6/7/2013 8:02 P.M. ET
Slania's relief presence piques Giants' interest
By Andrew Owens / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants selected Notre Dame reliever Dan Slania in the fifth round of the First-Year Player Draft on Friday.
Slania saved 13 games and posted a 1.21 ERA in 59 1/3 innings while striking out 43 compared to just 11 walks for the Fighting Irish. College relievers are often in high demand because of the well-founded belief they can impact a big league staff quickly. Slania was on teams' radars as a result, and a solid junior season certainly didn't hurt his stock.
The big right-hander has been extremely effective closing games for the Fighting Irish, and he's more than just a pure power guy blowing college hitters away. Yes, Slania can run his fastball up into the mid-90s. And his sharp slider acts as a strikeout pitch. But he has really good feel for a changeup that has good fade and deception.
With a three-pitch mix and pretty good command, the Giants might be tempted to give Slania a chance to start.
Giants use first Day 2 pick on pitching
SAN FRANCISCO -- After drafting a pair of infielders Thursday, the Giants made Chase Johnson their first pitching selection when they took him off the board with their third-round pick (No. 101 overall) of the First-Year Player Draft on Friday.
Johnson, who just completed his junior year at Cal Poly, is a big right-hander who threw well in the Cape Cod League last summer after serving as the school's closer his sophomore season. But Johnson was used sparingly in 2013, as he yielded the closer's role to Reed Reilly.
He posted a 2.31 ERA in 15 appearances this season. Johnson has good stuff. He has a fastball that can reach 93 mph and has good sink to it, to go along with a slider and a changeup that both have the chance to be Major League average.
Johnson's issue has been command, but he's generally around the strike zone. And scouts believe the Giants could have a solid setup-type reliever if they can help him improve his command.
After skipping a round, SF tabs hitter in fourth round
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants opted for pitching in the third round of the First-Year Player Draft, but quickly returned to their trend of selecting a position player with their fourth-round selection on Friday.
San Francisco selected Stanford first baseman Bryan Ragira with the 132nd overall selection. Ragira and teammate Austin Wilson formed one of the better offensive duos in the Pac-12 this season.
Even with Ragira's inconsistent junior season, he hit .320 with eight home runs and 42 RBIs after starring as one of the West Coast's more consistent hitters in his first two years.
He has some serious raw power, though it hasn't always shown up in games, perhaps because of the Stanford approach to hitting.
The Giants likely think some of that power will come once Ragira is a professional, as he did hit nine home runs with wood bats in the Cape Cod League last season, which equaled his total from his freshman and sophomore years at Stanford.
Giants bite on relief pitching in Round 6
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants drafted another pitcher in the sixth round with their selection of UCLA's Nick Vander Tuig on Friday.
Vander Tuig was an intriguing prospect in high school, but he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2009 and missed his senior year. He re-established himself at UCLA, where he was a right-handed reliever as a freshman before moving into the rotation last year. He started 16 games in 2013 for UCLA, going 11-4 with a 2.51 ERA. He struck out 77 and walked just 17 in 107 2/3 innings pitched.
Vander Tuig commands four pitches well. His fastball sits in the low 90s, and his best pitch is his straight changeup, which has the potential to be a plus offering. His breaking balls are still developing, giving him a chance to be a solid back-of-the rotation starter.
If starting doesn't work out, Vander Tuig should find a role in a Major League bullpen, because he has previous experience as a reliever.
Bednar becomes Giants' second shortstop pick
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants selected their second shortstop of the Draft with their seventh-round pick, Brandon Bednar of Florida Gulf Coast University, on Friday.
Florida Gulf Coast has produced some high-profile pitching prospects in recent years, but Bednar marked the first Eagles position player to be drafted in the first 25 rounds.
Bednar is a solid fielder who can play anywhere in the infield. He has a strong arm and is good enough defensively to handle shortstop. Bednar's plus speed could help him run down balls in the outfield and make him a fit as a super-utility player.
His future role will depend on his bat, which is not as advanced as his glove. Bednar has a quick line-drive swing, allowing him to make a lot of contact.
Like Christian Arroyo -- the Giants' first-round pick on Thursday -- San Francisco again opted for versatility with its Draft pick, as the club continues to stock up on middle infielders.
Horan is Giants' first outfield Draft pick
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants grabbed an outfielder off the Draft board for the first time with their eighth-round selection, Tyler Horan, on Friday.
Horan had a big year leading up to the First-Year Player Draft that included leading the Cape Cod League in homers last summer. Power has never been an issue for him, because he has good bat speed and generates good loft.
The 22-year-old hit well during his junior season at Virginia Tech, but many scouts question how much Horan will hit in pro ball due to a good amount of swing and miss in his game.
This past season, Horan batted .342 with 11 home runs and 50 RBIs in 257 at-bats. However, he struck out 38 times while walking just 18 times.
Horan is a below-average runner and can handle left field, but he will never be anything better than average there.
Snelten first lefty Giants select in Draft
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants used their ninth-round pick in the First-Year Player Draft to secure a power arm of the left-handed variety in Minnesota's Donald Snelten on Friday.
Pitching behind Dodgers second-rounder Tom Windle in the Minnesota Golden Gophers' rotation, Snelten made it worthwhile for scouts to stick around to see him pitch. His fastball sits in the low 90s, and he regularly touches 94 mph.
In 10 appearances (eight starts) in 2013, Snelten went 5-2 with a 2.18 ERA. He struck out 42 and walked just 19 in 58 2/3 innings pitched to form a powerful duo atop the Gophers' rotation. His curveball and changeup both need work, but with some improvement, he could have a solid Major League arsenal. He attacks hitters and has good poise on the mound.
Snelten is more athletic than his 6-foot-6, 215-pound frame might suggest. He profiles as a starter as a professional. Snelten missed the first month of the season with an elbow injury, but he has been healthy since returning in March.
Giants finish Day 2 of Draft with fifth pitcher
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants concluded Day 2 of the First-Year Player Draft by selecting their fifth pitching prospect of the day, Tyler Rogers, on Friday.
The right-handed Austin Peay product starred out of the Governors' bullpen in 2013, notching 23 saves while going 7-2 with a 1.63 ERA. His strikeout-to-walk ratio wasn't spectacular, as the senior struck out 41 while issuing 27 free passes in 49 2/3 innings. He went 14 outings without allowing a run to begin the season. Rogers transferred to Austin Peay as a junior and earned the closer's role with a 2.26 ERA in his inaugural season with the Governors.
He ranked third among National Junior College Athletic Association pitchers with 13 saves as a sophomore at Garden City Community College prior to his transfer.
In the Pipeline
The Giants put an emphasis on power arms and the left side of the infield in the first two days of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft. After surprising some experts by selecting shortstop Christian Arroyo in the first round, San Francisco also picked up third baseman Ryder Jones with its second pick.
While the specific selections might have turned some heads, the organizational approach did not. The Giants have several solid young arms in the early stages of their Minor League careers. San Francisco bolstered its reserves with a haul of five hard-throwing pitchers on the Draft's second day. College relievers -- of whom the Giants nabbed five Friday -- are often on the fast track to the Major Leagues and tend to help the big league club sooner rather than later.
Andrew Owens is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.