Previewing the 2024 Draft for the Giants

July 6th, 2024

This story was excerpted from Maria Guardado’s Giants Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

ATLANTA -- After an aggressive offseason, the Giants won’t get as many bites at the apple in the upcoming 2024 MLB Draft.

By signing two free agents who turned down qualifying offers -- left-hander Blake Snell and third baseman Matt Chapman -- the Giants forfeited their second- and third-round picks, leaving them with only 18 selections in the 20-round Draft, which will run from July 14-16 during All-Star Week in Arlington, Texas.

San Francisco holds the 13th pick in the first round, but it’ll have to wait until the fourth round to make its second pick (No. 116 overall), limiting its access to premier talent at the top of the Draft. Still, amateur scouting director Michael Holmes said the Giants are doing their normal due diligence in case some of their targets end up falling down the Draft board later this month.

First pick and bonus slot: No. 13 overall, $5,272,300
Additional first-day picks: None
Total bonus pool: $7,566,200

“We didn’t really allow it to change our approach too much,” Holmes said Tuesday. “We continue to scout everybody as if we had all of our picks heading into the Draft. We tried not to change our approach as far as how we cover things. We want to make sure we exhaust all the players. I think it helps us line up our board, no matter how many picks you have or don’t have, and make sure the integrity of the board is still there. You never know. Those guys you think are sometimes ‘tweeners,’ sometimes they slide through, so we want to make sure we’re prepared for all of them.”

One of the other downsides of losing two of their top picks is that the Giants will have a smaller bonus pool to work with this year. They have the fifth-lowest bonus pool in the Majors at $7,566,200, down from $9,916,900 in 2023, when they had the 16th overall pick.

The Giants have gotten creative with their pool allotments in the past, most notably in 2020, when they selected left-hander Kyle Harrison in the third round and gave him first-round money -- a $2,497,500 million bonus -- to entice him to forgo his commitment to UCLA and turn pro. With a smaller bonus pool, they'll have less flexibility to pull off such maneuvers this year.

“I wouldn’t call it a challenge, but it is an option for clubs to get creative with their pool allotments as they move through the Draft,” Holmes said. “Not having as much pool money could create some restrictions as far as being creative. But our hopes are still to manage it in a way that we’re able to get the best players available.”

The Giants have leaned more toward college players in their first five Drafts under Holmes and president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, though they used their first two 2023 selections on a pair of high school infielders: first baseman (San Francisco’s No. 2 prospect) and shortstop Walker Martin (No. 5).

MLB Pipeline’s latest mock draft suggested the Giants could select another prep star in the first round this year, as Jonathan Mayo linked the club to Cam Caminiti, a left-hander from Saguaro (Ariz.) High School who is ranked the No. 15 prospect in the 2024 Draft. Other possibilities include East Carolina right-hander Trey Yesavage, Florida State third baseman Cam Smith, Oklahoma State outfielder Carson Benge, North Carolina outfielder Vance Honeycutt or Louisiana State third baseman Tommy White.

“I think it’s a really strong position player Draft, both on the high school and college level,” Holmes said. “I do think there’s some really good pitchers in this year’s Draft, but if you’re asking me strengths and weaknesses, there’s a definite lean toward the position player.”

Here’s a look at how the Giants have fared with their top picks from the last five Drafts, with their current team in parentheses:

2023: 1B Bryce Eldridge (High-A Eugene)
2022: LHP Reggie Crawford (Triple-A Sacramento)
2021: RHP Will Bednar (Double-A Richmond)
2020: C Patrick Bailey (Majors)
2019: OF Hunter Bishop (Triple-A Sacramento)