The Giants’ best MLB draft picks in the first five rounds
SF Giants’ best MLB draft pick in the second round: Bob Knepper, 21.9 WAR
There is a sharp dropoff between the first and second rounds in terms of the overall value the Giants have realized. Left-handed hurler Bob Knepper is the best second-round pick in Giants history, and it is not even close. No other Giants second-round pick has ever generated over 10 WAR.
Bob Knepper was plucked in the second round of the 1972 draft and spent his first five seasons in the Orange and Black before being shipped off to the Houston Astros. In 15 seasons, the southpaw recorded a 146-155 overall record with a 3.68 ERA.
Knepper had an incredibly long career despite never being the type of pitcher to rack up high strikeout totals. Throughout his career, he posted 4.9 K/9 while being extremely stingy in giving up the long ball.
SF Giants’ best MLB draft pick in third round: Mike Benjamin. 6.7 WAR
Similar to the second round, the Giants have not had much success in getting value out of their third-round picks. Behind Mike Benjamin, the highest WAR produced by a Giants third-round pick was Jack Armstrong (1.2) Don’t worry, it gets better from here!
The San Francisco Giants took Benjamin in the third round of the 1987 draft. The versatile infielder was never known for his bat, but he did have a memorable stretch at the plate in 1995. Following an injury to Matt Williams, Benjamin collected 14 hits in a three-game span, including a six-hit game.
However, this was an outlier relative to the rest of his career. The former third-round pick generated a meager .229/.277/.339 line (61 OPS+) in 13 seasons that included stops with the Giants, Philadelphia Phillies, Boston Red Sox, and Pittsburgh Pirates. Despite the limited production at the plate, Benjamin had a very long career as a utility infielder.