When the Giants’ 2019 MLB Draft Class meets for its first chips-and-dip social mixer this summer, forgive Texas Tech pitcher Caleb Kilian if he feels a little left out.
The Giants’ 8th round pick was their first pitcher taken.
The other seven guys hanging out by the punch bowl, yukking it up and comparing hitting stats?
1st round slugger Hunter Bishop, an Arizona State outfielder.
2nd round hitter Logan Wyatt, a Louisville first baseman.
3rd round speedster Grant McCray, a Florida high school outfielder.
4th round spray hitter Tyler Fitzgerald, a Louisville shortstop.
5th round power hitter Garrett Frechette, a California high school first baseman.
6th round all-around hitter Dilan Rosario, a Puerto Rico high school shortstop.
7th round hitter Armani Smith, a UCSB outfielder by way of De La Salle.
You see a pattern here, Sherlock?
Head of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has a message with his actions, and the message was, in my interpretation: THIS FARM SYSTEM CAN’T HIT! SOMEBODY GET ME A BAT!
OK, OK. Maybe he didn’t yell it. Farhan seems like a fairy chilled-out guy.
But the days of Brian Sabean and Dick Tidrow loading up on pitchers in the draft like a stoner at 7-11 loading up on Doritos are over, at least for this year.
When Tidrow and Sabean called the shots, there was a stretch, for example, from 1997 to 2008 where the Giants had 18 first-round or compensatory picks. Fourteen out of 18 times, Tidrow and Sabean took a pitcher.
It worked out great when the names called were Lincecum, Bumgarner and Cain. Not so much when the names were Bump, Jones, Urban and Whitaker. The draft, of course, is an inexact science, as I was just saying to the 24 picks who went ahead of Mike Trout in 2009.
To be fair, even Bobby Evans realized he needed lumber when he took Heliot Ramos first in 2017 and Joey Bart first in 2018. If things go as planned, and these watered plants grow and flower, perhaps Ramos and Bart will be Evans’ parting gift to the fan base that wanted him run out of town when the team hit the skids and Evan Longoria and Mark Melancon boarded the team bus on every road trip.
At any rate, here comes FFDC (Farhan’s First Draft Class) and he is unleashing his powers on offensive players. Bishop, the Giants hope, can be part of a 2022 Opening Day lineup (my words, not theirs) that features a Ramos-Bart-Bishop heart of the order; or what I like to call the Bonds-Kent-Burks of the Millenial Generation.
No pressure, kids.
And don’t sleep on the picks after Bishop. MLB talent flows after the first round, and the Giants have benefitted from Brandon Crawford’s 4th round status, Brandon Belt’s 5th round status and Steven Duggar’s 6th round status. League-wide, Cody Bellinger was a fourth rounder. Freddie Freeman and Giancarlo Stanton were second-rounders. Yes, of course, Trout and Bryce Harper and Christian Yelich were all first-rounders, but that’s why Bart and Ramos and Bishop are invested with such hope.
Point is, Farhan wants lumber. Farhan went and drafted lumber. Fans want lumber. Fans got lumber. And the fact that three of Farhan’s first picks, and four of the first five, are left-handed tells you another thing: those fences just may be moving in, after all.
A new decade begins next year.
Looks like the Giants are already applying their fresh coat of paint.
Now, if they could just drop beer prices in the meantime, while we wait . . .