SAN FRANCISCO—The reigning World Series Champion San Francisco Giants held the 18th pick in this years draft. With their pick, the Giants selected the Southern California native Phil Bickford.

Bickford was a highly touted prospect at Oaks Christian School in Westlake Village. The 6-foot-4 pitcher played one year of college ball at Cal-State Fullerton before transferring to Southern Nevada to ensure eligibility for this years draft.

After a reportedly impressive outing in the Cape Cod League last year, this spring Bickford struggled to reach the consistency that made him a top prospect previously. He is now beginning to return to form and is once again being touted as a top prospect by baseball analysts. His fastball has been a particular point of interest for scouts as his fastball speed has been on the rise, topping out at 98 mph. The consistency of Bickford’s fastball has also not gone unnoticed by many scouts.

The Giants aren’t the first team to have drafted the pitcher from Southern California. Out of high school, Bickford was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays, but neglected to sign with them for undisclosed reasons. Since then, the young prospect has honed his athleticism and refined his accuracy and is projected to be a starter.