The Giants won't play a game this month, but years from now we may look back on June of 2020 as a pivotal stretch for the franchise's rise. Taking Patrick Bailey in the first round was a start, but the real heavy lifting will take place today as MLB holds the final four rounds of the shortened draft.
This is a huge opportunity, with six picks total on the second day -- a league-high -- and three in the first 33 selections. They'll pick at No. 49 overall in the second round, then make compensation picks at No. 67 and No. 68 as a consolation prize for losing Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith -- both of whom were given qualifying offers -- in free agency last year.
There's a lot of pressure to get this right. There's also a lot of excitement at Oracle Park.
"We were really excited about this draft class, the depth, the way it's spread out," scouting director Michael Holmes said on The Giants Insider Podcast after the first round. "We think there are good players at high school, collegiate, position players, pitchers. We're in a good position and we feel like with the picks it allows us to do a lot of different things. We're prepared and we're ready to go."
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There are no apples to apples comparison, but the Giants should be able to add multiple players today who can jump into their top 10 as an organization and continue to help the minor league system rise in the rankings. For example, Sean Hjelle -- now their sixth-best prospect per MLB Pipeline -- was taken in just about the same area (45th overall) as their first selection today. Their current No. 12 prospect, right-hander Jake Wong, was taken 80th overall in 2018 and the Giants will make two comp picks before today's third round and then select again at No. 85.
Hjelle and Wong are two of the organization's four best pitching prospects, but overall the Giants are still lacking in that area. Position player talent was a clear need when Farhan Zaidi took over and hired Holmes, and the Giants picked hitters with nine of their first 10 selections last year. They went with a bat Wednesday night, too.
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Zaidi said he expects more balance today, but the Giants won't be too swayed by the fact that pitching is the perceived weakness of a much-improved system.
"We obviously have multiple picks (Thursday) and I would expect us still to take a mix of pitchers and position players," Zaidi said. "At this point we're not going to focus on either side. I would imagine that we have a pretty balanced group of selections. That (adding another hitter) wasn't by design and there were some pitchers that we talked about (at No. 13) as well. It was just that we had the strongest consensus and overall evaluation on Bailey."
MLB Draft 2020: Giants prepared for huge opportunity on Day 2 of event originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area