This is a series about the last five Giants drafts. As such, we started a season after 2008, which has a strong chance to be the best draft in Giants history (Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, rings), and started with a couple of mostly unexciting drafts. Apologies. Hopefully, this look at the 2011 draft will make up for it.
This draft hasn't done anything for the Giants yet. But it has a chance to help, and soon. The Giants didn't pick until 29th (because they were a division-winning playoff team that won the World Series, though that last part doesn't have anything to do with the draft order), yet they still came away with their current top prospect and other assorted prospects. If the Giants wanted to use the 2011 draft picks as trade bait, they could almost certainly get an All-Star-quality player in return. That makes the draft something of a success already.
Please do not trade away the 2011 draft class, Giants.
First pick: Joe Panik, first round, #29 overall
There's still time to hop aboard. We're serving marshmallow squares.
Panik is no longer enticingly young for his league, and he seems to have something just above burrissian power. Whenever I get the urge to compare him to Marco Scutaro, I remember that Scutaro actually had much more power in the minors. But Panik should be a useful piece. As long as Brandon Hicks is hitting over .180, I don't think there's a need for Panik just yet, but I'd be shocked if he didn't show up in the majors this year. I'd also be shocked if he couldn't hit .270/.330/.350 with solid defense, which would make him a delightful enough player to have if Scutaro doesn't comes back.
He's probably not going to be an average starter, though, much less the star I thought he would be after drinking and watching him in San Jose a couple of years ago. If he's a useful piece, though, the Giants would have done well enough. You can complain about the Giants not having the perfect pick there, like Jackie Bradley, Jr. or some such, but that's way too nitpicky for draft analysis, especially with the benefit of hindsight.
Best pick: Kyle Crick, first round #49 overall
Getting a top-50 prospect in the supplemental part of the draft is incredibly rare, so the Giants are already ahead of the curve. Crick is the best prospect in the system, even if he's currently getting his control from the Jonathan Sanchez Outlet Store. He's walked almost six hitters per nine innings in his brief career, which is slightly insane. On the other hand:
Mrphmpph. The best part, if he's successful? He's the compensatory reward for the Dodgers outbidding the Giants for three years of Juan Uribe. The Giants won another World Series without Uribe or his payroll obligations, and they have their best prospect in the system, too.
Best name: Waldyvan Estrada
Just say it. Waldyvan. Waldyvan. Waldyvan.
Other notable players:
This is where the draft really stands out. Not only do they have the top pitcher in the system and an interesting infield prospect, but this draft also gave them catcher Andrew Susac (who's defenestrating Pacific Coast League pitchers by the dozens), top-10 prospect Clayton Blackburn, and interesting relief prospects like Derek Law, Cody Hall, Bryce Bandilla, Josh Osich, and Ray Black. A couple of hits there, and a solid draft could turn into one of the better drafts of the year from any team.
High school: 9
Four-year college: 36
Junior college: 5
The Giants like college players. I’m not going to argue with them. Though they did get two of their best pitching prospects out of high school. More of that, please.