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Giants Turn Attention To Bats

June 7, 2004
By Andy Baggarly

SAN FRANCISCO--The Giants put aside their pitching-heavy philosophy and spent their top two draft picks on power-hitting college outfielders.

With their first-round pick forfeited to the Royals, the Giants used their second-round choice (70th overall) to take Florida State sophomore Eddy Martinez-Esteve and grabbed Long Beach State sophomore John Bowker with their third-round pick (100th overall).

Giants player personnel director Dick Tidrow said his goal was to restock a system mostly thin on power bats, and despite being the second-to-last team to make a pick, he felt he accomplished that goal.

"Picking at No.70, we thought power would go off the board,'' Tidrow said. "Under the circumstances, we did well.''

The Giants surrendered their first-round pick to the Royals as compensation for signing free-agent Michael Tucker. The Giants deliberately signed Tucker before the arbitration deadline so they would forfeit the pick, thereby moving the first-round bonus money to pay Tucker's $1.5 million salary.

With their fourth-round choice, the Giants took another college outfielder, Central Florida's Clay Timpner. After that, Tidrow focused most of his efforts on college pitchers. The team used its top six picks on four-year college players. Of their 17 picks, only two were junior-college players and two were high schoolers.

Nine were pitchers, headed by Missouri righthander Garrett Broshius. The junior was 11-0, 2.61 for the Tigers.

Martinez-Esteve was ranked the No.4 college power hitter in the draft by Baseball America. He hit 19 home runs to lead the Atlantic Coast Conference, though he is not projected as a good defensive player, having moved from third base to the outfield. Tidrow said Martinez-Esteve could play either corner infield position but likely would be developed as a left fielder.

Bowker is another corner outfielder whose power bat is by far his best tool.

GIANTICS

While the Giants took a chance on several draft-and-follow players, they expected to sign their ninth-round pick, lefthander Jamie Arneson from Liberty High School in Bakersfield, Calif.

The Giants stayed local for a pair of college picks, selecting Santa Clara first baseman Will Thompson in the seventh round and middle infielder Kevin Frandsen in the 12th round out of San Jose State.

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