Each year the dedicated experts who live and breathe Major League Baseball's First Year Player Draft develop an overall consensus of the draft's quality. The 2011 group were judged to be above average overall, with an excellent pitcher-centric group at the top of the pack followed by high talent parity evenly spread out through the rest of the draft.
That profile worked out well for the San Francisco Giants, who took St. Johns University shortstop Joe Panik as their 1st round pick at #29 overall. In the second round they chose RHP Kyle Crick at 49th; Crick is a Texas high school prospect who has committed to attending Texas Christian University.
The one downside to this year's draft was a thin field of middle infielders, but among that group Joe Panik was considered the best college shortstop in the country. Panik throws right and bats left, and is described as an excellent hitter with good range. He hit .398 with 10 home runs this year and had a whopping .509 OBP.
Panik, a twenty year old junior, suffered a serious injury in his freshman season which apparently limits his long throw from the hole. For that reason a number of scouts see him moving to second base when he hits the minor leagues.
Kyle Crick is a nineteen year old right hander who bats left. The Giants received the 49th draft pick as compensation for the Dodgers signing free agent former Giant Juan Uribe in the off season. Crick was 7-2 with a 1.11 ERA this year and expected to attend TCU, so it may be several years before he signs with any team.
And the best name in the 2011 Draft? How about Rookie Davis, the North Carolina high school power hitting third baseman who also throws in the early 90s as a starting pitcher. The aptly named Davis apparently picks the ball good at third and matches his fastball with a great curve. The Baseball Draft Report projected Davis to go at #91 in this year's draft. Remember that name.
Additional SF Giants picks in the 2011 First Year Player Draft
#3. Round 2 #86 Andrew Susac - 21 C R/R
A pure slugger who needs to work on mastering the mechanics of catching. Rob Ozga of The Baseball Draft Report listed Oregon State sophmore Sisac as the #1 college catcher in the draft. He has a hamate bone injury (sound familiar?), but apparently it's not serious.
#4. Round 3 #116 Efrin "Ricky" Oropesa - 21 1B L/R
Originally drafted #742 by the Red Sox in the 2008 draft, Oropesa is a product of the University of Arizona. A former third baseman, he has classic first baseman bopper power. Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com commented in this article about Oropesa's bat, writing that he has "light-tower power".
June 11, 2011--
Mike Axisa of MLB Trade Rumors reported the Giants have signed first round pick Joe Panik for an estimated $1.1 million.
June 25, 2011--
SF Giants.com reports that outfielder Kentrell Hill has been signed by the team.