San Francisco Giants Squeeze the College Seniors

In the 2019 amateur draft the Giants selected college seniors Simon Whiteman of Yale and Jeff Houghtby of the University of San Diego with in the ninth and tenth rounds.  It’s not unusual for the Giants to draft college seniors, but it appears clear that these two were selected solely because the Giants had prior agreements with each of them to accept way less than slot money that the Giants could then direct to some of the high school seniors they selected.

My suspicion was confirmed today (thanks McCovey Chronicles!)  Each of Whiteman and Houghtby signed by $22,500, freeing up $256,000, all of which has already been spent on high schoolers Grant McCray (3rd round), Garrett Frechette (5th), Dilan Rosario (6th) and Trevor MacDonald (11th round).  In fact, the bonuses given to these four youngsters will require the Giants to squeeze at least two of 1st, 2nd and 4th round picks Hunter Bishop, Logan Wyatt and Tyler Fitzgerald to avoid significant penalties even if all other high school draft picks sign for no more than the slot caps.

I don’t really see the downside is squeezing Whiteman or Houghtby, at least in terms of the fact that the Giants probably could have signed better prospects with these two picks.  The odds are slim that any 9th or 10th round draft pick (or both) will ever amount to anything, and the money saved enabled the Giants to sign Trevor MacDonald, generally considered a fifth round talent, who probably has a better chance of amounting to something than any other 9th or 10th rounders the Giants might have drafted combined.

Of course, it remains to be seen if any of the players the Giants selected after Hunter Bishop amount to much at the major league level.  Even Bishop might not make it, but if the 10th overall pick crops up a dud, then something seriously did not go according to plan and opportunity.

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