Stanford outfielder Slater drafted by Giants
With their eighth-round pick (238th overall) Friday in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, the Giants selected outfielder Austin Slater from Stanford.
Slater hit .310 to go along with five homers and 72 RBIs in 113 career games during three seasons at Stanford. Slater was originally picked as a high school shortstop by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 44th round of the 2011 Draft.
That end to high school, according to a story in the Stanford Daily, isn't what Slater had envisioned.
As a senior at The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Fla., in 2011, Slater was considered the best prospect in the state by Prospect Wire. He was prepared to anchor the left side of the infield and lead Bolles to its third consecutive state championship as the team's captain.
Then Slater broke an ankle during a game of Frisbee with friends. The injury caused him to miss his senior season, and his Draft stock plummeted.
"You never see an injury like that happening," Slater told the paper. "I was just messing around with my friends, not even on the baseball field. It's always shocking when you injure yourself doing something kind of mundane, and it kind of changes your mentality about how you go about approaching regular activities."
From the Stanford Daily story: "Not only did the injury rob him of what could have been a spectacular senior season, but it also affected Slater's mentality moving forward as he came to Stanford, making Slater what he described as 'a little trigger-shy.'
"'I felt like my summer and the fall coming back after [the injury], I was kind of still feeling the effects mentally, not really feeling like I was at 100 percent, and not really sure what my body could do,' Slater recalled. 'I had a mental block, I guess, coming off that injury.'"
Fast forward to 2014: Slater's confidence was regained a long time ago and his Draft stock climbed. Three years later and 33 rounds earlier, Slater now belongs to the Giants, the Dodgers' archrival.
From MLB.com's scouting report on Slater:
"Although some may consider Slater a 'tweener' due to his lack of range to play center and lack of power to profile at a corner, Slater has an interesting mix of tools that could make him a valuable player. At the plate, he makes consistent hard contact and has good power to the gaps, though he sometimes gets himself into trouble by selling out for power. In the outfield, he gets good jumps and has a solid arm. He could be adequate in center as a last resort or be above-average in a corner. Slater's lack of a position may make him fly under the radar a bit, even if his ceiling is that of a productive fourth outfielder."
The Draft concludes Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 10 a.m. PT.