SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants opened Day 2 of the 2020 MLB Draft on Thursday by snagging the top two-way player from the collegiate ranks, selecting San Diego State’s Casey Schmitt with their second-round pick.
Schmitt, who was drafted 49th overall, was announced as a third baseman, but he has also moonlighted as the Aztecs’ closer, converting 23 saves with his fastball-splitter combination.
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Versatility has become a prized trait for the Giants under president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, making Schmitt an intriguing addition to the organization. While the club plans to focus on developing the 21-year-old as a position player, Zaidi said he wouldn’t rule out pitching at this point.
Schmitt, for his part, is open to whatever path the organization sees fit for him.
“Whatever they have in mind for me, I’m ready for it,” Schmitt told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I can play wherever on the diamond and also pitch. I’m all for it.”
• 2020 Draft Central
Schmitt’s bat was the main attraction for the Giants, as he possesses impressive raw power and crushed five home runs with a wood bat in the prestigious Cape Cod League last summer. He slashed .295/.366/.408 with six home runs and 77 RBIs over 132 career games at San Diego State. On the mound, Schmitt logged a 2.48 ERA over 87 innings in 50 appearances for the Aztecs.
“We look at Casey as a plus defensive third baseman with a plus, possibly double-plus, arm,” Giants scouting director Michael Holmes said. “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 really going to come on as he continues to mature, not only physically, but also as a hitter.”
One day after selecting North Carolina State catcher Patrick Bailey in the first round, the Giants continued to favor collegians in their second Draft under Zaidi and Holmes. They took college players with six of their seven picks, which was tied with the Cardinals for the most of any club.
• Giants add another catcher with 1st-round pick
Here’s a roundup of the rest of the Giants’ Day 2 picks:
Compensation Balance Round B, 67th overall: Nick Swiney, LHP, North Carolina State
With their compensation pick for losing Madison Bumgarner to free agency, the Giants selected yet another left-hander with North Carolina roots.
Swiney, 21, posted a 3.51 ERA over 115 1/3 innings in 50 career appearances for N.C. State, where he formed a battery with fellow Giants draftee Bailey. Listed at 6-foot-3, 187 pounds, Swiney went 11-1 over his first two seasons as a middle reliever before becoming a regular in the Wolfpack’s rotation this year. Swiney logged a 1.29 ERA over 28 innings and won all four of his starts before the 2020 season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, but there’s still some uncertainty regarding his long-term role as a pitcher.
As a starter, Swiney sat between 87-93 mph with his fastball and showed an average to plus curveball. Out of the bullpen, Swiney sat in the low 90s and topped out at 95 with his fastball. His changeup also took a step forward this spring, showing signs of becoming a plus offspeed pitch with deceptive fade.
“He moved into that starting role at N.C. State this year and really flourished,” Holmes said. “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. We think there's velocity in there. We think 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.”
Compensation Balance Round B, 68th overall: Jimmy Glowenke, SS, Dallas Baptist
Glowenke, another compensation pick resulting from Will Smith’s departure as a free agent, slashed .340/.433/.506 with 17 home runs and 100 RBIs over 139 career games at Dallas Baptist. The 21-year-old infielder sat out the first weekend of his junior season while recovering from offseason elbow surgery and served exclusively as a designated hitter before the 2020 campaign was shut down.
The Missouri Valley Conference freshman and defensive player of the year in 2018, Glowenke finished fourth in the league in batting (.328) last spring and then delivered a strong showing at the Cape Cod League, where he hit .296. While he’s a sure-handed defender, evaluators believe Glowenke lacks the speed and range to stick at shortstop, which could push him to second base in the future.
“We actually think this guy has the ability to play shortstop, but I think the unique thing that attracted us to him was just his versatility,” Holmes said. “He can play all three positions -- second, short and third -- on the dirt.”
Round 3, 85th overall: Kyle Harrison, LHP, De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) HS
The Giants went local in selecting their only prep player of the 2020 Draft, as Harrison attended high school less than 30 miles away from Oracle Park. A UCLA recruit, Harrison went 10-0 with a 1.26 ERA as a junior and logged a 0.78 ERA with 18 strikeouts in two starts as a senior.
Listed at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, Harrison throws from a three-quarter arm slot and features a three-pitch mix that includes a fastball that has reached 93 mph, a slider and a changeup. In an interview with MLB Network, the 18-year-old Harrison said he likes to model his style of pitching after Red Sox ace and seven-time All-Star Chris Sale.
“I’m looking to throw a dirty slider like him some day,” said Harrison, who is expected to forgo his college commitment to sign with the Giants.
Round 4, 114th overall: R.J. Dabovich, RHP, Arizona State
Dabovich, 21, entered his junior season as the Sun Devils’ closer, posting a 0.77 ERA over 11 2/3 innings and converting four saves. A college teammate of 2019 first-round pick Hunter Bishop, Dabovich has a fastball that sits in the 93-94 mph range and can hit 97. The 21-year-old complements his heater with a sharp breaking ball in the low 80s and is working to mix in more of his changeup.
“The best way to describe him is he's just got a real power mix,” Holmes said. “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 really drawn to, not just this year, but in years past.”
Round 5, 144th overall: Ryan Murphy, RHP, Le Moyne College
The Giants capped their 2020 Draft haul by taking Murphy, who logged a 3.40 ERA over 203 2/3 innings in 30 appearances (29 starts) for Le Moyne, a Division II program in Syracuse, N.Y. His fastball tops out at 92 mph, but the 6-foot-1, 175-pound righty is able to use his command and deception to induce a lot of swing and misses.
“The thing that he does really well is he changes speeds, and he really locates his fastball,” Holmes said. “He’s very effective with his mix. ... We really think that he’s only scratching the surface with his potential. We were really excited to have a chance for him with our last pick today.”
Maria Guardado covers the Giants for MLB.com. She previously covered the Angels from 2017-18. Follow her on Twitter.