Baseball America ranked how each team performed in the draft over the last decade and the SF Giants ranked near the bottom of the league.
The ranking is based on the collective WAR realized by each team’s draft picks from the 2010s, and the SF Giants finished 25th in the ranking. Only the Philadelphia Phillies, Kansas City Royals, New York Yankees, Milwaukee Brewers, and Cincinnati Reds finished with a lower collective WAR.
This is hardly surprising as the Giants top draft picks from the last decade include Matt Duffy, Joe Panik, Adam Duvall, and Bryan Reynolds. Each player from this group has turned in a productive major league career, but no stars were picked.
With a collective WAR of 34.9, the Giants could not compete with teams like the Houston Astros and Chicago White Sox who both generated over 100 WAR.
Of course, low draft pick value tends to be the cost of competing year after year as the Giants did for the better part of the decade, which included three World Series championships. Overall record determines draft order and the SF Giants had some of the better records in baseball from 2010-2016. Of course, this included a gap year in which they finished with a 76-86 record in 2013.
Teams tend to have success finding players within the first ten picks of the draft, but it is much more difficult to find value later in each round. The Giants only drafted in the top-10 twice (Joey Bart at no. 2 overall in 2018, Hunter Bishop at no. 10 overall in 2019) in the 2010s, so the jury is still out on these picks. Despite the poor ranking, Baseball America notes that the Giants began to buck the poor draft trend in the latter half of the decade:
"“The Giants rediscovered some of their draft magic in the latter half of the decade, selecting Bryan Reynolds in 2016 and current Top 100 Prospects Heliot Ramos and Joey Bart in 2017 and 2018, respectively.”"
The Giants appear to be on an upward trajectory in the National League and much of that development has occurred with the impact talent they have accumulated from the draft and the international J2 signing period in recent years still waiting in the wings.
Nevertheless, they will need to continue to draft better than they did in the 2010s if they are going to be competitive in a tough NL West division over the next several seasons. At the very least, they have collected better talent in recent seasons.