Stock Up, Stock Down for San Francisco Giants' Top 10 Prospects for Week 11

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Stock Up, Stock Down for San Francisco Giants' Top 10 Prospects for Week 11
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

The San Francisco Giants have the best record in the majors (despite getting swept by the Colorado Rockies at home this past weekend), but it's still important to monitor the organization's farm system, which will largely dictate whether the team is able to replicate its recent success in the forthcoming seasons.

Though the Giants' minor league system has been plagued with injuries among the top prospects and still lacks top position players in comparison to many other teams' farm systems, the recent signing of Cuban outfielder Daniel Carbonell and the surplus of young pitching has the Giants in solid shape when it comes to the well-being of their developing talent.

Let's take a look at how those players performed last week, and what we can expect from some of the injured players going forward.

 

10. Clayton Blackburn

Gregory Bull/Associated Press

2014 Stats

8 GS, 2-5, 3.40 ERA, 9 BB, 32 K, 42.1 IP

Overview

Blackburn still hasn’t pitched since May 19, but he’s nearing his return date. According to the right-hander’s Twitter account, he finished up rehab a few days ago, with the next stop being a rookie league start. He’ll be back with the Flying Squirrels before long, where he’ll look to get back on track after slumping a bit before his injury. Blackburn has allowed 10 runs on 23 hits in 15.1 innings during his last three starts, so the Giants will be hoping that the time off will allow him to right the ship upon his return.

Last Week’s Stats
N/A

Stock
N/A

 

9. Joe Panik

Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

2014 Stats

70 G, .314/.375/.440, 12 2B, 5 HR, 43 RBI, 48 R

Overview

Panik was busy last week, with a healthy total of 34 at-bats thanks to an 11-inning affair followed by a doubleheader to close out the week. Though he went hitless in the two Saturday games, Panik smashed the ball all week in the six preceding games. He registered a hit in all six contests while hitting a pair of homers (nearly equaling his total of three up to that point in the season) and driving in nine runs.

The show of power likely wasn’t a sign of things to come given Panik’s history of poor home run rates, but his pair of three-hit games and his nine-game hitting streak dating back to the previous week was simply more of the same from what has been a breakout season for the Giants second base prospect. Though manager Bruce Bochy is still confident in current big league second baseman Brandon Hicks’ ability to rebound from his current slump, the club won’t be able to ignore Panik’s success much longer if Hicks’ poor hitting turns into more than just a funk.

Last Week’s Stats
10-for-34, 2 HR, 9 RBI

Stock
Up

 

8. Ty Blach

Gregory Bull/Associated Press

2014 Stats

12 GS, 4-3, 2.87 ERA, 13 BB, 38 K, 62.2 IP

Overview

Blach rebounded from a pair of rough starts by going five strong innings to pick up his first win since mid-May. Though he wasn’t exactly dominant, allowing seven baserunners while needing 96 pitches to get through the five innings, it was promising nevertheless to see Blach return to form a bit.

The left-hander’s Achilles’ heel this season has been the long ball, so it’s no coincidence that his second start allowing fewer than three runs since April 28 was also the first time he didn’t allow a home run since that date, a span of six starts.

In total, Blach has allowed eight home runs this season, but only 20 earned runs. Clearly, he’ll be a dominant pitcher if he can limit the homers, and considering the fact that Blach allowed eight home runs in more than twice as many innings last season, this is a trend that isn’t likely to continue.

Last Week’s Stats
1 GS, 5 IP, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K

Stock
Up

 

7. Heath Hembree

Stephen Lam/Getty Images

2014 Stats

27 G, 0-1, 12 SV, 3.51 ERA, 9 BB, 28 K, 25.2 IP

Overview

Hembree has rebounded nicely from his four-run appearance on May 27, allowing a single earned run in eight innings since. That includes the 2.2 frame he tossed last week, during which he surrendered an unearned run but also allowed just one total baserunner.

The right-hander’s hot streak has pushed his ERA down to 3.51 on the season, and he also picked up save No. 12 on Thursday. Expect Hembree to make an impact out of the big league bullpen in September, as he did in a brief stint last season.

Last Week’s Stats
3 G, 2.2 IP, 1 R/0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

Stock
Up

 

6. Christian Arroyo

2014 Stats

31 G, .203/.226/.271, 3 2B, 1 HR, 14 RBI, 10 R

Overview

Arroyo finally returned to competitive action after sitting out for over a month with a sprained thumb, though he eased back in with a game at Low-A Salem-Keizer on Friday. The Giants shortstop prospect went 1-for-3 with a pair of RBI, and he’ll look to continue that when he re-joins the Single-A San Jose club. Arroyo had been playing in extended spring training before his game on Friday night, so he wasn’t coming into the game completely 

Arroyo is hitting .203 with just five extra-base hits in 118 at-bats this season, and he’s drawn just four walks, which shows how much he has to go in his hitting development. The power and plate discipline will likely only improve with added strength and experience, but the slow start is nevertheless concerning considering the team’s risky move to draft Arroyo in the first round of the 2013 draft.

