With the trade of Steven Duggar to the Texas Rangers in exchange for Willie Calhoun, the SF Giants no longer have anyone in the organization from the 2015 draft class. How has that draft class performed seven years later?
Reflecting on the SF Giants 2015 draft class
The 2015 Giants draft class was headlined by pitching prospect Phil Bickford and power-hitting first baseman Chris Shaw. The only other two players from that draft class to reach the majors were Duggar and Andrew Suarez.
In fact, only three other players from that draft class are still playing professionally including Jalen Miller, C.J. Hinojosa, and Tyler Cyr.
The best value from that draft was Bickford in that he was one of the two players traded in 2017 to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for left-handed reliever Will Smith. Smith was an underrated reliever for the Giants who posted a 2.70 ERA with 48 saves across three seasons with San Francisco.
Plus, the southpaw reliever rejected a qualifying offer after the 2020 season and signed a three-year, $40 million pact with the Atlanta Braves. That has proven to be a nice decision by Smith as he won a World Series ring with the Braves in 2021. However, as a result of him turning down a qualifying offer, the Giants received a compensatory pick, which they used to draft college infielder Jimmy Glowenke.
Bickford was the best value for San Francisco, but Steven Duggar has had the best overall career among the four players from that draft class to reach the majors. In parts of five seasons, the left-handed bat has slashed .242/.298/.375 (82 OPS+) while playing a premium position in center field.
It felt like everything went right for the Giants last year and Duggar's performance was the perfect example of that. After a couple of rough seasons, the 28-year-old outfielder posted a 106 OPS+ in 297 plate appearances while being worth 2.2 bWAR.
On the other hand, Bickford still has a chance to become the best Giants draft pick from that class. His development stalled with Milwaukee due to a pair of suspensions from testing positive for banned substances.
The right-handed hurler was claimed off of waivers by the Los Angeles Dodgers at the beginning of last season, so he is in the right organization to realize the potential that twice made him a first-round pick.
Similar to Duggar, Bickford has the best season of his career in 2021. The 26-year-old pitcher recorded a 2.50 ERA in 56 appearances for the division rivals, but he has been more inconsistent this year with a 4.61 ERA in 29 outings.
Outside of those two, Andrew Suarez and Chris Shaw are the only two others with major league experience. Suarez's contract was sold to the LG Twins of the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) before 2021 where he was an All-Star after recording a 2.18 ERA in 23 appearances. He is currently pitching for the Yakult Swallows of the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) league.
Shaw had a brief stint in the Baltimore Orioles organization last year where he recorded just four hits in 60 at-bats across two affiliates. He is currently playing with the Kentucky Wild Health Genomes of the Atlantic League.
The 2015 draft is in the books for the Giants following the Duggar trade. The root of a team's present struggles can often be originated from a poor draft class or two like what the Giants experienced that year. The baseball draft can be a crap shoot, but you have to hit at a higher rate than what the Giants have shown in the recent past.