The San Francisco Giants have much to look forward to next season. While they will not be defending their World Series crown this year, their up-and-coming prospects give San Francisco something exciting to expect.
Several young guys were brought up at the beginning of September to try to help the Giants in any way they could. Next year they are hoping to make a year-long impact in the city.
These are the guys to keep an eye on this fall and winter. They could make a huge splash on the big league roster next season.
Hector Sanchez was able to get a bit of unexpected playing time this year after Buster Posey’s season-ending injury.
At 21 years old, Sanchez is on the right track to do big things. He should be able to work on his hitting and fielding during the offseason and come back even better.
Gary Brown ranked No. 44 on MLB.com’s Prospect Watch.
The 2010 first-round pick has been great in the minors and should be ready for San Francisco within the next year or two. He finished his San Jose season with a .336 batting average and 14 home runs. His speed is a big part of his game.
Depending on San Francisco’s center field/leadoff acquisitions, Brown could be a spark for the Giants’ depressing offense soon enough. He’ll be playing with the Scottsdale Scorpions this fall.
Joe Panik will be joining Gary Brown on the Scottsdale Scorpions. While Brandon Crawford will be getting the majority of time at shortstop, Panik will get some time to improve his skills this fall.
Panik is on the fast-track to the majors right now. He was drafted by the Giants a little over three months ago. Since then he has had six home runs and hit .341 and is the youngest player on the Scorpions’ roster this year.
Photo Courtesy of the Associated Press
In his four years of minor league baseball, Charlie Culberson has been part of a championship team twice. The second baseman has done well with the Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels.
In their championship run, Culberson went 8-for-22. He finished the regular season batting .259 with 10 home runs. If he continues to improve, he could start seeing some time in the majors very soon.
Steve Edlefsen was somewhat of a surprised to see in the majors this year but he has done enough to prove he has what it takes to succeed. With some work this offseason, Edlefsen might become a cheaper alternative to other right handed pitchers.
There are so many players either arbitration eligible or reaching free agency that a small contract could replace a bigger one, such as Ramon Ramirez. Pure speculation on that, though.
Francisco Peguero was promoted from Single-A San Jose to Double-A Richmond this season.
Peguero finished his season with the Flying Squirrels with a .309 batting average, knocking in 37 runs. He needs a bit more work before he makes his way to the big leagues but Peguero is definitely a player that should be on the radar.
Eric Surkamp was brought up to the majors earlier than expected after the loss of both Jonathan Sanchez and Barry Zito. He’ll have more time to work on his mechanics throughout the fall and winter.
While it’s hard to say whether we’ll see Surkamp on the Opening Day roster next year, he has done enough to show he can handle the big league level. A bit more practice in a lower level and Surkamp could be the answer to that fifth starting spot all next year.
Ehire Adrianza is another potential shortstop of the future. If the Giants want to find a stopgap to wait until one of their younger guys is ready, Adrianza could push his way to the majors within a year or two.
He’s been all over the Giants farm system and this was his first year reaching a .300 batting average. He is a player to keep an eye on. He’s had plenty of experience in the minors and will keep working to reach that next level.
Conor Gillaspie was up and down between the minors and majors this season. While Pablo Sandoval has third base wrapped up, Gillaspie could become a big help either at another position or off the bench.
He’s come up through the system the traditional way: one team per year. That practice has helped him grow and this offseason could be a big one for Gillaspie.
Ally Williams is a B/R MLB Featured Columnist. To contact, leave a note below or follow Ally on Twitter for updates and a consistent sarcastic interpretation of the sports world.