Nick Noonan's journey from 1st round pick in the 2007 amateur baseball draft (32nd overall) to getting his first Major League start as a San Francisco Giant this week could be described as circuitous.
In the same way that Barry Zito's curve ball drifts up, describes a parabola, then drops through that 17 inch square target umpires hopefully recognize as a strike.
A star shortstop out of Parker High School in San Diego, Nick Noonan was San Francisco's 4th overall pick (a pitcher named Madison Bumgarner was 1st). Known as a very good contact hitter with speed, after signing with the Giants Noonan soon found himself on a minor league roller coaster ride in the field and at the plate.
It's unclear whether the Giants' organization simply didn't know where they wanted to play Noonan and 2006 1st round pick shortstop Emmanuel Burriss in the infield, or that the front office wanted both players to get experience at multiple positions. Because for some reason the decision was mad...