Giants see fast-trackers in draft choices
Pitchers, speedy shortstop could move quickly through system
SAN FRANCISCO -- "It's funny, but I always feel like we didn't get enough," said Dick Tidrow, the Giants' vice president of player personnel, of the 10 pitchers, one catcher, five infielders and two outfielders chosen Tuesday in the First-Year Player Draft.Always a kidder, that Tidrow. This could be one draft to crow about. "We're pretty excited about the first day," he said. "We got a power arm who can move fast in the first pick, and the second pick is a shortstop who can change the game with his speed. "And we have a couple of left-hander pitchers -- one high school, one college -- who are fast-track starters down the road." For the 10th pick in the first round, the Giants tabbed 21-year-old right-handed flamethrower Tim Lincecum from the University of Washington, the collegiate strikeout king whom scouts proclaim could be an exceptional closer. "His curveball is electrifying and his fastball is very high velocity and can make batters swing, but his curve is what we're looking for -- a high-powered breaking ball," said Tidrow. San Francisco's second pick in the draft (compensation for losing Scott Eyre to the Cubs) and 33rd overall was Kent State shortstop Emmanuel Burris, the Player of the Year in the Mid-American Conference. The junior ranked fifth in the country with 42 stolen bases Burris was the leadoff hitter for the Golden Flashes, and his .360 average was fourth best in the MAC. "Burris is a switch-hitter who is a prototypical top-of-the-order hitter with above-average speed," said Giants director of scouting Matt Nerland. "He's a good athlete with quick actions in the field and sure hands." The speedy Burris can change a game, according to Tidrow, who noted, "He has the ability to play middle infield, is a basestealer and switch-hitter who knows how to bunt. "It's just a matter of learning to hit the ball on a line and get it out of the infield," he said of Burriss, who had 10 doubles, three triples and four homers in 56 games. The third-round selection (89th overall) was homegrown left-handed pitcher Clayton Tanner from De La Salle High in Concord, Calif., who had a 9-2 record and 1.48 ERA this season, striking out 101 batters with only 18 walks. For their fourth-round choice, the Giants drafted Ball State University right-hander Benjamin Snyder, the 116th overall pick. He's a sophomore who fanned 108 batters over 109 1/3 innings. In his last two games facing Western Michigan in the Mid-American Conference tournament, Snyder threw 17 innings, allowing only three runs while fanning 19 to earn two victories. The Giants took a chance on Florida Atlantic University outfielder-pitcher Michael McBryde with their fifth pick, 146th overall. He was limited to three games this year with a hamstring pull, but starred in 2005 with a .370 average while also pitching well. Shortstop Ryan Rohlinger from the University of Oklahoma was the club's sixth-round selection. He led the Sooners in major offensive categories and is currently batting .377 heading into NCAA Super Regional action. The seventh-rounder was Cal State Fullerton first baseman Brett Pill, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound power hitter with five homers and 27 extra-base hits. He's also playing in the Super Regionals. Other picks: Eighth round: C Matthew Klimas, Texarkana (Tex.) CC; ninth: IF Brian Bocock, Stetson (Fla.) University; 10th: LHP Paul Ryan, Cal State Fullerton; 11th: RHP Marvin Hobson, North Carolina State; 12th: OF Matthew Weston, University of Houston; 13th: IF Bradley Boyer, Arizona; 14th: RHP Eric Stolp, Pacific; 15th: LHP Andrew Barbosa, Riverview (Fla.) HS; 16th: LHP Paul Oseguera, UCLA; 17th: RHP Kevin Pucetas, Limestone (SC) College; 18th: RHP Jeff Stallings, NC State.
Rich Draper is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.