06/07/11 10:47 PM ET
USC slugger leads Giants' college-heavy Day 2
By Adam Berry / MLB.com
The powerful left-handed hitter from University of Southern California was the Giants' second pick on Tuesday, and a friend had tipped him off regarding San Francisco's torturous tendencies and the one-word theme of the club's 2010 World Series run. So, Oropesa decided to endear himself to the club's fans and summarize the feelings he felt while waiting in front of a laptop to hear his name called -- all in one tweet.
"I wasn't really expecting to drop this low, but everything happens for a reason," Oropesa said in a phone interview Tuesday. "When I heard my named called, it was definitely a relief. We all got excited, and I was glad to be here with my family."
Oropesa, a product of Major League Baseball's first Urban Youth Academy in Compton, Calif., was one of the six college players San Francisco selected to begin Day 2 of the Draft. Four of the Giants' first five picks of the day were out of the Pac-10 Conference, including catcher Andrew Susac (Oregon State, 86th overall), left-hander Bryce Bandilla (Arizona, 147th overall) and lefty hurler Josh Osich (207th overall, Oregon State).
By the end of Day 2, San Francisco had made 29 selections, mostly right-handed pitchers and college products. The Giants will enter Day 3 having chosen 16 right-handers, four left-handers, seven infielders, three outfielders and a catcher, including shortstop Joe Panik and righty Kyle Crick from the first day of the Draft. The college/high school breakdown is largely in favor of the former, with 25 coming from the collegiate ranks compare to six prep players. Six of those college-level players came out of the Pac-10.
Oropesa, who grew up in the Los Angeles area, was back home for the Draft and watched it unfold with his family on a laptop in their living room. It seems fitting that he watched with his family, as the self-proclaimed "family guy" learned everything he knows about baseball from his father, Alfred.
"I'm excited to spend a little time here with my family and kind of soak this whole process and this moment in," he said. "But I'm the kind of guy who really wants to go out there and get after it and go to work. It's definitely nice to kind of relax and train here and hang with my family."
He had heard from a few teams in the first round and earlier on Day 2, but nothing materialized. So, he waited.
He saw Susac, a friend of his, get picked up in the second round, saying how happy he was for his one-time rival at Oregon State. Finally, in the third round, Oropesa joined Susac.
"I was talking to him before, and it's kind of ironic that we got picked in the same spot," Oropesa said. "That's pretty cool, playing with him in the Pac-10 and we'll get to develop together in the Minor Leagues and hopefully one day in the pros.
"I kind of just want the negotiating to go pretty quickly, and I want that to go well so I can start and work my way up as quick as I can and hopefully start dropping some bombs in the Cove pretty soon here."
Despite his Southern California roots, Oropesa grew up loving the Yankees for all their history and tradition, and he still considers them his favorite team. Until Tuesday, that is.
"Now, I'm a Giants fan," he said, laughing.
But there was a time in his life when Oropesa cheered on the Giants, a memory that sprang to mind as soon as he heard his name called. There may not have been any "torture" or a Cove to drop bombs in when he took the field with his first tee-ball team, but their team name was a familiar one: the Giants.
Live coverage of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft resumes at 9 a.m. PT on Wednesday on MLB.com, where fans will receive exclusive coverage of Day 3, featuring a live pick-by-pick stream, expert commentary and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of every Draft-eligible player. You can also keep up to date at Draft Central and by following @MLBDraft on Twitter. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.
A look at all the Giants' Day 2 picks:
Round 2, Andrew Susac, C, Oregon State: In 37 starts for the Beavers so far this season, Susac is batting .313 with nine doubles, four triples and five home runs, earning 2011 All-Pac-10 Conference honorable mention recognition. The Draft-eligible sophomore was picked by the Phillies in the 16th round in 2009 but was strongly committed to Oregon State. He was named Baseball America's No. 5 prospect in the Cape Cod League after spending last summer with the Falmouth Commodres, batting .290 with six doubles, five home runs, 15 RBIs and 13 walks in 29 games.
Round 3, Ricky Oropesa, 1B, USC: The left-handed slugger batted .331 in his three-year career with the Trojans, racking up 40 doubles, 40 home runs, 159 RBIs and 13 steals with a .409 on-base percentage and .596 slugging percentage. Oropesa was drafted by the Red Sox in the 24th round in 2008 and is regarded as one of the best power-hitting prospects in this year's class. He had a three-hit game, including a home run, against No. 1 overall pick Gerrit Cole this spring.
Round 4, Bryce Bandilla, LHP, Arizona: A Sacramento, Calif., native, Bandilla primarily brought his 92-95 mph fastball and above-average changeup out of the bullpen for Arizona. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound lefty went 5-3 with a 3.47 ERA in 31 appearances for the Wildcats, punching out 48 batters in 46 2/3 innings. He split time as a starter and reliever in 2010, mostly being used as the team's closer. Bandilla was previously selected in the 28th round in 2008 by the Reds after a high school career that finished with a 9-0 senior year and a 0.13 ERA.
