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San Francisco Giants Pre-Season Top 20 Review

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Eddy Martinez-Esteve as a Florida State Seminole

San Francisco Giants Pre-Season Top 20 in Review

1) Matt Cain, RHP
20 starts at Triple-A Fresno. 4.15 ERA, but 128/59 K/BB in 111 innings, with only 86 hits allowed. Very strong K/IP and H/IP ratios. His command needs to improve but he remains a premium prospect.
2) Merkin Valdez, RHP
Pitching effectively at Double-A Norwich, 3.38 in 18 starts, 85/38 K/BB in 96 innings. Main worry here remains health and durability.
3) Eddy Martinez-Esteve, OF
Hitting .324/.431/.529 with 10 homers, 61 walks, 62 strikeouts in 346 at-bats for Class A San Jose. 35 doubles. Good power, plate discipline, a terrific hitter basically. Question of course is defense.
4) David Aardsma, RHP
Traded to the Cubs, has a 2.83 ERA combined between Double-A Norwich and Double-A West Tennessee. Command remains an issue, I still expect him to be a good pitcher.
5) Nate Schierholtz, OF
.315/.358/.507 with 10 homers, 28 doubles for San Jose. Certainly hitting well. Fly in the ointment is 98 strikeouts, 21 walks in 91 games, 355 at-bats. Lots of potential but should not be rushed.
6) Craig Whitaker, RHP
5.48 ERA, 49/28 K/BB in 35 innings for Class A Augusta, including 4 saves. Excellent K/IP ratio, but command has been a major problem. Lots of potential, but high risk.
7) Fred Lewis, OF
Hitting .268/.356/.386 with 49 walks, 24 steals in 355 at-bats for Norwich. Good speed, draws walks, not much power.
8) Alfredo Simon, RHP
12 saves at Norwich, but 5.29 ERA, 39/18 K/BB in 66 innings, 77 hits allowed. Ratios are not impressive. Control OK but K/IP and H/IP are weak.
9) Patrick Misch, LHP
Struggled at Triple-A Fresno, with 6.35 ERA in 19 starts, 135 hits given up in 102 innings. Recently demoted to Double-A, gave up 3 runs and 9 hits in 5.1 innings in his first start. Disappointing season.
10) John Bowker, OF
.257/.307/.370 at San Jose. Nothing to get excited about here. Plate discipline marginal, weak OBP, not much power. Another disappointment.
11) Marcus Sanders, 2B
Hit .303/.399/.418 with 43 steals and 51 walks in 323 at-bats for Augusta. Excellent performance, very high walk rate combined with lots of speed. One of my favorites.
12) Billy Sadler, RHP
3.90 ERA in 34 games, 4 saves for Norwich. 54/23 K/BB in 60 innings, 48 hits. Still projects as a useful middle reliever.
13) Todd Linden, OF
Hitting .344/.455/.702 for Triple-A Fresno, 24 homers, 53 walks in 285 at-bats, finally showing the power scouts have projected since his college days. Hit .172/.238/.345 in 17 games for the Giants. Frankly, I still don't know what to make of him. This is the kind of guy who could have four mediocre Major League seasons in his career, one really awful season, and one All-Star campaign.
14) Clay Timpner, OF
Hitting .300/.348/.431 with 30 steals, 11 triples for San Jose. Gap power, speed are very impressive. Plate discipline may be marginal as his walk rate is rather low so far, but strikeouts aren't out of bounds.
15) Travis Ishikawa, 1B
Hitting .294/.395/.552 with 16 homers for San Jose. Breaking out in a big way this year. Scouts have always loved him, statheads have been less impressed. Right now it looks like the scouts were right. Caveat: he is striking out more than once per game.
16) Justin Knoedler, C
Hitting .282/.348/.416 for Triple-A Fresno. I don't think he'll hit well enough to start, and he could end up as a Quadruple-A type guy.
17) Justin Hedrick, RHP
4.14 ERA, 12 saves at San Jose. Best mark is K/IP: 51 strikeouts in just 37 innings. Command needs some work, but impressive "stuff" indicators in the numbers.
18) Brian Burres, LHP
8-4, 3.78 in 18 games for Norwich, 69/36 K/BB in 86 innings, 78 hits allowed. Ratios are fair-to-middlin', a classic Grade C pitching prospect who could surprise as easily as he could fade away.
19) Jonathan Sanchez, LHP
Sleeper! 4.02 ERA, but 107/27 K/BB in 85 innings for Augusta. Excellent K/IP is a positive marker, keep track of him.
20) Scott Munter, RHP
2.43 ERA for the Giants. However, I don't think this is sustainable: note 8/8 K/BB in 30 innings. Walk rate is low but K/IP is in the dangerously bad category.