We are about a third of the way through the 2011 campaign and the San Francisco Giants are in first place in the National League West, despite the devastating loss of catcher Buster Posey.
Based on the amount of one-run contests and last-inning heroics, the casual fan is likely to be flabbergasted when they open up the sports page to see the orange and black atop the standings, but that is torture in its truest form.
Up in the show, Brian Wilson, Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and the rest of the S.F. misfits are holding things down. Meanwhile down on the farm, players are quietly blossoming, attempting to work their way up the major league ladder.
Unless you’ve been trapped inside the huge baseball glove behind the left field bleachers at AT&T Park, or are being held hostage in Lou Seal’s harbor lair, you know Brandon Belt is San Francisco’s top prospect. While he may be the only can’t-miss, head-turning player the Giants have in their farm system at this point, there are plenty of notables making noise this season and others on talent prognosticators’ lists failing to live up to the hype.
Here is a list of talented ballplayers to keep an eye on for better or worse.