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Ranking the Top 10 Prospects in the San Francisco Giants' Farm System

Mike RosenbaumMLB Prospects Lead WriterNovember 26, 2012

Ranking the Top 10 Prospects in the San Francisco Giants' Farm System

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    Much like the Atlanta Braves’, which I examined earlier today, the San Francisco Giants’ system features tons of depth on the mound, but positional talent is scarce. Their lone near big-league-ready hitter, speedster Gary Brown—who fell out of Prospect Pipeline’s top 50 prospects after a favorable preseason ranking—endured a major regression after leaving the hitter-friendly California League (High-A). I’m not sold on either SS Joe Panik or C Andrew Susac, though both of them have the tools to reach the major leagues over the next two seasons.

    In my opinion, the team’s top-three pitching prospects, right-handers Kyle Crick, Clayton Blackburn and Chris Stratton, are each projectable and likely to reach the major leagues. Beyond that, they house a slew of arms who may have a brighter future in the bullpen than starting rotation.

    They do possesses numerous bats with power potential in OF Mac Williamson, 1B Ricky Oropesa and 3B Adam Duvall, though each player will have to prove their ability at higher levels.

    In all honesty, either of the three could rank as high as No. 10 on this list; however, I’ll always prefer a younger, more athletic prospect than a hitter who seemingly benefited from age vs. level.

    Having said all that, here’s a look at the San Francisco Giants’ top 10 prospects headed into the offseason.


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10. OF Shilo McCall

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    Position: OF

    DOB: 6/2/1994 (Age: 18)

    Height/Weight: 6’2”, 210

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: Ninth round, 2012 (Piedra Vista HS, N.M.)

    ETA: 2016


    2012 Stats: .246/.366/.377, 22 R, 11 XBH (3 HR), 6 SB, 43/25 K/BB (39 G, Rookie-level Arizona League)


    Scouting Notes: Excellent and physical athlete at 6’2”, 210 pounds; above-average speed will give him a chance to stick in center field, though his arm is strong enough for any outfield position; doesn’t get great reads in center, but gets good reads.

    Swing can be stiff at the plate; arm-bar causes a lengthy swing and, in turn, too much swing-and-miss; plate discipline is impressive given his age and should continue to improve; pull-oriented approach impedes ability to make consistent contact; hit tool will inevitably improve as he gains experience and employs more consistent approach at the plate; has raw power, but it may be some time until he learns to tap into it.


    2013 Opening Day Level: Short-Season Salem-Keizer

9. C Andrew Susac

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    Position: C

    DOB: 3/22/1990 (Age: 22)

    Height/Weight: 6’2”, 210

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: Second round, 2010 (Oregon State University)

    ETA: 2014


    2012 Stats: .244/.351/.380, 28 XBH (9 HR), 100/55 K/BB (102 G, High-A San Jose)


    Scouting Notes: Showcases impressive athleticism behind the plate for his size (6’2”, 210 pounds); projects to be average defensive catcher in big leagues thanks to ability to box the baseball and above-average arm strength; speed is above-average relative to position.

    Right-handed hitter struggles to make consistent contact due to lengthy swing, high leg kick and choppy load; has above-average raw power but is yet to tap into it with consistency; timing can get out of sync easily, as he lands too hard on front side; gets pull-happy and needs to work on an up-the-middle/opposite-field approach.


    2013 Opening Day Level: Double-A Richmond

8. OF Francisco Peguero

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    Position: OF

    DOB: 6/1/1988 (Age: 24)

    Height/Weight: 5’11”, 195

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: August 2005 (Dominican Republic)

    ETA: 2013


    2012 Stats: .272/.297/.394, 35 XBH (10 3B), 82/15 K/BB (105 G, Triple-A Fresno); .188/.188/.188, 3 SB, 7 K (17 G, MLB)


    Scouting Notes: Twenty-four-year-old used to be one of organization’s more toolsy players before suffering a right knee injury in 2011; has never regained the above-average speed that led to 40 stolen bases in 2010—swiped only one bag at Triple-A Fresno last season, but tallied three in majors as late-season call-up.

