Grant Goodman has his choice of San Francisco teams.
After signing a National Letter of Intent last November to play baseball at the University of San Francisco, the Burlingame right-hander was selected in the 36th round by the Giants Saturday in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Goodman went 5-2 with a team-best 1.56 ERA for the Panthers this season, while earning Peninsula Athletic League All-Bay Division first-team honors. In 2012, he was named PAL Pitcher of the Year after an undefeated junior season. He posted a 12-2 career record at Burlingame over two varsity seasons.
Currently on a post-graduation vacation, Goodman could not be reached for comment. However, there was still plenty of excitement at the Goodman household after it was announced Saturday that their oldest son had been drafted by the hometown team, despite both Goodman and his father Gary being lifelong A’s fans.
“Now I’m a Giants fan,” Gary said. “Tomorrow I’m wearing my first Giants jersey ever.”
In all likelihood, Goodman will land at USF next season. He has an generous athletic scholarship waiting for him, and stands to join a Dons pitching staff that has etched quite a legacy in recent memory. USF had two pitchers drafted last week, including right-hander Alex Balog, a second-round selection by the Rockies. And last year, right-hander Kyle Zimmer was taken in the first round as the third overall selection by the Royals.
“[Goodman will] be at USF, and he’ll be able to mature over the next couple years,” Dons manager Nino Giarratano said. “I think he’s going to be a great one that we have.”
If he does opt for the college route, Goodman will follow a similar path as his high-school head coach Shawn Scott. The Panthers’ fourth-year manager played six professional seasons in the Blue Jays organization from 1988-93, after being drafted out of El Camino in 1987.
However, as a draft-and-follow player — a now defunct format which used to allow players to play one college season following their draft year, after which the organization which drafted said player decided whether or not to sign him — Scott played for one season at the College of San Mateo before signing with the Blue Jays.
“My mind was to go to school,” Scott said. “I was nowhere near ready to go play against those athletes. I knew I needed a year in another good program, which was CSM’s program. So, I went.”
And playing one season for CSM Hall of Fame head coach John Noce made a world of difference for Scott.
“It matured me and taught me how to be more of a team player, which (El Camino manager) Carlos Roman had already taught me,” Scott said. “It taught me how to work hard, be our there every day. You know, we played four or five games a week, rather than just two high-school games. So, it taught me how to be on the field every day, and prepare myself every night.”
In addition to a good low-90s fastball that had professional scouts flocking en masse to see him pitch this season, Goodman is regarded as having a good personal makeup as well.
“He’s a pretty humble kid,” Scott said. “I think his parents do a great job of keeping him grounded. And I wasn’t that easy on him in terms of staying grounded, and staying humble.”
If Goodman does not sign by the MLB signing deadline is July 12, he will join a USF staff that has a lot innings to make up in terms of replacing outgoing pitchers. In addition to Balog, the Dons will lose right-hander Adam Cimber, who was drafted in the ninth round by the Padres. USF also graduated three pitching mainstays in seniors Haden Hinkle, Bob Mott, and Andrew Pulido. The five outgoing pitchers combined for 368 1/3 innings in 2013.
“We’ve recruited [Goodman] because we thought he could be a frontline starter — a Friday or Saturday starter,” Giarratano said. “So, he’s going to fit that role, but I don’t think he’ll fit it as a freshman…. Hopefully we’ll get him into the bullpen next year. Maybe we’ll get him Tuesday starts. He could possibly win the Sunday job. But we look to him to be a major contributor.”
Maffei drafted by Pirates
USF has become a strong pipeline for high-profile San Mateo County players in recent years. Senior outfield Justin Maffei – a former Serra and CSM standout – was drafted out of USF Saturday by the Pirates in the 25th round.
“He’s going to surprise a lot of people with that bat,” Giarratano said. “I think as he settles in as a pro player, he’s going to move from level to level.”
USF slugger Zack Turner — a former Serra and Cañada star — went undrafted over the weekend, which comes as no surprise. Although the soon-to-be senior profiles as a premium bat, he has yet to get behind the plate in game to catch since re-aggravating a shoulder injury for which he underwent surgery in 2011.
“I wasn’t surprised at Zack’s situation where he wasn’t drafted.,” Giarratano said. “As far as the injury, as soon as he gets healthy, he’s a great draft pick, and he knows that, and so does the professional baseball world. His time is coming. He’s going to get a good opportunity to play.”