Editor's note: The above video is from June 8, 2015.
Following in the footsteps of Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum and Madison Bumgarner, Phil Bickford looked to be the next Giants pitching prospect to ascend from the draft to toeing the rubber for the Orange and Black at AT&T Park.
That future sighting was put to an end by the Giants' front office on August 1, the last day of this year's trade deadline. Searching for help in the bullpen, the Giants traded Bickford, along with catcher Andrew Susac, to the Milwakee Brewers for left-handed reliever Will Smith.
Brewers general manger David Stearns couldn't be more excited for Bickford's future in Milwaukee. "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 on Sunday morning.
Bickford's numbers in the minors this season have warranted such praise, too. Between three teams -- two in the Giants' organization and one in the Brewers' -- the recently turned 21-year-old is 5-6 with a 2.90 ERA and he has struck out 122 batters in 105.2 innings pitched.
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.
In three appearances, one out of the bullpen, for the Brewers' Class A Advanced team, the Brevard County Manatees, Bickford has teetered off a bit. He is 0-0 with a 4.26 ERA as a part of Milwaukee's franchise so far. He has, however, fanned 17 in 12.2 innings pitched, but his walks have also risen with nine free bases in that span.
Smith's start to his career in San Francisco has begun a bit rocky.
The lefty has appeared out of the bullpen in nine games, posting an 0-1 record and a 9.53 ERA. Smith has pitched 5.2 innings with opposing hitters batting .385 off of him.