SATURDAY: The Giants have officially announced the signing.
FRIDAY: The Giants have agreed to an at-slot, $2,333,800 bonus with first-rounder Phil Bickford, Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com reports on Twitter. The righty was taken 18th overall.
Bickford previously went unsigned by the Blue Jays as the tenth overall selection back in 2013. He spent a year with Cal State Fullerton, but then moved to the Community College of Southern Nevada to advance his draft eligibility by a season.
The right-hander was rated as high as 21st among prospects heading into the draft, with MLB.com placing that mark on him. Mayo & Co. were impressed with Bickford’s big fastball, which runs into the upper nineties in a relief capacity, along with his improving slider.
While MLB.com likes Bickford to stick as a starter, ESPN.com’s Keith Law noted that some scouts who saw him recently believe he’s a pen arm in the long run. The issue seems to be one of consistency and of developing a third pitch, as Bickford has a lot of work left on his changeup. Law ranked Bickford 38th on his board and called him “the most volatile prospect in the draft,” with ambiguous health and personality issues also factoring in.
Obviously, San Francisco felt comfortable taking a chance on Bickford’s significant upside. As Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area notes on Twitter, Bickford becomes the last of the club’s first dozen picks to agree to terms.