Could the SF Giants really select another catcher in the 2020 MLB Draft?
The SF Giants have done an admirable job of rebuilding what was once one of the worst farm systems in baseball. And with the 2020 MLB Draft coming up in the near future, they’ll have an opportunity to bolster their minor-league depth once more.
While it’s nearly impossible to project when certain players will ultimately be taken, the Giants have been connected to various different prospects in the weeks and months leading up to the draft.
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Somewhat surprisingly, one of those players happens to be arguably the top catcher prospect in the class, high-schooler Tyler Soderstrom. Keith Law of The Athletic projected Soderstrom to the Giants in his latest mock draft and reiterated the interest from Farhan Zaidi and company.
Soderstrom is a native of Turlock, California just two hours south of San Francisco. His father, Steve Soderstrom, was actually drafted by the Giants with the sixth overall pick back in 1993.
Needless to say, the elder Soderstrom’s career didn’t exactly work out as he would pitch in just three games for the team — the only three appearances of his major-league career.
His son, however, has the potential to be a long-term centerpiece of a major-league team’s lineup.
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Soderstrom’s best trait is his polished left-handed bat. The 18-year-old projects as a well-rounded, offensive-minded prospect whose bat is definitely ahead of his glove right now.
His balanced swing and excellent bat speed give him solid power potential at the next level with the possibility of being either a top or middle-of-the-order hitter.
On top of that, he’s extremely athletic for a catcher and that athleticism allows him not to be confined to the catcher position. Soderstrom has experience playing both corner infield and outfield spots giving him increased versatility.
And that’s likely why the Giants have shown interest.
With Joey Bart waiting in the wings to assume the every-day catching job, it wouldn’t make much sense for the Giants to use another first-round pick on a catcher. That said, the 18-year-old Soderstrom would undoubtedly be years away from making his major-league debut.
And given how few prospects even reach the majors let alone stay at the position they were drafted at, it really isn’t that unreasonable for the Giants to take Soderstrom here in the first round.
After all, the MLB Draft is typically a best-player-available situation anyway.
Given the apparent interest from the Giants, Soderstrom is definitely a player who fans should monitor form draft day.