Stock Up, Stock Down for San Francisco Giants' Top 10 Prospects Entering Week 5

Jason Martinez@@mlbdepthchartsContributor IApril 28, 2014

Stock Up, Stock Down for San Francisco Giants' Top 10 Prospects Entering Week 5

0 of 10

    Brown is making a case for a big league promotion after falling a homer shy of the cycle on Sunday.
    Brown is making a case for a big league promotion after falling a homer shy of the cycle on Sunday.Gregory Bull

    The San Francisco Giants are in first place in the NL West after winning four consecutive games, which takes the sting away from a disappointing week down on the farm in which the team's four full-season teams combined to go 10-17. 

    While wins and losses don't begin to tell the entire story of how much talent an organization has in the minors, there also weren't many great performances from Giants prospects. This is not out of the ordinary, however, from a farm system that still isn't very deep. 

    As a result, there wasn't much movement in the rankings, while only one new player, last year's third-round draft pick, Chase Johnson, made the jump into the top 10 for the first time.

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

10. Gary Brown, of (Triple-a Fresno)

1 of 10

    Last Week's Stats

    7-for-26, 2B, 3B, 2 BB

    Brown still isn't changing anyone's mind to make them think he can be a future big league regular. But after a three-hit game on Sunday in which he fell a home run shy of a cycle, the 25-year-old outfielder continues to make a case for his first big league call-up. 

    The Giants did return to a five-man bench this past week, although the last spot went to utilityman Juan Perez, who is now 0-for-10 with no walks and three strikeouts. With word that center fielder Angel Pagan is playing with a small tear in his patella tendon, per Alex Pavlovic of the Mercury News, the Giants could prefer to add Brown, a very good defender in center fielder, to spell Pagan on occasion.

     

    2014 Stats

    .281 BA, HR, 4 2B, 3 3B, 9 RBI, 19 R, 12 BB, 17 K, 4 SB in 24 games

     

    Stock

    Up

9. Joan Gregorio, RHP (High-a San Jose)

2 of 10

    Last Week's Stats

    5 IP, 7 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 4 K in one start

    After a brilliant 11-strikeout performance in a 5.1-inning stint against Inland Empire (Los Angeles Angels) last week, Joan Gregorio had his first poor start of the season against a very strong Visalia (Arizona Diamondbacks) lineup.

    Third-base prospect Brandon Drury got the best of the 22-year-old  right-hander, hitting a solo homer in the first, a two-run single in the third and another solo homer in the fifth. The 6'7" Gregorio will get his next shot on the road against a Modesto team with only one hitter, shortstop Trevor Story, having a strong season (.927 OPS, 2 HR, 7 2B, 14 SB).

     

    2014 Stats

    4.66 ERA, 19.1 IP, 21 H, 7 BB, 26 K in four starts

     

    Stock

    Down

8. Chase Johnson, RHP (Low-A Augusta)

3 of 10

    Last Week's Stats

    5 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 2 BB, 6 K in one start

    A college reliever at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, Chase Johnson is getting a shot as a starter since being taken in the third round of the 2013 draft (101st overall). Thus far, he's taking full advantage of the opportunity.

    The 22-year-old right-hander can always be moved back to the 'pen if his path to the majors stalls as a starter, but that doesn't appear to be on the horizon anytime soon. After tossing five shutout innings against Hagerstown (Washington Nationals) in his last start, the 6'3" right-hander has allowed just two earned runs over his last 16.2 innings, with four walks and 16 strikeouts. 

    Take away one bad inning in his Augusta debut, in which he allowed three runs in the fifth inning on three hits and a walk, and Johnson has an 0.87 ERA.

     

    2014 Stats

    2.08 ERA, 21.2 IP, 17 H, 5 BB, 21 K in four starts

     

    Stock

    Up

7. Kendry Flores, RHP (High-a San Jose)

4 of 10

    Last Week's Stats

    4.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 4 K in one start

    As was the case with Joan Gregorio, Kendry Flores followed up a strong start against Inland Empire (Angels) with a rough outing against Visalia. In reality, it was just one bad inning, though. 

    After allowing just two singles over four shutout innings, the 22-year-old Flores imploded in the fifth. Alex Glenn led off with a solo homer to open the scoring. Two walks, a single and a double later, Flores' day was over.

     

    2014 Stats

    4.03 ERA, 22.1 IP, 17 H, 5 BB, 22 K in four starts (High-A San Jose)

     

    Stock

    Down

6. Mac Williamson, OF (High-A San Jose)

5 of 10

    Last Week's Stats

    13-for-30, HR, 2 2B, 5 RBI, 4 BB, 2 SB

     

    The Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels were awaiting the arrival of Mac Williamson, who is stuck in High-A where he can serve as the designated hitter until his shoulder is strong enough to allow him to play in the outfield once again

    While it's not known how close he was to returning to the field, the wait will likely be extended as the 24-year-old suffered an elbow injury that has forced him off the roster and back to extended spring training. Too bad because he's been on a tear lately—Williamson had a five-hit game on Thursday—and the Flying Squirrels could really use him. They have only three hitters with an OPS over .638.

