Giants

How Giants' top five picks from 2019 MLB Draft played in first season

How Giants' top five picks from 2019 MLB Draft played in first season

The Giants continued a trend this year in the 2019 MLB Draft. For the fifth straight year, San Francisco picked a hitter over a pitcher with their top draft pick. 

President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi had a clear plan this year: Find some big bats. A pitcher's name wasn't called by the Giants until the eighth round this year. 

With offense on the Giants' mind, here's how the team's top five picks performed in their first crack of the minor leagues this year. 

Hunter Bishop, OF, No. 10 overall 

Bishop put up huge numbers as a junior at Arizona State, batting .342 with 22 home runs. The 6-foot-5 center fielder joined the Giants' Arizona Rookie League team over a month after his college season ended and showed a bit of rust but still hit .250 with one homer and three doubles.

He hit .250 with one homer in seven games playing in the AZL before he was promoted to Class A Short Season Salem-Keizer. Bishop spent 25 games with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes and hit just .224 with three homers and nine RBI. While those aren't huge numbers, they don't tell the whole story. 

Bishop showed he could swing and miss plenty of times while swinging for the fences at ASU, but he also has a great eye at the plate. Bishop ended his first season in the minors with a .438 on-base percentage and had just one more strikeout (39) than walk (38) this year. 

[RELATED: Four Giants on MLB Pipeline's final Top 100 prospects list]

The Giants' top pick is a former high school football star and great athlete. The speed-power combination is there, and he clearly has a solid approach at the plate. 

Logan Wyatt, 1B, No. 51 overall 

After a long junior season at the University of Louisville, Wyatt also only spent seven games in the AZL before joining Salem-Keizer.

Wyatt had an impressive enough showing with the Volcanoes that he spent his final 19 games in Class A Augusta. Before his promotion, though, he hit .284 with two homers and 10 walks to just nine strikeouts for Salem-Keizer. In Augusta, Wyatt's batting average dropped to .233, but he had a .368 on-base percentage. 

Though Wyatt doesn't have big power numbers there, many believe he could have the ability to one day be a 20-homer hitter. What he always has had, however, is a keen eye. The big left-hander ranked third in NCAA Division-I both years he was a starter. 

Zaidi loves players that value the ability to get on base, and Wyatt fits the mold.

Grant McCray, OF, No. 87

McCray was a three-sport athlete in high school and committed to play baseball at Florida State before the Giants drafted him in the third round. Right away, his speed jumps off the page. 

The 18-year-old stole 17 bases in the AZL, but also was caught stealing 13 times. That number can come down with coaching and more reps down the road. 

McCray already is 6-foot-2 and 170 pounds with plenty of room to grow. He hit .270 with one homer, two triples, five doubles and a .714 OPS in the Rookie League. 

Tyler Fitzgerald, SS, No. 116 overall

The Giants went with two Louisville Cardinals in their first four picks. Fitzgerald was their fourth-round pick and fits the mold of a classic college shortstop. 

While he doesn't have one tool that jumps off the page, the 6-foot-3, 205-pound shortstop is solid across the board. He showed more pop his junior year, though, hitting seven homers while raising his slugging percentage 145 points. 

Fitzgerald had a short stint in the AZL and spent the majority of his season between Salem-Keizer and Augusta. Between three levels, he hit .276 with one homer, two triples, 15 doubles and a .753 OPS. 

Garrett Frechette, 1B, No. 146 overall 

Frechette is a really intriguing prospect. The high school draft pick out of Southern California was sidelined during his senior year with mononucleosis, but reportedly launched balls into the water at Oracle Park during a pre-draft workout. 

He's a 6-foot-3, 200-pound left-hander with raw power. He hasn't hit a homer in the minors yet, though. Frechette spent 39 games in the AZL and hit .290 while knocking seven doubles and two triples. 

Before the illness and a hamate bone injury, Frechette was considered a top 10 high school player in California. He has a ways to go, but the talent is there.

