With the eighteenth overall pick in the draft, the Giants have selected right-hander Phil Bickford from the Community College of Southern Nevada. Bickford was projected to be picked in the early twenties, with the Athletics and Royals among the teams who were reportedly interested if he was not yet selected.
Bickford, a 6-foot-4, 205-pound righty from California, was selected by the Blue Jays out of high school as the tenth overall pick in the 2013 draft before not signing and instead going to Cal State Fullerton for his freshman year. After a successful year in Fullerton, he transferred to Southern Nevada in order to be eligible for the draft this spring.
According to his scouting report on MLB.com, Bickford shined in the Cape Cod League last summer, causing him to change his mind about returning to CSF for his sophomore season and transfer to Southern Nevada. Scouts believe that he has strong strikeout potential due to a fastball that can reach 98 mph, though a dip in velocity since he was last drafted has caused some concern. Bickford's slider and changeup have the ability to become plus pitches and his ability to pound the strike zone allow him to have a high pro ceiling.
For the Giants, the addition of Bickford represents a project similar to that of Tim Lincecum, who Bickford has been compared to in the past. San Francisco currently has nine pitchers in their top ten prospects, so the addition of Bickford adds to a deep stable of young arms.