Rookies on the Playoff Teams: San Francisco Giants
Here is a look at rookies and prospects who played for the San Francisco Giants in 2012.
Justin Christian, OF: 32-year-old minor league vet, hit .343/.409/.508 with 12 steals in 303 at-bats for Triple-A Fresno, currently hitting .125/.197/.143 in 56 major league at-bats. Was signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent out of Auburn in 2004. Runs well and a good minor league record, but in the majors he fits best as a bench guy.
Steve Edlefsen, RHP: 27-year-old reliever, posted a 3.79 ERA with a 29/18 K/BB in 38 innings for Fresno, along with a 4.70 ERA and a 9/6 K/BB in 15 innings for the Giants. Not on current roster. Standard middle relief type who will be on the fringes of the major leagues for several years, originally drafted in the 16th round in 2007 from the University of Nebraska.
Conor Gillaspie, 3B: Hit .281/.345/.441 with 41 walks, 54 strikeouts, 14 homers in 413 at-bats for Fresno. Went 3-for-20 with a double and two strikeouts during brief trial in the spring, not on the roster currently. Now age 25, he is a proven Triple-A performer but hasn't duplicated his success in the majors yet, granted the sample sizes have been miniscule with 44 at-bats spread over three years. Was drafted in the supplemental first round in 2008 from Wichita State University.
Eric Hacker, RHP: Another minor league vet, age 29, who got a brief shot earlier in the year, posted a 5.59 ERA with a 8/2 K/BB in 10 innings. Went 12-6, 4.01 with a 103/43 K/BB in 150 innings for Fresno. Throws four average pitches for strikes, could be a useful utility pitcher for some teams. Drafted by the Yankees in the 23rd round in 2002 from high school in Duncanville, Texas.
George Kontos, RHP: Age 27, was blowing away Triple-A (1.71 ERA with 26/7 K/BB in 32 innings) and has remained very effective in the majors, posting a 2.55 ERA with a 42/12 K/BB in 42 innings of relief for the Giants. Loves to use his slider. Originally drafted by the Yankees in the fifth round in 2006, traded to the Giants this past spring for Chris Stewart. He is a good bullpen asset.
Jean Machi, RHP: 29-year-old minor league vet from Venezuela, has pitched in Phillies, Rays, Blue Jays, and Indians organizations plus one year with the Mexico City Red Devils. Posted a 3.97 ERA with a 44/17 K/BB in 57 innings with 15 saves this year for Fresno, has thrown 5.2 relief innings for the Giants with a 4/1 K/BB and two runs allowed. Scouts don't like his 6-0, 260 pound body but he has decent stuff and is effective when his command is on.
Dan Otero, RHP: 27-year-old vet filling a middle relief spot down the stretch, posted a 2.90 ERA with a 45/8 K/BB in 62 innings for Fresno, has pitched 12.1 innings for the Giants with an 8/2 K/BB, 19 hits, and 11 runs allowed. Ground ball type, fastball/slider guy, like several of the others he will be on the margins for awhile. Drafted in the 21st round in 2007 from the University of South Florida.
Francisco Peguero, OF: Age 24, excellent tools but spotty performance record, hit .272/.297/.394 with 20 doubles, 10 triples, five homers for Fresno, but with a poor 15/82 BB/K ratio in 449 at-bats. 2-for-13 in the majors so far with six strikeouts, but three steals. Signed from the Dominican Republic in 2006, Peguero draws praise for his throwing arm and defensive ability, but his chances to hit well in the majors seem remote without huge changes in his approach.
Brett Pill, 1B: Just turned 28, hit .285/.336/.500 in 246 at-bats for Fresno, but just .210/.265/.352 with six walks and 19 strikeouts in 105 at-bats for the Giants. Classic Triple-A slugger who could be useful as a bench player in the right circumstances. However, with the large pitching staffs and shorter benches of modern baseball, it is harder to find a spot. Drafted in the seventh round in 2006 from Cal State Fullerton.
Hector Sanchez, C: Age 22, hitting .273/.286/.383 with three homers, four walks, 51 strikeouts in 209 at-bats for the Giants. He missed time with a knee injury. Plate discipline issues hold him back as a hitter, but he's young and was given a major league job as Buster Posey's backup with just 46 games of Triple-A experience and no Double-A experience at all. Signed from Venezuela in 2006.
The Giants haven't received a lot of value from rookies this year, with Hector Sanchez the most valuable rookie at 0.6 WAR and George Kontos the best of the pitchers at 0.5 WAR.