Round 5, Chris Marlowe, RHP, Oklahoma State: Marlowe's 5.05 ERA in 41 innings this season may not seem too enticing, but the right-hander certainly has the potential and stuff to make a name for himself. Although Marlowe walked 34 batters in those 41 innings, he also struck out 71 batters and held opposing hitters to a .180 average.
Round 6, Josh Osich, LHP, Oregon State: Osich, who worked as a starter but will likely find his niche as a reliever, had Tommy John surgery in 2010. The lefty has a powerful fastball and an above-average changeup, which he used to toss a no-hitter for the Beavers this spring. He was previously drafted by the Angels in the seventh round in 2010.
Round 7, Raymond Black, RHP, Pittsburgh: The flamethrowing right-hander, whose fastball can hit into the upper 90s, set the school's single-season record for strikeouts per inning with 14.85. The 6-foot-5 Black made 18 relief appearances and recorded four saves, finishing with a 1-1 record and 33 strikeouts over 22 innings. Black made 30 appearances (two starts) in two seasons at Pitt.
Round 8, Jean Delgado, SS, Caguas Military Academy: The 6-foot, 165-pound middle infielder from Puerto Rico is a quick runner with plenty of range defensively. He bats right-handed with a long swing that scouts say needs to be shortened, but he has good hand quickness and keeps the bat over the plane a long time. Delgado has raw arm strength and tools but must add strength and develop some of his raw potential.
Round 9, Derek Law, RHP, Miami Dade CC South: The 6-foot-2 Law went 3-5 as a freshman this spring for Miami Dade, surrendering only 59 hits and 21 walks in 64 2/3 innings. Law struck out an impressive 76 batters (1.18 per inning) and pitched to a 3.06 ERA in 12 games, earning the Southern Conference Pitcher of the Year award.
Round 10, Kentrell Hill, CF, Arkansas Baptist College: Hill played one year at Cisco Junior College in Texas but did not sign after being selected in the 2010 Draft, instead opting to attend Arkansas Baptist College. The toolsy center fielder received a scholarship offer to Oral Roberts for next year, impressing scouts with his 6-foot, 185-pound frame and 6.5-second speed in the 60-yard dash. Hill did not disappoint this spring, putting up an OPS over 1.100, stealing 26 of 28 attempted bases and walking more times than he struck out in 119 at-bats.
Round 11, Christian Diaz, CF, Dra Conchita Cuevas HS: The left-handed Diaz has all the tools to be a valuable defensive outfielder, including quick feet and a strong arm with high-level athleticism. Scouts also liked his raw bat speed, short swing and ability to hit to the opposite field, though he still has plenty of room to develop as a hitter. Part of that will also come from adding more muscle to his 6-foot-2, 178-pound frame.
Round 12, Kelby Tomlinson, SS, Texas Tech: The second-team All-Big 12 selection was the third shortstop taken by the Giants after leading the Red Raiders in hits (67), RBIs (43) and two-out RBIs (18) and batting .307 with seven doubles, two triples, one home run and 39 walks. Tomlinson also displayed some speed on the basepaths, swiping 21 of 29 attempted bases. For all his accomplishments as a right-handed hitter, Tomlinson's best attribute might be his defense. He ended the season on a 24-game errorless streak and recorded only one in his final 33 games.
Round 13, Adam Paulencu, RHP, Vancouver Island University: Paulencu drew attention during a strong 2010 season with the Vancouver Island Baseball Institute and received a scholarship offer from Nebraska. His fastball can reach up to 92 mph.
Round 14, Garrett Buechele, 3B, Oklahoma: The right-handed hitter started all 60 games at third base for the Sooners this spring, picking up his second straight first-team All-Big 12 selection. Buechele was a preseason All-American (NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball) and was on the watch list for the Golden Spikes Award. In his three-year career at Oklahoma, Buechele batted .343 with 39 doubles, four triples, 29 home runs and 168 RBIs.
Round 15, Tyler Leslie, RHP, Silverado HS (Calif.): The 6-foot-2, 180-pound right-hander throws a fastball in the low-90s and a mid-80s breaking ball. Combined with his athletic frame, that was enough to earn an invite to the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau in February to attend the Southern California Invitational Showcase as one of the best 50 players in Southern California. He also has a plus slider with excellent command.
Round 16, Clayton Blackburn, RHP, Edmond Santa Fe HS (Okla.): Blackburn helped his high school team reach the Oklahoma Class 6A semifinals and signed to play with Oklahoma.
