The MLB Draft can be a bit of a crapshoot, as evidenced by the spotty history of the Giants’ top selections.
Here’s the full list of San Francisco’s top overall selection in each year’s Draft, dating back to 1965. (In years with more than one first-round pick, only the top pick is listed.)
2021: Will Bednar, RHP, Mississippi State (No. 14)
Bednar, the first pitcher to be drafted in the first round by the Giants since Phil Bickford in 2015, led Mississippi State to its first College World Series title in 2021 by logging a 1.47 ERA over three starts and delivering six no-hit innings against Vanderbilt in the decisive Game 3 of the championship finals to capture Most Outstanding Player honors.
2020: Patrick Bailey, C, North Carolina State (No. 13)
Bailey reported to the Giants’ alternate training site at Sacramento shortly after being drafted to ensure that he continued to log meaningful reps in the absence of a Minor League season. He made his professional debut in 2021, but he was transferred from High-A Eugene to the Arizona Complex League after a rough start to the season.
2019: Hunter Bishop, OF, Arizona State (No. 10)
Bishop posted an .867 OPS with five home runs over 32 games between the Rookie-level Giants and Class A Salem-Keizer in 2019, but his development hit a snag following the cancelation of the 2020 Minor League season. Bishop opened the 2021 campaign at High-A Eugene, but he appeared in only three games before landing on the injured list with a shoulder injury.
2018: Joey Bart, C, Georgia Tech (No. 2)
Bart took over as the Giants’ primary catcher after debuting in August 2020, but he struggled after making the jump from Double-A to the Majors, batting .233 with a .609 OPS over 33 games. He opened the 2021 campaign at Triple-A Sacramento.
2017: Heliot Ramos, OF, Leadership Christian Academy (Puerto Rico) (No. 19)
Ramos reached Double-A Richmond as a teenager in 2019, but his upward trajectory stalled after the pandemic resulted in a year of lost development. He spent time at big league camp in 2021 before being re-assigned to Double-A Richmond.
2016: Bryan Reynolds, OF, Vanderbilt (No. 59)
The Giants lost their first-round pick in 2016 after signing free agent Jeff Samardzija, but they used their second-round selection on Reynolds, who was later traded to the Pirates in exchange for Andrew McCutchen in January 2018.
2015: Phil Bickford, RHP, College of Southern Nevada (No. 18)
Bickford spent only a year with the Giants organization before being traded to the Brewers in exchange for Will Smith in August 2016.
2014: Chris Shaw, OF, Boston College (No. 31)
Shaw debuted with the Giants in 2018, but he hit only .153 over 38 games before being designated for assignment.
2013: Christian Arroyo, INF, Hernando (Fla.) HS (No. 25)
Arroyo appeared in only 34 games with the Giants before being dealt to the Rays as part of the Evan Longoria trade in December 2017.
2012: Chris Stratton, RHP, Mississippi State (No. 20)
Stratton posted a 4.63 ERA over parts of three seasons with San Francisco before being traded to the Angels in exchange for Williams Jerez in March 2019.
2011: Joe Panik, INF, St. John’s (No. 29)
Panik developed into an All-Star, a Gold Glove Award winner and a 2014 World Series champion over his six-year tenure with the Giants, but he was cut in August 2019 after a significant decline at the plate.
2010: Gary Brown, OF, Cal State Fullerton (No. 24)
Brown reached the Majors in 2014, but his big league career proved brief, as he went 3-for-7 over seven games before being designated for assignment by the Giants.
2009: Zack Wheeler, RHP, East Paulding (Ga.) HS (No. 6)
Wheeler spent his first two professional seasons in the Giants' organization before being flipped to the Mets in exchange for Carlos Beltrán at the 2011 Trade Deadline.
2008: Buster Posey, C, Florida State (No. 5)
Posey is easily the most consequential Draft pick in Giants history, as his arrival ushered in the franchise’s most successful era. The star catcher emerged as the cornerstone of the Giants’ three World Series-winning teams in 2010, ‘12 and ‘14, marking the club’s first championship titles since the organization moved west in 1958.
2007: Madison Bumgarner, LHP, South Caldwell (N.C.) HS (No. 10)
Bumgarner spent the first 11 years of his career in San Francisco, going 119-92 with a 3.13 ERA while earning four All-Star nods and two Silver Slugger Awards. But he often saved his best work for October, when he established himself as one of the greatest postseason pitchers in baseball history during the Giants’ three World Series championship runs.
2006: Tim Lincecum, RHP, University of Washington (No. 10)
“The Freak” became a cult figure over his nine seasons with the Giants, winning back-to-back Cy Young Awards in 2008 and ‘09 and leading the National League in strikeouts in three consecutive years. He notched three World Series rings, earned four All-Star selections and tossed two no-hitters with the Giants.
