The Giants aren't picking first in the 2016 MLB Draft. I don't know, feels like any season where the team doesn't make the postseason should be a season where they pick first overall in the draft. But I checked the math, and apparently it's impossible for 20 teams to have the first-overall pick. As such, shafted again by math and logic, the Giants will pick 19th in the 2016 draft.
The Giants were nine losses away from finishing with a protected draft pick, but I'd almost give that sucker up just to avoid the gnashing of teeth that would have happened with an additional nine-game losing streak snuck into the season somewhere. That's not what I'll think in June, but I'm fine with it for now. So if the Giants sign Zack Greinke or Jordan Zimmermann, they'll lose their draft pick. If they sign one of the players who was traded at the deadline -- David Price, Johnny Cueto, Scott Kazmir ... -- they'll get to keep the pick.
Just how valuable is the pick? We'll give you an idea through the annual twofer tradition of ...
The Giants' history of picking 19th
They've done it four times:
- Rob Dressler, 1972
- Terry Lee, 1974
- Eric Christopherson, 1990
- Tony Torcato, 1998
Dressler and Torcato were the only players of the four to make the majors, with Dressler playing in 82 games and Torcato playing in 43 games (!) over four different seasons with the Giants (!!!). So you might come to the conclusion that the Giants have wasted their picks when selecting 19th overall, but that's not entirely true. If the Giants had traded Torcato for SOME FREAKING PITCHING, ANY PITCHING AT ALL, PLEASE JUST GET SOME PITCHING before or during the 2001 season, they probably would have done very well with the return. The same goes for Dressler, who was a highly regarded prospect at one point.
Which is to say, there's a fair chance to get value at #19. It's just that the value can have an invisible expiration date, and we're all just educated-guessing, here.
Man, that 2001 team was frustrating.
The best 19th-overall picks in baseball history
- Roger Clemens, 1983
- Bobby Grich, 1967
- Alex Rios, 1999
- Mike Scioscia, 1976
- Shannon Stewart, 1992
- James Loney, 2002
- Shelby Miller, 2009
- Brian Bohanon, 1987
- Ron Robinson, 1980
- Sean Burnett, 2000
Just missing, but on the right track: Michael Wacha, Andrew Cashner, and Mike Foltynewicz. There's always a chance that Mike Fontenot could make a comeback and shoot up the charts, too.
Usually when I do these lists, it's like one solid All-Star, two eh regulars, and a bunch of goofballs for the rest of the way. The 19th pick, though, gets you one of the greatest pitchers ever. In second place is a guy who got hosed for the Hall of Fame. In third place is a two-time All-Star. Who passed Tim Lincecum in career WAR at some point when we weren't looking, which makes me sad. Still, the point is that it's possible to get some solid players, here, if not great ones.
The Cardinals have picked 19th in three out of their last seven drafts, and they have Michael Wacha, Jason Heyward, and the formerly exciting Marco Gonzales to show for it. That's not bad at all. There's a chance for the Giants to get some ...
/signs Hisashi Iwakuma to five-year deal, punts draft pick
Well, there's a chance, anyway. They've made it through the offseason without signing a premium free agent before. Like last year. The Giants wouldn't have made the postseason with or without Jon Lester, and now they have Phil Bickford and an extra $150 million to spend. Maybe next year, we'll be saying the same thing.
And if they get the #19 pick, they'll probably get the next Roger Clemens. Just a hunch! Just a hunch.