Back to School > Giants Take 5 High Schoolers
Wendell Fairley brings speed and defense to SF.
Wendell Fairley brings speed and defense to SF.

Posted Jun 7, 2007


With a lot of people expecting the Giants to take a hitter, San Francisco started the draft by taking high school arms with a lot of upside. But then they bucked trends even further, taking a surprising group of high school position players.

The San Francisco Giants have made a history of taking pitchers high. They did nothing to change that trend to start their landmark 2007 draft.

San Francisco selected 17-year-old Madison Bumgarner with the 10th overall pick in the 2007 draft, a left-handed pitcher with a lot of velocity, but with a bit of work to do.

With their second pick in the draft, No. 22 overall, they went high school again, plucking Tim Alderson from Horizon High School in Scottsdale, Arizona, a 6-foot-7 right-handed pitcher.

The Giants also took high school outfielder Wendell Fairley from George County-Lucedale High School in Mississippi with their third first-round pick, No. 29 overall.

In the compensation round, between the first and second rounds of the draft, the Giants had three more picks.

They chose shortstop Nick Noonan from Francis Parker High School in California with the 32nd overall pick, and then took Jackson Williams with the 43rd overall pick, a catcher from the University of Oklahoma. With their final pick in the top rounds, No. 51 overall, the Giants selected Charles Culberson.

The Giants didn’t draft again until the fifth round, when they took Chance Corgan, a right-handed pitcher from Texas Christian University with the 164th overall pick.

Bumgarner was one of the players the Giants were rumored to be taking, but talk had quieted down close to the draft.

He has a great fastball, which has normally been clocked in the low-90s, but has been touching higher this year with a lot of movement. The knock on him has been that his low delivery isn’t consistent, and that, in turn, has made his off-speed pitches erratic.

However, a lot of people think that he has a lot of potential and can do well with a team that can coach him, and no one disagrees that the Giants have done much to develop good young pitchers.

Meanwhile, Alderson is unusual, being possibly a rare high-schooler who could go straight to closing and move quickly through the system.

He’s got a fastball that ranges from 90-94 mph and a good slow curve. He’s also got incredible control, walking just four batters in 65 innings in high school. He could be either a starter or a reliever in the pros.

Fairley is a talented outfielder, but has been late coming to baseball after splitting time between football and baseball in high school. He’s got excellent speed and was named the High School Defensive Player of the Year while holding down center field.

He was also a pitcher with a 94-mph fastball. Some feel he has the kind of raw talent that would normally be a pick in the first half of the first round of the draft, but he’s raw enough that he is a risk, but could produce for a team willing to work on him.

Noonan is a shortstop in high school, but many consider him a future second baseman. He’s reported to have one of the most polished bats among the prep stars, but is also considered tough to sign as he may go to Clemson.

Jackson was a surprise in the sandwich round, and wasn’t generally one of the top catching prospects in a draft deep with them. He was third on the Sooners with a .344 batting average, and hit 15 doubles, three triples and four home runs on the season. He was a teammate of Ryan Rohlinger, a 2006 draftee by the Giants.

Culberson was another surprise pick, as he rose on draft boards this year. The Georgia native has some family relations in baseball, as his grandfather Leon was a player in the 1940’s. His father was also by the drafted by the Giants in 1984. He’s had a big season, with 20 home runs on the year.

Corgan was previously a starter for Texas A&M before transferring to TCU. The 21-year-old throws a low-90s fastball, but has a terrific breaking ball that gets him strikeouts.

He was 7-1 in his junior season, but had just a 4.48 ERA. He did walk 34 batters, while striking out 64 batters in 86 1/3 innings.

The draft continues will continue on Friday, with the league hoping to get all 45 remaining rounds in. There is a chance the draft may carry over onto Saturday. The Giants will draft 10th in the remaining rounds.



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