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Giants' '09 class builds on past Drafts

Giants' '09 class builds on past Drafts

With the 2009 season and Arizona Fall League (where several 2009 draftees got their first taste of pro ball) in the books, we take a look at the early results of each club's '09 Draft class: how their top picks did; late-round picks that fared well; which picks are likely to move up the ladder quickest; and which picks clubs were unable to sign.

In recent years, the Giants have been all about the Draft.

Obviously, every team participates in the June event to try to find talent, but it's only been in recent years that the organization has really committed to building from within via the Draft. The past few first rounds for San Francisco have provided the team with Tim Lincecum (2006), Madison Bumgarner (2007) and Buster Posey (2008).

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NL East
ATL | FLA | NYM | PHI | WAS

AL East
BAL | BOS | NYY | TB | TOR

NL Central
CHC | CIN | HOU | MIL | PIT | STL

AL Central
CWS | CLE | DET | KC | MIN

NL West
ARI | COL | LAD | SD | SF

AL West
LAA | OAK | SEA | TEX

The Giants have shown a willingness to take whoever they feel is the best player, be it a college pitcher, high-school pitcher or college position player. This past year, it was another high-end high-school arm to kick things off and San Francisco was excited about the quality of talent that came after that first pick.

Top five picks

1. Zack Wheeler, RHP: Most felt Wheeler, the Georgia high schooler, was a perfect fit for the Braves at No. 7, but the Giants swooped in and took him one spot earlier. He's tall and projectable with plus arm strength and the chance to have a plus breaking ball as well. He didn't sign until right at the deadline, so he didn't pitch anywhere this past season before instructional league. He'll make his official Giants debut in 2010.

2. Tommy Joseph, C: Still relatively new to full-time catching, the Giants took Joseph more for his bat than anything else. He's got tremendous power and should be able to hit the ball out to all fields in the future. He's worked on his defense so he can stay behind the plate, where his bat would seem even more special, though most feel it would play just fine at any position. He, too, will make his debut in 2010.

3. Chris Dominguez, 3B: Dominguez gives the Giants another power bat, this one from the college ranks (Louisville). He's got a ton of pop and he hit 11 homers in 217 pro at-bats, mostly with short-season Salem-Keizer. He also swings and misses quite a bit (66 strikeouts in 56 games) and although he's got a great arm, it remains to be seen if he can stay at third. He played third and first this past summer.

4. Jason Stoffel, RHP: Heading into the year, it looked like Stoffel could be among the first of the college relievers to go off the board, but an inconsistent season allowed him to slip. With his stuff, he could be a steal in the fourth round and he pitched very well in the Arizona and Northwest Leagues during his debut: 0.90 ERA, four saves, .184 batting average against, 14 hits and one walk allowed while striking out 19 in 20 innings.

5. Brandon Belt, 1B: The Giants didn't sign the University of Texas first baseman until a few days before the deadline, so Belt didn't get the chance to make his pro debut in 2009. He's a left-handed hitter with good plate discipline who has the reputation as a good defender at first.

Best of the rest

OF Evan Crawford (ninth round) came out of the University of Indiana and hit .300/.357/.400 while stealing 14 bases in 16 tries between the Arizona and Northwest Leagues. ... RHP Jeremy Toole had a 2.74 over 46 innings for Salem-Keizer in the Northweset League. He gave up 42 hits, walked 20 and struck out 41. ... Drew Biery (22nd round), a third baseman out of Kansas State, was the Northwest League MVP after hitting .326/.406/.484 over 59 games. ... Right-hander Craig Westcott (30th round) split time between relieving in the Arizona League and starting in the Northwest League and went a combined 7-0 with a 2.49 ERA over 43 1/3 IP. He gave up just 32 hits and 12 walks while striking out 63. He capped his debut off with seven innings of shutout ball in Game 3 of the Northwest League championship.

Fast risers

College relievers are always believed to be the ones who can get there the quickest. If Stoffel can find a level of consistency that eluded him his junior season, he should live up to that. He's got closer-type stuff.

Unsigned

The Giants signed their first 17 picks and 35 of their 50 selections from the '09 Draft class. Catcher Jonathan Walsh (18th round) was the first not to join the organization. A product of high-school powerhouse Coppell High in Texas, he chose the University of Texas over the Giants. Two rounds later, big right-hander Mitch Mormann stuck with his commitment to transfer from Des Moines Area Community College to LSU in 2010.

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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