Round 17, Paul Davis, RHP, Florida Atlantic: Davis went 10-1 with a 2.87 ERA this year for the Owls, striking out more than twice as many batters as he walked (73 to 34) while tossing three complete games and one shutout. Opponents batted .257 off the right-hander in his 100 1/3 innings, during which he only allowed five home runs. The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder was drafted in the 29th round in 2010 by the Red Sox after two years at Pensacola Junior College but opted to attend FAU instead of signing.
Round 18, Cristian Otero, SS, Puerto Rico BB Academy HS
Round 19, Cody Hall, RHP, Southern: The hard-throwing right-hander was selected by the Tigers in the 34th round last year but opted to return to Southern, where he made 13 appearances and nine starts this year. Hall posted a 3.67 ERA and 4-2 record, giving up 54 hits and 17 walks. Hall's 56 strikeouts on the year are impressive, particularly when compared with his 17 walks, and he allowed only one home run in 56 1/3 innings.
Round 20, Mitchell Beacom, LHP, UCLA: A 6-foot-8, 260-pound reliever, Beacom is ambidextrous and can pitch with both hands, but he has found success as a left-hander. He made 15 relief appearances last summer for the Wisconsin Woodchucks in the Northwest League, going 2-1 with a 1.55 ERA, 32 strikeouts and 11 walks in 29 innings. Beacom was picked in the 36th round of last year's Draft but returned to the Bruins and put up more impressive numbers this spring: 2.20 ERA, 38 strikeouts and nine walks in 32 2/3 innings.
Round 21, Andrew Triggs, RHP, USC: Triggs, the second USC player drafted by the Giants on Day 2, hasn't posted particularly impressive numbers in any of his three years with the Trojans, but his 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame has plenty of potential. The righty owns a career 12-14 record and 3.85 ERA to go along with 184 strikeouts and 69 walks over 236 1/3 innings. He was chosen in the 24th round last year by the Indians.
Round 22, Cameron McVey, RHP, Biola University: The 6-foot-5, 200-pound native of Glendora, Calif., saved 14 games for Biola, a private Christian university. McVey posted a 2.53 ERA and 2-3 record, striking out 39 and holding opposing hitters to a .181 average in 32 innings.
Round 23, Jonathan Jones, 3B, Vanier College: Jones was a late riser up draft boards, drawing attention at Vanier College after developing his skills with the Academie du Baseball Canada and playing for the Canadian junior-national team. He swings a powerful bat but doesn't possess many other notable tools, and some scouts project he will end up at first base despite his otherwise-solid third-base abilities.
Round 24, Keith Bilodeau, RHP, Maine: Bilodeau started another Giants run on right-handed pitching on Day 2, one of the whopping 25 San Francisco chose between Rounds 2-30. Bilodeau tied a school record with 10 wins, struck out a team-high 83 batters on the season and tossed five complete games and two shutouts in 91 2/3 innings for the Black Bears.
Round 25, Demondre Arnold, RHP, Middle Georgia College: A 37th-round selection by the Rays a year ago, the 6-foot-2, 175-pound right-hander returned to Middle Georgia College and recorded fewer hits and walks (36 combined) than strikeouts (45), allowing only 14 earned runs in the process.
Round 26, Joseph Biagini, RHP, UC Davis: Biagini's father, Rob, played Minor League ball in the Giants' organization. Biagini made 13 appearances for UC Davis this spring after transferring from the College of San Mateo, posting a 3-1 record and 7.47 ERA. There are signs of potential, however, as he struck out 18 batters in 15 2/3 innings.
Round 27, Steven Snodgrass, LHP, Austin Peay State: Snodgrass had shoulder surgery in 2010 and missed the entire season, but the 6-foot-8, 216-pounder has bounced back this season with a 3.50 ERA and 67 strikeouts in 79 2/3 innings. He also walked 27 batters and allowed opposing hitters to hit .304.
Round 28, Tyler Mizenko, RHP, Winthrop: Mizenko pitched last summer in the Cape Cod League for the Hyannis Harbor Hawks, going 2-0 with a 1.62 ERA and earning recognition as one of the top 100 prospects in the league, according to Perfect Game USA. This season, Mizenko started 15 games for Winthrop, striking out 65 batters while walking 19 and allowing only two home runs in 90 1/3 innings.
Round 29, Eldred Barnett, CF, Grambling State: Barnett was named to the Southwestern Athletic Conference All-Conference First Team and also tabbed as the league's Newcomer of the Year. The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder led the Tigers in hitting, posting a .355 average with 11 doubles and 41 RBIs.
Round 30, David Fischer, RHP, Connecticut: It only seems fitting that the Giants wrapped up Day 2 by selecting a right-handed pitcher. The 6-foot-5 righty made 23 appearances, two as a starter, and recorded a 1.68 ERA to go along with a 2-1 record and 43 strikeouts to 21 walks in his 48 1/3 innings.
Adam Berry is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.