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SF Giants Prospects

Looking Back At The SF Giants 2014 Draft Class

SF Giants 2014 first round pick Tyler Beede
SF Giants 2014 first round pick Tyler Beede / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages
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Austin Slater
SF Giants 2014 eighth-rounder Austin Slater / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

The 2014 SF Giants Draft Class: Later Rounds and Summary

Eleventh-rounder Greg Brody never pitched above Low-A, primarily in relief and last pitched in 2017. Jameson Henning signed with the Giants but never played a single professional game and retired just a year after getting drafted. Luis Lacen never played beyond Rookie ball, presumably due to injuries, and was released in 2017. Kevin Rivera, a colleague of Lacen at Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy, did not fare much better either although had a nice 2016 with Salem-Keizer batting .320 and a .787 OPS. However, he fell flat in full-season ball and was released at the end of the 2018 season. Fifteenth-rounder Benton Moss did not sign with the Giants but was drafted a year after by the Rays in the sixth round. Moss reached up to Double-A with the Rays.

Kevin Ginkel was very interesting as he was drafted not once, not twice but thrice in three straight years. He did not sign with the Giants after getting drafted in the 16th round but ended up with the Diamondbacks two years later. He was primarily a reliever and reached the big leagues in 2019 although struggled in both 2020 and 2021. Caleb Smith from USC-Aiken had strike-throwing issues throughout his career and only reached High-A ball before getting released at the end of the 2017 season. Edrick Agosto did not sign but was drafted a year after although he only lasted until 2017. Junior Amion was probably best remembered with his Salem-Keizer days but was released before the 2018 season started. Bret Underwood was drafted but did not sign with the club.

Matthew Crownover also did not sign with the Giants but was drafted a year after by the Nationals and reached as high as Double-A before stalling out and last pitched in 2018. Mark Reyes was a reliable innings-eater in both Augusta and San Jose but his performance was never extraordinary although he had a cup of coffee in Sacramento in 2017, his final professional year. Jordan Johnson, the 23rd round selection from Cal State Northridge, exploded out of nowhere in 2015 but struggled in his second rodeo with San Jose in 2016, fizzled out, and was traded to the Reds in 2019 for Connor Joe. Byron Murray never reached full-season ball and was out of baseball after the 2017 season.

Hunter Cole, the club's 26th rounder, had a breakout in 2015 where he hit .301 and a .833 OPS across three levels, reached as high as Double-A, and was seemed destined to be a late-round gem. However, he stalled in Richmond in 2016 and 2017 with just a .739 and .754 OPS, respectively. He got traded to the Rangers after the season, reached Triple-A with the club in 2019, had a .908 OPS but never reached the big leagues, and was elected free agency after the 2020 season. Connor Kaden battled control issues throughout his pro career and was released after the 2017 season. Nick Sabo last pitched in 2016 for Augusta. Ryan Cruz and Cliff Covington did not sign with the Giants and were never drafted again by any team.

Nick Nelson did not sign with the Giants, went to college, and boosted his stock considerably when he was drafted in the fourth round by the Yankees in 2016. He was a starter in the Yankees farm system but reached the big leagues as a reliever in 2020. Hunter Williams elected to go to UNC and was drafted in the 11th round in 2017 by the Rockies but only reached as high as High-A with the organization. Jared Deacon never impacted with his bat and only reached High-A ball. Tim Susnara elected to go to college and was drafted in the eighth round by the Diamondbacks in 2017. Mitch Hart was also elected to go to college but was never drafted by any team.

Zach Taylor elected to go to a community college and was drafted a year after in the 15th round by the Brewers but never reached beyond Rookie ball. Garrett Christman elected to go to college and was actually signed by the Giants as an undrafted free agent in 2018 after his collegiate career but was released before the 2019 season. Benito Santiago went to college and was drafted by the Cardinals in the 34th round four years later. Joe Ryan elected to go to college and was drafted by the Rays in the seventh round of the 2018 draft. Ryan blossomed in the Rays system as one of its best pitching prospects and was traded to the Twins last season for Nelson Cruz. Ryan made his MLB debut last September and should be a crucial member of the Twins pitching staff in 2022. Riley Mahan went to college where he became one of baseball's best hitters and was drafted by the Marlins three years later. Mahan struggled badly last season in Double-A and his big league chances is in peril.

Summary

The 2014 SF Giants draft class produced five big leaguers with their first eight selections which is a good sign. To be able to produce five big leaguers in a single draft class is an impressive feat of its own but to have a potential long-term big-leaguer in Logan Webb is another impressive feat. What will happen to Tyler Beede in 2022 is crucial in terms of the long-term success of this draft class. If Beede can regain his control back and become a reliable member of the rotation, he and Webb could possibly form a one-two punch in the next five years at the very least. It is disappointing that the draft class did not produce any late-round gems but Austin Slater is a strong candidate for that designation as he continues to be a pivotal part of the platoon-heavy Giants lineup heading to the 2022 season.

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