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Giants pick No. 2 for 1st time since Will the Thrill

MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

The 2018 Draft begins today with the Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com at 3 p.m. PT. MLB Network will broadcast the first 43 picks (Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A), while MLB.com will stream all 78 picks on Day 1. MLB.com will also provide live pick-by-pick coverage of Rounds 3-10 on Day 2, with a preview show beginning at 9:30 a.m. PT. Then, Rounds 11-40 can be heard live on MLB.com on Day 3, beginning at 9 a.m. PT.

Go to MLB.com/draft to see the Top 200 Prospects list, projected top picks from MLB Pipeline analysts Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo, the complete order of selection and more. And follow @MLBDraft on Twitter to see what Draft hopefuls, clubs and experts are saying. Here's how the Draft is shaping up for the Giants, whose first pick is second overall.

The 2018 Draft begins today with the Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com at 3 p.m. PT. MLB Network will broadcast the first 43 picks (Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A), while MLB.com will stream all 78 picks on Day 1. MLB.com will also provide live pick-by-pick coverage of Rounds 3-10 on Day 2, with a preview show beginning at 9:30 a.m. PT. Then, Rounds 11-40 can be heard live on MLB.com on Day 3, beginning at 9 a.m. PT.

Go to MLB.com/draft to see the Top 200 Prospects list, projected top picks from MLB Pipeline analysts Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo, the complete order of selection and more. And follow @MLBDraft on Twitter to see what Draft hopefuls, clubs and experts are saying. Here's how the Draft is shaping up for the Giants, whose first pick is second overall.

In about 50 words
More attention than usual is focused on this year's Draft, largely due to history. The last time the Giants had the No. 2 overall choice was 1985, when they selected Mississippi State first baseman Will Clark. The left-handed batter with the sweet stroke made a lasting impact on the franchise, on and off the field. The Giants yearn to pick somebody who can demonstrate a fraction of Clark's influence.

:: 2018 Draft coverage ::

The scoop
It will be intriguing to see whether the Giants maintain an emphasis on taking younger prospects with higher talent ceilings. Last year they departed from selecting a large percentage of mostly polished collegins and took "toolsy" high school prospects with their first three picks.

First-round buzz
Due to their lofty draft position, the Giants should be able to add a player with legitimate talent. Speculation has surrounded Georgia Tech catcher Joey Bart, Auburn right-hander Casey Mize and Orange (Calif.) Lutheran High School right-hander Cole Winn.

Money matters
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team has an allotted bonus pool equal to the sum of the values of that club's selections in the first 10 rounds of the Draft. The more picks a team has, and the earlier it picks, the larger the pool. The signing bonuses for a team's selections in the first 10 rounds, plus any bonus greater than $125,000 for a player taken in rounds 11-40 will apply toward the bonus-pool total.

The assigned slots are 4.2 percent higher than last year, reflecting the increase in MLB's annual revenues. The Giants ($11,747,500) are among seven clubs with eight-figure bonus pools.

Shopping list
The Giants always find a way to address their pitching needs. But what they really could use are some big bats. They reinforced themselves in this category last year by drafting outfielder Heliot Ramos and third baseman Jacob Gonzalez in the first two rounds. But the Giants' cupboard of offensive prospects is anything but overstocked, requiring them to seek more hitting prowess.

Trend watch
As mentioned earlier, the Giants abandoned their modus operandi last year by using their first two picks on high school position players Ramos and Gonzalez. It's anybody's guess whether this is San Francisco's new trend or just an aberration.

Rising fast
At this time last year, first baseman-outfielder Chris Shaw was making a home with the Giants' Double-A Richmond affiliate. By season's end, he had progressed to Triple-A Sacramento. Shaw, considered the organization's leading power-hitting prospect, likely will be in San Francisco by the end of the season.

Cinderella story
Shortstop Kelby Tomlinson was an afterthought when the Giants selected him in the 12th round of the 2011 Draft. They took two other shortstops ahead of him, including first-round choice Joe Panik. But as observers now know, Tomlinson has derived as much as possible from his ability and has established himself as a valuable reserve.

In the show
The Giants' current contingent, including top performers currently on the disabled list, features 11 players either originally signed or drafted by the organization.

Pitchers on that list include Ty Blach (fifth round, 2012), Madison Bumgarner (first round, 2007), Chris Stratton (first round, 2012) and Andrew Suarez (second round, 2016).

Position players in this category include catcher Buster Posey (first round, 2008), first baseman Brandon Belt (fifth round, 2009), shortstop Brandon Crawford (fourth round, 2008) and outfielder Mac Williamson (third round, 2012).

The Giants also signed infielder Miguel Gomez as a non-drafted free agent in 2011, right-hander Reyes Moronta as a Minor League free agent in 2010 and infielder Pablo Sandoval as an international free agent in 2008.

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.

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