The Giants’ first four picks from the 2020 MLB Draft are in as day two of this year’s five-round draft rolls along.
After taking North Carolina State star catcher Patrick Bailey with the 13th overall selection in Wednesday’s first round, the Giants kicked off day two by tabbing third baseman Casey Schmitt with the No. 49 pick out of San Diego State.
With two additional picks in this year’s draft after free-agent pitchers Madison Bumgarner (Diamondbacks) and Will Smith (Braves) turned down qualifying offers from the Giants to sign elsewhere, San Francisco chose left-handed pitcher Nick Swiney out of North Carolina State and shortstop Jimmy Glowenke of Dallas Baptist University back-to-back with the No. 67 and No. 68 selections.
Swiney was college teammates with Bailey for the Wolfpack and struck out 174 batters in 115 1/3 college innings. Glowenke demonstrated an impressive knack for getting on-base at Dallas Baptist, posting a career .433 on-base percentage and a .506 slugging percentage.
San Francisco’s next pick is the No. 85 overall selection, which comes in the third round.
Giants’ president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi indicated Wednesday the organization plans to draft a mix of pitchers and hitters in rounds 2-5, but they went with Schmitt, a position player who also served as the Aztecs closer in college, at No. 49 after seven of the nine picks preceding the Giants’ selection were pitchers.
Schmitt hit .315 with a .450 slugging percentage in 56 games as a sophomore and was hitting .323 with a .452 slugging percentage before his junior season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic. Scouts believe if Schmitt stalls as an infield prospect, he’s talented enough to reach the big leagues as a reliever thanks to a strong fastball-splitter combination.
Thursday represents a pivotal point in Zaidi’s tenure as the second-year president of baseball operations has an opportunity to add several highly-touted prospects to a farm system that’s beginning to emerge as one of the best in the sport.
The Giants have a handful of position players including Bart, shortstop Marco Luciano and outfielder Heliot Ramos who are considered among the top 100 prospects in baseball, but the farm system appears relatively short on top-end starting pitching depth.
With three of the first 31 picks on Thursday, five selections in the top 85 of the 2020 MLB Draft and seven overall picks in a five-round draft, the Giants have a rare opportunity to build a larger core of promising prospects who can serve as anchors for the franchise in the 2020s.
After selecting Bailey, a two-way star with the Wolfpack for the past three seasons, Zaidi and amateur scouting director Michael Holmes explained the pick was not based on a perceived “need” to add catching depth but rather because team’s evaluators had the “broadest consensus” that Bailey was the best player available.
Bart could play in the major leagues as soon as this season, but a polished college catching prospect such as Bailey isn’t expected to be far behind.
“I think when we look at what our ideal team and our ideal roster looks like, the dream scenario is to have two catchers that can impact the game offensively and defensively,” Zaidi said. “If you’re lucky enough to have that, there are going to be times when you want both guys in the lineup.”
Since taking over the Giants’ baseball operations department in November, 2018, Zaidi has slowly attempted to cultivate depth, but made a slew of critical moves at the 2019 trade deadline. Outside of the deadline day acquisitions and the decision to hire Gabe Kapler to replace Bruce Bochy as the team’s manager, the 2020 draft may represent one of the most important moments to date for an executive who is under pressure to turn the Giants back into a winner sooner rather than later.
©2020 The Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)