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San Francisco Giants Top 20 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review

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San Francisco Giants Top 20 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review

This list was originally published December 24, 2008.  This is a review of the PRE-SEASON list for 2009, not a revision of that list. This is a REVIEW of the old list. I'm not doing new grades or lists until I start working on the 2010 book.

1) Madison Bumgarner, LHP, Grade A: 9-1, 1.95 ERA with 69/30 K/BB in 106 innings for Double-A Connecticut, 80 hits allowed. Negatives are lowish strikeout rate and strong fly ball tendency. Positives are everything else including youth relative to league. I wouldn't rush him....I think he needs a full year in Triple-A next season.

2) Buster Posey, C, Grade A-: Hit .325/.416/.531 combined between Class A San Jose and Triple-A Fresno. Power, plate discipline, has everything offensively. Ready to play next year I think.

3) Tim Alderson, RHP, Grade B+: Traded to Pirates. Combined 10-2, 3.60 with 84/27 K/BB in 132 innings between San Jose, Connecticut, and Double-A Altoona. Lack of dominance is a concern but a great feel for pitching.

4) Angel Villalona, 1B, Grade B: Hit .267/.306/.397 in 74 games for San Jose before getting injured, out with a quad injury. Poor strike zone judgment is holding him back. Still very young, but needs a lot of polish and stock is dropping in my judgment.

5) Conor Gillaspie, 3B, Grade B-: Hitting .282/.363/.375 for San Jose, 55 walks, 65 strikeouts in 451 at-bats. Lots of polish, good discipline, but not enough power for a third baseman.

6) Henry Sosa, RHP, Grade B- 2.36 ERA with 44/25 K/BB in 72 innings for Connecticut, 61 hits. On DL since June 30th with torn muscle in his back.

7) Nick Noonan, 2B, Grade B-: Hitting .256/.327/.397 for San Jose. Has drawn more walks this year, but production didn't improve otherwise.

8) Travis Ishikawa, 1B, Grade C+: Hitting .258/.318/.402 for the Giants. Not enough bat for a starting first baseman at this point.

9) Waldis Joaquin, RHP, Grade C+: 2.25 ERA with 56/30 K/BB in 64 innings combined between Connecticut and Fresno, 41 hits. Needs better control but a chance to help in relief next year.

10) Rafael Rodriguez, OF, Grade C+: Hitting .299/.392/.362 for the Arizona Rookie League Giants. Not a lot of power yet, but holding his own in rookie ball.

11) Jose Casilla, RHP, Grade C+: 1.73 ERA with 30/8 K/BB in 26 innings for Salem-Keizer in the Northwest League, 21 hits, 11 saves. Looks good right now, will transition to full-season ball next year.

12) Clayton Tanner, LHP, Grade C+: 12-6, 3.05 with a 119/41 K/BB in 136 innings for San Jose, 126 hits. Sleeper prospect having a fine campaign.

13) Jesse English, LHP, Grade C+: 4.20 ERA with 71/57 K/BB in 101 innings for Connecticut, 98 hits. K/BB and K/IP have slipped this year. Very tough on lefties (.151), could have LOOGY potential.

14) Scott Barnes, LHP, Grade C+: Traded to Indians after going 12-3, 2.85 with a 99/29 K/BB in 98 innings for San Jose. Struggling in Double-A right now, 6.66 with a 20/12 K/BB in 26 innings for Akron. Overall it's been a good year though.

15) Luis Perdomo, RHP, Grade C+: Claimed by Padres on waivers. 4.70 ERA with 43/28 K/BB in 52 innings in the majors. Not impressive, but will get more chances.

16) Ehire Adrianza, SS, Grade C+: hitting .259/.333/.328 for Class A Augusta. Weak bat, scouts like his glove.

17) Kelvin Pichardo, RHP, Grade C+: Busted for using PEDs. Has pitched just two innings in August for the Arizona Rookie League Giants.

18) Sergio Romo, RHP, Grade C+: 5.04 ERA with 29/9 K/BB in 25 innings in the majors, 24 hits allowed. FIP is 2.49; he's a lot better than the ERA indicates.

19) Jesus Guzman, 3B, Grade C+: Hit .321/.379/.507 for Triple-A Fresno. Still hanging around waiting for a shot in the Show.

20) Joseph Martinez, RHP, Grade C: Took a line drive off the head early in the season. 4.35 ERA with 19/7 K/BB in 31 innings for Fresno, 7.52 ERA with 17/9 K/BB in 26 innings for the Giants, 42 hits. Perhaps a Quadruple-A pitcher but deserves more chances.

The Giants have tapped into their prospect reserves with trades, and the list next year will look somewhat different. Posey and Bumgarner are great, but after that things look like they'll thin out a bit. Tanner has looked like a sleeper to me for some time and I think is a candidate to really surprise people in '10. Gillaspie needs to show more power and I don't think it's impossible. The '09 draft class brings in a mixture of high school and college talent, the kind of combination I prefer myself.