San Francisco Giants: Power Ranking the Top 10 Prospects in Their Farm System
Spring Training is right around the corner. Pitchers and Catchers arrive in about 2 weeks, and the true baseball fans are eager to tune into every teams farm system showcase.
San Francisco should be very excited.
With the emergence of Buster Posey, the Giants have a solid line of talent in the minor leagues they can draw from, something that hasn't always been the case.
Let's take a look at 10 hot prospects heading out to Arizona in February.
1. Brandon Belt- IB/OF
The 6-foot-5 frame of Brandon Belt makes him an early target in assessing the best players in the Giants farm system. He plays a much less demanding position then the latest farm system product, Buster Posey.
Brian Sabean has made it virtually clear: If Belt doesn't land a job as an everyday player, he will start in Triple-A Fresno, and look to make the jump to pro sometime during the year. If he does make the squad, he will likely play first base, sending Aubrey Huff to left-field.
Belt has the ability to shock the league, but because it's more fun to lay in wait, let's see how he fairs in Arizona over the coming months.
2. Zack Wheeler- P
With a fastball between 90 and 93 mph, Zack Wheeler is a highly touted young pitcher. Some have dubbed him as a 'phenom'.
Wheeler was drafted in the first round in 2009, and his future has a lot of possibilities. 2011 may not be the year for his uprising, but he's certainly a good card to have headed towards the future.
In 2010 he went 3-3 with a 3.99 ERA. There is still maturity to come for this hurling righty.
3. Gary Brown- OF
Gary Brown is an excellent base-runner. His batting needs a little work, but he always gets the bat on the ball.
Look for Brown to make an impact in the coming years in the outfield.
For a scouting video on the MLB website, take a look here.
4. Chris Dominguez- 3B
Dominguez is a big dude. He's also had some experience in the minor leagues, launching 32 home-runs in 193 games.
At 6-fot-3, 215 pounds, Dominguez can pack a punch. He tied Frank Thomas' record of three home-runs in one game for Hyannis.
Sitting at third-base, Dominguez looks to make an impact in Frisco sooner then later. Don't expect to see him until 2012-2013, but when you do, remember his name. He has the ability to wrap up the three bag position for years to come.
5. Ehire Adrianza- INF
Adrianza was voted as the best defensive player in the 2010 California leagues. His skills are known, and as of November 2010, Adrianza found his way onto the 40-man roster.
He led the San Jose Giants to a championship, and the Giants certainly value that kind of leadership.
I'm looking for Adrianza to make a big splash in San Francisco, but like many of his fellow teammates, it's unclear as to when we will see his true potential. Arizona certainly looks appealing.
He's batted for a .246 average in four seasons in the Giants organization, and was clouted as being the eighth best prospect entering the 2010 campaign. Pretty good credentials for the young infielder.
6. Eric Surkamp- P
The tall 6-foot-5 lefty out of NC State, Surkamp might be one of the most under-rated farm system products in SF.
Surkamp has some of the nastiest stuff in his realm, and soon enough all the Giants fans will know his name if they don't already.
Look for Surkamp to make a big splash, following in the likes of Madison Bumgarner.
7. Thomas Neal- OF
Neal, the 23-year old OF from Inglewood, CA, batted for a .291 average during his 2010 stint with Richmond. He finished third in doubles, and fifth in hits within the Eastern League.
He's played in 442 minor league games, and has amassed a .293 average. In 2009, he was the hands-down MVP of the San Jose Giants, ranking near all-time bests in multiple categories. He's been tabbed as having an excellent arm in the OF as well as a top-hitting prospect.
8. Charlie Culberson- 2B
Tabbed as a potential power-hitting second basemen, Culberson has spent four years in the minors. He looks to make an impact sometime soon, but will have to wait his turn.
In recent interviews, people have been impressed with his maturity. After a rough start, Culberson has since relaxed, and was a part of the oh-so-impressive San Jose Giants last season.
9. Brandon Crawford- INF
Brandon Crawford has been in the minor leagues since 2008, and over 200-plus games, has batted for a decent .266 average.
Crawford is an under-the-radar kind of guy, so look to keep his name on file for the coming seasons in SF.
10. Tommy Joseph- C
Here is the next catcher in line. It might be a while until he see's time for the Giants considering the plight of Buster Posey.
Joseph is fairly big, 6-foot-1 and over 200 pounds. His approach is aggressive, and he's certainly the next up-and-coming catcher for the Giants.