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Giants 2002 Draft Overview

By John Manuel
May 18, 2002

Scouting Director: Dick Tidrow (first draft: 1997).

2000 Draft (First three rounds, picking 21st)
1. Boof Bonser, rhp, Gibbs HS, Pinellas Park, Fla.
2. Lance Niekro, 3b, Florida Southern.
3. Brion Treadway, rhp, UNC Charlotte.

2001 Draft (First three rounds, picking 30th)
1a. Brad Hennessey, rhp, Youngstown State.
1b. Noah Lowry, lhp, Pepperdine.
1c. Todd Linden, of, Louisiana State.
2. Jesse Foppert, rhp, San Francisco.
3. Julian Benavidez, 3b, Diablo Valley (Calif.) CC.

2002 Draft
Giants pick 25th in rotation.

Overview
The Giants have a clear game plan when it comes to the draft: power arms. Find them wherever you can, and sign them.

So while some scouts had questions about Boof Bonser in 2000, the Giants knew better and made him their first-round pick. They've been rewarded by Bonser's rapid development into the organization's No. 2 prospect. The Giants also found lefthander Erick Threets and his 100 mph fastball in the seventh round.

For position players, the Giants often look to a traditional source of talent, the Cape Cod League. The top performers in the Cape in 1999 (Lance Niekro) and 2000 (Todd Linden) are both in the organization. North Carolina infielder Russ Adams, the Cape's top prospect in 2001, might not last until the 25th pick, but other top Cape performers such as Stanford outfielder Jason Cooper--a two-time winner of the Cape's home run contest--will be available.

Speaking of Cooper, the Giants have not been shy about taking Bay Area talent. They found success last year with Jesse Foppert, and Threets was a Modesto Junior College product. The best Bay Area prospects this year include California righthander Trevor Hutchinson, Stanford righthander Jeremy Guthrie and prep outfielder Ryan Bosch.

The addition of an affiliate in the low Class A South Atlantic League has altered the Giants' approach the last few years. No longer does the organization have to be so dependent on college draftees, or push high school picks to the high Class A California League. That approach helped stall or slow the careers of such prep first-rounders as lefthander Chris Jones and outfielder Arturo McDowell.

San Francisco's emphasis on pitching has left the organization short of athletes like McDowell, especially up the middle. Catchers such as Houston's Chris Snyder and Georgia Tech's Tyler Parker--who starred on the Cape in 2000--and middle infielders might be a priority in the 2002 draft.

Another Giants trend to watch is the organization's close association with NAIA power Lewis-Clark State (Idaho). Five LCSC alumni--Marvin Benard, Steve Decker, Keith Foulke, Steve Reed and Frank Williams--have been drafted and signed by the Giants and made it to the major leagues. This year, the Warriors offer several possibilities, including righthanders Collin Perschon and Tim Petke (a former Southern California player) and first baseman Zeph Zinsman.

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