San Francisco Giants

Giants draft Vanderbilt outfielder Bryan Reynolds with their first pick

FILE- In this June 15, 2015 file photo, Vanderbilt's Bryan Reynolds hits a double that scored Zander Wiel in an NCAA College World Series baseball game against Cal State Fullerton in Omaha, Neb. Reynolds has had back-to-back 90-hit seasons and is one of the nation’s top offensive players.
FILE- In this June 15, 2015 file photo, Vanderbilt's Bryan Reynolds hits a double that scored Zander Wiel in an NCAA College World Series baseball game against Cal State Fullerton in Omaha, Neb. Reynolds has had back-to-back 90-hit seasons and is one of the nation’s top offensive players. AP

The Giants used their lone pick on Day One of this year’s major-league draft to select Bryan Reynolds, a switch hitting outfielder out of Vanderbilt, at No. 59 overall.

It was a welcome surprise for the Giants, who forfeited their first-round pick when they signed pitcher Jeff Samardzija to a free-agent deal last winter. Entering the draft, they believed Reynolds to be a potential first-round selection. When Reynolds was still available late in the second round, the Giants jumped at the chance.

“I must say we were surprised that he was getting to us,” said John Barr, Giants scouting director, on a conference call. “We did feel he was a guy that more than likely may go before we selected.”

Barr said the Giants see Reynolds as a player who can stay in center field – his college position – and potentially hit at the top of the lineup. This season for the Commodores, Reynolds batted .330 with 13 home runs and 57 RBIs.

“He comes up with big hits at big times,” Barr said. “Throughout his career at Vanderbilt, he was always that guy who would come up in certain situations and get a big hit for them.”

The Giants have had their eye on Reynolds since he was in high school, Barr said, and scouted him both in college – Reynolds was a freshman in 2014 when the Giants took pitcher Tyler Beede out of Vanderbilt in the first round – and in the Cape Cod League.

“We had, we felt, a good history of him in the sense of what kind of player we thought he could become,” Barr said. “And he was the highest guy on the board at the time of our selection.”

Barr said he has seen Reynolds hit left-handed more than right but that Reynolds “is accomplished from both sides.” It was one of many traits the Giants liked about him.

“He’s a winner,” Barr said. “That’s the type of personality that we’ve always seen. We’ve seen him as a competitor and a winner who really tries to get the most out of his ability. And that’s something that we look for in the players we select.”

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