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    • DrB's 2008 Giants Top 50 Prospects
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<p>Time to get started on my Giants Top 50 Prospects list for 2008. I may not get it all in today, so bear with me. The hardest part of all this is finding time to type it all in. As always, this list is just one fans opinion. Once we get past the top 10-15, the exact order becomes less of an issue and I see it as more of a way to get better acquainted with some of our young players down on the farm. This is the biggest turnover in the list from one year to the next since I've been doing these. Our system is now markedly younger and IMO better than it's been in my memory. We finally have a farm system to be proud of even if everyone hasn't gotten the message yet. On with the list!</p><p>1. Angel Villalona, 3B, B-R, T-R, 6'3", 200 lbs. BD: 08/13/1990. Stats: AZL- .285/.344/.450. Salem-Keizer- .165/.231/.167 in 12 AB's.<br />It's always tough to compare a AAA player who is on the verge of breaking into the majors with a kid in rookie ball. Big V, as he has become known, has such tremendous upside, we're talking 40 HR power upside here, that IMO he clearly comes out on top. His performance, while not specacular, was good enough to not tarnish that reputation. Had he hit below the Mendoza line, he would still be a highly regarded prospect based on age and upside, but to hit .285 while showing nascent plate discipline and power is most encouraging. Where does he go from here? Teams like the Mets and Mariners have pushed kids like this which looks great on prospect ranking lists, but may not be in the best long term interest of the player or team. Angel V could come back to rookie ball and still be young for the league. I'm guessing he either starts out in Augusta or stays in extended ST and then surfaces in Salem-Keizer. I would tend to favor the latter.</p><p>2. Nate Schierholtz, OF, B-L, T-R, 6'2", 215 lbs. BD: 02/15/1984. Stats: AAA- .333/.365/.560. MLB- .304/.316/.402. AFL- .348/.363/.596.<br />IMO, Nate is one of the most underrated prospects in all of baseball. How many prospects, coming into their age 24 season can show 5 years of pro experience with a career BA> .300 and career SLG% >.500, plus a .300 BA in their first callup? The rap on Nate is that he swings too early in the count, thus not drawing enough walks and possibly not seeing enough pitches he can drive. Nate could probably stand to see a few more pitches, but I don't think he's going to learn that by staying in the minors. Unfortunately, it's looking more and more like he will be the victim of yet another numbers game and end up down in Fresno another year. How ridiculous is it that a clearly rebuilding team can't make room for a young player like to get a jump start on his MLB career?</p><p>3. Madison Bumgarner, LHP, 6'5", 220 lbs. BD: 08/01/1989. Stats: DNP(signed too late).<br />The 3 candidates for this spot were Bumgarner, Tim Alderson and Henry Sosa, a very tough call. Here's my reasoning. Henry Sosa is farther along in development, but his transition to high A was not without rough spots. Bumgarner is a full 4 years younger and could well be in the majors by the time he's Sosa's current age. As for Alderson, while we are all excited about his pro debut, it was just 5 innings. Bumgarner was drafted 12 spots higher for some reason. Here's a link to some video of Madison Bumgarner pitching: <br /><a href='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAko0PpgYK8' target='_blank'>www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAko0PpgYK8</a><br />I might suggest typing "Randy Johnson" to the search box while you are in youtube.com and compare the two deliveries. Here's some more video with some interesting commentary by Carlos Gomez: <a href='http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/breaking-down-the-drafts-1st-round-picks-1-10' target='_blank'>www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/breaking-down-the-drafts-1st-round-picks-1-10</a>/</p><p>4. Tim Alderson, RHP, 6'6", 217 lbs. BD: 11/03/1988. Stats: AZL- 0-0, 0.00, 5 IP, 0 BB, 12 K's! <br />Big, tall RHP. with a deceptive delivery. Already has advanced command of multiple pitches. Worked exclusively out of the stretch in HS causing many to label him a future reliever. The Giants have reportedly already had him work out of a windup with no problems in instructionals. Small sample size so far, but talk about leaving the crowd wanting more! Here's a link to some video of Tim pitching: <a href='http://www.pitchingclips.com/players/tim_alderson.htm' target='_blank'>www.pitchingclips.com/players/tim_alderson.htm</a></p><p>5. Henry Sosa, RHP, 6'2", 185 lbs. BD: 07/28/1985. Stats: Augusta- 6-0, 0.73, 62 IP, 25 BB, 61 K. San Jose- 5-5, 4.38, 63.2 IP, 36 BB, 78 K. <br />I picked Sosa out of a group of similar looking prospects from the AZL last year and put him at the end of my top 50 list based on a better K/9 alone. Turns out, Orlando Yntema was supposed to get that spot in the Augusta's rotaton. Sosa grabbed it when Yntema went down with a knee injury and made the most of it. Mid 90's fastball, sharp breaking ball. Needs to sharpen up his command, but should continue his rapid ascent barring injury. I would expect to see him back in San Jose at the start of the season. </p><p>6. Wendell Fairley, OF, B-L, T- R, 6'2", 190 lbs. BD: 03/17/1988. Stats: DNP(signed too late).<br />Two sport star in HS, played WR in football. Great tools. Raw skills, although he does have a very nice looking swing:<br /><a href='http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/breaking-down-the-drafts-1st-round-picks-21-30' target='_blank'>www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/breaking-down-the-drafts-1st-round-picks-21-30</a>/<br />Classic high risk, high reward draft pick. Fairley's ceiling is Carl Crawford with more power. His floor is Arturo McDowell. In a draft with multiple high picks, I like the risk. BTW, you will find the same video of Tim Alderson with some comments by Carlos Gomez in the same hardballtimes.com column.</p><p>7. Nick Noonan, IF, B-L, T-R, 6'0", 180 lbs. BD: 05/04/1989. Stats: AZL- .316/.357/.451, 18 SB, 3 CS. <br />Don't know if you can ask for much more than that from a HS draftee. Muscular arms may mean he has more power potential than some have projected, or it may mean his body is maxed out and he won't get any stronger. Currently playing both SS and 2B, but most observers believe he will end up at 2B. Still not a bad position for him to be in. Look for him to move through the minors fast.</p><p>8. John Bowker, OF, B-L, T-L, 6'2", 190 lbs. BD: 07/08/1983. Stats: CT- .307/.363/.523, 22 HR's.<br />Very surprising breakout year in, perhaps, the toughest park/lea
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Edited 1/13/08   by  drbgiantsfan
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  • 1/13/08

