Giants unsure of first Draft choice
With No. 6 pick, San Francisco aiming to repeat success
SAN FRANCISCO -- Choose a scenario:The Giants are going to select a position player with their No. 1 pick in the First-Year Player Draft on Tuesday. Consider the simple law of averages. Until drafting catcher Buster Posey fifth overall last June, the Giants took pitchers with their previous seven first-round choices. The Giants are going to select a pitcher with their No. 1 pick in the Draft. Scouting director John Barr issued a reminder of one of baseball's basic truths by saying, "Whenever you can get some pitching ... you never have enough of it."
Truth is, even the Giants aren't sure who they'll grab with the sixth overall pick. Given the relative lack of consensus opinions surrounding this year's top prospects, Barr and the rest of San Francisco's brain trust can't be sure who will be available when their turn comes.But Barr believes the Giants can adjust to whatever the five teams selecting before them do.
"It helps that we've had a lot of opinions and seen guys at different times," Barr said. "You never know until the day of the Draft. But we'll be prepared."MLB.com will offer live coverage and analysis of the entire First-Year Player Draft on June 9-11. MLB Network will broadcast the first round on the evening of June 9 from its Studio 42 in Secaucus, N.J., and those 32 selections also will be simulcast live on MLB.com. Beginning with the 33rd pick, up-to-the-minute on-air coverage from the remaining rounds will shift exclusively to MLB.com/Live, where host Vinny Micucci will be joined by MLB.com Draft expert Jonathan Mayo and Major League Scouting Bureau director Frank Marcos. Once the first night is done, the Draft will continue with rounds 4-30, via conference call from MLB headquarters in New York, at 9 a.m. PT on June 10. Rounds 31-50 will be on June 11, starting at 8:30 a.m. PT. Here's a glance at what the Giants have in store as the First-Year Player Draft approaches: In about 50 words
The Giants have unwittingly inflated expectations with their considerable success in recent Drafts. Tim Lincecum and Emmanuel Burriss (2006) already are Major League mainstays, and Madison Bumgarner, Tim Alderson (both 2007) and Posey (2008) are expected to soon follow. Barr couldn't guarantee securing a similar talent with the first pick.
"You can't compare people with a Lincecum," he said. But he bravely added, "Whoever we end up drafting No. 6 is going to be a good player. We're confident about that because of all of the work we've done."The scoop
Barr didn't sound upbeat about the crop of college position players.
"Last year we took a really hard look at them. There were more of [them] than this year," he said. "This year you're seeing more power arms and high school players than in last year's Draft."First-round buzz
The Giants have been linked to high school pitchers Tyler Matzek, Jacob Turner and Shelby Miller. Other mock Drafts also have them taking a shortstop, such as Mychal Givens or Grant Green. It has been suggested that first baseman/outfielder Dustin Ackley, widely considered the best pure college hitter available, could fall to the Giants. Barr wants to keep his options open:
"I don't want to speculate on who it's going to be."Shopping list
The Giants' need for pure hitters especially is acute. They're less likely to sign big-time Major League free agents, who won't want to play at spacious AT&T Park, so San Francisco better develop its own bats. That said, the Giants have never neglected to replenish their pitching supply under general manager Brian Sabean. Trend watch
There's no telling what the Giants will do. They took high school players with their first four picks in 2007, dividing them evenly between pitchers and position players. Then, last year, they dipped into the college ranks for their first nine picks, selecting position players with the first four and pitchers with the next five. Recent top picks
2008: Posey is catching at high Class A San Jose and is considered to be on the fast track to the Major Leagues, though he might need another year of seasoning in the Minors.
2007: Bumgarner has risen from San Jose to Double-A Connecticut already this year, and he could be in San Francisco by the end of the season.
2006: Lincecum went from being the 10th overall pick to the National League Cy Young Award winner in two years. Nothing more needs to be said. Rising fast
Shortstop Brandon Crawford, last year's fourth-round selection, was promoted to Connecticut after hitting .371 with six home runs and a 1.045 OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) in 25 games for San Jose. The UCLA product quickly has leapfrogged other infield prospects in the organization. Cinderella story
Right-hander Dan Otero, a 21st-round selection out of the University of South Florida in 2007, recorded 11 saves and a 0.52 ERA in his first 17 appearances for Connecticut this season. In The Show
Besides the aforementioned, infielders Ryan Rohlinger, Brian Bocock (both 2006) and Conor Collaspie (2008) received big league time last season as they joined a group of 16 rookies making their Major League debuts. Bocock became the club's first rookie to start at shortstop on Opening Day since Royce Clayton in 1992.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.