San Francisco Giants

Stock Up, Stock Down for San Francisco Giants' Top 10 Prospects Entering Week 4

Jason MartinezContributor IApril 21, 2014

Stock Up, Stock Down for San Francisco Giants' Top 10 Prospects Entering Week 4

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    Escobar tossed seven shutout innings in his latest Triple-A start.
    Escobar tossed seven shutout innings in his latest Triple-A start.USA TODAY Sports

    Their top pitching prospect had a rough outing, but the majority of the San Francisco Giants' best pitching prospects shined during the third week of the minor league season. 

    Six pitchers on this week's list, five of whom were included in last week's rankings, solidified their status with strong starts, while only a few hitters are still doing enough to keep this from being an all-pitcher top 10. 

    Don't count out that possibility, however, as several other young pitching prospects are starting to make their case. 

    Here's the updated list and a look at how each player has fared through the first three weeks of the 2014 MLB season. 

10. Gary Brown, of

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    Last Week's Stats

    7-for-25, RBI, 8 BB, 7 K, 2 SB


    The former first-round pick is lucky to remain on this list after a week in which he struck out seven times and had no extra-base hits.

    While that's an ugly statistic, he still somehow managed to reach base in 45 percent of his at-bats. With the Giants currently going with a four-man bench, the 25-year-old is putting himself in a strong position for a big league call-up once they feel a fifth bench player is necessary. 


    2014 Stats

    .301 BA, HR, 3 2B, 2 3B, 8 RBI, 11 BB, 12 K, 4 SB in 18 games (Triple-A Fresno)


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9. Christian Arroyo, 2B/SS

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    Last Week's Stats

    3-for-17, 2B, RBI, 2 BB, 3 K

    The Giants wasted little time moving their 2013 first-round draft pick from shortstop to second base, where Arroyo's better suited defensively. But with his bat expected to be his calling card, he's not doing himself any favors early on.

    After a rough week dropped his batting average under .200, the 18-year-old Arroyo could have bigger problems than dropping off of this top 10 prospect list. He could find himself off the Augusta roster and in a lower-level short-season league this summer if he continues to struggle against Low-A pitching. 


    2014 Stats

    .193 BA, 2 2B, 3B, 6 RBI, 4 BB, 9 K in 15 games (Low-A Augusta)


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8. Mac Williamson, DH/OF

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week's Stats

    8-for-23, 2 HR, 2 2B, 3 RBI, BB, 2 K, 2 SB


    Still relegated to DH duty as he recovers from a shoulder injury, Williamson's bat is starting to heat up after a slow start. As long as the 23-year-old doesn't go into a deep slump, he's in line for a Double-A promotion almost immediately after he can return to a corner outfield spot. 


    2014 Stats

    .267 BA, 2 HR, 5 2B, 6 RBI, 9 BB, 10 K, 4 SB in 17 games


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7. Joan Gregorio, RHP

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    Last Week's Stats

    5.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 11 K


    After striking out 11 hitters in his first nine innings with High-A San Jose, the 6'7" Gregorio struck out 11 batters in 5.1 innings against Inland Empire on Wednesday. The 22-year-old has not allowed a homer, which isn't a surprise considering he allowed just three in 69.2 innings with Low-A Augusta in 2013.


    2014 Stats

    1.88 ERA, 14.1 IP, 14 H, 5 BB, 22 K in three starts (High-A San Jose)


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6. Kendry Flores, RHP

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    Last Week's Stats

    6 IP, 0 R, 3 H, BB, 9 K


    The 22-year-old Dominican was in control once again in his start last Tuesday, walking only one batter for his third consecutive start as he shut down Inland Empire. 

    Flores' ability to pound the strike zone should come as no surprise. In 22 starts with Low-A Augusta in 2013, Flores walked just 17 hitters while striking out 137. 


    2014 Stats

    3.00 ERA, 18 IP, 12 H, 3 BB, 18 K in three starts (High-A San Jose)


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5. Adalberto Mejia, LHP

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    Last Week's Stats

    6 IP, ER, 4 H, BB, 6 K


    Mejia was knocked out of his last start after getting hit on the shin by a line drive. Facing the same Altoona lineup that scored a run off him in his lone inning of work one week earlier, the 20-year-old Mejia allowed one run again but, this time, over six solid innings in which he retired nine of the last 10 hitters faced. 


    2014 Stats

    3.75 ERA, 12 IP, 11 H, 2 BB, 12 K in three starts


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4. Chris Stratton, RHP

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    Last Week's Stats

    6 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, BB, 5 K


    Although his team was shut out and he suffered his second loss in three decisions, Stratton's first start in front of the home fans in San Jose was impressive. After getting knocked around against a tough Lancaster lineup during his last outing, the 23-year-old right-hander dominated the Inland Empire lineup with a one-hit shutout through five innings before running out of gas and allowing two earned runs in the sixth. 


    2014 Stats

    3.94 ERA, 16 IP, 14 H, 4 BB, 13 K in three starts


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3. Clayton Blackburn, RHP

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    Last Week's Stats

    6.1 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 2 BB, 3 K


    Facing off against one of the Pittsburgh Pirates' top pitching prospects, Nick Kingham, Blackburn was at his best. The 21-year-old showed why he profiles as a mid-rotation workhorse in the majors, with 10 groundouts over 6.2 shutout innings as he picked up his first victory of the season in a 2-1 win over Altoona.


    2014 Stats

    1.76 ERA, 15.1 IP, 15 H, 3 BB, 12 K in three starts


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2. Edwin Escobar, LHP

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    Last Week's Stats

    7 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 BB, 5 K


    Allowing 12 earned runs and 22 hits over his first 12.2 Triple-A innings wasn't speeding up Escobar's ETA to the majors. But one spectacular start, two hit balls over seven shutout innings against Reno (Arizona Diamondbacks affiliate) in his fourth start, and the 21-year-old lefty is pushing himself to the front of the line to get a call-up the first time the Giants are in need. 


    2014 Stats

    5.49 ERA, 19.2 IP, 24 H, 4 BB, 22 K in four starts


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1. Kyle Crick, RHP

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    Last Week's Stats

    3.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 6 BB, 4 K


    The path to the majors for the best pitching prospects in the game isn't always a smooth one. Developing consistent command of a live fastball and secondary pitches with plus potential can take years. This is the case with Crick, a 21-year-old who now has 11 walks in 11 Double-A innings after walking six in his last start. 

    Don't be surprised if he has a few more of those this season, mixed in with some dominant games where he looks like he can shut down big league hitters now. But he's not ready yet, and that shouldn't be a surprise.


    2014 Stats

    3.27 ERA, 11 IP, 9 H, 11 BB, 14 K in three starts


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