with his best pitch a slider and adds a CH to keep hitters off balance. Lot to like from this lefty moving forward.

Round 4, pick #114
R.J. Dabovich, RHP, Arizona State University
In a system that is not lacking in RP talent, the Giants selected Dabovich in the 4th round. In his two seasons at ASU, Dabovich started his career as a SP before moving to a RP role later in 2019. I would expect Dabovich to continue as a RP moving forward as his mid 90’s FB and 3/4 slider should continue to play as he develops into a professional. Command will be something he’ll need to work on in his development but he has the potential to be a quick riser in the organization if he’s able to harness his control.

Round 5, pick #144
Ryan Murphy, RHP, Le Moyne College
Murphy, coming from the D2 ranks, showed enough for the Giants to select him with the 5th round selection. Likely working a deal for him to sign under slot value in order to sign some of the names above. Murphy started exclusively for the Dolphins in his 3 year career, racking up 215 SO in 203.2 IP while walking only 44 batters. Murphy features 3 average pitches and could be an arm we see develop under the radar.

Undrafted FA Signings:
Brett Auerbach, C, Alabama
Rob Emery, C, San Francisco
Tyler Forner, OF, Camas HS
Ty Weber, RHP, Illinois
Carter Williams, OF, North Carolina Central

My name is Paul Aiton and I’ll be covering the San Francisco Giants prospects. I grew up in Yorktown, Virginia until 2014, where I’ve since been traveling the country the last few years in attempt to chase a dream, working in professional baseball. I played 3 years in college, one season at New River CC and another two at Averett University after a shoulder injury derailed my dreams of playing professionally. Since then, I’ve gone on to coach high school and collegiate baseball. I also worked with Inside Edge Baseball for 5 years while working in their advanced scouting department. Outside of baseball I like to spend my mornings either on a golf course or taking my puppy Ace on hikes through Arizona. You can follow me @Paul_8en on Twitter. I’m always available to talk about Giants prospects, anything fantasy related or baseball!

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