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06/10/09 2:39 AM ET

Draft's later rounds a relief to Giants

Much of San Francisco's 'pen plucked after fourth round

The Giants began Monday with a 3.76 ERA, second-best in the National League. As renowned as their starting rotation is, their bullpen, which owns a 3.75 ERA, has contributed mightily.

San Francisco's relief corps would look a lot different without performers who were selected later in the First-Year Player Draft. So if you doubted the significance of the Draft's final two days, think again.

Giants closer Brian Wilson was selected in the 24th round in 2003, 723rd overall. By the way, he made last year's NL All-Star team. Other Giants relievers drafted late, either by San Francisco or other clubs, include Bob Howry (fifth round, 144th overall, 1994), Justin Miller (fifth round, 162nd overall, 1997), Brandon Medders (eighth round, 248th overall, 2001) and Sergio Romo (27th round, 852nd overall, 2005).

And where would the Giants be without infielder Rich Aurilia, a 24th-round draftee (678th overall) in 1992? Aurilia is the last link to the club's most recent stretch of success, 1997-2004.

After 111 picks on Day 1 -- including Round 1, Compensation Round A, Round 2, Round 3 and Compensation Round B -- and Rounds 4-30 on Day 2, the Draft will resume with exclusive coverage on MLB.com with Round 31 at 8:30 a.m. PT on Thursday.

MLB.com's coverage will include a live pick-by-pick audio stream, expert commentary and the exclusive Draft Tracker, a searchable database of every Draft-eligible player, featuring statistics, scouting reports and video highlights.

Fans will not only be able to follow along every minute of the way online, but they'll be able to interact directly with Draft-eligible players and MLB.com Draft experts, among others.

The Draft Tracker will also feature the addition of Twitter and the participation of "tweeters" such as MLB.com Draft expert @JonathanMayoB3, who will also be serving as on-air talent for all three days of the Draft, and reporter @LisaWinstonMLB, who will be writing the up-to-the-minute coverage for MLB.com.

In addition, MLB.com has created a Twitter account devoted to the Draft, where you can stay updated on every piece of info as it becomes available (@MLBDraft).

Other Giants who proved that Major League dreams can come true despite being a late-round selection are catcher Eli Whiteside (sixth round, 173rd overall, 2001), infielder Kevin Frandsen (12th round, 370th overall, 2004), and left-hander Jonathan Sanchez (27th round, 852nd overall, 2005).

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.