The last time the Giants drafted a player from Mississippi State in the first round of the draft, it worked out pretty well for them.
The Giants had J.T. Snow on hand for the draft Monday, but maybe another former first baseman in the organization had some influence in their first-round pick … i.e. Will Clark.
The Giants selected right-handed pitcher Chris Stratton from Mississippi State with the No. 20 overall pick.
With high school players going off the board left and right on Monday, the Giants went with the college route as their farm system is getting a little thin on starting pitchers who can help the team soon at the big-league level.
Stratton is a 22-year-old junior at MSU. He’s 6-3, 198 pounds with a fastball that clocks in the 91-95 mph range and a plus slider.
He was only 10-10 with a 5.25 ERA in his first two seasons with the Bulldogs, but he did have 152 strikeouts in 154.1 innings.
But he put it all together in the 2012 season, going 11-2 with 2.38 ERA and 127 strikeouts in 109.2 innings.
Stratton has drawn comparisons to Kansas City’s Aaron Crow or Arizona’s Daniel Hudson.
He’s from Tupelo, Miss., where he was coached in summer ball by Kirk Presley, a former first-round pick by the Mets in 1993. Presley? Tupelo? Yes, Kirk Presley was The King’s second cousin.
Contrasted to last year, when some felt the Giants reached in taking shortstop Joe Panik late in the first round, Stratton was projected as a potential top-10 pick by some.
So when he fell to 20th, the Giants were quick to snatch him up.
Stratton was the Giants lone pick Monday, as they did not pick up any sandwich picks from free agents lost last offseason.