Moving right along......

11. Clayton Tanner, LHP, 6'1", 180 lbs. BD: 12/05/1987. Stats: Augusta- 12-8, 3.59, 135.1 IP, 44 BB, 104 K's, GO/AO= 2.11.
Take away his last two starts when he was clearly out of gas from a long season, Tanner's ERA would be 2.90. Should move up to San Jose for his age 20 season making him a very strong prospect. Some have likened him to Noah Lowry. May have a tad more upside on the fastball and gets more GB's.

12. Pat Misch, LHP, 6'2", 170 lbs. BD: 08/18/1981. Stats: AAA- 2-5, 2.30, 66.2 IP, 19 BB, 74 K. MLB- 0-4, 4.24, 40.1 IP, 12 BB, 26 K.
Misch has been a favorite among Giants prospect watchers for years. He has put up consistently good K/BB ratios and has a nice arsenal of at least 4 solid pitches. Rap has been he doesn't have a single out pitch. MLB ERA jumped from 2.70 to 4.24 in his last 4.1 inning appearance in which he gave up 8 runs, so his MLB performance is better than his stat line looks. Could he step into Lowry's spot in the rotation if Lowry gets traded?

13. Emmanuel Burriss, SS, B-S, T-R, 6'0", 170 lbs. BD: 10/17/1985. Stats: San Jose- .165/.237/.180, 17 SB, 3 CS. Augusta: .321/.374/.381, 51 SB, 15 CS. AFL- .365/.450/.423, 8 SB, 1 CS in 52 AB's. Burriss got off to a terrible start in San Jose and reportedly started feeling nostalgic for his homeboys from the 2006 Salem-Keizer team. Put up the kind of numbers you'd expect after joining them in Augusta. That left a question about whether he could play against higher level competition. His performance in the AFL is reassuring in that most of the players there are coming out of AA or AAA and some even have MLB experience. Still, 2008 will be a pivotal year for Burriss. I expect him to start out in San Jose and he'll have to do well. Best case scenario is a midseason callup to CT.

14. Charlie Culberson, SS, B-R, T-R, 6'1", 185 lbs. BD: 04/10/1989. Stats: AZL: .286/.374/.416, 19 SB, 1 CS.
Culberson was considered a reach as the last of the Giants 3 supplemental round draft picks at #51. The Giants seemed to be the only team who were in on him. He got off to a painfully slow start in Arizona, but ended up with solid numbers. Note that his OBP and IsoP were both higher than Nick Noonan's and his arm is stronger which may make him more likely to stick at SS. Looks like he has some serious speed and uses it wisely too.

