The Giants knew it wouldn’t be easy to watch names disappear from their draft board as they waited to make the 59th overall selection. So they were pleasantly surprised when an unexpected talent remained available. They took Bryan Reynolds, a switch-hitting outfielder from Vanderbilt, with their second-round selection.
“We were very happy he was available for us in the second round, and I must say we were surprised he was getting to us,” scouting director John Barr said. “We felt he was a guy more than likely would be gone before we could select.” The Giants surrendered their first-round pick in December when they signed free agent Jeff Samardzija from the White Sox. But they had Reynolds rated as a first-round pick, and see him as an athlete who can stick in center field and hit near the top of a major league lineup. Following their traditions in recent drafts, the Giants gave particular weight to a strong showing in the Cape Cod League, where Reynolds hit .346/.470/.395. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound outfielder was a first-team freshman All-American in 2014, when the Giants closely followed Vanderbilt before taking righthander Tyler Beede in the first round. “We had a good history of him in a sense of what kind of player we thought he could become,” Barr said. “He was the highest guy on the board at the time we selected him. “He comes up with big hits at big times. He had a really good (Southeastern Conference) tournament recently. Throughout his career at Vanderbilt, he was that guy who came up and got that hit in certain situations for them.” A three-year starter for Vanderbilt who played for Team USA as a sophomore, Reynolds was considered a safe pick with a somewhat low ceiling by the scouting community. Then again, the Giants heard similar criticisms before they selected St. John's shortstop Joe Panik in the first round in 2011. A Baltimore-area native who grew up in Tennessee, Reynolds comes from an active family. According to his Vanderbilt bio, his older sister Amanda is an avid free climber, his father is an aspiring professional bass fisherman, his mother is an outdoor enthusiast and his uncle Chuck is a semi-pro deep sea snorkeler. “I’ve seen him hit more lefty than righty, but he’s accomplished from both sides,” Barr said. “I got a chance to see him personally as did many people in our room. It was definitely a group effort. “He’s a winner. That’s the type of personality we’ve always seen: a competitor, a winner who tries to get the most out of his ability. That’s something we look for in the players we select.”