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Five prospects Giants are most connected to before 2021 draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
A bullseye blindfolded, a 3-pointer with your eyes closed, Duane Kuiper hitting a home run.
Like the three examples above, the MLB draft is a crapshoot, a gambler's guess at best. This year's draft isn't any different, especially without a true consensus top pick. When the Giants are on the clock at No. 14, it truly will be anyone's guess which direction they go.
Farhan Zaidi again will look to press all the right buttons, just as he has for the Giants with signings, trades and draft picks. Will the Giants go with a pitcher? They haven't done so since 2015. What about a high school prospect? That hasn't happened since Heliot Ramos in 2017, and not since Chris Arroyo in 2013 before that.
In his first two drafts with the Giants, Zaidi has gone with two college bats: Hunter Bishop and Patrick Bailey. Ahead of the 2021 draft starting on Sunday, here are five prospects who have been linked to the Giants.
Ty Madden, RHP, Texas
The Longhorns are looking to get a player picked in the first round for the first time since 2011. Madden's the answer. He just might be the draft's best college arm behind Vanderbilt's duo of Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker, and he impressed many at the College World Series.
He's a prototypical right-hander at 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, and his fastball can reach near triple digits. Madden showed his clutch gene late in the year, allowing four earned runs and striking out 18 batters over two starts (13 innings) against Mississippi State in the College World Series.
You don't draft for need, but the Giants are seen as more of a hitter-heavy farm system. Their two top pitching prospects both are young left-handers (Seth Corry and Kyle Harrison), and San Francisco's current rotation is full of short-term contracts. Madden has a long history of success and deserves a long look here.
Benny Montgomery, OF, Red Lands High School
The Giants were reported to be "enamored" with Montgomery's blend of size and athleticism in FanGraphs' July 6 mock draft. He's a tooled-up high school prospect who comes with giant potential, but also some big risk.
On the 20-80 scouting scale, Montgomery might be an 80-runner. He also is a plus-defender who projects to be a long-strider in center field at 6-foot-4 and 195 pounds. The bat is the question, but again, his offense is full of potential as well.
Another no-doubt bomb from Red Land HS outfielder Benny Montgomery. He's off to a roaring start this spring. It's easy to dream on the run tool, the bat speed, and the frame. Montgomery might have one of the highest pure ceilings in the 2021 draft class. #MLBDraft pic.twitter.com/EXGYXQuVke
— Joe Doyle (@JoeDoyleMiLB) April 24, 2021
Montgomery has exceptional bat speed and raw power. But he has a long swing with a hitch in it. If the Giants believe in their developmental coaches, they could take a swing on some of the best tools in the draft.
Jordan Wicks, LHP, Kansas State
Wicks could be a quick riser through the minor leagues if all goes right. He impressed many over the summer in the Northwoods League, and then followed that up by proving to be perhaps the best college lefty in the country.
He also might have the best changeup in the draft.
— Joe Doyle (@JoeDoyleMiLB) February 26, 2021
In 203 career innings, Wicks struck out 230 batters and walked only 58. The Giants are high on strike-throwers and identifying one elite pitch. Wicks fits the bill.
Colton Cowser, OF, Sam Houston State
Cowser fits the Giants' recent trend. He's a college hitter with a long history of success, excelling as a freshman and junior, while struggling a bit in the shortened 2020 season. This past season, he hit .374 with 16 home runs and a 1.170 OPS, and he even stole 17 bases in 20 attempts.
The 6-foot-3, 195-pounder is thought to be able to stick in center field as an above-average glove and his speed is clear on the bases and in the outfield. As a hitter, he doesn't miss fastballs and should be able to handle velocity at the next level.
How about that for an answer!?!
Colton Cowser blasts his second HR of the tourney out to RF to open the 5th.
He's 2-for-2 with 4 runs scored today. #EatEmUpKats
🎙 https://t.co/KQlZIRoyMy pic.twitter.com/yQBLt9imJM
— Sam Houston Baseball (@BearkatsBSB) May 29, 2021
Here's what really stands out: Cowser finished his college career with more walks (78) than strikeouts (70). That screams Giants.
Harry Ford, C/2B/3B/CF, North Cobb High School
First things first, look away from labeling Ford as yet another catcher taken by the Giants in the draft. By taking Patrick Bailey last year, Zaidi has made it clear he'll pick who he believes is the best player available.
Yes, Ford primarily has been a catcher but he also has experience at second and third base, and scouts believe he can move to the outfield thanks to his athleticism and blazing speed. He is one of the fastest prospects in the draft, with legitimate explosiveness to play all over the field.
Oh, and he's already a bat flip Hall of Famer.
good morning from Harry Ford, the top high school catcher in the 2021 Draft class: pic.twitter.com/TBCx1JIYjr
— Céspedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) March 4, 2021
Ford is another high-risk, high-reward high school prospect. His tools jump off the page and could be enough for the Giants to take a bit of a gamble.
Other Names To Know
Sam Bachman, RHP, Miami (Ohio): Bachman has one of the best fastballs in the draft, and might have the very best slider. He has some reliever worries, but the Giants know how to find plus-pitches and Bachman could be high on their radar.
Michael McGreevy, RHP, UC Santa Barbara: Strikes, strikes and more strikes. He went 9-1 with a 2.92 ERA, 109 strikeouts and only 10 walks in 95 2/3 innings this season. The Giants are ahead of schedule and could slot McGreevy's pin-point command into the rotation in the near future.
Bubba Chandler, RHP/SS, North Oconee High School: The wild card of the draft this year. Chandler is a two-way, two-sport star who is committed to play baseball and football as a quarterback for Clemson. Baseball America also has reported the Giants were "pretty heavy" on Chandler early on. It won't be easy to sign him, however, he could be worth a big payday.