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San Francisco Giants Top 20 Prospects in Review

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This list was originally posted January 15th, 2008. THIS IS NOT A NEW LIST!!! THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE OLD LIST!!!!!

1) Angel Villalona, 3B, Grade B+
     .248/.298/.400 with 13 homers, 18 walks, 111 strikeouts in 407 at-bats for Augusta in the Sally League. Horrible strike zone judgment, but just 17 years old most of this season.
2) Henry Sosa, RHP, Grade B
     4.31 ERA with 58/18 K/BB in 56 innings for Class A San Jose, pitching time limited by knee injury..
3) Tim Alderson, RHP, Grade B
     2.99 ERA with 112/34 K/BB in 132 innings for San Jose, 118 hits allowed. Excellent command with good stuff, and young for the level.
4) Madison Bumgarner, LHP, Grade B-
     1.52 ERA with 145/20 K/BB in 130 innings for Augusta, 102 hits allowed. Not nearly as raw as most expected, breaking ball still needs some work but tremendous fastball command has made him unbeatable at this level.
5) Nate Schierholtz, OF, Grade B-
      .314/.360/.571 for Triple-A Fresno. Has nothing left to prove here. Needs a clean chance in the majors or a new organization.
6) Nick Noonan, 2B, Grade B-
     .279/.307/.409 with 26 steals for Augusta. Poor plate discipline is biggest concern right now.
7) Clayton Tanner, LHP, Grade B-
     3.92 ERA with 72/33 K/BB in 101 innings for San Jose, 107 hits allowed. Efficient strike thrower who gets grounders. Double-A transition in 2009 will tell the tale.
8) Eugenio Velez, UT, Grade B-
     .310/.372/.509 in Triple-A, .219/.267/.320 in the majors. Speed and versatility will get him more chances.
9) Wendell Fairley, OF, Grade C+
      .241/.371/.324 in the Arizona Rookie League. Unimpressive, tools are not turning into skills yet.
10) John Bowker, OF, Grade C+
      .247/.296/.397 in 96 games for the Giants. He's capable of better but I don't see why he gets to play and Schierholtz doesn't.
11) Charlie Culberson, INF, Grade C+
      .234/.290/.319 for Augusta. Not producing much of anything, just six steals, no power, weak on-base skills. Young enough to improve.
12) Osiris Matos, RHP, Grade C+
       1.08 ERA with 44/12 K/BB in 42 innings between Double-A and Triple-A, 4.05 ERA with 10/6 K/BB in 13 innings in the majors. Should be a useful reliever.
13) Wilber Bucardo, RHP, Grade C+
      4.86 ERA with 28/12 K/BB in 50 innings, 67 hits for Salem-Keizer in the Northwest League. Gets grounders and throws strikes, other marks not impressive at all.
14) Jose Capellan, LHP, Grade C+
       Returned to Red Sox  under Rule 5. 3.97 ERA with 40/11 K/BB in 57 innings for Class A Greenville, 76 hits. Good command but otherwise mediocre. 
15) Sergio Romo, RHP, Grade C+
       3.27 ERA with 37/9 K/BB in 33 innings between Double-A and Triple-A, 4.41 ERA with 16/4 K/BB in 16 major league innings. Gotta love the K/BB and K/IP. Main concern is strong fly ball tendency leading to excessive homers.
16) Travis Denker, 2B, Grade C+
       .239/.345/.359 at three minor league levels, .243/.333/.486 in 24 major league games. Offense-oriented middle infielder.
17) Emmanuel Burriss, SS, Grade C
       .247/.310/.282 for the Giants. Good speed, but total lack of power will preclude big success.
18) Nick Pereira, RHP, Grade C
      5.70 ERA with 86/47 K/BB in 101 innings in Triple-A, 116 hits allowed. Sent back to the Cal League, pitched well in two starts there.
19) Ben Copeland, OF, Grade C
        .261/.334/.417 with 21 steals for Double-A Connecticut, .350/.422/.400 in his first 10 games for Triple-A Fresno. Still looks like a reserve outfielder to me.
20) Benjamin Snyder, LHP, Grade C
       2.00 ERA with 73/18 K/BB in 86 innings for San Jose, 6.40 ERA with 36/21 K/BB in 45 innings for Connecticut. Having problems making transition to Double-A, a common issue for finesse pitches.

Villalona could develop into a superstar. He could also fail to gain command of the strike zone and end up as a big bust. It is just too early to know. Alderson has been really good, and Bumgarner has been unstoppable. The middle infield options don't look too great right now, with failures to hit sufficiently among the guys on this list. But overall the Giants system is in better condition than it has been in recent years.