Giants select OF Heliot Ramos with No. 19 overall pick in 2017 Draft

Giants select OF Heliot Ramos with No. 19 overall pick in 2017 Draft

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants do not pick for need in the Major League Baseball draft, they pick the best player available. It just so happened that those two things matched up in the first round Monday. 

The Giants selected Heliot Ramos, a 17-year-old outfielder from Leadership Christian Academy in Maunabo, Puerto Rico with the 19th pick in the draft. Giants vice president and assistant GM John Barr, who oversees the organization’s drafts, said Ramos stood out because of his power and speed. Barr thinks Ramos can stick in center field, with the potential to grow into a “five-tool player.”

“We’ve been watching this player the last two years (and) every time we’d see him he’d continue getting better,” Barr said. “You just don’t get a chance to get a player of his athleticism and how young he was. You don’t get that very often, and we thought it was the right time to take him when he was there.

“He already shows power but yet he’s very young. He can run. As he matures into his body and continues to mature into his body, we feel we may have something special.”

The Giants have been waiting years for that type of player, although Ramos, one of the youngest players in the draft, will certainly need plenty of time to develop. He will not turn 18 until September. Ramos is listed at 6-foot-1 and 188 pounds, and he bats and throws from the right side. He has an older brother, Henry, who is a Triple-A outfielder for the Dodgers, and another brother plays professional soccer.

This is second straight year the Giants have selected an outfielder with their top pick. They chose Bryan Reynolds in the second round last season and he’s currently having plenty of success in High-A, alongside third-round pick Heath Quinn. Chris Shaw, a supplemental round pick in 2015, has also moved to the outfield and has reached Triple-A. 

Barr said the picks are not part of a larger plan for an organization that has had to rely on importing outfielders over the past decade. 

“It just came down to how the draft boards fell for us this year and also last year,” he said. “I don’t think we thought Reynolds was going to be there last year when we made our selection. This year we just had Ramos as the highest rated guy on our board at the time it was time for us to pick.”


With their second round pick, No. 58 overall, the Giants took Jacob Gonzalez, a third baseman from Chaparral High in Scottsdale. Jacob is the son of Luis, the longtime Diamondbacks star. 

Gonzalez is listed at 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds, and he has a power profile. On’s broadcast, it was noted that he might eventually outgrow the position and end up at first base or in left field. Gonzalez is currently committed to play college ball at TCU. 

Bumgarner injury just the latest in recent run of misfortune for Giants

Bumgarner injury just the latest in recent run of misfortune for Giants

Eight years ago in this very space, I postulated that Brian Sabean had done a lucrative deal with Satan.Co to win the Giants’ first World Series in 56 years. He never denied it, so I took that as silent affirmation.

Now, it seems Beelzebub has brought the bill, to be paid in full on receipt of same.

The San Francisco Giants, who needed as few things as possible to go wrong to start this season, just got two full-on groin shots in the space of less than a week, the second of which was delivered when Madison Bumgfarner fractured his hand trying to repel a line drive from Kansas City second baseman Whit Merrifield during Friday’s Cactus League game.

The injury did not look serious at first because, well, because Bumgarner pretends to be made of adamantium, but an X-ray revealed the fracture and though no time for recovery was listed, Bumgarner may return to health before the Giants do.

And yes, I know spring training is no time for fans to lose hope for a cheery season, but you take the fact as they present themselves, and the Giants are already 40 percent down from their projected starting rotation. Jeff Samardzija is already on the disabled list with a hinky pectoral muscle, and as the Giants know all too well, things like this tend to come in sixes, if not eights.

The 2010 Giants hit on every midseason trade and parlayed that good fortune and the assets already on board to a storied October run. A year later, Buster Posey got Scott Cousin-ed, and his broken ankle snapped the team’s hope of repeating.

The Giants then won in 2012 and ’14 without too much incident, but starting midway through 2016, continuing into last year when Bumgarner flipped his dirt bike, and now down to today, it’s been nothing but seeds and stems for Giantvania.

The rumor mill has been quick to offer up possible replacements for the Bumgarner vacancy (though not for his expected results), but at a time in the game’s development when the best and most progressive-thinking teams are talking about four-man rotations and Staff on every fifth day, a strategic development that requires strength in numbers, the Giants have neither that strength nor those numbers.

Their best internal choices are veteran Derek Holland, who might already have been penciled in as Samardzija’s replacement, and phenom-in-training Tyler Beede. But that essentially uses up the in-house bank of usable goods, so Sabean can either buy something very off-the-rack or hope he and Bruce Bochy can fake it long enough for Samardzija (three to four weeks) and then Bumgarner (six to eight, according to ESPN's Buster Olney).

This seems awfully daunting, especially for a team that has buzzard’s luck and a rotting bat rack for a season and a half. But with six days before the regular season starts in Los Angeles against Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers...oh, the hell with it. If you’re a Giant fan, start drinking, and continue until further notice. The evil lord of the netherworld will tell you when it’s time to stop.

Bumgarner fractures bone in pitching hand in final tune-up before season

Bumgarner fractures bone in pitching hand in final tune-up before season

SAN FRANCISCO -- A day after the Giants lost one of the game's most durable pitchers, they took a much bigger blow. 

Madison Bumgarner fractured the fifth metacarpal in his pitching hand when he was hit by a line drive Friday in what was to be his final appearance before facing Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers on Opening Day. The Giants did not have an immediate timetable for how long their ace will be out, but he is expected to miss a significant portion of the season for a second straight year. The rotation is already without Jeff Samardzija for the first month of the season because of a strained pectoral.

Bumgarner told reporters he will have surgery on Saturday to insert pins into his hand. He expects the pins to be removed in four-to-six weeks, and that he'll be able to pitch before the All-Star break. ESPN's Buster Olney reported that, in all, Bumgarner will be out for six-to-eight weeks.

Bumgarner looked poised for a huge season, and he threw well all camp. He was injured when hit by a liner off the bat of Kansas City's Whit Merrifield. Ironically, Bumgarner and Merrifield grew up close to each other in North Carolina, and Merrifield has told a story about getting beamed by an intimidating 11-year-old Bumgarner in little league.

The Giants had little rotation depth coming into the season, and the group is now in shambles. Derek Holland, a non-roster invitee, may be the No. 2 starter. The Giants will also have to lean heavily on young pitchers Chris Stratton and Ty Blach. Johnny Cueto is the de facto ace, but he's coming off a down year and at times has struggled this spring. 

There are not many appealing options left in free agency and the Giants likely would have to go into the tax to sign one. Tyler Beede and Andrew Suarez are the top in-house options.