2022 MLB Draft: Giants prioritize pitching with Day 2 selections

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Giants prioritize pitching with Day 2 MLB draft picks originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Giants made a splash during Day 1 of the 2022 MLB Draft on Sunday, selecting two-way talent Reggie Crawford at No. 19 and lefty pitcher Carson Whisenhunt at No. 66.

And as Day 2 concluded with the 10th round on Monday, San Francisco added even more pitching depth to its talent pool along with a pair of West Coast hitters. It was almost a repeat of last year, which saw the Giants select nine pitchers in the first 10 rounds. This year, they went with eight, including Crawford.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Giants’ Day 2 picks:

Round 3 (No. 106): William Kempner, P, Gonzaga

Right-handed pitcher William Kempner hails from San Jose and recently finished his third season with the Bulldogs, which saw him post a 3.00 ERA and 1.28 WHIP in 36 innings pitched. In his eight starts, Kempner had 48 strikeouts compared to 21 walks. With a fastball that can reach triple digits and near-sidearm release, Kempner sports a unique delivery with high upside if he can overcome his command issues.

Round 4 (No. 136): Spencer Miles, P, Missouri

Spencer Miles was the first Tiger taken in the draft and just wrapped his second season as a starter on the mound for Mizzou. After a disappointing 2021 season that saw him end up 2-6 with a 7.01 ERA, Miles improved to a 5-5 record and 6.20 ERA while striking out 67 batters in 2022. The highlight of his season was a 12-strikeout gem against Georgia, where he allowed two earned runs over seven innings of work.

Round 5 (No. 166): Liam Simon, P, Notre Dame

The Giants continued to favor pitching in the fifth round, going with flamethrower Liam Simon. Despite making some starts for the Fighting Irish, he’s viewed as a reliever in the draft who has been clocked at 101 mph and consistently sits in the mid to upper-90s range. Despite striking out 56 batters in 30 2/3 innings this season, Simon also walked 28, so reigning in his control will be a top priority for the 21-year-old as his career continues.

Round 6 (No. 196): Hayden Birdsong, P, Eastern Illinois

Another round, another pitcher. This time it was Hayden Birdsong, a right-hander who posted a 3.35 ERA for the Panthers this spring, striking out 66 hitters in 45 2/3 innings. Birdsong was a first-team All-Ohio Valley Conference selection as a relief pitcher this season and led the OVC with a 1.40 ERA in conference action.

Round 7 (No. 226): Zach Morgan, C, Fresno State

The Giants selected their first position player of Day 2 with catcher Zach Morgan, a Fresno State Bulldog with plenty of accolades -- and hits -- to his name. Morgan was one of three finalists for the Buster Posey National Catcher of the Year Award, was an ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove finalist, and earned first-team All-Mountain West honors after a 2022 season that saw him lead the team with a .381 batting average. Morgan only struck out 6.7 percent of the time this season, but his low-power numbers have their downside.

Round 8 (No. 256): Wade Meckler, OF, Oregon State

Wade Meckler is another position player who hits for average, finishing his spectacular 2022 season for the Beavers with a .347 batting average and .934 OPS. He’s talented with the glove in the outfield, too, posting a 1.000 fielding percentage with 94 putouts. Across 135 career games with Oregon, Meckler has tallied 22 doubles, four triples, six home runs, and 54 RBI, along with 16 stolen bases.

Round 9 (No. 286): Jack Choate, P, Assumption University

San Francisco went back to the pitching pool in the ninth round and took 6-foot-6, 250-pound Jack Choate. The left-hander went 6-2 in 2022, posting a 2.43 ERA with 127 strikeouts in 70 1/3 innings, but his walk total (35) was less desirable. Choate throws in the low 90s and is the sixth player in Assumption history to be drafted to an MLB team.

Round 10 (No. 316): John Bertrand, P, Notre Dame

The Giants concluded Day 2 with, you guessed it, a pitcher. And another one from Notre Dame, at that. John Bertrand is a lefty who helped lead the Fighting Irish to the 2022 Men’s College World Series as the ace of the staff. He started 18 games in 2022 and finished with a 10-3 record and 2.81 ERA, striking out 111 batters across 109 innings. Bertrand’s consistency is his selling point after posting some of the nation’s best statistics this past season.

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