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 2008 draft class.
The San Francisco Giants had the No. 5 pick in the 2008 draft after going 71-91 to finish fifth in the NL West standings during the previous season.
The team had 50 total selections and wound up signing 31 of the players that were picked.
The highest unsigned selection was right-hander Ryan O’Sullivan in the 10th round. The Los Angeles Dodgers ended up picking him in the fourth round of the 2011 draft.
Of the 31 players that signed, only eight ended up reaching the majors.
Here’s a closer look at a few notable selections:
First Pick: C Buster Posey, Florida State—1st round, 5th overall
A strong case can be made that this is the best draft selection in San Francisco Giants history.
After a storied career at Florida State, Posey began his pro career as one of the most hyped catching prospects in MLB history.
He debuted in 2010 and completely changed the complexion of the MLB roster, leading the Giants to a World Series en route to NL Rookie of the Year honors.
He won the batting title and NL MVP in 2012 when he batted .336/.408/.549 with 24 home runs and 103 RBI for 7.6 WAR.
Posey is a career .304/.372/.462 hitter. He is a five-time All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger, one-time Gold Glove winner and he has piled up 41.3 WAR over the course of his 11-year MLB career.
With three World Series rings and all that hardware, there is little question he is one of the greatest players in franchise history.
Passed On: None
(Second-)Best Pick: SS Brandon Crawford, UCLA—4th round, 117th overall
Brandon Crawford hit .319/.393/.499 in three seasons as the starting shortstop at UCLA, but it was his glove that made him a fourth-round pick.
While it took some time for his offensive to catch up to his defense, he eventually settled in as one of the better two-way shortstops in baseball. His peak came in 2015 when he posted a 113 OPS+ with 21 home runs and 84 RBI to win Silver Slugger honors.
As for the defense, it has been as advertised. He is a three-time Gold Glove winner and his 79 DRS trail only Andrelton Simmons (188) and Troy Tulowitzki (92) among all active shortstops.
Best Late-Round Pick: OF Juan Perez, Western Oklahoma State—13th round, 387th overall
Juan Perez spent parts of three seasons with the Giants as a useful fourth outfielder. While he hit just .224/.267/.316 with 15 doubles and two home runs in 246 plate appearances, he provided terrific outfield defense with 10 DRS and a 28.1 UZR/150 in 568.1 innings of action. That was enough to make him worth 0.4 WAR in his limited time with the team.
Others Who Reached the Majors
- 3B Conor Gillaspie—1st round, 37th overall
- OF Roger Kieschnick—3rd round, 82nd overall
- LHP Eric Surkamp—6th round, 177th overall
- LHP Scott Barnes—8th round, 237th overall
- LHP Ryan Verdugo—9th round, 267th overall
Conor Gillaspie had a memorable second go-around with the Giants in 2016 after he was originally traded to the Chicago White Sox. He posted a 100 OPS+ with 18 extra-base hits in 205 plate appearances during the regular season that year, then went 8-for-19 with a home run and six RBI during the 2016 postseason.
This is why we were saving the “A+” grade. While the Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum and Madison Bumgarner picks were all fantastic, the rest of their respective draft classes were extremely thin. This draft, on the other hand, yielded two core players and therefore earns the A+ grade.
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.