The Giants’ best MLB draft picks in the first five rounds
SF Giants’ best MLB draft pick in the fourth round: Brandon Crawford. 24.0 WAR
The Giants have had much more luck in the fourth round than they have ever had in the second and third rounds. Baseball is weird like that sometimes.
In addition to Brandon Crawford, several Giants fourth rounders strung together successful careers including Russ Ortiz, Charlie Hayes, and Rob Deer.
San Francisco selected Crawford in the fourth round of the 2008 draft. This draft will likely be known as one of the best drafts in Giants history as it included both Crawford and Posey.
The slick-fielding shortstop has spent his entire nine-year career with the Orange and Black. It is unlikely that he will ever put on a different uniform. In those nine seasons, Crawford has produced a .249/.316/.389 line (94 OPS+) while collecting three Gold Gloves and earning two All-Star nods.
Though his overall production has slid in recent seasons, Crawford was at the center, especially defensively, of the 2012 and 2014 title runs.
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SF Giants’ best MLB draft pick in the fifth round: Brandon Belt, 23.0 WAR
The inclusion of Brandon Belt may get some groans as well. However, the truth is, baseball teams are rarely successful at picking in the fifth round. In its totality, the MLB draft is a crapshoot, and this is especially true after the first round.
Brandon Belt has put together a nice career where he has posted a .261/.354/.448 line (120 OPS+) across nine seasons. It is fair to wonder if the first baseman’s power numbers would be better if he had not played in the expansive dimensions of Oracle Park. Belt has averaged 14 home runs per season, which is a respectable number, but not the type of production many would want from a first baseman.
With that being said, Belt has won two World Series rings and earned one All-Star nod. Similar to Crawford, his production in the batter’s box has been on the decline for the last several seasons. To that point, he has yet to hit a home run this year and we are in the middle of June!
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Giants History might look a little different if they had not done so well in the draft during the 2000s. Hopefully, San Francisco bucks the trend of their recent draft failures by taking a player who could challenge any of the names above as the best player ever selected in their respective round. Mike Benjamin is just waiting for someone to take his crown.