Draft time! I don't know why we even bother with this stuff, it's not like the Giants ever do well in the draft. All they have right now is an All-Star catcher, a first baseman, a second baseman, a third baseman, a shortstop, four starting pitchers, and a setup man. Other than the entire team and three championships, what has the draft ever done for us?
Regardless, we have to cover it. The first round of the MLB Draft is Monday, June 8, starting at 4:00 p.m. PT and shown on MLB Network. The Giants are drafting #18, which isn't as low as a defending champion should probably pick, but it certainly isn't that high. The draft is a crapshoot, and we all know that, but it's especially brutal after the first 10 picks.
The highest the Giants have ever drafted was #2, when they selected Will Clark. The second-highest the Giants have drafted was #3, when they selected Matt Williams. The third-highest is when they picked Jason Grilli at #4, but the fourth-highest is when they picked Buster Posey fifth. So you can see the value of a high draft pick, especially when you consider that Grilli was traded for a valuable major leaguer.
The Giants' pick this year is a wee bit different. The Giants have done unimaginably well picking #10 (Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner) and had a couple hits at #15 (Scott Garrelts, Royce Clayton), but the odds are stacked against any team picking in the bottom half of the first round. The Giants have two first-round picks, the one at #18 and another one at #31 for losing Pablo Sandoval. To put this into context, I have a McSplainer for you.
How often have the Giants drafted in the bottom half of the first round?
Including supplemental and compensatory picks, they've had 45 first-round picks after the #15 selection since the draft was instituted.
How often have those players panned out?
Well, depends on what you mean. Thirteen of them never made the majors, but that includes Christian Arroyo and Kyle Crick, who still have a shot. If you're going by a straight career WAR ranking, here are the top 10:
- Matt Cain, #25 overall
- Gary Matthews, #17
- Terry Mulholland, #24
- Mike Remlinger, #16
- Noah Lowry, #30
- Jerome Williams, #39
- Dave Rader, #18
- Bob Reynolds, #17
- Brad Hennessey, #21
- Joe Panik, #10
Yes, according to WAR, Joe Panik's performance in 123 career games makes him one of the all-time great Giants picks in the second half of the first round, and there's a strong chance he'll move up to #6 by the end of the season. That's how hard it is to find even decent major leaguers after the #15 pick.
If you were underwhelmed with the steady, workmanlike careers of Mulholland and Remlinger, remember that they were almost best-case scenarios. At least, when compared to any pitcher who wasn't Matt Cain.
So we shouldn't get too worked up about this draft pick
No, no, no, no. We should absolutely get worked up about it. That's the fun! Pick a player you absolutely don't want in the draft, and make up a reason for it. Keith Law's latest mock draft has the Giants taking high school righty Ashe Russell. Well I'm not in favor of that pick because of ...
His cantilever-like coiling out of the stretch. Once you see it, you can't unsee it.
The best reason to care about a low-first rounder is that sometimes they turn into Matt Cains or Joe Paniks. The important part, though, is to freak out about the pick, regardless. Let's check in with that 2011 draft and read how it was received here, shall we?
Olives are so gross
He sounds terrible.
Yes. That's the point of the draft -- to let fans freak out. And occasionally draft All-Stars, regulars, and role players.
Got it. So the Giants probably won't get a regular, but they've been pretty good at this, and we're going to have fun, regardless
That's the spirit! But there's one more thing to note: The Giants have won three championships in five years, and they've used their bottom-half first-rounders to do it.
2010: Giants win the World Series with the help of Freddy Sanchez, who was acquired for Tim Alderson, drafted #22 in the 2007 draft.
2012: Giants win the World Series with the help of Marco Scutaro, who was acquired for Charlie Culberson, the supplemental first-rounder in the 2007 draft.
2014: Giants win the World Series with the help of Joe Panik, who was drafted #29 in 2011.
2016: Giants win the World Series with the help of Christian Arroyo, who was drafted #25 in 2013.
2018: Giants win the World Series with the help of Brian Dozier, acquired for whomever the Giants draft this year.
Whoops, those last two were supposed to be confidential. Well, they're out in the open, now, so keep your fingers crossed. Just know that it doesn't matter if the Giants draft a middle infielder or not, but they'll eventually use this pick on a middle infielder who will help them win a championship, even if indirectly.
Happy drafting, everyone! Make sure to get really, really mad, even if you can't scout a bag of Cheetos.