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Giants think hitting first in draft
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2004 First-Year Player Draft
06/08/2004  7:41 PM ET
Giants think hitting first in draft
Martinez-Esteve leads crop of talented sluggers
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Eduardo Martinez-Esteve led Florida State with a .371 batting average in 2003. (courtesy Florida St.)

SAN FRANCISCO -- The one phrase you always hear about baseball's First-Year Player Draft is that "it's a crapshoot," akin to strolling into a casino and trying to roll seven or eleven on the craps table.

No wonder they call the draft -- and that casino game -- dicey.

San Francisco's vice president of player personnel Dick Tidrow was pleased with the Giants' selections in the two-day draft, which concluded Tuesday.

"We did well," said Tidrow, before almost collapsing in his war room chair, exhausted from the whirl and tension of the 50-round draft, which saw 1,498 players selected.

With 69 players chosen before the Giants picked in the second round -- they didn't have a first-round choice -- Tidrow and the Giants felt fortunate to tab outfielder Eduardo Martinez-Esteve of Florida State as their top selectee.

"He's a great hitter with power potential," said Tidrow of the Seminoles sophomore.

Martinez-Esteve, who'll turn 21 on July 14, said he grew up as a Giants fan in Miami -- his father loved Willie Mays -- and was enthusiastic about being selected by San Francisco.

"I'm very excited," he said. "I didn't know what was going to happen. The Giants were always my favorite team and it's very neat. It means a lot to me that they regarded me as their most important pick."

His collegiate career isn't finished, as the Seminoles will travel to Arkansas to play in the NCAA Super Regional there this weekend, but Martinez-Esteve says while he enjoys the atmosphere and competition at Florida State, he's anxiously eyeing the future.

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"College is always an option," he said. "But my dream is to play Major League Baseball and I have to start my career sometime. Education is important, but I have to follow my passion."

Martinez-Esteve has proven to be a sensational hitter. He batted .371 last season as a freshman All-American and is currently hitting .401 with 19 homers and 78 RBIs as the Seminoles try to reach the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.

The upbeat player says he "lives and dies by hard work," and says his credo is one often repeated by Giants superstar Barry Bonds, that God-given talent is only the beginning, that you still must dedicate yourself to perfect your game.

"I wake up wanting to go to the batting cage," said the right-hand hitting Martinez-Esteve. "It's a good way to relieve stress. And I'm always trying to learn pitchers' knick-knacks and trying to get better."

He says offseason arthroscopic knee surgery was merely a "clean-up" procedure, noting he wasn't injured this season.

San Francisco picked 30 pitchers in the draft, 12 infielders, six outfielders and one catcher. Eight high schoolers were chosen.

In the third round, San Francisco chose another slugger, left fielder John Bowker of Long Beach State, a left-handed batter who owns a classic swing and can hit to all fields. He's batting .332 with seven homers and 41 RBIs for the Dirtbags.

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 boasts a line-drive bat, can run well and plays all three outfield spots.

The Giants' first pitcher was fifth-round choice Garrett Broshuis of Missouri, 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 a 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 the University of 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.

Second day selections: 19th, LHP Nathan Pendley, Oregon State; 20, RHP Rickey Putnam, Houston; 21, 3B Simon Klink, Purdue; 22, RHP Douglas Mackay, Utah; 23, SS Bradey Groth, Elmhurst College; 24, RHP Matt Raguse, Miami of Ohio; 25, 3B John Aca, Calif. St. U; 26, RHP Trevor Wohlgemuth, Northern Illinois; 27, LHP Jonathan Sanchez, Ohio Dominican College; 28, RF Erroll Babineaux, Mississippi; 29, RHP Ryan Shaver, Lower Columbua College; 30, RHP Kevin Jenson, Loyola-Marymount.

31, Kyle Haines, SS, Eastern Illinois; 32, Morgan Brinson, RHP, Walnut Grove Secondary, British Columbia; 33, Judson Richards, 1B, Pt. Loma Nazarene U; 34, LHP Jacob Coash, College of Canyons JC; 35, RHP Tim Grant, Dartmouth; 36, RHP Paul Lussier, Diman Reg. Vocational Tech HS, Mass.; 37, RHP Erik Meyer, Eastern Washington; 38, RHP Tyson Brummett, Central Arizona JC; 39, RHP Brad Schwarzenbach, St. John Bosco HS; 40, SS Kolby Nelson, Timpanogos HS; 41, RHP Chase Smith, Central Oklahoma; 42, RHP Brian Addition, LHP Western HS; 43, LHP Jack Spradlin, Southwestern College; 44, RHP Tom Gornati, Pittsburgh; 45, 1B Kris Gibson, San Francisco State; 46, LHP David Quinowski, Redlands HS, Calif.; 47, RHP Matthew Minor, University of Las Vegas; 48, RHP Benigro Cedepa, Ohio Dominican College; 49, OF Michael Santoro, Northern Illinois; 50, Garrett Lingele, 2B, Mission Bay HS, Santa Ana.

Rich Draper is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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