SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants believed they acquired first-round talent with a second-round choice Thursday as they selected Vanderbilt University outfielder Bryan Reynolds with their lone first-day pick in the 2016 Draft.For the first time since 2005, the Giants were shut out of the Draft's first round, having surrendered their
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants believed they acquired first-round talent with a second-round choice Thursday as they selected Vanderbilt University outfielder Bryan Reynolds with their lone first-day pick in the 2016 Draft.
For the first time since 2005, the Giants were shut out of the Draft's first round, having surrendered their No. 1 pick to the Chicago White Sox as compensation for signing free-agent right-hander Jeff Samardzija.
But Draft experts widely viewed Reynolds, 21, as a potential first-rounder. MLBPipeline.com listed him as the 23rd-best prospect available, while Baseball America ranked him 31st, on the cusp of the first round.
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"We did feel that he was a guy who more than likely would be gone before we select," Giants scouting director John Barr said.
The Draft continues Friday with Rounds 3-10. The MLB.com preview show begins at 9:30 a.m. PT, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 3-10 beginning at 10 a.m. PT.
Barr said Giants scouts initially noticed Reynolds when he attended Brentwood (Tenn.) High School. They got a closer look at him when he was a Vanderbilt freshman in 2014, the year San Francisco chose Commodores right-hander Tyler Beede with its first-round pick.
Since then, the Giants' enthusiasm for Reynolds continued to grow. Barr described him as versatile enough to play any outfield spot, though he projected the 6-foot-2, 210-pounder as being skilled enough to remain in center field.
Reynolds' versatility encompasses the batter's box. A switch-hitter, he garnished his .330 batting average with 13 home runs, 57 RBIs, a .461 on-base percentage and a .603 slugging percentage as a junior this year. Last summer, Reynolds legitimized himself in the wooden-bat Cape Cod League, where he hit .346 in 21 regular-season games with Orleans. Barr said he envisions Reynolds as being adept enough to occupy any of the first three spots in the batting order.
Reynolds displayed durability for Vanderbilt, appearing in all 206 of the team's games during his three collegiate seasons.
Moreover, Reynolds' attitude reminded the Giants' decision-makers of the current regulars they drafted and developed.
"He's a winner," Barr said. "That's the type of personality that we've always seen. He really tries to get the most out of his ability. That's something we look for in the players that we select."
Other statistics and accomplishments Reynolds accumulated support that view. As a freshman, he led Vanderbilt's 2014 national championship team in hitting (.338) and slugging (.480). He was named to the All-Tournament teams at the 2015 College World Series and this year's Southeastern Conference tourney.
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.