SF Giants’ worst draft picks — 2015, Round 1, Pick 18: Phil Bickford
The Giants picked 18th and 31st in the 2015 draft. With the 18th pick they took pitcher Phil Bickford. With the 31st they selected first baseman Chris Shaw. Bickford has never played a day in the major leagues.
Is Bickford the most disappointing of the bunch? It’s certainly arguable. As a college pitcher, he should have been a little more projectable. Bickford posted a 2.13 ERA at Cal State Fullerton in 2014. However, he chose to leave the school after his freshman year to take his chances in the draft.
In June of 2015, the Giants took him at 18th. This was actually Bickford’s second time being drafted in the first round: In 2013, as a high schooler, the Blue Jays took him 10th, but he turned them down to play for Fullerton.
More from Around the Foghorn
- SF Giants: Kervin Castro bolsters bullpen with promotion
- Brother of SF Giants prospect makes long-awaited MLB debut
- Podcast: SF Giants face off against Dodgers amidst workers strike vote
- SF Giants force strike vote by refusing to help concession workers
- SF Giants place Alex Dickerson on IL, recall Mauricio Dubón
After a promising start in Rookie League play in 2015 following signing with the Giants, Bickford made it as high as Advanced-A play the following year, posting a 2.73 ERA across six starts.
The Giants traded him to the Brewers later that summer for pitcher Will Smith. In 2017, while in Milwaukee’s organization, he was suspended due to drug use.
Looking back, San Francisco missed out on drafting Walker Buehler, who went 24th overall to the Dodgers and has a 3.12 ERA in 53 MLB starts. A few picks after that, Mike Soroka went to the Braves. He was a top-30 prospect at Baseball America and MLB Pipeline entering 2019.
Soroka had a 2.68 ERA in 29 starts for the Braves in 2019.
That’s the kind of pick that really hurts. 2015 hasn’t gone well for the Giants, either. Three picks have reached the major leagues. CF Steven Duggar played in 114 games and has been worth one win. LHP Andrew Suarez (-0.1) and 1B Chris Shaw (-0.8) wiped that win out, in the aggregate.