SAN FRANCISCO -- With the 2021 MLB Draft set to begin on Sunday, anticipation is building for Michael Holmes, the Giants’ third-year director of amateur scouting, and the rest of his staff. This year’s Draft is taking place one month later than usual, giving the Giants’ scouting group extra time to pore over the evaluations that will guide their selections during the annual event.
“I think it’s an exciting time for our entire staff, even for our entire organization,” Holmes said. “Draft time is always an exciting part of our year. It’s what we kind of spend all year working towards.”
Day 1 of the 2021 Draft will take place live from Denver’s Bellco Theatre on Sunday. It will feature the first 36 picks and will air on MLB Network and ESPN at 4 p.m. PT. Day 2, which will span rounds 2-10, begins at 10 a.m. PT on Monday. The Draft will conclude with rounds 11-20 on Tuesday, starting at 9 a.m. PT. MLB.com will simulcast MLB Network’s broadcast and provide live coverage on all three days.
The Giants hold the 14th overall selection and a bonus pool of $8,070,600, which is allotted for use in the first 10 rounds. The slot value for the 14th pick is $4,036,800.
In 2020, the Giants drafted North Carolina State catcher Patrick Bailey with the 13th overall selection, marking the second consecutive year they’ve taken a collegiate hitter with their top pick under Holmes.
They rounded out their pandemic-shortened Draft class by taking San Diego State third baseman Casey Schmitt (second round), N.C. State left-hander Nick Swiney (second round, compensation), Dallas Baptist shortstop Jimmy Glowenke (second round, compensation), De La Salle High School (Calif.) left-hander Kyle Harrison (third round), Arizona State right-hander R.J. Dabovich (fourth round) and Le Moyne College right-hander Ryan Murphy (fifth round).
Here’s how the 2021 Draft is shaping up for the Giants:
State of the system
The Giants haven’t drafted and developed an All-Star since Joe Panik in 2011, but their farm system is on the rise and is now ranked the 11th-best in baseball, according to MLB Pipeline. San Francisco currently has five players on MLB Pipeline’s list of Top 100 prospects: shortstop Marco Luciano (No. 12 overall), catcher Joey Bart (No. 17), outfielder Heliot Ramos (No. 63), outfielder Hunter Bishop (No. 65) and left-hander Seth Corry (No. 84).
The strength of the Giants’ system lies in their promising group of young bats, as eight of their top 10 prospects are position players. Harrison has quickly developed into one of the organization’s most highly touted pitching prospects after receiving an over-slot deal in the third round last year, but the Giants could certainly benefit from adding more talented arms to the organization.
What are the strengths of the 2021 Draft class?
“I think there’s a lot of velocity,” Holmes said. “A lot of these players during the pandemic took that time to get bigger and stronger, to utilize the time to kind of work on a few things. I think one thing we’ve seen is velocity really increase from a pitching standpoint. There seems to be a lot of velocity out there. There’s a lot of athleticism, especially at the high school level. A lot of upside, athletic-type players in the middle of the diamond. For me, those are probably the two strengths.”
Who might the Giants take?
In his most recent mock Draft, Mayo predicted the Giants would use their top pick on Red Land High School (Lewisberry, Pa.) outfielder Benny Montgomery, who might have the best all-around physical tools in the Draft. San Francisco has also been linked to Sam Houston outfielder Colton Cowser and Kansas State left-hander Jordan Wicks.
Under Holmes’ direction, the Giants have generally leaned toward taking college players with their earliest selections. They’ve used their top pick on position players in five consecutive years, drafting three outfielders and two catchers over that span.
If there’s one trait the Giants have come to prioritize in players they’ve targeted, it’s the ability to control the strike zone, both on the mound and at the plate.
“I think it’s an organizational-type approach, from the big leagues all the way down,” Holmes said. “If you take a look at some of the hitters that we’ve selected, controlling the zone is definitely something we look for. Guys that can put good at-bats together, look over a baseball, but with the ability to make hard contact. It’s definitely something that stands out to us. I think it’s pretty safe to say that those are certain guys that we’ve become attracted to.”
The recent top picks
2020: Patrick Bailey, C
2019: Hunter Bishop, OF
2018: Joey Bart, C
2017: Heliot Ramos, OF
2016: Bryan Reynolds, OF (Traded to the Pirates in exchange for Andrew McCutchen)