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Farhan Zaidi: Giants will have local ’emphasis’ in mad dash for undrafted players


The Giants hope location can be one of their biggest recruiting tools.

Of course, a willingness to pay minor leaguers likely will be more important.

In the aftermath of the June 10-11 draft, there will be a flood of prospects who slipped out of the five rounds and are available to be wooed. As part of the March pact that sliced the rounds of this year’s draft, teams can only offer $20,000 to lure graduating high schoolers and college players away from programs, making the recruiting effort crucial for a team to persuade a prospect it is the best spot for him.

Because of the abundance of talent in the area, the Giants likely will be pouncing on Northern California players who may have grown up fans of the orange and black.

“You never want to get beat in your backyard. That’s a common refrain in scouting,” Farhan Zaidi said on “Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks” on Thursday. “It’s going to be even more true [this year] … where it’s going to be really competitive and you’re going to have to look for any place you might have an edge with a player. Certainly in your own region where somebody’s likely to have grown up a Giants fan, that certainly gives you an advantage.”

The Giants took Hunter Bishop, from Serra, with their first-round pick last year and are in the mix for Turlock’s Tyler Soderstrom this year. But it will start getting really interesting after the draft, when those $20,000 checks can be given out. The Giants will be selling an upstart system that promises to promote whenever a player has earned it, and they also can sell that they will pay minor leaguers. Before the pandemic took hold, they were one of the few teams to promise raises this season to minor leaguers across the board.

“We’re casting a wide net, we’re certainly going to target the most talented players around the country. But definitely want to have an emphasis on local players, that’s been something we’ve tried to do over the last couple of years anyway,” Zaidi said on KNBR. “And I think in this market, you’ve got a better chance of getting to the finish line with a guy that has grown up a fan of your team and probably wants to put on that uniform.”

The Giants cut 20 minor leaguers Thursday, in part because the draft will inject more prospects into their system. Their regional rival, the A’s, will not be paying their minor leaguers once the calendar flips to June. Zaidi was diplomatic when asked about Oakland.

“They’ve been a pretty good team, they’ve got a pretty strong following,” Zaidi said. “It’s going to be an interesting thing going back and forth with those guys on some of the guys in this area.”


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