Just take a look at the San Francisco Giants roster and it is obvious they have some of the best scouts in all of baseball. Or are they just lucky? Whatever the case, San Francisco, arguably, has the best infield in the National League and every single one of these infielders was drafted by none other than San Francisco.
It is near impossible to predict a baseball prospect’s future. Although some seem destined for fame and do turn out to do just that (Bryce Harper), others, like number-one overall draft picks Donavan Tate of the San Diego Padres and Jeff Clement of the Seattle Mariners, exemplify the true impossibility of 100% accurate scouting.
Perhaps Brad Pitt playing Oakland Athletics GM Billy Beane in the blockbuster movie Moneyball described prospects and scouting perfectly when he tells his head scout, “Grady, you don’t have special powers. You don’t have the ability to look at a guy and ‘just know’ because you’re a scout with special powers. I’ve watched you sit at kitchen tables for years and tell the parents of a 17 year old kid, ‘Trust me, when I know, I know, and when it comes to your son, I know’ and you don’t.”
He’s right. You never truly know. Remarkably, despite all of the ridiculous statistics and date that scouts have on each and every player nowadays (WAR, dWAR, OPS, RAR) to this day teams select high prospect players that turn out to be as good as dirt.
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Luckily for San Francisco, when you go around the diamond almost every player is titled with being drafted by San Francisco. Just look at the infield:
C Buster Posey (1st round/5th overall pick; San Francisco; 2008)
1B Brandon Belt (5th round/147th overall pick; San Francisco; 2009)
2B Joe Panik (1st round/29th overall pick; San Francisco; 2011)
3B Matt Duffy (18th round/568th overall; San Francisco; 2012)
SS Brandon Crawford (4th round/117th overall pick; San Francisco; 2008)
Although the outfield is full of former trade acquisitions of current VP Brian Sabean and GM Bobby Evans, such as Hunter Pence and Angel Pagan, this list did not even include pitchers Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum, Ryan Vogelsong, and Matt Cain who also all had their named called by San Francisco in their respective amateur drafts.
Jul 7, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
While no team is perfect, it is comical and interesting to see hypothetically who could have drafted who and who should have drafted who. I guarantee you that there are 29 other teams in the MLB that wish they would have drafted Rookie of the Year candidate Matt Duffy, and they each had about 18 rounds to do so in 2012. Interesting enough, San Francisco is one of eight teams in the MLB to never have held the number-one overall pick since the draft began in 1965.
Just for kicks and giggles, lets take a look at which of today’s superstars were available and not drafted when San Francisco was on the clock in previous MLB Drafts since 2004.
* indicates the player chose not to sign with team
Next: 2004 MLB Draft