Last Week’s Stats
1-for-3, 2 RBI (at Low-A Salem-Keizer)

Stock
N/A

 

5. Mac Williamson

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

2014 Stats

23 G, .318/.420/.506, 7 2B, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 16 R

Overview (From Last Week)

Williamson continues the trend of injured Giants prospects here, as he’s sidelined for the remainder of the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on April 29. The Giants outfielder was putting up strong numbers prior to his injury, and he’s generally put up consistent stats throughout his minor league career, but there’s no telling whether he’ll be able to return strong from his extended absence. At the very least, hitters generally return faster than pitchers when it comes to Tommy John surgery, so we can expect to see Williamson suit up on day one in 2015.

Last Week’s Stats
N/A
Stock
N/A

 

4. Adalberto Mejia

2014 Stats

12 GS, 3-5, 5.61 ERA, 15 BB, 48 K, 59.1 IP

Overview

Mejia’s disastrous start to the season probably had a few people in the organization a little bit worried, but his last two starts have been much more in line with the Mejia of 2013. The left-hander had his best start of the season on Sunday when he spun seven shutout innings, though in terms of last week, he was also somewhat improved during his 5.1-inning, one-run performance.

It’s too early to say Mejia has really turned it around, especially considering his start last week wasn’t particularly great. (He allowed 11 baserunners in the 5.1 innings.) However, the recent seven-inning gem has Mejia on the upswing, and it will be interesting to see if he can continue that trend in his second start this week.

Last Week’s Stats
1 GS, 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 K

Stock
Up

 

3. Chris Stratton

2014 Stats

12 GS, 4-6, 4.43 ERA, 24 BB, 66 K, 67 IP

Overview

Once again, Stratton showed that when he controls his pitches well, hitters have trouble against him. But the right-hander's start last week was particularly impressive because he didn’t walk a single batter for the first time all season, resulting in arguably the best start of the year.

The start was also the second time in a row (and the third in four starts) in which Stratton went seven innings, showing his improved durability as well. He also struck out a season-high nine batters, and his ERA fell to 4.43. Like Mejia, Stratton has some work to do, but he has been dominant in three of his past four starts, and his rough beginning to the season is quickly receding into the background.

Last Week’s Stats
1 GS, 7 IP, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K

Stock
Up

 

2. Edwin Escobar

Darron Cummings/Associated Press

2014 Stats

14 GS, 3-6, 5.26 ERA, 26 BB, 69 K, 75.1 IP

Overview

If anything, Escobar’s season in Triple-A has shown just how much work he has to do before making the leap to the majors.

Last week, the left-hander allowed four runs in five innings on nine baserunners, and he followed that up by getting battered around for five runs on 12 hits on Friday.

The back-to-back poor performances are especially disappointing because they come after Escobar had an excellent start on June 2, which might have indicated a sign of things to come. Instead, Escobar has allowed 18 hits and nine runs in the 10 innings following that start. In an up-and-down season with a lot of downs, Escobar might be better suited by spending some time down in Double-A to give him a better chance of getting back on track.

Last Week’s Stats
2 GS, 10 IP, 18 H, 9 ER, 3 BB, 10 K

Stock
Down

 

1. Kyle Crick

Gregory Bull/Associated Press

2014 Stats

11 GS, 4-2, 3.89 ERA, 29 BB, 43 K, 44 IP

Overview

Crick took the loss on Friday in one of his worst starts of the season, allowing four runs and an alarming nine hits in five innings. The performance was uncharacteristic of Crick, who generally struggles with his control instead of getting battered around by his opponents.

The tough start likely isn’t much to get alarmed about, especially with Crick’s two solid outings before his start last week. Though it could become problematic if Crick continues to allow hits in bunches like he did on Friday.

At the very least, the silver lining was that Crick walked two batters or fewer for the third straight start, a huge positive for a pitcher whose weak point has been his control.

Last Week’s Stats
1 GS, 5 IP, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K

Stock
Even

 

There is a seemingly endless supply of organization prospect lists all over the Internet, but for the sake of consistency, this list follows the rankings from Baseball America’s 2014 Top 10 Prospects Index.

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