Top 20 Giants PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review
This is the PRE-SEASON list. That means it was generated BEFORE THE SEASON STARTED and that the grades were PRE-SEASON. Anyone complaining about the grades based on 2006 performance will be smacked up the side of the head with a Jeff Urban autographed baseball.
1) Matt Cain, RHP, Grade A-
6-6, 5.20 in 14 starts for the Giants, 67/40 K/BB in 98 innings, 98 hits allowed. Erratic, but promising, has dominated at times but control problems have limited his success. This is to be expected. If he stays healthy in the long run, I expect his command will come around.
2) Marcus Sanders, 2B, B+
Hitting just .213/.302/.265 in 54 games for San Jose in the Cal League. He's stolen 24 bases in 29 attempts, and he's drawn 25 walks in 211 at-bats, but there's been no power development and his numbers are off across the board. Very disappointing; I thought he was a breakthrough candidate.
3) Merkin Valdez, RHP, B+
6.04 ERA in 28 innings in the PCL for Fresno, with a 29/21 K/BB and 30 hits allowed. I have a report that his mechanics are out of whack, and that certainly fits with the control problems evident in the numbers. I have kept the faith a long time with this one, but he appears to be stagnating and has made no progress refining his natural talent.
4) Eddy Martinez-Esteve, OF, B+
Hitting .272/.324/.446 in 27 games for Double-A Connecticut before hurting his shoulder. Expected to miss the rest of the season following surgery in June.
5) Travis Ishikawa, 1B, B
Hit .253/.326/.435 in 49 games for Connecticut before being promoted to the majors. Has gone 7-for-24 (.292) in major league action, with three doubles and a triple. I'm not sure what to think here. He has pop and scouts like him but his production just doesn't stand out.
6) Nate Schierholtz, OF, B
Hitting just .221/.283/.336 in 65 games for Connecticut. Another young hitter being undone by the Eastern League this year, although his shaky plate discipline doesn't help.
7) Jonathan Sanchez, LHP, B
1.15 ERA in 31 innings for Connecticut, with a 46/9 K/BB and just 14 hits allowed. Having a sharp season out of the bullpen (2 saves) but has also started three games.
8) Kevin Frandsen, 3B, B
Hit .314/.381/.471 in 34 games for Fresno, then has gone 13-for-58 (.224) in major league action with one double. I think he'll hit for average in time but I don't expect huge amounts of power.
9) Dan Griffin, RHP, B-
3.65 ERA in 14 starts for Class A Augusta, 72/28 K/BB in 67 innings. Having a fair year but not spectacular.
10) Pablo Sandoval, 3B, B-
Hitting .256/.324/.335 in 61 games for Augusta. Not much to be excited about....not much power, mediocre on-base skills, just one steal. Not living up to the high-batting-average potential he showed in short-season ball.
11) Shairon Martis, RHP, B-
4.08 ERA in 10 starts for Augusta, 44/11 K/BB in 46 innings, 52 hits allowed. Showing good command, has given up just one homer, but too hittable right now. Remains projectable and promising.
12) Freddy Lewis, OF, C+
Hitting .269/.389/.470 with 10 steals for Triple-A Fresno. Doing pretty well, has 48 walks boosting his OBP, showing a touch of power.
13) Waldis Joaquin, RHP, C+
Hasn't pitched this year.
14) Ben Copeland, OF, C+
Hitting .275/.350/.397 with 14 steals, 36 walks, 53 strikeouts in 295 at-bats for Augusta. Some gap power with 16 doubles and 7 triples, but just 2 homers. Walk rate OK, needs to improve steal percentage (has been caught 11 times). Not overly impressive numbers from a college guy in the Sally League.
15) Jeremy Accardo, RHP, C+
4.35 ERA in 27 games out of the Giants bullpen, with a 32/9 K/BB in 31 innings. His ERA will come down if he maintains his current component ratios. . .he's given up just 27 hits and zero homers. A successful campaign.
16) Jon Coutlangus, LHP, C+
Claimed on waivers by Cincinnati. Currently has a 2.09 ERA and 36/17 K/BB in 39 innings for Double-A Chattanooga. Having a fine season and could contribute in the bullpen soon if his command improves a bit.
17) Dan Ortmeier, OF, C+
Hitting .246/.299/.392 in 61 games for Fresno, also 3-for-12 (.250) in major league action. Numbers in Triple-A are not impressive at all. Looks like he will slot best as a reserve outfielder.
18) Brian Horwitz, OF, C+
Hitting a combined .297/.384/.387 between San Jose (56 games), Connecticut (15 games) and Fresno (5 games). Should hit for average and make contact, draws walks, but power potential remains limited.
19) Brian Wilson, RHP, C+
3.80 ERA in 20 games for Fresno, with a 25/10 K/BB in 21 innings. Has posted a 4.26 ERA in six major league games. Look like a bullpen contributor.
20) Ben Nieto, LHP, C+
Posted a 12.27 ERA in 15 innings for Augusta, allowing 27 hits and 21 runs although his K/BB was good at 16/5. Sample too small to be truly meaningful, although he certainly had his head handed to him.
What is up with Marcus Sanders? I really thought he would break through this year.
I really don't see a lot to get excited about here. EME's injury is disappointing. I still think Cain will pan out but he does have to improve his command. Valdez is slipping, and several of the hitters are having major adjustment troubles. On the other hand, there is material here to build a decent bullpen corps with Accardo, Sanchez, and Wilson.