Editor's note: The above video is from June 28, 2015.
Former Giants top prospect Phil Bickford was just as surprised to be traded by the team to the Brewers as many others were.
Bickford, along with catcher Andrew Susac, was dealt to Milwaukee for left-handed reliever Will Smith on Aug. 1, the final day of this year's trade deadline. At the time, Bickford was ranked as the Giants' top prospect by both Baseball America and MLB.com.
“I definitely tell it how it is, and it was unfortunate to leave a program that has had success during this generation and is an amazing program," Bickford told the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel on his reaction to being traded by the Giants.
The Giants drafted Bickford with the No. 18 pick in the 2015 MLB Draft, out of the College of Southern Nevada. After going 0-1 with a 2.01 ERA in 10 starts at the Rookie Ball level last season, Bickford rocketed up prospect rankings this year.
Bickford was the Giants' top prospect (No. 50 overall) in Baseball America's midseason rankings, and he currently sits as the No. 60 overall prospect by MLB.com, higher than anybody in San Francisco's farm system.
While Bickford admits he was surprised to be sent to the Brewers, he's excited to be a part of the young team's future. "The Brewers have a lot of developing going on and it’s very exciting to be part of a team that has the opportunity to do great things in the future.
“It’s definitely exciting being a part of that process,” Bickford said.
Brewers general manager David Stearns shares that same excitement with Bickford being a key part of the team's foundation going forward. "We think he has the potential to be a front of the rotation starter. We think he has that type of arm," Stearns told MLB Network Radio.
Between two organizations, two levels of the minors and three different teams, Bickford showed why the Brewers are so high on him. In total, Bickford finished his 2016 minor league season with a 7-7 record and a 2.93 ERA. He also struck out 135 batters in 120 innings pitched and opponents batted just .219 against him.
Smith is still finding his way with the Giants since being shipped to San Francisco. The lefty has appeared in 15 games, throwing 10.2 innings. He has compiled an 0-1 record and 5.06 ERA for the Giants.