Buster Posey Stars in Fresno Loss, Kid Shorstop Hits in San Jose

Ted SillanpaaAnalyst IApril 9, 2010

June can't come soon enough for San Francisco Giants fans.

Catcher Buster Posey went 3-for-5 with two runs scored in the Fresno Grizzlies opener on Thursday on the road in a 5-4 Pacific Coast League loss at Reno in extra innings.

Posey, who bats third, was hit by a pitch in the top of the 11th inning with the game tied 4-4.

The Giants top prospect threw out one would-be base-stealer. Reno did steal a base off him with Gino Espinelli pitching.

The word is that the organization plans to bring Posey to the big club, assuming all goes well, in June.

Opening night starter Kevin Pucetas was roughed up for six hits and four runs in just four innings of work. He walked three and fanned three before yielding to intriguing prospect Henry Sosa , who threw two scoreless innings. (Sosa flies under the radar in the Giants system, but keeps pitching well.)

Pucetas, a control pitcher who doesn’t have a big fastball or breaking pitch, threw 79 pitches—45 for strikes.

First baseman Brett Pill ? The big guy bit off a 1-for-6 with two Ks.

Ryan Rohlinger and Matt Downs shared the shortstop duties. Rohlinger got the start and a single, then departed when he was hit by a pitch in the fourth.

The big club might view him as the all-purpose infield prospect who might fill the role Kevin Frandsen couldn’t make his own. Downs went hitless after starting at third base.

It was a marathon opener for Class AAA teams. Espinelli hit for himself in the 12th and fanned.

Top prospects open in Flying Squirrels' loss

The Richmond Flying Squirrels Class AA Eastern League opener was suspended by rain after four innings at Bowie. The Squirrels are, more or less, the bulk of the starting lineup the San Francisco Giants imagine having in a dream world that begins in about 2012 or 2013.

Darren Ford hit in the 1-hole, played center field, and went hitless in two trips. Shortstop Brendan Crawford was also 0-for-2 against Red Sox southpaw prospect Zachary Britton.

Left fielder Thomas Neal , batting third, doubled in his first at-bat. Right fielder Roger Kieschnik struck out twice batting clean-up and  playing right field. He did throw out a runner at the plate.

Former first round draft pick Conor Gillaspie was 0-for-2. He hit in the fifth spot.

The Giants are taking a close look at the 23-year-old left-handed hitting third baseman.

Gillaspie had 31 doubles at Class A San Jose in over 500 at-bats last summer, but he hit only four home runs. The organization will want more power—or just more run production—from him. He's built for the long ball it at 6'1", 200 pounds, and he has patience at the plate that the big club sorely lacks.

Second base prospect Nick Noonan had a hit in the Richmond opener batting seventh.

Adrianza makes bang in San Jose loss

Ehire Adrianza , the Giants 20-year-old shortstop prospect, was 2 for 4 with a run scored in a 4-3 California League Class A loss in San Jose’s opener at Modesto on Thursday.

The speedster hit in the lead-off spot and doubled. He also struck out twice.


Ted Sillanpaa is a San Francisco Bay Area sports writer and columnist. Contact Ted at: tsillanpaa1956@gmail.com