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 2003 draft class.
The San Francisco Giants had the No. 26 pick in the 2003 draft after going 95-66 and advancing to the World Series during the previous season.
However, that pick was awarded to the Oakland Athletics as compensation for the Giants signing of second baseman Ray Durham. It worked out, though, as the Giants received the No. 22 overall pick from the Houston Astros after they signed Jeff Kent in free agency.
The team had 52 total selections and wound up signing 28 of the players that were picked.
The highest unsigned selection was catcher Raul Rodriguez in the 20th round. They also failed to sign right-hander Doug Fister who was their 49th-round selection.
Of the 28 players that did sign, only eight ended up reaching the majors.
Here’s a closer look at a few notable selections:
First Pick: RHP David Aardsma, Rice—1st round, 22nd overall
Hard-throwing David Aardsma reached the majors in 2004 after serving as the closer at Rice University during his junior season. He appeared in 11 games as a rookie and posted a 6.75 ERA.
The following summer, he was packaged with right-hander Jerome Williams and traded to the Chicago Cubs for LaTroy Hawkins.
He bounced around a bit before finally finding success with the Seattle Mariners, saving 38 games in 2009 and 31 games in 2010. Injuries limited him to just 71.1 more innings at the big league level after his two seasons with the Mariners and he made his final MLB appearance in 2015.
Passed On: RHP Chad Billingsley (No. 24 overall), OF Carlos Quentin (No. 29 overall), OF Adam Jones (No. 37 overall)
Best Pick: RHP Brian Wilson, LSU—24th round, 723rd overall
Brian Wilson earns the title of “Best Pick” and “Best Late-Round Pick” from the 2003 draft class, as he wound up being an absolute steal as a 24th-round selection.
Wilson debuted in 2006 and two years later he was the team’s closer. During the four-year span from 2008 to 2011, he racked up 163 saves with a 3.00 ERA and 10.1 K/9 in 258 appearances, earning three All-Star nods along the way.
He was also virtually untouchable in October. He allowed just 10 hits and one unearned run in 18 innings while striking out 25 and recording six saves. He was on the mound to slam the door against the Texas Rangers in Game 5 of the 2010 World Series.
Wilson was worth 5.6 WAR during his time with the Giants. All things considered, this is one of the best value picks in franchise history.
Others Who Reached the Majors
- OF Nate Schierholtz—2nd round, 63rd overall
- 3B Brian Buscher—3rd round, 93rd overall
- RHP Billy Sadler—6th round, 183rd overall
- LHP Pat Misch—7th round, 213th overall
- RHP Ryan Sadowski—12th round, 263rd overall
Nate Schierholtz had an eight-year MLB career, including parts of six seasons with the Giants. He was eventually included in the package that was sent to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Hunter Pence.
While eight total players reached the majors, the Giants whiffed on right-hander Craig Whitaker (No. 34 overall) and catcher Todd Jennings (No. 55 overall).
Brian Wilson was a great find in the 24th round and Nate Schierholtz helped the team acquire Hunter Pence. That’s enough to save this draft from an “F” grade, but it’s still a below average 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.