     

    2014 Stats

    .318 BA, 3 HR, 7 2B, 11 RBI, 13 BB, 14 K, 6 SB in 23 games

     

    Stock

    Up

5. Chris Stratton, RHP (High-A San Jose)

6 of 10

    Last Week's Stats

    9 IP, 7 ER, 11 H, 6 BB, 13 K in two starts

     

    After being out-dueled by journeyman lefty Spencer Arroyo (7.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, BB, 6 K) on Monday, Chris Stratton faced off against one of the quickest rising pitching prospects in the game.

    Cincinnati Reds farmhand Ben Lively, who had allowed just one earned run with one walk and 33 strikeouts in 23 innings pitched on the season, continued to shine as he shut down San Jose with six shutout innings while striking out seven and not walking a hitter. 

    Of course, Stratton was trying to get out the Bakersfield hitters and not directly opposing Lively.

    And while he wasn't terrible, allowing three earned runs on three hits in five innings, the fact that he walked four times as many batters as the 22-year-old Lively has walked the entire season and his overall mediocre numbers indicate that their choice of Stratton with the 20th pick in the 2012 draft is headed in the wrong direction.

     

    2014 Stats

    5.04 ERA, 25 IP, 25 H, 10 BB, 26 K in five starts

     

    Stock

    Down

4. Adalberto Mejia, LHP (Double-a Richmond)

7 of 10

    Last Week's Stats

    6 IP, 4 ER, 7 H, BB, 6 K in one start

     

    Adalberto Mejia, who beat New Britain (Minnesota Twins) in his 2014 debut, was taken down in the rematch. After starting the game with two shutout innings, he allowed two runs in each of the third and fourth innings before finishing off the game with two more scoreless innings. 

    Despite the loss, the 21-year-old Mejia showed excellent command of the strike zone by throwing 58 of his 85 pitches for strikes. His 1.5 BB/9 and 9.0 K/9 are slight improvements over his career numbers in the lower minors, so the beginning of his Double-A career has to be considered a success thus far.

     

    2014 Stats

    4.50 ERA, 18 IP, 18 H, 3 BB, 18 K in four starts

     

    Stock

    Up

3. Clayton Blackburn, RHP (Double-A Richmond)

8 of 10

    Last Week's Stats

    4.2 IP, ER, 6 H, BB, 4 K in one start

     

    The 21-year-old Blackburn was cruising early on in his latest start against Double-A Reading (Philadelphia Phillies), allowing just one single and one walk before they got to him for a run on three singles in the fourth. He allowed two more singles in the fifth before making a disappointing exit with two outs. 

    While he gave up just the one run and no extra-base hits, Blackburn had a chance to out-duel Phillies' top pitching prospect, Jesse Biddle. It was no match, though, as Biddle struck out 10 over seven shutout innings in a 1-0 victory.

    Blackburn is fourth in the Eastern League with a 1.80 ERA, while Biddle is 11th after lowering his to 2.86. It's Biddle's seven walks and 38 strikeouts in 28.1 innings, however, that are indications of why Biddle's ceiling is so much higher.

     

    2014 Stats

    1.80 ERA, 20 IP, 21 H, 4 BB, 16 K in five starts

     

    Stock

    Down

2. Edwin Escobar, LHP (Triple-A Fresno)

9 of 10

    Last Week's Stats

    4.1 IP, ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 6 K in one start

     

    Edwin Escobar's chances of a big league promotion increased after Ryan Vogelsong was knocked out in the second inning of his April 21 start after allowing five earned runs. A day earlier, Escobar had tossed two-hit ball over seven shutout innings with no walks and five strikeouts. 

    A week later, the 22-year-old Escobar continues to put himself in position to be next in line for a call-up, though Vogelsong isn't cooperating this time. He matched Escobar's numbers from last weekend in Sunday's victory over the Cleveland Indians with only two hits allowed over seven shutout innings over the Indians.

     

    2014 Stats

    4.88 ERA, 24 IP, 27 H, 6 BB, 28 K in five starts

     

    Stock

    Up

1. Kyle Crick, RHP (Double-A Richmond)

10 of 10

    Last Week's Stats

    1.2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 3 BB, K

     

    The Giants know that their top prospect is a work in progress and that a Double-A assignment might have been aggressive after he pitched only 68.2 High-A innings during an injury-plagued 2013. And after a strong debut (5 IP, ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 5 K), Kyle Crick is proving that he's not quite ready. 

    In his last three starts, the 21-year-old has 12 walks in 7.2 innings. While he didn't allow a run or a hit in Saturday's game against New Britain (Twins), it took him 51 pitches to record five outs. Only 28 of those were thrown for strikes. 

    If he can't get straightened out, he could find himself back in the High-A California League, where he posted a 1.57 ERA in 14 starts last season.

     

    2014 Stats

    2.84 ERA, 12.2 IP, 9 H, 14 BB, 15 K in four starts

     

    Stock

    Down