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San Francisco Giants Top 20 2012 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review

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San Francisco Giants Top 20 2012 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review

Continuing with our mid-season reviews of our pre-season Top 20 Prospect Lists, we return to the National League with a look at the San Francisco Giants farm system.

Remember, this is the pre-season list. It is NOT a new list.

This list was originally published January 2, 2012

The New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, and Cincinnati Reds are the next teams I intend to do, but the schedule may get changed depending on what is going on with the trade deadline.

1) Gary Brown, OF, Grade B+: Hitting .293/.355/.413 with 28 walks, 63 strikeouts, 28 steals in 433 at-bats for Double-A Richmond. Got off to a slow start, but has picked things up in the last month, hitting .379/.405/.612 in July.

2) Joe Panik, SS-2B, Grade B: Hitting .271/.351/.376 with 48 walks, 44 strikeouts in 410 at-bats for High-A San Jose, just six steals. Playing well defensively. I felt he could hit better than this, but low strikeout rate provides hope.

3) Tommy Joseph, C, Grade B-: Hitting .263/.317/.397 for Richmond, eight homers, 25 walks, 62 strikeouts in 300 at-bats. Has caught 48% of runners. Defense and plate discipline have improved, but power production is down. Sharp platoon split, kills lefties (.338/.386/.500) but struggled against right-handers (.236/.292/.359).

4) Andrew Susac, C, Grade B-:
Hitting .219/.341/.340 with seven homers, 43 walks, 79 strikeouts in 265 at-bats for San Jose. Has thrown out 31% of runners, but given up eight passed balls and 10 errors in 71 games. I liked him both offensively and defensively in the 2011 draft, but he hasn't lived up to expectations in either department.

5) Heath Hembree, RHP, Grade B-: 5.52 ERA with 26/15 K/BB in 31 innings for Triple-A Fresno, 25 hits, 13 saves. Currently on the disabled list with a sore elbow, had been roughed up in recent outings.

6) Francisco Peguero, OF, Grade B-: Hitting .263/.290/.393 with 12 walks, 66 strikeouts in 346 at-bats for Fresno. Plate discipline continues to hold him back.

7) Eric Surkamp, LHP, Grade B-: Out with Tommy John surgery.

8) Kyle Crick, RHP, Grade C+: Borderline B-: 2.69 ERA with 90/56 K/BB in 80 innings for Low-A Augusta, 52 hits, one homers, 1.34 GO/AO. His command wobbles at times, but K/IP, H/IP, and miniscule home run rate testify to quality stuff. Impressive debut for 2011 supplemental pick.

9) Josh Osich, LHP, Grade C+: Borderline B-: 3.91 ERA with 26/9 K/BB in 25 innings for San Jose, 30 hits. Just went on the DL with an elbow strain, not a great sign for Tommy John survivor.

10) Hector Sanchez, C, Grade C+: .281/.286/.383 with two walks, 29 strikeouts in 128 at-bats for the Giants. Not a good sign when your OBP is two points higher than your batting average. However, he's just 22, and his defense will keep him around long enough for him to learn some things with the bat.

11) Clayton Blackburn, RHP, Grade C+: What I wrote: Major sleeper prospect from 2011 draft, showed excellent command in Arizona Rookie League (30/3 K/BB in 33 innings, just 16 hits), above-average velocity. Overshadowed in Oklahoma high school ranks by Archie Bradley and Dylan Bundy, but he's got a lot of talent himself. He's wide awake: 2.71 ERA with 106/14 K/BB in 96 innings, 84 hits in Low-A. Shooting up prospect charts.

12) Ehire Adrianza, SS, Grade C+:
.210/.291/.305 with 36 walks, 64 strikeouts in 328 at-bats for Richmond, 11 steals. Defense is highly-regarded but his bat is quite weak at this point.

13) Mike Kickham, LHP, Grade C+: 2.96 ERA with 93/62 K/BB in 112 innings for Richmond, 93 hits, 1.51 GO/AO. He needs to get the walks down, but I like his stuff, good velocity for a lefty along with a slider, curve, and change.

14) Seth Rosin, RHP, Grade C+: 4.31 ERA with 68/18 K/BB in 56 innings for San Jose, 49 hits, 10 saves. Has pitched better than the ERA indicates, note strong K/IP ratio.

15) Jarrett Parker, OF, Grade C+: .243/.367/.402 with 53 walks, 124 strikeouts in 296 at-bats for San Jose, 20 steals. Good tools, speed, athleticism, strength, and will take a walk, but serious contact issues still need to be resolved.

16) Ricky Oropesa, 1B, Grade C+: .247/.326/.406 with 11 homers, 45 walks, 117 strikeouts in 384 at-bats for San Jose. Inadequate production from a first baseman in the California League. Serious platoon splits, .271/.348/.439 against right-handers but just .197/.279/.336 against lefties.

17) Joan "Not a Typo" Gregorio, RHP, Grade C: 6.02 ERA with 32/10 K/BB in 43 innings, 42 hits in nine starts for Salem-Keizer in the Northwest League. Still quite projectable.

18) Jesus Galindo ,OF, Grade C: .227/.284/.287 in 181 at-bats for Augusta, nine walks, 33 strikeouts, 31 steals. Fast, but lacks power and on-base skills are substandard. Turns 22 in August so he needs to pick up the hitting.

19) Chris Marlowe, RHP, Grade C: 4.29 ERA with 58/49 K/BB in 65 innings for Augusta, 54 hits. Good velocity, good breaking ball, but held back by command problems and general inconsistency.

20) Conor Gillaspie, 3B, Grade C: .302/.368/.456 for Fresno, 30 walks, 36 strikeouts in 285 at-bats. Went 3-for-20 in six major league games, made two errors although in Triple-A his defense has been pretty solid. Lacks power to play regularly at a corner in the majors, but could have use in the majors as a bench guy.

Roger Kieschnick was having a strong year in Triple-A with rising stock before getting hurt, which was good to see as a counter to disappointing seasons from Peguero and Charlie Culberson. Slugger Chris Dominguez is held back by massive problems with contact and discipline. Outfielder Shawn Payne is hitting .312/.410/.426 for Augusta, stealing 39 bases in 41 attempts and making people wonder how he lasted until the 35th round in the 2011 draft.

On the pitching side, Chris Heston was having a fine year in Double-A until going on the DL. Flying Squirrel closer Brett Bochy could be a useful middle man in the majors. Lefty Edwin Escobar has had a promising season at Augusta.

The 2012 draft class is college-oriented and focused on pitching. Pitchers Chris Stratton and Martin Agosta could move quickly through the farm system, while offensive hope is provided by slugger Mac Williamson (although he's got contact issues).

Overall, the breakthroughs of Crick and Blackburn are good to see, but the organization needs more bats.