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The Giants and the 2016 MLB Draft, a preview

The Giants don't pick until the end of the second round, but that doesn't mean there isn't anything to watch for on Thursday night.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

It's draft time! Oh, glorious draft day, when franchises are built and championships are won. Previous first-round picks for the Giants include Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Joe Panik, Madison Bumgarner, Will Clark, Matt Willi ....

Oh. The Giants don't have a first-round pick on Thursday. Well, that tempers the excitement a little bit.

It can't fully extinguish the fire for the MLB Draft that rages in my heart, though. The Giants have first-rounders at catcher and second base, sure, but what about the fourth-rounder at short? The fifth-rounder at first? The 18th-rounder at third? There's more to life than first-round picks, dang it, so let me slap together a little FAQ for you.

What time is the draft, and where can I watch it?

The pre-draft show is at 3:00 p.m. PT, but the actual draft starts at 4:00 p.m. PT, and you can watch it on the MLB Network or

The draft show is hilarious because they can't say the obvious, which is that most of these kids aren't going to do anything exciting in the majors, if they make it at all. It would be very, very bad TV if the hosts kept saying, "He does a lot of things well, but he'll probably fail because baseball is hard," even if that would make them more right in the long run.

No one will come back in five years and care if you were right today, by the way. Noooooo one. So being happy and optimistic is a much better look.

Why don't the Giants have a first-round pick?

Because they signed Jeff Samardzija, who was offered arbitration by the White Sox. It's a trade you would make every time.

Put it like this: If the Giants had both Albert Suarez and Chris Heston in the rotation, wouldn't you be okay with a trade of Tyler Beede for Samardzija? This is like that, except they're getting the value immediately. It's almost like a player to be named later.

When do they pick for the first time, then?

59th. Then they'll have the 95th pick in the draft, but that's not until Friday.

Who are the best players ever taken at #59?

Nolan Arenado, talented Dinger-spawn, is almost certainly the best one. Dean Palmer and Roger McDowell both had valuable careers, too.

Have the Giants ever had the #59 pick before?

They sure have! You remember John Sylvester, David Wiggins, and Andy Taulbee, right? Sure, none of them made the majors, just like 33 of the 51 players ever drafted #59 overall, but ...


but, well


Nolan Arenado! They'll probably get the next Nolan Arenado, everyone.

Is there some sort of preview I can read for this draft?

Is there ever! Baseball Prospectus's prospect guru Christopher Crawford was nice enough to answer some of Roger's questions here. He's selling a book of scouting reports for this year's draft for only $4.99. Be the most informed baseball nerd on your block!

Who is the player you want them to take at #59?

Oh, goody! This is the part where I make myself look like a fool. I was all for Chris Parmelee instead of Tim Lincecum, Justin Smoak instead of Buster Posey, and Beau Mills instead of Madison Bumgarner. Do not listen to me, for I am going to be wrong.

On the other hand, I was cuckoo for Marcus Stroman, so I've probably turned a corner and am really smart now.

So based on my minutes and minutes of study, I've concluded that I want the Giants to select ... Kyle Funkhouser, who was a first-round pick of the Dodgers last year, but didn't sign. Arguments in favor:

  • It would cheese the Dodgers off if he were good.

  • He's a senior, which would give the Giants more leverage, which would likely give them more money to use in other rounds.

  • His biggest problem over the last year was being underwhelming. It's not like he fell out of a metaphorical window.

He might not be around by #59, though, so if he's gone, I'll guess that they'll go for a local kid, Lucas Erceg, an infielder out of Menlo. It's not a prediction with a lot of evidence behind it, but it sure is a prediction.

The Giants will send Gene Clines and Gary Davenport to represent them. While it's not likely that the Giants get a franchise cornerstone in the 2016 MLB Draft, that doesn't mean that we can't hope for it.