SAN FRANCISCO — With their first selection in the 2016 draft, No. 59 overall, the Giants selected Bryan Reynolds, a 21-year-old outfielder from Vanderbilt University.
Reynolds is listed at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds and is a switch-hitter. He was MLB.com’s No. 23 prospect and No. 31 on Baseball America’s board.
Reynolds hit .330 last year with a .461 on-base percentage and 13 homers. He was second-team All-SEC after finishing second in the conference in homers and walks (49), third in runs (59) and slugging (.603), and fifth in on-base percentage. He also impressed in the Cape Cod League last summer, batting .346 for the Orleans Firebirds.
The Giants have proven many in the industry wrong with high picks in the past, but the consensus from scouts and analysts Thursday was that this second-round pick might be one of the steals of the draft.
“They got a first round talent with their only pick,” MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo said on the broadcast.
MLB Network analyst Dan O’Dowd said he thinks Reynolds can stay in center field.
“Power from both sides of the plate, a very strong and athletic player,” O’Down said. “He really understands the strike zone and pitch recognition.”
Reynolds is the second Vanderbilt product in three years to get taken high by the Giants. They selected Tyler Beede in the first round in 2014. Beede and Reynolds played together for one season, and shortly after the pick, Beede, who is starting to dominate Double-A hitters, tweeted: "Best pick of the draft so far!"
The Giants did not have a first-round pick this year. It was forfeited when they signed Jeff Samardzija, who was given a qualifying offer by the Chicago White Sox.