With Steven Duggar’s trade to the Texas Rangers in exchange Willie Calhounthe SF Giants have no one left in the organization from the 2015 draft class. How did that draft class perform seven years later?
The Giants’ 2015 draft class was all about pitching prospects Phil Bickford and hard-hitting first baseman Chris Shaw. The only other two players from that draft class to make the majors were Duggar and Andrew Suarez.
In fact, only three other players from that draft class still play professionally, including Jalen Miller, CJ Hinojosaand Tyler Cyr.
The best value from that draft was Bickford, as he was one of two players traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in 2017 in exchange for a left-handed assist Will Smith. Smith was an underrated helper for the Giants, who posted a 2.70 ERA with 48 saves in three seasons with San Francisco.
Also, the southpaw turned down a qualifying offer after the 2020 season and signed a three-year, $40 million deal with the Atlanta Braves. That proved to be a good decision by Smith as he won a World Series ring with the Braves in 2021. However, when he turned down a qualifying offer, the Giants received a level pick, which allowed them to draft a college infielder Jimmy Glowenke.
Bickford was San Francisco’s best value, but Steven Duggar had the best overall career of the four players from that draft class to reach the majors. In parts of five seasons, the left-hander has slashed .242/.298/.375 (82 OPS+) while playing a prime midfield position.
It felt like everything was going right for the Giants last year, and Duggar’s performance was the perfect example of that. After a tough couple of seasons, the 28-year-old outfielder had 106 OPS+ in 297 plate appearances while earning a 2.2 bWAR.
On the downside, Bickford still has a shot at becoming the Giants’ top-ranked draft pick in that class. His development stalled at Milwaukee due to two suspensions due to positive tests for banned substances.
The right-handed slinger was waived by the Los Angeles Dodgers early last season, so he’s in the right organization to see the potential that made him a two-time first-round pick.
Much like Duggar, Bickford is having the best season of his career in 2021. The 26-year-old pitcher recorded a 2.50 ERA in 56 appearances for division rivals, but he’s been more volatile this year with a 4.61 ERA in 29 games.
Aside from those two, the only others with major league experience are Andrew Suarez and Chris Shaw. Suarez’s contract was traded to the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) LG Twins prior to 2021, where he was an All-Star after recording a 2.18 ERA in 23 appearances. He currently pitches for the Yakult Swallows of the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) League.
Shaw had a brief stint with the Baltimore Orioles organization last year, where he recorded just four hits in 60 at-bats across two affiliates. He currently plays with the Atlantic League’s Kentucky Wild Health Genomes.
The 2015 draft is on the books for the Giants after the Duggar trade. The root of a team’s current struggles can often come from a bad draft class or two, like the Giants experienced this year. The baseball draft can be a crap shoot, but you need to be hitting at a higher rate than what the Giants have shown in recent memory.