San Jose Giants' Star-Studded Lineup Isn't Disappointing to Begin Season

Danny PenzaSenior Writer IApril 16, 2009

There have been fireworks coming from a group of young men wearing the Giants uniforms.

No it’s not the San Francisco Giants or your local little league team with the Giants name attached to their t-shirt jerseys.

The correct answer would be the San Jose Giants, with their star-studded roster with some of baseball’s beast prospects, have become one of the best teams in the minor leagues.

The offense has been simply spectacular, scoring less-than five runs only once. Catcher Buster Posey, after a slow start in the opening weekend, has been an offensive machine in the past four games. He’s gone 10-for-14, a .714 average (yes that is correct) with three homers and seven RBI.

This just in...Buster Posey can rake.
His .462 is second on the team behind shortstop Brandon Crawford, who has also turned numerous heads with his hot start to the season. San Jose’s cleanup hitter leads the team in home runs, RBI’s, and every major offensive category besides triples.

I’d say he’s living up to the hype.

San Jose’s lineup is so stacked that Angel Villalona, the hulking 18-year-old Dominican first baseman and the No. 4 prospect in the system, is hitting seventh most nights.

How many times will you be able to say you’ve seen the seventh hitter in a batting order hitting .450 and second on the team in RBIs?

My guess is the chances are slim-to-none. Not too shabby, eh?

But almost as impressive as the offensive production, the pitching staff has been equally impressive.

We knew the front of the rotation was a pair of studs in Tim Alderson and Madison Bumgarner, but the rest of the six-man rotation has been keeping up with the highly touted twosome.

Alderson did get touched up Wednesday for four runs and ten hits, but breezed through his first start in the Giants’ opener last week. As the Cal League ERA champ a year ago, don’t expect his current mark of 4.32, or his stay in San Jose, to last much longer.

If Alderson made things look easy against the Stockton Ports last week, then Bumgarner’s effort against them was no challenge at all.

Two hits allowed and five strikeouts in six scoreless innings, just another outing for the Giants top prospect who seems to be picking up where he left off in the South Atlantic League last season.

Ho-hum for Mad Bum.

A 5-2 start to the season will certainly not steal the headlines from the big club coming back to earth after a promising opening series. Tim Lincecum struggling is certainly more important now than a minor league start.

But the way that the minor league Giants are making things look easy has to be noticed. Their roster resembles what the big league club could look like in the next couple of years. Posey could very well be catching Lincecum and Matt Cain next season and having Alderson and Bumgarner in the 2010 rotation isn’t out of the question.

When was the last time that a Single-A Giants affiliate has gotten this much attention?

Can’t really remember.

It’s not only good for the Giants to now have transformed their system into one of the best systems in the minors in such a short period, but to also have their talent on the same team at once. It makes the San Jose promotions department job a lot easier than the days when the little Giants didn’t have any big names on the roster and had to settle for Edwards Guzman and Chad Zerbe.

With the current crop struggling to put runs on the board, it might not take long for fans to venture a little further down Highway 101 to get a look at what the future holds.


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