SF Giants Draft Trends
4. Holmes Drafts Hitters A Lot Like Barr
A common misnomer about the Giants’ drafts under Barr remains that they never drafted high-upside players with impressive tools. It’s an easy explanation for the dearth of homegrown impact players over the past decade in San Francisco, but it’s just not true. For most of Barr’s tenure, the Giants consistently targeted collegiate hitters with massive power potential in the first five rounds of the draft. While players like Chris Dominguez, Brian Ragira, Roger Kieschnick, Mac Williamson, Jarrett Parker, Ricky Oropesa, Dylan Davis, and Chris Shaw never became 30+ home run hitters in San Francisco, it wasn’t because of a lack of potential.
For all the criticism so-called “low-ceiling, high-floor” first-round selections like Joe Panik and Christian Arroyo received, Barr selected toolsy outfielders like Gary Brown and Heliot Ramos with top picks as well.
In fact, there have been quite a few similarities between the Giants selections under Holmes with those under Barr. Perhaps that’s not too surprising. Barr had strong success selecting position players throughout his tenure. Aside from future cornerstones like Posey and Crawford, players like Matt Duffy and Adam Duvall carved out solid big-league careers after being picked far lower as well.
Holmes made a point of reaching out to Barr when he was hired and has kept him in the team’s brain trust. The Giants’ selections have reflected that influence. 2020 first-round pick Hunter Bishop shares the bigtime power potential Barr so often coveted but comes with concerns about his ability to make consistent contact that is quite reminiscent of Barr’s final first-round selection as scouting director: Joey Bart.
Bishop isn’t the lone Holmes’ selection with that power over hit profile. Armani Smith and Connor Cannon were a pair of collegiate hitters drafted in 2019 that follow in the footsteps of players like Williamson and Dominguez.
Yet, aside from Bishop, the majority of top collegiate hitters drafted by the Giants over the past two cycles have fallen in line with the “low-ceiling, high-floor” labels so often thrust upon the previous regime’s drafts. 2020 first-round selection Patrick Bailey projects as an above-average everyday catcher but lacks the elite tools often found in a first-round pick. The same could be said of other high-round selections like Logan Wyatt, Casey Schmitt, and Jimmy Glowenke.
For fans hoping for a massive change in the Giants’ approach to drafting hitters under Holmes, there’s little evidence that has happened. However, given Barr’s strong track record of finding big-league talent on offense, it very well could be for the best.