Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Top 5 Prospects In the Giants Organization

A couple years ago, there were inklings that the Giants would have a slew of strong players coming from their farm system. They went by the names Posey, Bumgarner, Sandoval, etc. Now, those players played a significant role in helping the Giants win the 2010 World Series.

So with that kind of success coming from the minors so recently, that means the Giants farm system is depleted, right? Well, a little, but there are still a few names lingering down there that most certainly will get call-ups real soon. Here are a few:

5. SS- Brandon Crawford
I'm sure you have heard rumblings of this kid becoming the next Giants shortstop. Maybe even thought he would be the Opening Day starter at SS in the 2011 season now with Juan Uribe taking a hike. That was before the Tejada signing. Not sure if he is MLB ready just yet. Don't get me wrong, his defensive skills are MLB ready, but his bat sure needs some work if he is to progress to the next level. He played in A-San Jose then worked his way up to AA-Richmond last season and seems to be a promising infielder for the Giants in the near future. That is really the reason why he is on this list. I'm really not impressed with him as a Major League player just yet, but he seems to be the closest to gettting the call to the pros because of his defense and the void the Giants have at shortstop.

4. OF- Francisco Peguero
One growing similarity you will notice between the top prospects for the Giants is speed. Peguero may be at the top of that list. But although he can steal bases like nobody's business, his plate discipline may need some work. If you can't envision this guy or haven't seen him play, just think of a skinnier Pablo Sandoval who still swings at everything, yet Peguero can put the bat on the ball. He is a tough strike out, which is why the Giants like him. Problem is he swings at everything. He is in a real battle with Darrren Ford for the starting CF of the future.

3. SP- Zack Wheeler
Many remember when he was the 6th overall pick in the 2009 draft. The 20 year old potential starting pitcher for the Giants, and top pitching prospect, has huge upside in the future. But that is all he has right now. He had a rough season last year and that has sparked some concerns about how fast he will rise to the Majors. Don't expect him in San Francisco anytime soon. This is not a Madison Bumgarner who blew through the minors. Wheeler will have a slow rise to the Majors. He will need to fix his wildness problem if anything is to change. Hopes are he starts in A-San Jose in 2011.

2. CF- Gary Brown
Speedy and athletic will describe Brown. He was the 24th overall pick by the Giants in this last 2010 draft. He has modest power, but doubts about him hitting consistently may have him down this list a little farther for some, but I like him. He is a top of the order type of hitter and is another talented CF prospect for the Giants. He hit .438 with 41 RBI's and 31 SB in college at Cal State Fullerton, and was called one of the fastest players in the country. We'll know more about him when he presumably starts in A-San Jose in 2011.

1. 1B- Brandon Belt
This is an easy pick right here. Belt is the best player in the Giants farm system, no doubt. I don't want to talk him up too much, but .383 with 10 HR's and 62 RBI's in 77 games in A-San Jose last season may do the job for me. Again, I don't want to get everyone's hopes up, but he is being very much compared to Buster Posey in terms of upside. If you haven't seen him play, picture the future John Olerud. A skinny, hit for average player. At 6'5" 195 lbs., he may need to put on some weight, but there has not been a hitting prospect in the Giants' farm system with this much anticipation, well, since Posey. Odds are, he does the same thing as Posey did last season. Belt will start in AAA-Fresno, but given an injury or lack of hitting from someone in San Francisco, Belt is on the first plane to the Major Leagues.

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