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SF Giants: 5 Recent Draft Trends to Watch

Jun 21, 2018; Omaha, NE, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders pitcher Caleb Kilian (32) throws against the Florida Gators in the first inning in the College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park. (Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports)
Jun 21, 2018; Omaha, NE, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders pitcher Caleb Kilian (32) throws against the Florida Gators in the first inning in the College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park. (Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports)
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SF Giants, MLB Draft, Hunter Bishop
SF Giants prospect Hunter Bishop during his time at Arizona State.

Marc Delucchi continues Around the Foghorn’s SF Giants prospect week with a look at the organization’s draft trends over the past two years.

It has been less than three years since Farhan Zaidi was hired as the SF Giants president of baseball operations. However, even in that short amount of time, the organization is in a far different place than when he was hired. Zaidi’s front-office has acquired top-flight MLB talents like Mike Yastrzemski, Kevin Gausman, Donovan Solano, and Alex Dickerson for relatively minimal cost. On the minor-league side, they’ve overseen the farm system move closer to becoming one of the best in baseball.

While Zaidi’s work in free agency and trades has gotten the vast majority of attention, any changes to the Giants’ approach to the MLB Draft would have even larger implications for the franchise during his tenure. In the winter of 2018, Zaidi oversaw a transition at the helm of the Giants’ draft room.

How has the SF Giants’ drafting changed under Michael Holmes?

The previous amateur scouting director, John Barr, oversaw the Giants’ drafts from 2008-2018. Barr was responsible for drafting Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, Joe Panik, Joey Bart, and dozens of other future big leaguers. However, upon Zaidi’s hiring, he shifted to a special assistant role and was replaced by Michael Holmes.

Originally hired by the Oakland Athletics as an area scout, Holmes quickly ascended the A’s amateur scouting chain of command, becoming their assistant scouting director in 2009. Until the Giants hired him in the winter of 2018, Holmes worked alongside A’s scouting director Eric Kubota during the team’s selection of Matt Chapman, Matt Olson, Max Muncy, and many other future contributors.

Holmes has only been in charge of the Giants draft room for the past two years. At this point, it’s unfair to identify any tendencies in the Giants’ selections under his watch with much certainty. Two drafts are already a small sample, and it became even smaller when the 2020 draft was condensed to five rounds. Still, it’s worth trying to identify some patterns worth watching in 2021 and beyond.

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