The walked in together, all sporting versions of the Brandon Belt outfit (Giants home jerseys over dress shirts). 2011 second round pick Kyle Crick (49th overall), second rounder Andrew Susac (86) and third round selection Ricky Oropesa (116) sat on the padded seat above the dugout bench, and their personalities were pretty clear from the start. Hopefully the videos here will help you get to know these guys a little better, particularly Susac and Oropesa.
In the middle sat Crick, the wide-eyed pitcher Giants drafted out of high school with the compensatory pick they received when Juan Uribe signed with the Dodgers. To his left was Susac, the polished catcher from Oregon St. who did the majority of the talking (he’s a lot like Buster Posey, and not just because they’re both catchers — Susac seems like one of those kids who already has it all figured out, in a good way). Oropesa was the brash one on the other side of Crick, and he was already dreaming of reaching McCovey Cove.
“Can’t wait to hit some splash balls,” said the 1B/3B from USC, who told me he might even see a little time in the outfield when the three draftees travel to Arizona to play in the Instructional League. “It’s tempting. Pablo was handing me the bat (during BP). I wasn’t sure if I could hit right now, but I really wanted to.”
When notified by Art Spander and Carl Steward that hitting one out to right field isn’t as easy at it looks, Oropesa didn’t seem phased.
“I heard it’s a pitchers’ ballpark, but the wind looks like it’s blowing out there,” he said. One gets the feeling Oropesa either has monstrous power from the left side or is in for a harsh wakeup call when he gets to take his first hacks at AT&T.
It was kind of funny when Matt Cain walked by during the interview session and said, “Get used to answering stupid questions from these guys,” since Crick’s in pretty much the same shoes as Cain was nine years ago. Crick’s a big right-handed 18-year-old who had no desire to play in college, because he “didn’t want to take a risk of getting hurt.”
Crick expressed his happiness at getting picked by a team known for grooming young pitchers (and letting them pitch in the big leagues at a young age, like Madison Bumgarner). “It’s astounding. It’s great. Especially for a young pitcher,” Crick said. Susac seemed pretty happy about the organization he landed with as well, saying he grew up rooting for the Niners and Giants, and J.T. Snow was his favorite player growing up. And no, Susac wasn’t reading from the Giants media guide when he said that.
In the video below, Crick and Susac talk about their reactions to getting drafted by the Giants, and how Susac agreed to terms at almost the last possible moment.
“I think we ended up signing 20 minutes before the deadline,” Susac said. “Actually, to be honest with you guys, I was playing pool basketball when it happened.”
This last clip is Susac’s interesting response to a question about coming up through the Giants organization as a catcher with a certain young catcher already at the top.
“I try to emulate my game after Buster Posey. He’s one of my favorite players,” said Susac. “When it comes down to it your going to have to beat someone out sooner or later.” He went on to say that if there’s a conflict at the position, since catchers are always needed then a trade could always be an option. It wasn’t clear who he meant would be traded, he or Posey, but a lot could happen between now and whenever Susac’s ready to return to AT&T Park as a member of the Giants’ active roster.