06/08/2004 1:43 AM ET
Giants draft power early
By Rich Draper / MLB.com
|The Giants drafted outfielder Clay Timpner in the fourth round out of the University of Central Florida. (Phil Coale/AP)
SAN FRANCISCO -- When it comes to the annual First-Player Draft, sometimes you have to shoot from the hip -- and do it fast.
That's what the Giants did in Monday's selection process, as they eschewed their long-standing ritual of choosing the best arms they could find -- the ones with lightning-quick fastballs -- and went with offense.
As in power, as in the long ball and hit-the-gap hitters.
San Francisco did get nine pitchers in the first 18 rounds of the draft, but they surprised pundits by nabbing two potent outfielders with their two first picks.
They nabbed Eddy Martinez-Esteve as their initial second-round pick -- the 70th overall -- and were delighted to do so, as the sophomore from Florida State's big-time baseball program is considered one of the nation's top pure hitters.
Would you believe he's still batting .400 so far with the Seminoles, gearing up for a weekend NCAA Super Regional?
In the third round, San Francisco chose another man with power, left fielder John Bowker of Long Beach State, a left-handed batter who owns a fluid good bat swing and can hit to all fields. He's batting .332 with seven homers and 41 RBIs for the Dirtbags.
Dick Tidrow, vice president of player personnel, called it a "decent draft" and said with most of the top pitchers off the board after the first round, the Giants decided to go for sluggers.
"Under the circumstances, I thought we did rather well getting them," said Tidrow of Martinez-Esteve and Bowker. "Obviously it's tougher when 69 players go off the board, and it's a lot easier with a first-round pick."
Martinez-Esteve was a third baseman in high school. As a freshman last year, he played in the outfield, but returned to the infield this season.
It worked out well for Martinez-Esteve and the Seminoles, according to assistant coach Jamey Shouppe.
"He's a great hitter," said Shouppe. "I've always said you can either hit or you can't, and he can. I think the Giants made a great move. He has power from the right side (19 homers) and was healthy this season."
That's the big issue with Martinez-Esteve. His outfield speed has been limited due to ongoing leg problems, but after hamstring injuries and offseason knee surgery, the youngster remained on duty this year.
He often DH'd to save his legs. "He is adequate in the outfield, but does have a strong arm," said Shouppe. "He's not a real runner."
Bowker is considered very athletic and as a collegian, has room to grow. The Giants love his bat speed and the good extension on his swing.
Bowker has a legitimate shot at becoming a home run hitter, as he's blessed with strength and quickness along with a solid competitive spirit.
San Francisco's fourth-round pick was outfielder Clay Timpner of the University of Central Florida, who hit .371 with 34 RBIs this season for the Golden Knights. Timpner boast a line-drive bat, can run well and plays all outfield spots.
Timpner also has great potential. He has good overall strength and generates quick bat speed. He has a build similar to Arizona's Steve Finley -- and they're hoping he can hit the same.
Timpner is fast afoot and gets good jumps on outfield flies.
In the fifth round, the Giants drafted Missouri pitcher Garrett Broshuis, who honed an 11-0 record for the Tigers this season with a 2.61 ERA. In the sixth round, the Giants picked 6-foot-3 right-handed pitcher Justin Hedrick of Northeastern, a four-year college vet with a 5-4 mark and 3.42 ERA over 79 innings.
Other selections: 7th round, first baseman William Thompson of Santa Clara; 8th, RHP Omar Aguilar of Merced College; 9th, Jamie Arneson, a 6-5, 195 hurler from Liberty High School; 10th, LHP John Grogan from Oklahoma State (12-3, 2.95); 11th, RHP Darren Sack of Sonoma St.
Also: 12th, Kevin Frandsen of San Jose State, a first team All-WAC (.374 this season); 13th, LHP Thomas Martin of University or Richmond (7-2, 3.18); 14th, LHP Eugene Espinelli of Texas Christian (9-5, 4.63); 15th, SS Jeffrey Palumbo, George Mason; 16th, CF Emmanuel Cividanes of Broward Community College; 17, Jordan Thompson, RHP, Northeastern; and 18, SS Jeremiah Luster of Oceanside HS, Calif.
Rich Draper is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.