2005: Ben Copeland, OF, University of Pittsburgh (No. 132)
The Giants forfeited their first three picks for signing free agents Armando Benitez, Mike Matheny and Omar Vizquel, so they didn't get a selection until they took Copeland in the fourth round. Copeland played for eight seasons in the Minors, but he never reached the Majors.
2004: Eddy Martinez-Esteve, OF, Florida State (No. 70)
San Francisco surrendered its first-round pick in 2004 after signing free agent Michael Tucker, so it had to wait until the second round to select Martinez-Esteve, who never reached the Majors.
2003: David Aardsma, RHP, Rice University (No. 22)
Aardsma made only 11 appearances for the Giants in 2004 before being traded to the Cubs in exchange for LaTroy Hawkins in May 2005.
2002: Matt Cain, RHP, Houston (Tenn.) HS (No. 25)
Cain spent his entire 13-year career with the Giants, going 104-118 with a 3.68 ERA. He made three All-Star teams, won two World Series rings and tossed the first perfect game in Giants history against the Astros in 2012.
2001: Brad Hennessey, RHP, Youngstown State University (No. 21)
Hennessey pitched for the Giants from 2004-08, going 17-23 with a 4.69 ERA over 148 career appearances in the Majors.
2000: Boof Bonser, RHP, Gibbs (Fla.) HS (No. 21)
Bonser spent three years in the Giants organization before being shipped to the Twins along with Francisco Liriano and Joe Nathan as part of the trade that brought A.J. Pierzynski to San Francisco in November 2003.
1999: Kurt Ainsworth, RHP, Louisiana State University (No. 24)
Ainsworth logged a 3.56 ERA over 19 appearances for the Giants before being dealt to the Orioles as part of the package for Sidney Ponson at the 2003 Trade Deadline.
1998: Tony Torcato, INF, Woodland (Calif.) HS (No. 19)
Torcato played for the Giants from 2002-05, batting .298 with a .687 OPS and no home runs over 43 career games in the Majors.
1997: Jason Grilli, RHP, Seton Hall University (No. 4)
Grilli spent two years in the Giants organization before being traded to the Marlins in exchange for Liván Hernández at the 1999 Trade Deadline.
1996: Matt White, RHP, Waynesboro Area (Pa.) HS (No. 7)
White was widely regarded as the best high school pitcher available in this Draft class, but the Giants failed to sign him after agent Scott Boras found a loophole that enabled his young client to become a free agent when the Giants neglected to offer him a contract in time. White ended up signing with the Rays for $10.2 million, but he never reached the Majors.
1995: Joe Fontenot, RHP, Acadiana (La.) HS (No. 16)
Fontenot spent three seasons in the Giants organization before being traded to the Marlins as part of the package for Robb Nen in November 1997.
1994: Dante Powell, OF, Cal State Fullerton (No. 22)
Powell spent parts of three seasons with the Giants, batting .327 with an .880 OPS and two home runs over 48 games.
1993: Steve Soderstrom, RHP, Cal State Fresno (No. 6)
Soderstrom appeared in only three games with the Giants, logging a 5.27 ERA over 13 2/3 innings in 1996. His son, Tyler, was a first-round Draft pick of the A’s in 2020.
1992: Calvin Murray, OF, University of Texas (No. 7)
Murray played for the Giants from 1999-2002, batting .240 with a .670 OPS and eight homers over 240 games.
1991: Steve Whitaker, LHP, Cal State Long Beach (No. 33)
Whitaker pitched in the Minors for six seasons, but he never reached the Majors.
1990: Adam Hyzdu, OF, Archbishop Moeller (Ohio) HS (No. 15)
Hyzdu never appeared in a game for the Giants, as he was traded to the Reds in exchange for Scott Robinson and Chris Hook in March 1994.
1989: Steve Hosey, OF, Cal State Fresno (No. 14)
Hosey made 24 appearances for the Giants from 1992-93, batting .259 with a .607 OPS and one home run.
1988: Royce Clayton, INF, St. Bernard (Calif.) HS (No. 15)
Clayton spent five seasons with the Giants before being traded to the Cardinals in exchange for Doug Creek, Rich DeLucia and Allen Watson in December 1995.
1987: Mike Remlinger, LHP, Dartmouth (No. 16)
Remlinger recorded a 4.37 ERA over eight appearances for the Giants in 1991, but he was subsequently traded along with Kevin Mitchell to the Mariners in exchange for Dave Burba, Michael Jackson and Bill Swift.
1986: Matt Williams, INF, University of Nevada, Las Vegas (No. 3)
A 21-year-old Williams debuted with the Giants in 1987, though he endured some growing pains before truly establishing himself in the Majors. His breakthrough finally came in 1990, when he hit .277 with 33 home runs and a National League-high 122 RBIs in his first full season as a big leaguer. Williams then blossomed into a star, earning four All-Star selections and three Gold Gloves over his 10-year tenure in San Francisco.