    Showcases impressive hand-eye coordination and gets the barrel on the ball with consistency; overall game also features too much swing-and-miss; power has never developed as anticipated; defense and arm strength is best suited for either corner outfield spot.


    2013 Opening Day Level: Triple-A Fresno

7. RHP Heath Hembree

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    Position: RHP

    DOB: 1/13/1989 (Age: 23)

    Height/Weight: 6’4”, 210

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: Fifth round, 2010 (College of Charleston)

    ETA: 2013


    2012 Stats: 5 IP, 0.00 ERA, 12.6 K/9, 1.8 BB/9 (5 G, High-A San Jose); 15 SV, 38 IP, 4.74 ERA, 1.289 WHIP, 6.9 H/9, 8.5 K/9, 4.7 BB/9 (39 G, Triple-A Fresno)


    Scouting Notes: Projects to be a closer at big-league level with a power frame and easy mid-90s fastball; has relied on ability to blow heater by hitters up in the zone, though he was touched up this past season upon reaching Triple-A Fresno; slider flashes plus potential with late, tight break that generates swing-and-misses; changeup continues to come along but may not even be necessary in a late-inning role; shouldn’t take him long to reach major leagues once he refines command and provided that he stays healthy.


    2013 Opening Day Level: Triple-A Fresno or MLB

6. RHP Martin Agosta

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    Position: RHP

    DOB: 4/7/1991 (Age: 21)

    Height/Weight: 6’1”, 180

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: Second round, 2012 (St. Mary’s)

    ETA: 2015


    2012 Stats: 10.2 IP, 4.22 ERA, 1.594 WHIP, 16.0 K/9, 7.6 BB/9 (5 GS, Rookie-level Arizona League)


    Scouting Notes: Fastball is most effective in low 90s and down in the zone; has been gunned as high as 94-96 mph, though he sacrifices command at higher velocity; will manipulate fastball to generate cut on his fastball; works in an average slider that has room to improve; would benefit from adding a changeup to complete arsenal.

    Projection as a starting pitcher is dependent upon ability flood the strike zone and command of entire arsenal; his fastball-cutter-slider arsenal gives him a more realistic chance of reaching his ceiling as a reliever.


    2013 Opening Day Level: Low-A Augusta

5. SS Joe Panik

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    Position: SS

    DOB: 10/30/1990 (Age: 22)

    Height/Weight: 6’1”, 190

    Bats/Throws: L/R

    Drafted/Signed: First round, 2011 (St. John’s University)

    ETA: 2014


    2012 Stats: .297/.368/.402, 93 R, 38 XBH (7 HR), 10 SB, 54/58 K/BB (130 G, High-A San Jose)


    Scouting Notes: Left-handed hitter has short stroke and impressive bat-to-ball ability; tough out who’s adept to manipulating counts and coaxing plenty of walks; may never feature more than gap power, but is adept to spraying the ball from line-to-line and keeps bat head in zone; lack of speed impedes his projection as top-of-the-order bat.

    Above-average defensive shortstop who relies on instincts and positioning; release is smooth and ability to gain momentum towards target improves his accuracy; arm strength is only fringy and possibly best suited for second base; given Giants’ lack of middle infield prospects, Panik could debut in big league ahead of schedule.


    2013 Opening Day Level: Double-A Richmond

4. RHP Chris Stratton

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    Position: RHP

    DOB: 8/22/1990 (Age: 22)

    Height/Weight: 6’3”, 186

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: First round, 2012 (Mississippi State University)

    ETA: 2014


    2012 Stats: 16.1 IP, 2.76 ERA, 1.469 WHIP, 8.8 K/9, 5.5 BB/9 (8 G, 5 GS; Short-Season Salem-Keizer)


    Scouting Notes: 6’2”, 197-pound right-hander has a projectable frame, and his overall feel for pitching has continually improved; fastball registers in the low-90s with late, arm-side life, and he’ll occasionally scrape mid-90s early in starts.

