This is a series that looks back at different draft classes of the SF Giants to see how well did they draft and develop with the hopes of bringing another championship back to the Bay Area. The first draft class that we will look at is the 2014 SF Giants draft class. It is a very notable draft class for me as it is the first draft class that I followed intensely as I begin my prospect writing. Eight years is also more than enough to gauge whether did this draft class deliver or not. Overall, the 2014 MLB Draft is not the best in terms of talent but it did produce current stars like Aaron Nola, Trea Turner and Matt Chapman.
The 2014 SF Giants Draft Class: Rounds 1-10
With their first-round selection in the 2014 MLB Draft, the Giants drafted Tyler Beede from Vanderbilt. Beede morphed his pitching style over the years but the commendable thing about him is his ability to absorb and apply instructions from coaches that led to both positive and negative results. He maintained his prospect stock throughout his Minors career as his throwing talent never left him and made his big-league debut in 2018. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2020 and his control had yet to fully come back last season. Beede enters the 2022 season as a wild-card who could potentially make or break the Giants pitching staff if he can rediscover his control to match his still tantalizing stuff. Career: 0.3 fWAR
After the Giants drafted Beede in the first round, the club drafted his potential battery-mate with their second-round pick in Aramis Garcia. The Garcia selection was reminiscent of the Patrick Bailey selection in 2020 where the Giants still have one of the best catchers in the game in Buster Posey and a top-catching prospect (Andrew Susac in 2014, Joey Bart in 2020). Garcia was never considered a top prospect in the organization when he was a prospect but he was seemingly destined to make the big leagues as a backup catcher. He did make the big leagues in 2018 but was never more than a backup, signing as a minor league free agent with the Cincinnati Reds last November. Career: 0.0 fWAR
Dylan Davis is the club's third-round selection from Oregon State who had a strong 2016 where he hit 26 home runs and a .864 OPS in A-ball but fell flat in 2017 where he only hit .217 and a .641 OPS in Double-A and never really recovered ever since. Strikeouts were the primary culprit of Davis' baseball demise where he always had a strikeout rate over 20% in his pro career. He tried pitching in 2019 as a way to put his career back on track but was unsuccessful with a 4.91 ERA and 14 walks in 22 innings and just 14 strikeouts in Double-A. Davis was released before the 2020 season started.
Their fourth-round selection, Logan Webb from Rocklin HS, is on the fast track towards becoming the best player in the draft class. Webb's Minor League journey was unusual. Webb had a rough 2015 and 2016 where he had an ERA over 5.00 during the stretch with less than a strikeout an inning and was shut down when he underwent Tommy John surgery. He came back in 2017 looking refreshed and was seemingly on the way back to respectability. He had a strong 2018 in San Jose with a 1.82 ERA and a strikeout an inning that he carried over to Richmond. The tantalizing stuff was there but was still battling consistency issues. He was then suspended in 2019 for steroids in his supplements but came back looking as good as he ever was albeit in short sample size and made his Major League debut in the same year. He broke out in a big way in 2021 and enters the 2022 season as the young ace of the veteran Giants rotation. Career: 5.2 fWAR
With their fifth-round selection, the Giants took a shot at Sam Coonrod. The right-hander from Southern Illinois University Carbondale had a stellar 2015 in Augusta that pushed him towards the top of the Giants' prospect rankings. However, a dip in the strikeouts in the following season and a rough 2017 resulted in him losing his luster. He can still throw the ball hard and made his big-league debut in 2019 out of the pen but was inconsistent during his time with the Giants, with a 9.82 ERA in 2020. The Giants traded him to the Phillies for Carson Ragsdale before the 2021 season and were a solid contributor in the Philadelphia bullpen, notching two saves and a 4.04 ERA. Career: 0.3 fWAR
The Giants whiffed on sixth-rounder Skyler Ewing, a first baseman from Rice. Ewing had a strong introduction to the organization, hitting eight home runs and a .889 OPS in Salem-Keizer right after getting drafted but fell flat the following season, with a .647 OPS in Augusta. He stayed in Low-A for two more years before getting claimed by the Marlins. He toiled in the high-Minors for the Marlins and Brewers but was primarily a backup. He spent his 2021 season playing in Indy ball. The club once again whiffed on seventh-rounder Seth Harrison from Louisiana-Lafayette. Harrison never became an offensive threat in three years of professional play. His best season is his 2016 season where he repeated in Low-A and had a .691 OPS before retiring at the end of the season.
Their eighth-round selection, Austin Slater, however, did not whiff. The outfielder was a hit from the get-go and has a remarkable consistency to his performance as he progressed through the Minor Leagues. His batting average never dipped below .290 and his lowest OPS is a remarkable .712 with the Flying Squirrels in 2015. He was one of the better prospects in the farm system throughout his Minors career and was unsurprisingly the first player in the draft class to make his big league debut, doing so in 2017. He was never considered a star but he's been a reliable big leaguer for the Giants for the past five years and should continue to do so in 2022. Career: 4.0 fWAR
After Slater, the Giants took a shot at ninth-rounder Stetson Woods. Unfortunately, it did not work out for the prep right-hander. Woods never developed any strikeout-inducing pitches to play in the High-Minors and the Giants released him after the 2018 season reaching as high as High-A. Tenth-rounder Matt Gage is enjoying a long Minor League career. Gage was a solid innings-eater in the Giants system from the get-go and reached as high as Sacramento in 2018 before getting released in the middle of the season. He was picked up by the Mets not long after and pitched in both the Mets and the Mexican League in 2019 then with the Diamondbacks organization in 2021. He elected free agency and was signed by the Blue Jays to a minor league deal with an invite to the 2022 Spring Training. Not bad for a tenth-rounder.