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Six best Bay Area college, high school MLB draft prospects


The Bay Area always has been a hotbed of baseball talent, and there's plenty of talent from the area at the high school and college level in the 2021 MLB Draft. 

Ever since president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi joined the Giants, he has made it a mission to keep the Bay's best in town. Whether it be Hunter Bishop -- Zaidi's first draft pick for San Francisco -- signing his brother Braden, signing Sammy Long or selecting De La Salle High School's Kyle Harrison in the third round of last year's draft, the Giants are making it a priority to put top talent from their backyard in orange and black. 

Harrison's De La Salle teammate Blake Burke is a prep star to watch, as is outfielder Tyree Reed from American Canyon High School. Stanford's Tim Tawa was a two-sport high school star at baseball and football in Oregon, but injuries plagued the utility man throughout his college career for the Cardinal. His versatility and potential could still intrigue teams in the draft. 

Those three just missed our list of the Bay Area's best prospects in the draft this year. However, two of these names should sound familiar to Giants fans, especially the final one. 

Ky Bush, LHP, Saint Mary's 

Bush began his college career at Washington State, then went the junior college route at Central Arizona before landing at Saint Mary's for his junior season. The long road now has him right on the cusp of being a first-round draft pick. 

The 6-foot-6 lefty had a 2.99 ERA in his one and only season for the Gaels, and he led the West Coast Conference with 112 strikeouts in 14 starts. He also only walked 19 batters in 78 1/3 innings. 

Bush is an intimidating presence on the mound whose downhill fastball sneaks up on hitters. With his blend of size, stuff and improved command, he has rocketed up draft boards as the year went on. 

Davis Diaz, SS/C, Acalanes High School

I first saw Diaz on the travel ball circuit in 2014 or 2015, I turn 30 five days after the draft begins and I've never felt older. 

Diaz first earned recognition as a USA Baseball standout on the 12U national team and has only gotten better and better. He isn't the biggest player on the field, as he's listed at 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds. But he does everything well, has a great baseball IQ and always has performed on the biggest stage. 

While he has been a middle infielder for the majority of his young career, he stepped behind the dish and impressed scouts as a catcher this spring. Though his tools don't jump off the page, Diaz is a gamer who could be a priority to a handful of teams. 

Brendan Beck, RHP, Stanford

This is the first name that should be familiar to Giants fans. Brendan is the younger brother of Giants pitching prospect Tristan Beck, who also played for Stanford. He also should hear his name called in the first few rounds of the draft. 

The younger Beck went 9-3 with a 3.15 ERA as a senior this season. The 6-foot-2 right-hander struck out 143 batters in 108 2/3 innings, averaged 11.8 strikeouts per nine innings and had a 0.98 WHIP. He also went viral for his competitiveness. 

Beck went on to have 13 strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings against Texas Tech, leading Stanford to the College World Series. He opened eyes in Omaha, despite losing both his starts, and certainly improved his draft stock on the national stage. 

Grant Holman, RHP, Cal

Holman is the first of a Cal trio who created some buzz before the draft.

Even if you're not a Cal fan, you might have heard Holman's name before. He caught everyone's attention in the 2013 Little League World Series when he pitched a no-hitter, hit a grand slam and hit the game-winning three-run homer on back-to-back days. At Cal, he began as a two-way player but focused soley on pitching this past season. 

Holman is a big righty on the hill, standing at 6-foot-6 and 250 pounds. His 3.83 ERA as a junior doesn't equal how scouts see him. He can touch 96 mph and his frame gives him a hard sink on his four-seamer. 

Back and biceps issues in the past could push Holman down some draft boards, but he will receive a call from a team over the three-day event. 

Sean Sullivan, RHP, Cal

Holman and Sullivan formed a strong duo in Berkeley and had scouts coming out to the Bay Area. He first impressed at the Cape Cod League in 2019 and had a 3.68 ERA this spring. 

Sullivan sits in the low-90s, and none of his pitches are seen as true plus offerings. But he has great fastball command, an above-average slider and knows how to mix his pitches. He's seen as a safe pick with a high floor. 

Darren Baker, 2B, Cal

Time to feel old again. 

Baker is best known for his days as a Giants bat boy when his father, Dusty, was San Francisco's manager. He famously was seen on every baseball fan's TV when Giants first baseman J.T. protected him at home plate in the 2002 World Series. At Cal, Darren made a name for himself and continued to be on scouts' radars. 

This spring was Baker's best at Cal, too. He hit .327 and had a .402 on-base percentage, which both were the best of his four-year career. Baker also stole 28 bases. 

RELATED: Will Giants end streak, pick pitcher No. 14 in MLB draft?

Baker only hit one home run at Cal in four years. Power isn't his game, hoping to drive the ball gap-to-gap as he continues to add muscle. He knows his game, is an extremely smart player, changes the game with his speed and his glove and people love him on and off the field. 

It of course would be beyond cool if he went from bat boy to Giants draft pick this summer.

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