    Slider is a legitimate plus pitch; can throw it for a strike as well as bury it for swing-and-misses; command of the pitch has quickly improved and could have him moving quickly beginning this season; mixes in an average curveball that gives him a solid three-pitch mix; I think that a changeup would be more useful than the second breaking ball.


    2013 Opening Day Level: High-A San Jose

3. OF Gary Brown

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    Position: OF

    DOB: 9/28/1988 (Age: 24)

    Height/Weight: 6’1”, 190

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: First round, 2010 (Cal State Fullerton)

    ETA: 2013


    2012 Stats: .279/.347/.385, 73 R, 41 XBH (32 2B), 33 SB (18 CS), 87/40 K/BB (134 G, Double-A Richmond)


    Scouting Notes: Was one of the game’s better position prospects last year at High-A San Jose, then regressed, as expected in 2012 at Double-A; twenty-four-year-old will likely reach big leagues due to plus speed and defense in center field; showcases excellent instincts in center and gets good reads.

    Doesn’t utilize speed at the plate and needs to improve on-base skills; leadoff-hitter-type due to speed and potential to stick at up-the-middle position; not a fan of his swing: starts hands too close to body, gets out on front side too early and frequently casts hands around ball; makes too much weak contact; given his speed, Brown’s lack of basestealing prowess is disconcerting and will have to improve in a hurry.


    2013 Opening Day Level: Triple-A Fresno

2. RHP Clayton Blackburn

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    Position: RHP

    DOB: 1/6/1993 (Age: 19)

    Height/Weight: 6’3”, 220

    Bats/Throws: L/R

    Drafted/Signed: 16th round, 2011 (Edmond Santa Fe HS, Okla.)

    ETA: 2015


    2012 Stats: 8-4, 131.1 IP, 2.54 ERA, 1.020 WHIP, 7.9 H/9, 0.2 HR/9, 9.8 K/9, 1.2 BB/9 (22 GS, Low-A Augusta)


    Scouting Notes: 6’3”, 220-pound right-hander has physical, durable frame build for innings; current size involves little projection; command of four pitches is highly advanced for his age; pounds the strike zone with each offering; generates as many ground balls as he does swing-and-misses.

    Works from high three-quarters arm slot; fastball sits 91-93 mph with late, arm-side life; maintains velocity deep into starts; demonstrates command two-seamer to both sides of the plate; secondary arsenal is highlighted by a solid-average curveball that induces whiffs and should continue to improve; mixes in a slider and changeup, the latter of which has nice fade and will likely be at least big-league average offering.


    2013 Opening Day Level: High-A San Jose

1. RHP Kyle Crick

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    Position: RHP

    DOB: 11/30/1992 (Age: 19)

    Height/Weight: 6’4”, 220

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: First round, 2011 (Sherman HS, Texas)

    ETA: 2015


    2012 Stats: 7-6, 111.1 IP, 2.51 ERA, 1.275 WHIP, 6.1 H/9, 10.3 K/9, 5.4 K/9 (23 GS, 22 G; Low-A Augusta)


    Scouting Notes: Possesses highly projectable frame at 6’4”, 220 pounds and has little mileage on his arm; lack of experience can also be attributed to overall rawness; present plus fastball at 94-97 mph, but struggles to command the pitch with consistency.

    Slider is still a work-in-progress, but flashes plus potential when thrown with tight spin; still working on getting on top of pitch rather than coming around the side; changeup vastly improved over the course of 2012 season and should be at least a third above-average offering; aggressively attacks hitters and maintain consistent approach even when command is shaky; has the potential to the Giants’ next homegrown, frontline starter.


    2013 Opening Day Level: High-A San Jose

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