Brandon Crawford of the San Francisco Giants gets his throw off to complete a double play while avoiding the slide of Juan Rivera of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fourth inning during an MLB baseball game at AT&T Park July 18, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
San Francisco Giants Top 20 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review
It is time to review our PRE-SEASON list of Top 20 prospects for 2011 for each organization, beginning today with the San Francisco Giants. This list was originally published November 14, 2010.
This is a review of the 2011 Pre-Season Top 20 list. IT IS NOT A NEW LIST. The 2012 list and new grades won't be ready until the season is over and I start writing the book.
1) Brandon Belt, 1B, Grade A-: Earned first base job out of spring training but didn't hold it, also missed some time with a wrist injury. Hit .215/.320/.338 in 21 major league games, .335/.475/.548 in 47 Triple-A games. Still an elite talent, just needs more time.
2) Gary Brown, OF, Grade B: Hitting .313/.382/.469 with 39 steals for High-A San Jose, drawing raves for speed and defense. Has a few rough edges but overall I'm impressed, and pre-season concerns I had about his bat have been eased.
3) Zack Wheeler, RHP, Grade B: 3.70 ERA with 95/46 K/BB in 83 innings for San Jose, 64 hits, 1.29 GO/AO. K/IP and H/IP remain excellent, reflect plus stuff, still needs to sharpen command.
4) Francisco Peguero, OF, Grade B-: Late start due to knee injury, hit .324/.387/.441 in 16 games for San Jose, .276/.291/.439 win 25 games for Double-A Richmond. Speed/power potential remains impressive, still raw with the strike zone.
5) Thomas Neal, OF, Grade B-: .295/.351/.409 with two homers, 13 walks, 50 strikeouts in 220 at-bats for Triple-A Fresno. Disappearance of his power is disappointing. Stock has dropped some.
6) Jose Casilla, RHP, Grade B-: 9.49 ERA with a 4/6 K/BB in 12 innings, 17 hits for San Jose, before going on the disabled list in May.
7) Jarrett Parker, OF, Grade B-: Hitting .270/.382/.430 with nine homers, 57 walks, 16 steals for San Jose in 337 at-bats, also 87 strikeouts. Intriguing across-the-board tools/skills, Double-A transition will be interesting.
8) Ehire Adrianza, SS, Grade C+: .231/.315/.378 in 38 games for Low-A Augusta, .284/.361/.405 in 18 games for San Jose. Still rates as great glove/questionable bat type.
9) Jorge Bucardo, RHP, Grade C+: Injured all year.
10) Charlie Culberson, 2B, Grade C+: .274/.311/.404 in 379 at-bats for Richmond, 17 walks, 91 strikeouts, 12 steals. Has some gap power and speed but poor plate discipline..
11) Brandon Crawford, SS, Grade C+: .199/.289/.277 in 141 major league at-bats. Given lack of Triple-A experience and his past minor league track record, such struggles are not unexpected. Has played well on defense.
12) Eric Surkamp, LHP, Grade C+: 2.05 ERA, 118/32 K/BB in 101 innings for Richmond, 84 hits. Excellent season in all respects, transition to Double-A very successful.
13) Kendry Flores, RHP, Grade C+: 5.13 ERA with 26/10 K/BB in 26 innings for short-season Salem-Keizer. Sample too small to mean much at this point, just 19 years old.
14) Michael Main, RHP, Grade C+: 3.81 ERA with 24/14 K/BB in 28 innings for San Jose, 30 hits, missed two months with injury. Ratios aren't impressive but sample is small.
15) Mike Kickham, LHP, Grade C+: 4.71 ERA with 69/25 K/BB in 65 innings for Augusta, 67 hits. College performance was erratic and the same has been true in pro ball, though components are better than the ERA.
16) Tommy Joseph, C, Grade C+: .249/.291/.416 with 11 homers, 18 walks, 74 strikeouts in 361 at-bats for San Jose, has thrown out 37% of runners, passed ball and error rates have improved. Looks like progress on defense, bat remains sketchy, good power but poor discipline.
17) Heath Hembree, RHP, Grade C+: 0.7 ERA with 44/12 K/BB in 25 innings for San Jose, 21 saves. 3.00 ERA with 14/5 K/BB in nine innings for Richmond, seven saves. A very fine season thus far.
18) Jake Dunning, RHP, Grade C+; borderline C: 5.09 ERA with 54/21 K/BB in 58 innings for San Jose, 70 hits. Not a lot to get excited about here.
19) Chris Dominguez, 3B, Grade C, borderline C+. .291/.337/.465 with 11 homers, 18 walks, 73 strikeouts in 258 at-bats for San Jose, .291/.320/.487 with five walks, 30 strikeouts in 117 at-bats for Richmond. Very impressive power, but strike zone judgment remains poor. It's interesting that his production held up despite better competition, but I still have doubts.
20) Roger Kieschnick, OF, Grade C, borderline C+: .267/.317/.434 with 11 homers, 25 walks, 87 strikeouts in 348 at-bats for Richmond. Another guy with power but plate discipline issues.
Feel free in the comments section to ask about guys who weren't on the Pre-Season Top 20 but who are doing well this year. There was a lot of C+ pre-season and as I noted at the time, spots nine through 19 could have been ranked any number of ways with justifiable logic.