Giants Draft Report
Little guy, big arm
The Giants don't miss too often when they spend their first-round picks on pitchers. And they believe righthander Tim Lincecum is a can't-miss arm.
"He was supposed to go at two or three. We're kind of shocked he got to us," said scouting director Dick Tidrow, after the Giants nabbed Lincecum with the 10th overall selection.
"This is a good thing for the Giants. This guy can be a big league pitcher for a while."
It was the first time the Giants had a top-10 selection since 1997, when they took righthander Jason Grilli.
The Giants hadn't picked in the first round since 2002, when they took righthander Matt Cain. In recent years, they didn't hesitate to forfeit first-round picks as compensation for free-agent signings. When they did have multiple early-round picks, such as 2001, they focused on signability.
But the Barry Bonds era is ending, and the Giants are willing to spend more on draft bonuses. That much was evident after selecting Lincecum, who set a Pac-10 strikeouts record at Washington (and led all of NCAA Division I) but was asking for more than $2 million.
Some observers believe that Lincecum has the best pure stuff of any draft-eligible pitcher. His curveball is considered a premium plus pitch and he could compete in the big leagues this season.
While Tidrow said Lincecum was a "power arm we think we can move fast," he also cited the righthander's 125 innings at Washington.
"He's got to rest for a while," Tidrow said. "He threw a lot of pitches, struck out a lot of guys. I don't know what his ETA is. Long range he's got a chance to start. This year we'll keep his innings to a minimum."
Lincecum is just 5-10 and 170 pounds, so he must conquer the same durability concerns that faced smallish pitchers like Roy Oswalt, Scott Kazmir and Billy Wagner.
When Lincecum does sign, the Giants expect to start him as rookie-level Salem-Keizer.
"I don't think he'll be at any level for very long," Tidrow said.GIANTICS:
• The Giants took Kent State IF Emmanuel Burriss with the 33rd overall selection, which was a compensation pick from the Cubs. Burriss ranked fifth in the nation with 42 steals in 44 attempts. He also led the 2005 Cape Cod League in hits and stolen bases.
• On the draft's first day, the Giants took 10 pitchers, one catcher, five infielders and two outfielders. They selected 14 players from the college ranks, two from junior college and two high school players.