San Francisco Giants: Grading the 2004 MLB draft class
By Joel Reuter
In the days leading up to the 2019 MLB Draft, we’ll be taking a look back at every San Francisco Giants draft since 2000. Next up, the 2004 draft class.
The San Francisco Giants had the No. 29 pick in the 2004 draft after going 100-61 to win the NL West title during the previous season.
However, that pick was transferred to the Kansas City Royals when the Giants signed free agent Michael Tucker during the offseason. As a result, the Giants first pick was not until No. 70 overall.
The team had 49 total selections and wound up signing 37 of the players that were picked.
The highest unsigned selection was right-hander Omar Aguilar in the eighth round. He settled for being a 30th round pick by the Milwaukee Brewers the following year.
Of the 37 players that signed, only five ended up reaching the majors.
Here’s a closer look at a few notable selections:
First Pick: OF Eddy Martinez-Esteve, Florida State—2nd round, 70th overall
Outfielder Eddy Martinez-Esteve hit .385/.457/.707 with 24 doubles, 19 home runs and 81 RBI as a draft-eligible sophomore at Florida State in 2004.
He began the 2005 season as the No. 4 prospect in the San Francisco system, according to Baseball America. He hit .313/.427/.524 with 44 doubles, 17 home runs and 94 RBI at High-A in his first full pro season, jumping up to No. 3 on the organizational rankings the following year.
Unfortunately, a shoulder injury limited him to just 27 games in 2006, and he was never able to match that type of success in the upper levels of the minors.
He hung around in the San Francisco system until 2010 but never reached the majors.
Passed On: RHP Wade Davis (75th overall), 1B Adam Lind (83rd overall), SS Ian Desmond (84th overall)
Best Pick: LHP Jonathan Sanchez, Ohio Dominican—27th round, 820th overall
Despite less-than-stellar command, Jonathan Sanchez was a regular in the San Francisco rotation from 2008 to 2010. That’s enough for him to earn “Best Pick” and “Best Late-Round Pick” from this draft class.
His best season coincided with the team’s run to a World Series title in 2010. He went 13-9 with a 3.07 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 205 strikeouts in 193.1 innings, leading the NL in hits per nine innings (6.6) while also offering up a league-high 96 walks.
The Giants traded him to the Kansas City Royals after the 2011 season in exchange for outfielder Melky Cabrera, who enjoyed a solid run in San Francisco before he was suspended for a positive PED test.
All told, Sanchez made 118 starts and 56 relief appearances during his six seasons with the Giants, posting a 4.26 ERA, 1.39 WHIP and 9.4 K/9 in 708 innings. He also threw a no-hitter during the 2009 season.
Others Who Reached the Majors
- 1B John Bowker—3rd round, 100th overall
- OF Clay Timpner—4th round, 130th overall
- IF Kevin Frandsen—12th round, 370th overall
- LHP Geno Espineli—14th round, 430th overall
John Bowker hit .255/.300/.408 with 14 doubles, 10 home runs and 43 RBI in 350 plate appearances as a rookie in 2008, but made little impact after that. Kevin Frandsen played in 181 games over five seasons with the Giants filling a utility role.
Michael Tucker posted a 91 OPS+ and -0.6 WAR in his two seasons with the Giants, so the fact that the Giants gave up their first-round pick to sign him has to be factored into the grade here. Aside from getting a couple of useful seasons out of Jonathan Sanchez, there was little to show for the 2004 class.
We’ll be running through every San Francisco Giants draft class since 2000 leading up to the 2019 MLB Draft on June 3rd, so be sure to check back here for more.