1985: Will Clark, INF, Mississippi State (No. 2)
Clark batted .299 with 176 home runs and 709 RBIs over eight seasons with the Giants. “Will the Thrill’ earned five of his six career All-Star selections in San Francisco, along with two Silver Slugger Awards and one Gold Glove Award at first base.
1984: Alan Cockrell, OF, University of Tennessee (No. 9)
Cockrell was traded to the Twins in exchange for Karl Best in August 1988 and briefly reached the Majors in 1996, when he appeared in nine games for the Rockies.
1983: Jeff Robinson, RHP, Cal State Fullerton (No. 44)
Robinson, a second-round pick, pitched for the Giants from 1984-87, recording a 3.81 ERA over 169 appearances.
1982: Steve Stanicek, INF, University of Nebraska (No. 11)
Stanicek never donned the Giants uniform, but he made 13 career appearances in the big leagues with the Brewers and Phillies in 1987 and ‘89.
1981: Mark Grant, RHP, Joliet Catholic Academy (Ill.) HS (No. 15)
Grant logged a 4.76 ERA over three seasons with the Giants before being dealt to the Padres as part of a blockbuster trade in July 1987. Grant, Chris Brown, Keith Comstock and Mark Davis were sent to San Diego in exchange for Dave Dravecky, Craig Lefferts and Kevin Mitchell.
1980: Jessie Reid, INF, Lynwood (Calif.) HS (No. 7)
Reid’s big-league career proved brief, as he appeared in only eight games with the Giants from 1987-88.
1979: Scott Garrelts, RHP, Buckley Loda (Ill.) HS (No. 15)
Garrelts spent his entire 10-year career with the Giants, earning one All-Star selection and capturing the National League ERA title with a 2.28 mark in 1989.
1978: Bob Cummings, C, Brother Rice (Ill.) HS (No. 7)
Cummings played in the Minors for nine seasons, but he never reached the Majors.
1977: Craig Landis, INF, Vintage (Calif.) HS (No. 10)
Landis played in the Minors for six seasons, but he never reached the Majors. He now works as an MLB agent, with Angels star Mike Trout among his most prominent clients.
1976: Mark Kuecker, INF, Brenham (Texas) HS (No. 11)
Kuecker played in the Minors for four seasons, but he never reached the Majors.
1975: Ted Barnicle, LHP, Jacksonville State University (No. 8)
Barnicle pitched in the Minors for seven seasons, but he never reached the Majors.
1974: Terry Lee, INF, San Luis Obispo (Calif.) HS (No. 19)
Lee played in the Minors for eight seasons, but he never reached the Majors.
1973: Johnnie LeMaster, INF, Paintsville (Ky.) HS (No. 6)
LeMaster spent the first 11 years of his career with the Giants, batting .225 with a .573 OPS and 21 home runs over 986 games. He was traded to the Indians in exchange for Mike Jeffcoat and Luis Quinones in May 1985.
1972: Rob Dressler, RHP, Madison (Ore.) HS (No. 19)
Dressler made 28 appearances (21 starts) with the Giants from 1975-76, posting a 3.99 ERA over 124 innings.
1971: Frank Riccelli, LHP, Christian Brothers Academy (N.Y.) HS (No. 18)
Riccelli appeared in four games with the Giants in 1976, allowing 10 runs over 16 innings.
1970: John D’Acquisto, RHP, St. Augustine (Calif.) HS (No. 17)
D’Acquisto spent four seasons with San Francisco, recording a 4.68 ERA over 83 career appearances.
1969: Mike Phillips, INF, McArthur (Texas) HS (No. 18)
Phillips hit .222 with a .560 OPS and three home runs over three seasons with the Giants before being selected off waivers from the Mets in 1975.
1968: Gary Matthews, OF, San Fernando (Calif.) HS (No. 17)
Matthews captured 1973 National League Rookie of the Year honors after hitting .300 with an .812 OPS and 12 home runs over 148 games with the Giants. He spent five seasons in San Francisco before leaving to sign a free-agent deal with the Braves ahead of the 1977 campaign.
1967: Dave Rader, C, South (Calif.) HS (No. 18)
Rader enjoyed a six-year run with the Giants from 1971-76, batting .262 with a .680 OPS and 22 homers over 583 games.
1966: Bob Reynolds, RHP, Ingraham (Wash.) HS (No. 17)
Reynolds never appeared in a game for the Giants, as he was poached by the Expos in the 1968 expansion draft.
1965: Al Gallagher, 3B, Santa Clara University (No. 14)
Gallagher saw time with the Giants from 1970-73, batting .260 with a .682 OPS and 11 homers over 332 games.