SF Giants History

San Francisco Giants: Grading the 2006 MLB draft class

By Joel Reuter
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 28: Tim Lincecum #55 of the San Francisco Giants follows through on a pitch against the San Diego Padres in the fourth inning at AT&T Park on September 28, 2014 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 28: Tim Lincecum #55 of the San Francisco Giants follows through on a pitch against the San Diego Padres in the fourth inning at AT&T Park on September 28, 2014 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) /
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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 2006 draft class.

The San Francisco Giants had the No. 10 pick in the 2006 draft after going 75-87 to finish third in the NL West during the previous season.

They also had the No. 33 overall pick as compensation for the Chicago Cubs signing reliever Scott Eyre.

All told, the Giants had 50 total selections and wound up signing 29 of the players that were picked.

The highest unsigned selection was left-hander Andrew Barbosa in the 15th round, so they did a solid job locking up their top picks.

Of the 29 players that signed, only seven ended up reaching the majors.

Here’s a closer look at a few notable selections:

First Pick: RHP Tim Lincecum, Washington—1st round, 10th overall

Nailed it.

Despite an undersized 5’11” frame and an unorthodox delivery, the Giants took a chance on Tim Lincecum with the No. 10 overall pick and it paid huge dividends.

After showing flashes as a rookie in 2007, Lincecum won back-to-back NL Cy Young Awards in 2008 and 2009, going a combined 33-12 with a 2.55 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 526 strikeouts in 452.1 innings.

He continued pitching at an elite level in 2010 and 2011 before his ERA skyrocketed from 2.74 to 5.18 during the 2012 season and he never fully bounced back.

While his peak was a short one, Lincecum was squarely in the conversation for best pitcher in baseball from 2008 to 2011.

He was in the rotation for the 2010 World Series, was a key multi-inning reliever in 2012 and offered up one scoreless appearance in the 2014 Fall Classic.

Even knowing what we know now, Lincecum still looks like the right pick over Max Scherzer who went No. 11 overall, given the fact that it took longer for Scherzer to develop into the pitcher he is today and that would not have coincided as well with the Giants title window.

Passed On: RHP Max Scherzer (11th overall)

(Second-)Best Pick: 1B Brett Pill, Cal State Fullerton—7th round, 206th overall

First baseman Brett Pill checked in as high as the No. 12 prospect in the San Francisco system prior to the 2012 season, according to Baseball America, and he put up some big numbers in the minor leagues.

He hit .301/.340/.511 with 70 home runs and 315 RBI in 401 career games at Triple-A. However, he never received an extended look in the majors.

In 259 big league plate appearances over parts of three seasons, he hit .233/.279/.404 with 10 doubles, nine home runs and 32 RBI. That added up to a modest 0.6 WAR, which was enough to make him the second-best pick in this draft class.

Best Late-Round Pick: IF Matt Downs, Alabama—36th round, 1,076th overall

Matt Downs reached the big leagues in 2009 and posted 0.6 WAR as a utility infielder in 2010 before he was claimed off waivers by the Houston Astros.

He wound up hitting .276/.347/.518 with 18 doubles, 10 home runs and 41 RBI in 222 plate appearances for the Astros in 2011 for a 1.3 WAR season. The 36th-round pick played just one more MLB season after that, but it was still a solid showing from such a late selection.

Others Who Reached the Majors

  • SS Emmanuel Burriss—1st-round, 33rd overall
  • IF Ryan Rohlinger—6th round, 176th overall
  • SS Brian Bocock—9th round, 266th overall
  • OF Tyler Graham—19th round, 566th overall

Speedy Emmanuel Burriss had double-digit steals as a bench player for the Giants three different times, but he was worth -2.7 WAR overall during his time in San Francisco. Not much else to talk about here.

Final Thoughts/Grade

Hard to grade this draft as anything but an “A” thanks to the Lincecum selection. The rest of the haul was unimpressive, but a two-time Cy Young winner and franchise cornerstone is what every team hopes they’re getting with a first-round pick.

Grade: A

Next. Grading the 2005 MLB draft 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.

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