Home team: Bay Area's best Giants

February 5th, 2021

In recent years, the Giants have put a greater emphasis on scouting local players in the months leading up to the annual MLB Draft. That strategy was borne out in 2019 when the Giants selected Palo Alto, Calif., native Hunter Bishop (an Arizona State University outfielder) with their first-round Draft pick.

Now ranked the club’s No. 4 prospect by MLB Pipeline, Bishop could be the next local product to develop into a foundational piece for the Giants in the coming years. Who are some other notable Bay Area natives to suit up for the orange and black? Let’s take a look at the top five:

Barry Bonds
Years with Giants: 1993-2007
The son of former Giants outfielder Bobby Bonds, was born in Riverside, Calif., but grew up in San Carlos after his family relocated to the Bay Area in 1969. He attended Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo, where he hit .467 with 14 homers and 42 RBIs during his senior year. The Giants drafted him in the second round of the 1982 Draft and offered him $70,000 to turn pro, but Bonds opted to play college baseball at Arizona State.

After leading the Sun Devils to two College World Series appearances, Bonds was selected by the Pirates with the sixth overall pick of the 1985 Draft. He spent the first seven years of his big league career in Pittsburgh before signing a six-year, $43.75 million deal with the Giants ahead of the '93 season.

Bonds' arrival ignited an immediate turnaround for the franchise and transformed a 90-loss team into a 103-win team, as the left fielder posted a .336/.458/.677 slash line with 46 home runs and 123 RBIs to earn the first of five National League MVP Awards in San Francisco. The all-time HR leader spent the final 15 seasons of his career with the Giants, slashing .312/.477/.666 with 586 home runs 1,440 RBIs over 1,976 games in those years.

Joe Morgan
Years with Giants: 1981-82
Hall of Fame second baseman was born in Bonham, Texas, but his family moved to Oakland, Calif., when he was 5 years old. After graduating from Castlemont High School, Morgan played baseball at Oakland City College, where he caught the eyes of scouts and earned a Minor League contract with the Houston Colt .45s (now the Astros).

A key cog in Cincinnati’s Big Red Machine from 1972-79, a 37-year-old Morgan returned home to the Bay Area when he signed with the Giants ahead of the '81 season. His brief stint with San Francisco included a game-winning, three-run homer off Terry Forster at Candlestick Park on the final day of the '82 regular season, which denied the Dodgers a chance to play a tiebreaker for the NL West title.

Brandon Crawford
Years with Giants: 2011-present
Shortstop was born in Mountain View and spent his formative years in Pleasanton, where he attended Foothill High School. Crawford grew up rooting for the Giants, and when the club moved to Oracle Park in 2000, his family purchased a commemorative brick in Willie Mays Plaza, along with season tickets.

A fourth-round Draft pick of the Giants in 2008 out of UCLA, Crawford broke into the big leagues in stunning fashion, launching a grand slam in his Major League debut against the Brewers on May 27, 2011. He fulfilled a childhood dream by developing into the Giants’ starting shortstop, helping the club capture World Series titles in '12 and ‘14.

In 2015, Crawford became the first Giants player to win a Gold Glove Award and Silver Slugger Award in the same season since Barry Bonds in 1997. His résumé features two All-Star selections, including the starting nod at shortstop for the NL in '18. The three-time NL Gold Glove Award winner leads all San Francisco-era players with 1,274 games at shortstop, leaving him only 52 shy of Hall of Famer Travis Jackson’s franchise mark.

George "High Pockets" Kelly
Years with Giants: 1915-17, '19-26
Born in San Francisco in 1895, first baseman High Pockets Kelly debuted in the Majors with the New York Giants as a gangly 19-year-old but missed the 1918 season because military service and didn’t establish himself as a regular until '20, when he tied Rogers Hornsby for the NL lead with 94 RBIs.

Known for his superb defense, Kelly helped the Giants capture four consecutive NL pennants in the 1920s, including back-to-back World Series triumphs over the Yankees in '21 and '22. He led the NL with 23 homers in '21 and earned a third-place finish in MVP voting in '25. The Hall of Famer spent 11 of his 16 big league seasons with the Giants and batted .301 during his tenure in New York.

Chris Speier
Years with Giants: 1971-77, '87-89
An Alameda, Calif., native, shortstop Chris Speier was selected by the Washington Senators in the 11th round of the 1968 Draft out of high school, but he turned down the opportunity to sign. Two years later, the Giants made Speier the second overall pick of the '70 Draft out of Laney College in Oakland and put him on the fast track to the Majors.

He debuted in San Francisco the following year at 20, playing alongside Hall of Famers Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and Juan Marichal. Speier settled in as the Giants’ starting shortstop, earning three consecutive All-Star nods from 1972-74 to jumpstart his 19-year career in the big leagues.