College outfielder Colton Cowser seems to be the trendy pick.
The 2021 MLB Draft is officially here, and it’s exciting. The San Francisco Giants don’t have a great pick — they’re slotted at No. 14 — but if this season is any indication of what the future holds for the franchise, this is likely to be their highest pick for quite a long while.
By the time the evening rolls around, we’ll know who the Giants have selected. Until then, we have some final mock drafts. Let’s check them out.
ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel has the Giants selecting college outfielder Colton Cowser out of Sam Houston State. McDaniel notes that he thinks the Giants are also firmly in on prep shortstop Colson Montgomery (Southridge High School, Indiana) and college LHP Jordan Wicks (Kansas State).
McDaniel also had a two-round draft, and has the Giants taking college RHP Dylan Smith (Alabama) with the No. 50 pick, which will take place on Monday.
It’s not just ESPN that is linking the Giants to Wicks, as Carlos Collazo of Baseball America has the Giants selecting the college lefty. BA also connects the Giants to Montgomery … but a different Montgomery: prep center fielder Benny Montgomery (Red Land High School, Pennsylvania).
Here’s what Collazo had to say:
This could be the floor for Benny Montgomery if he makes it to 13 and the Phillies also decide to pass on him. We’ve heard the top college lefthander in the class, Jordan Wicks, linked to San Francisco recently, and other college arms like Madden, Bednar and Bachman or college bats like Cowser or McLain could make sense if they are available. Don’t sleep on two-way Georgia prep Bubba Chandler here either.
I get excited when I hear people mention Chandler, who has been mocked in the top 10 by many publications, and at the back of the round by many others. He’s not just a two-way player (shortstop and RHP), but also committed to Clemson on a football scholarship as a quarterback. So it’ll probably take a hefty signing bonus to keep him from trying to be the next Trevor Lawrence.
Over at Fangraphs, Eric Longenhagen and Kevin Goldstein align with McDaniel, and have the Giants taking Cowser. They also align with Collazo on the possibility of Chandler.
Here’s their breakdown:
The Giants will likely be jumping for joy should Cowser still be available to them with this pick. Some models used by teams have Cowser just a tick behind Davis in terms of offensive ceiling, he just didn’t play in a big conference. The Giants are also believed to be interested in the group of college arms expected to go in the teens, and there’s one, somewhat wild rumor that has them kicking the tires on two-sport prep star Bubba Chandler.
Cowser makes an another appearance on MLB’s dueling mock drafts. Jonathan Mayo mocks Cowser to the Giants while agreeing that Wicks and Colson Montgomery could be the pick, and also adding college RHP Sam Bachman (Miami Ohio) to the mix.
Jim Callis has the Giants opting for a strategy that worked really well for them 13 years ago: a UCLA shortstop. Callis thinks the Giants take Matt McLain, but also lists Cowser, Wicks, and Bachman, and predicts the Giants would snag Benny Montgomery if he falls that far.
Keith Law of The Athletic also mentioned McClain and Cowser, but has the Giants going for a different college bat: Boston College outfielder Sal Frelick. Law, however, is not sold on Wicks or Bachman to the Giants, saying “I don’t think there’s a college pitcher who fits unless they want to go under slot.” I wouldn’t be surprised if the Giants went under slot later in the draft, as they did a year ago to make room for Kyle Harrison, but I doubt they take anyone other than the person highest on their draft board in the first round (barring signability concerns), unless the can go under slot on a player in the same tier as the best players available.
The team at Prospects Live disagrees with Law, and has the Giants selecting Bachman. Though it seems from their write up that the Giants truly are linked to a lot of different players:
The Giants have had their scouting contingencies spread out all year and seemingly have a new heavy target every month. In this case, we have them landing fireballing sinker-baller Bachman with the 14th pick. We know they like Harry Ford a good bit, and Giants scouts were out in droves to see Bubba Chandler early this spring. We’ve also heard Colson Montgomery’s name pop up here as well. Jordan Wicks was connected to the Giants for a while this spring, though that traffic seems to have eased a touch.
Mock drafts are usually made with a fair amount of intel into an organization’s thinking, so if your life depended on picking a name for the Giants, Cowser is probably the smart choice.
But this is also the point in the article where I mention that I don’t remember seeing a single mock draft linking the Giants to Patrick Bailey last year.