Gabe Kapler admits that he wasn't popular hire as Giants' next manager

Gabe Kapler admits that he wasn't popular hire as Giants' next manager

Naming a new manager is a time for any sports team to celebrate. That wasn't the case for the Giants on Wednesday. 

Turning to Gabe Kapler as Bruce Bochy's successor was an unpopular decision to say the least. Open up Twitter and you won't see many positive responses regarding the Giants' new manager since the news was announced Tuesday night

It's not like Kapler doesn't know this, though. The Athletic's Tim Kawakami asked Kapler on Wednesday at his introductory press conference if he felt like he was starting his Giants tenure in a hole, and how much that matters to him.

"Yes, I feel like I'm in a little bit of a hole, and yes, that means something to me," Kapler said. "I think I'll just use it as an opportunity to roll up my sleeves a little bit more, to dig in a little bit more, to find out why I have had some of those issues and why I so far have not been a popular hire.

"And then, be responsible for those things."

Kapler was an unpopular choice to Giants fans for reasons other than just his baseball decisions, despite having a losing record in his two-year stint as the Phillies' manager.

The Washington Post reported in February a story of Kapler's mishandling of assault allegations from a 17-year-old girl against Dodgers minor leaguers that occurred in February 2015, when Kapler was the team's director of player development. Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi was the Dodgers' general manager at the time, too. 

The majority of Kapler's press conference dealt with questions regarding his and Zaidi's handing of the situation from 2015. The two spoke openly about, how they handled the allegations and how they want to be better going forward. 

Kapler says his unpopularity to start his time in San Francisco will only inspire him to be better on and off the field.

[RELATED: How Kapler explained 'problem solving' in 2015 blog post]

"I don't think I know everything," Kapler said. "I don't think that I've made every perfect step. I've made a lot of mistakes. But I think one of those things that you'll find out about me is that I'm pretty good at making adjustments. So when I find out there's a reason that this maybe isn't the most popular hire, I want to know what those reasons are and I want to get better at them.

"I just dig in and roll up my sleeves and get to work."

Longtime coach Ron Wotus remains with Giants on Gabe Kapler's staff

Longtime coach Ron Wotus remains with Giants on Gabe Kapler's staff

SAN FRANCISCO -- Gabe Kapler's first move as Giants manager was a popular one. 

Longtime Giants coach Ron Wotus was offered a job on Kapler’s staff and accepted, pulling his name out of the running to be the bench coach for the Mets. Wotus, who interviewed for the job that ultimately went to Kapler, told NBC Sports Bay Area that his preference has always been to work for the Giants and stay in the Bay Area.

During Kapler's introductory press conference, the new Giants manager announced that Wotus will serve as the team's third base coach.

Wotus, 58, will be in his 33rd year with the Giants organization and will be working for his fourth manager. He is the longest-tenured coach in franchise history and has previously been on staff for Dusty Baker, Felipe Alou and Bruce Bochy.

Wotus was the bench coach before moving over to the third-base box in 2018. Through both jobs, he drew endless praise for his work with Giants infielders, and Brandon Crawford, Joe Panik and Matt Duffy are among those who have credited him in recent years for helping them become Gold Glove-caliber defenders. 

Wotus should provide a valuable bridge for Kapler, who is learning a new clubhouse and will have to gain the trust of the existing core. He also should be a perfect fit for an organization that is going heavy on analytics and modern methods while also trying to pay respect to traditional coaching and scouting. Wotus was the first on the big league staff to really dive into defensive shifting and he was instrumental in helping the Giants change the way they positioned infielders. 

[RELATED: Zaidi discusses trait that stood out from Kapler]

Wotus was one of two internal candidates to interview for the manager job, along with former bench coach Hensley Meulens. It had been previously reported that Meulens was joining the Marlins' staff, but a source said he has not yet committed to that. Meulens also interviewed to be Mets bench coach.