Well, as the Giants pick at 18 in the MLB's annual June Amateur Draft approached, one huge name stayed available that I was hoping would end up falling to the Giants, but alas, Brady Aiken was taken one selection before the Giants pick at 18. Instead, the Giants went with another young arm, and one that many had going in the top-15 in Southern Nevada's right-hander, Phil Bickford.
|SF takes RHP Phil Bickford 18th|
I don't know a whole lot about Bickford other than what I've read and watched in recent draft coverage and player previews. Bickford has bounced between the pen and rotation in his early baseball life, but the Giants' will most likely develop him as a starter and go from there. He's not as polished as Tyler Beede (the Giants top pick a year ago), but appears to have explosive stuff and a solid frame at 6'5" and 210 pounds. He's already been a top-10 pick, by the Blue Jays in 2013, but chose not to sign and instead attend CSU Fullerton. From the sound and looks of his stuff, a mid-90's explosive fastball and a hard-biting hook, it would appear he could be destined to possibly close at some point down the line in the Majors, although the Giants may want to start him out as a starter just in case. The thing is, I don't know if he has enough plus pitches to fool big league hitters more than one-time through, so again, all signs point towards possible future closer. Once I checked in the ticker though at pick 12 and didn't see Aiken selected yet, I was starting to get giddy. I know he has some health concerns but that guy could be one of the best lefties in the game in 3-4 years if he stays right. Here's
a cool video about the newest Giants' first-round pick, talking about pitching and showing some off his stuff!
|Take Chris Shaw w/31st pick|
With the 31st pick in the round one and the Giants 2nd pick in the round, they went from a pitcher with power stuff to a third basemen with big time power with the bat, and I liked this selection because the Giants took a chance on a guy with raw power. BC OF Chris Shaw is a guy who's got plus power and the ability to play either corner outfield spot or first base, depending on team needs (although lack of range makes him best suited for first). He's shown the ability to hit and hit for power with the wood bat already in the Cape Cod League. From the looks and sounds of things, he reminds me a lot of Brandon Belt in a way. Big time power, and the ability to get hot and hit for average, but he's still got to get a handle on the strike zone, I'll tell you one thing though, he sure does have a pretty left-handed stroke and it's easy to see why the Giants liked him. Here's
a video of him taking BP then going yard in-game the very same night... Just take a look at that swing!