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San Francisco Giants 2011 Minor League Review

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America:

2011 (24) | 2010 (29) | 2009 (8) | 2008 (16) | 2007 (23) | 2006 (21) | 2005 (30) | 2004 (28)

2011 Affiliate Records

MLB: [86-76] NL West

AAA: [65-79] Pacific Coast League – Fresno

AA: [76-66] Eastern League – Richmond

A+: [90-50] California League – San Jose

A: [70-68] South Atlantic League – Augusta

A(ss): [34-42] Northwest League – Salem-Keizer

The Run Down

Maybe it’s just me, but these Giants prospects are boring.  They’ve got a few guys who’ll eventually make nice big league ballplayers, but after dealing Zach Wheeler to the Mets in the Carlos Beltran trade, I see little reason for excitement.  They’re deep behind the plate, affording San Fran to take their time with guys like Tommy Joseph and Andrew Susac.  Don’t expect to see either young catcher rise above AA in 2012.  Joe Panic, the 29th overall selection in June, could rise through the organization quickly, but don’t expect to see him in a big league uniform until 2013, at the earliest.  That leaves guys like Surkamp, Hembree, Brown and Peguero who could realistically make a fantasy-impact in 2012.  And that’s just barely scraping the realm of realism.

Arizona Fall League PlayersScottsdale Scorpions

Ryan Bradley (LHP); Austin Fleet (RHP); Stephen Harrold (RHP); Seth Rosin (RHP); Brandon Crawford (SS); Joe Panik (SS)

Graduated Prospects

Brandon Belt (1B); Chris Stewart (C); Brandon Crawford (SS)

Players of Interest

Hitters

Gary Brown | OF:

Brown put up some gaudy 2011 numbers with San Jose, slashing .336/.407/.519 with 14 homers and 53 stolen bases.  While impressive on paper, his line loses some validity given the extremely hitter-friendly nature of the California League.  Brown’s major criticism is his aggressiveness at the plate.  Even so, his 2011 K-rate was just 12.1%.  If all goes well at AA, he could be leading off for the Giants before long.  Once he’s up, he’ll be worth a look in all formats for his speed, alone.  SAGNOF.

Francisco Peguero | OF:

Like Brown, Peguero is often knocked for his overly aggressive swinging habits.  He profiles as a right fielder and as a nice hitter in the 2-hole.  Given the uncertainty in the San Francisco outfield, Peguero could land with the big club out of spring training.  And while I see him being a viable fantasy option for much of his career, his tools are still pretty raw and he’ll need significant time to warm up to big league pitching.

Hector Sanchez | C:

Sanchez is of rather portly dimensions, so conditioning is a concern.  But the Giants thought enough of him to give him a shot at the big league level in 2011.  Based largely on his defensive ability, Sanchez rose from High A to the Majors in the span of just a few months.  Organizationally, catcher is a strong-point for San Francisco and Sanchez will likely begin 2012 in AAA.  Should Buster Posey suffer an injury (or move positions), though, Sanchez would be a contender for the starting catcher vacancy.

Pitchers

Eric Surkamp | LHP – SP:

Number 31 in Stephen’s Top 50 Prospects for 2012, Surkamp will battle Zito for the 5th spot in the San Francisco rotation.  His high-80s fastball is a little soft, but he locates it well and the Giants believe he’ll be able to improve that velocity.  If he can, Surkamp will have a nice repertoire, as his curveball and his changeup – especially his changeup – are already plus pitches.  I like him to earn a starting role over Zito and put together a nice rookie season.

Heath Hembree | RHP – RP:

With 38 saves and 13.2 K/9 between High A and AA, the Giants have already tabbed Hembree as their future closer.  Brian Wilson will be arbitration-eligible after 2012, and I imagine San Francisco will opt for a more economical option in the bullpen.  Hembree, whose fastball touches 100, will likely be that option, and he should get his first taste of big league ball in 2012.

Honorable Mention

Hitters

Conor Gillaspie | 3B:

Stephen touched on Gillaspie in his 2010 Giants Review:  “Has gap power, makes good contact, plays poor defense and yet another utility type player for the Giants. Nothing exciting here.”  Ditto.  But considering that Pablo Sandoval isn’t exactly a beacon of good health, Gillaspie could see some playing time 2012.

Ehire Adrianza | SS:

The Giants have brought Adrianza along slowly.  They’ve had no need to rush him, as Brandon Crawford had been a nice shortstop prospect in front of him on the depth chart.  Adrianza’s defense has been utterly impressive, but his bat hasn’t progressed as San Francisco had hoped it would when they placed him on the 40-man roster last fall.  He’ll need to tighten up his long swing and show offensive improvement at AA in 2012.  It’d be a shame if his outstanding defensive tools never saw the Majors.

Pitchers

Josh Osich | LHP – SP/RP:

Drafted in the sixth round this past June, Osich has yet to make his pro debut.  If San Francisco chooses to use him in relief, he should move quickly through the system with an above average fastball and plus slider.  He’s quite the long shot to arrive in 2012, but he has a live arm and it’ll be fun to keep an eye on his progress.

  1. What are your thoughts on Angel “It wasn’t me” Villalona? I know he was a big prospect when the Giants signed him at 16. But is there a new diagnosis on him after being banned from baseball for over a year?

  2. No Brett Pill? He and Huff and Baby Giraffe are crowding 1B. Maybe he’s the next Goldschmidt? Maybe I’m dreaming?

  3. Scott Evans

    Scott Evans says:
    (link)

    @Asdrubal Bastardo: San Fran added Villalona to their 40-man last week, protecting him from Rule 5 acquisition & showing that they still are committed. Conditioning has always been a concern with Villalona – he’s already moved from 3rd to 1st. A two-year hiatus for a bad body guy is worrisome.

    @The Miracles: I ignored Pill here because I don’t anticipate him seeing much playing time behind Belt & Huff. He’s got pop, but I’m afraid he’s already maxed out on his power potential. Ceiling nowhere near Belt’s or Goldschmidt’s.

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