San Francisco Giants: The Organization's Best Prospects, Position by Position
The San Francisco Giants have one of the best farm systems in the country, producing home-grown players like Tim Lincecum, Buster Posey, and Brian Wilson.
All three players were a huge part of the championship title that the Giants brought back to San Francisco last season, and they will need to contribute again this year if they have any chance of repeating.
The future of the Giants depends not only on players like Posey and Lincecum, but on players just like them, who are now prospects, but may be household names in the near future.
Pitcher: Zack Wheeler
Zack Wheeler is only 20 years old, and has a bright future in baseball. He started 13 games for the Augusta Greenjackets last season, recording a 3.99 ERA and striking out 70.
Wheeler is a powerful right handed pitcher who is ranked just outside the top 50 prospects by BaseballAmerica. He needs a year or two to develop, but we could see him in the majors by 2014.
Catcher: Tommy Joseph
Although Tommy Joseph has almost no shot of becoming the Giants starting catcher, he is still their best prospect behind the plate.
Joseph is only 19 years old and has a tremendous amount of work to do. He played in 117 games last season for the Augusta Greenjackets, hitting .236 with 16 home runs. He has the potential to be a good hitter, but he needs to learn how to harness his power.
On a side note, Joseph can also play first base, but he won't find it any easier to get a starting job there than he would as a catcher.
First Base: Brandon Belt
Yes, I know Brandon Belt is starting for the Giants at first base right now, but that doesn't exclude him from being labeled as a prospect.
In the minors last season, Belt hit .352 in 136 games, crushing 23 home runs with 112 RBI's and 22 stolen bases. With Cody Ross on the DL, Belt has been given the chance to start at first base, with Aubrey Huff moving over to right field.
In his first two games, Belt has looked great, even hitting a three-run bomb Friday night in Los Angeles. Giants fans who don't know much about this kid yet should take a good look at him because he'll hopefully be in the majors for a long time to come.
Second Base: Charlie Culberson
Charlie Culberson probably needs a couple more years before we'll see him in the majors. He hit .290 for San Jose last season, and stole 25 bases in 128 games.
He's currently the best prospect the Giants have at second base, but he may have to compete with the likes of Adrianza and Crawford who could switch from shortstop to second base in a heartbeat.
Shortstop: Ehire Adrianza
Again, this was a really close call. Both Adrianza and Brandon Crawford are highly recognized shortstop prospects in the Giants farm system, but Adrianza is slightly more valuable.
He is by far the best defensive player that San Francisco has, but he still needs some work offensively.
Adrianza hit .256 in 124 games last season and stole 35 bases. He is the typical build of the type of player that the Giants have put at shortstop for years.
Third Base: Christopher Dominguez
Chris Dominguez won't be up to the majors anytime soon, even though he's already 24 years old.
He's a typical corner infielder, who specializes in power and has a great arm. Last season in Augusta, Dominguez hit .272 in 137 games with 21 home runs and 101 RBI's.
If he can continue to develop and play more consistently, then he has a chance of being called up, but the Giants are pretty set at third base as of now.
Left Field: Thomas Neal
Thomas Neal is one of the best prospects in the Giants farm system, and we may see him in the near future.
Neal is a great all-around player, who can hit, run and play defense. He hit .291 in 136 games for Richmond last season, with 12 homers and 11 stolen bases.
The Giants have been grooming Neal for a while, and he'll probably be the future left fielder for San Francisco, especially if the other outfield prospects live up to their potential as well.
Center Field: Gary Brown
Gary Brown is known for one thing, his base running. He has dynamite speed and is best used as a leadoff hitter.
As a center fielder with speed, he can cover the huge area that's required of him at AT&T Park. Brown doesn't have a ton of power, which is his biggest weakness, but he's still young and has plenty of time to work on his swing.
Right Field: Francisco Peguero
Another outfield in the farm system who's built on speed, Peguero is a candidate to steal 40 or more bases in the major leagues.
He hit .329 last season in San Jose, with 10 home runs and 40 stolen bases. He's also an excellent defender who could adjust well to playing in Triple's Alley.