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The worst Giants draft of the last 15 years was still pretty okay

Jonathan Sanchez contributed a ton to the 2010 season. That’s a success in my book.

Pittsburgh Pirates v San Francisco Giants
Wait ... do I throw it behind me, or in front of me? I can never remember what this thing is.
Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

It’s almost time for the 2017 MLB Draft, so randomly pick a name on this list and argue on his behalf to the death. I, for one, am absolutely convinced that the Giants should draft LOGAN WARMOTH.

There’s nothing you can do when that thing is coming at you. But now that I’m looking at the list, I’m seeing that there’s a left-handed pitcher projected to go in the 20s who a) pitched in the Cape Cod League and b) was previously drafted by the Giants in 2015, but didn’t sign.

Welcome, Brendon Little. I’ll just go pre-write the post now ....

Before the draft, then, it’s probably a good idea to take a look at some of the best and worst drafts from the last 15 years. I would normally look back at the last decade for an article like this, except we have no idea what fruit is going to fall from the tree of the 2013 Draft yet, much less the 2016 Draft.

So my search will be limited from 2003 to 2012, the last 10 years. And because we’re going to build up to the draft in which the Giants got Buster Posey, one of the greatest players in franchise history, we’ll start with the worst draft of the last 15 years.

It was so bad that it helped the Giants win a championship, of course.

Behold, the major leaguers drafted by the Giants in the the 2004 MLB Draft!

  • Jonathan Sanchez (3.1 career WAR)
  • Geno Espineli (0.0)
  • Tyson Brummett (0.0, did not sign)
  • Clay Timpner (-0.1)
  • Kevin Frandsen (-0.3)
  • John Bowker (-1.5)

Bowker did hit .262/.315/.502 for the Yomiuri Giants, though. I’ll just tack an extra 2 wins onto that total.

Best pick

Clearly Jonathan Sanchez, who was responsible for the first Giants no-hitter of my lifetime, which was one of the greatest games in recent franchise history ... until, well, you know. It kind of got overshadowed after a while.

Still, do you remember what kind of stuff he was working with? It was unbelievable.

Watch for the ramping excitement, stay for the dude striking out on a ball that hit him around the 2:00 mark. I have no idea how Kevin Kouzmanoff was never a Giant.

It wasn’t just the pitching, either. Sanchez’s 2010 season was legitimately outstanding, with 193 innings and a 3.07 ERA, he was worth four wins for a team that won its division by two games.

He also pitched/hit them to a win in the final game of the season, when a loss would have doomed the Giants to a tiebreaker. Don’t forget this hit, which was also responsible for one of the great Duane Kuiper calls:

If you can include all this in a roundup of the worst draft in 15 years, it’s probably been a good 15 years. And it has. That’s before we even get to the part where John Bowker was traded for the LOOGY that helped the Giants win a whole bunch.

When it comes to WAR, though, yeesh.

Hey, I remember that prospect!

Eddy Martinez-Esteve was supposed to be the safest pick of them all. The Giants didn’t have a first-rounder because they signed Michael Tucker before the arbitration deadline on purpose to save money, which still pisses me off, 13 years later, but Martinez-Esteve was supposed to make up for that. He hit .313/.427/.524 with 89 walks in his first year at San Jose, and he did okay in Double-A, but he stalled after that. Not only did he not make the majors, but he got just five at-bats in Triple-A.

He was playing for Somerset in the Atlantic League as recently as 2014, though. I had such high hopes for him in 2005, when the Giants were losing a bunch. Such high hopes.

Random errata

Garrett Broshius is a friend of the program and is now a lawyer committed to helping minor leaguers get the pay they deserve. Godspeed. He was also one of two Garretts by the Giants in that draft, which seems weird.

Erroll Babineaux played just two seasons in the system, which is a shame, because Erroll Babineaux is a badass name.

Benny Cepeda isn’t related to Orlando Cepeda, but while Googling that to check, I found out that he was the pitcher the Giants were scouting at Ohio Dominican University when they saw Sanchez pitch for the first time, which means he’s basically responsible for the 2010 World Series. He’s also responsible for this quote:

"I don't know why he got traded for bats," Broncos pitcher Benny Cepeda said. "That ain't right.”

Don’t search for context. It’s better as is.