My official draft credo is: If the Giants draft a pitcher I’ll probably just shut up and not worry about it too much.
Tonight, the Giants selected right-handed pitcher, Chris Stratton, with their first pick (20th overall) in the 2012 First Year Player Draft. Stratton pitched at Mississippi State and was the 2012 SEC Pitcher of the Year.
Other stuff about Stratton: He features a fastball in the 91-94 range, a hard slider that profiles as his best out-pitch, a curveball, and a developing changeup that could turn into an above-average to plus-pitch. Most view him as a number-two starter.
From MLB.com’s Draft Tracker:
Starting the year as a reliever, Stratton eventually took over Friday starting duties for Mississippi State. His success there has seen him shoot up boards as the Draft approached. Stratton has the chance to have an exciting four-pitch mix, all coming from the kind of ideal pitching frame scouts love. He throws a sneaky fastball, up to 94 mph with ease and with good movement. His slider is the better of his two breaking balls, a strikeout pitch with good rotation and bite. His curve is a notch behind, but it has the chance to be Major League average with a slurvy break to it. His changeup, also a future average offering, has some sink. He has above-average control, throwing all four pitches for strikes and showing an understanding of how to use his stuff well. Stratton has been a very consistent performer since moving into the rotation and his combination of size, stuff and pitchability have him moving into first night of the Draft conversations.
I like the pick. I’m a sucker for position players, but if one takes a quick look around the current Giants’ system, you’ll see that the pitching has thinned out rather quickly. Players like Kyle Crick are still intriguing, but they’re most likely a ways off. And, it goes without saying, that the system doesn’t have any real front-line pitching talent after the Zack Wheeler for Carlos Beltran trade. Stratton seems like a nice boost to the overall state of things on the pitching-side.
Be sure to stay tuned this week as Chris Martinez will be covering the draft for us with more in-depth posts.