15. Kelvin Pichardo, RHP, 6'0", 160 lbs. BD: 10/13/1985. Stats: San Jose- 2-3, 3.09, 46.2 IP, 17 BB, 71 K. CT- 2-2, 3.86, 21 IP, 16 BB, 16 K.
Pichardo is, in effect, our 2004 first round draft pick since we got him in a trade for Michael Tucker. I could think of worse outcomes for the 29'th pick in the 2004 draft. Pichardo is of small stature, but reportedly packs a 95 MPH fastball. Used as a reliever last year, that is the role he probably projects to in the majors.

16. Pablo Sandoval, C/1B, B-S, T-R, 5'11", 180 lbs. BD: 08/11/1986, Stats: San Jose- .287/.312/.476, 11 HR.
I can assure you that Pablito does not weigh 180 lbs. I saw him play twice last season and I'd say he's 240 minimum. He was left for dead by many Giants prospect watchers last year after a poor season in Augusta. I wasn't that excited about him myself, but felt it was too early to write him off, so I made him my #50 prospect on last year's list. He more than held his own after moving up to San Jose. Most encouraging is his 50% CS rate against basestealers. Kid has a cannon for an arm. If he can stay at catcher, get in a bit better shape, and keep on his development curve, he is a serious prospect. As an aside, he hit the longest minor league HR I've ever seen in a late season game in San Bernardino. He always appears to be happy and having a good time on the field. Young enough to start another year at San Jose before throwing him to the wolves in CT.

17. Eugenio Velez, IF/OF, B-S, T-R, 6'1", 160 lbs. BD: 05/16/1982. Stats: AA- .298/.344/.399, 49 SB, 17 CS. AAA- .278/.381/.278, 5 SB, 0 CS. MLB- .273/.385/.636, 4 SB, 0 CS. AFL- .303/.329/.461, 14 SB, 1 CS.
Eugenio, picked up in 2006 in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft, sparkled for Augusta in 2006. He injured his shoulder in a collision with Nate Schierholtz at the end of spring training and missed the first of the season. Sparkled again at several levels, including a few electrifying moments in the majors showing off his blazing speed. Not just a slap/speed guy, Eugenio has enough power to find the gaps and let the speed do the rest. I'd say some inside-the-park HR's are a real possibilty in AT&T Park. Will probably start out in Fresno, but I wouldn't be totally shocked if he made the 25 man roster out of spring training.

18. Travis Denker, 2B, B-R, T-R, 5'9", 195 lbs. BD: 08/05/1985. Stats: Cal League: .300/.379/.461, 9 SB, 2 CS. Hit .400 in 25 AB's after being traded from the Dodgers organization for Mark Sweeney. Denker has a squatty body that some have compared to Ron Cey. He must have some athleticism to steal 9 bases, though. He's a guy who doesn't have classic tools, but can hit. If he can stick at 2B, his bat may carry him to the majors. Should move up to AA for 2008.

19. Nick Pereira, RHP, 6'0", 190 lbs. BD: 09/22/1982. Stats: CT- 9-9, 3.39, 143.1 IP, 65 BB, 123 K. AFL- 4-1, 3.38, 29.1 IP, 14 BB, 26 K.
Solid, if unspectacular results in both AA and AFL. Should get another chance at AAA in 2008. Given all the pitching talent in the organizaton, it's tough to see Nick cracking a future Giants rotation, but if he can stick in Fresno, you never know when a wave of injuries might give him an opportunity.

20. Paul Osegura, LHP, 6'0", 180 lbs. BD: 01/06/1984. Stats: San Jose- 10-6, 3.54, 157.2 IP, 35 BB, 132 K's.
Pitching at a higher level, in a hitter's league, I believe Oseguera had a more impressive season than fellow 2006 draftees Ben Snyder and Kevin Pucetas who had better looking numbers in Augusta. Osequera pitched a lot of innings. If you take away his last 2 starts, his ERA drops to 3.22. He pitched one stellar game in the playoffs followed by a bad one. Should get a promotion to AA. for 2008.

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And, moving right along again......

21. Alex Hinshaw, LHP, 6'4", 190 lbs. BD: 10/31/1982. Stats: CT- 3-1, 1.96, 41.1 IP, 19 BB, 50 K.
Alex got off to a great start in CT and then went down with some sort of injury. He was reportedly well enough to participate in instrucitonals, so hopefully it's not career derailing. Hinshaw had struggled mightily with his control putting up some Erick Threets-like numbers in 2006 for San Jose. He seemed to get them straightened out, had a good HWBL fall season and then the great start at AA. I've always liked Alex. I have his autograph on a ball that a mutual friend gave me. Look for him in either CT or Fresno next season.

22. Jose Valdez, RHP, 6'7", 190 lbs. BD: 08/01/ 1988. Stats: AZL- 0-4, 6.95, 33.2 IP, 33 BB's, 43 K's, GO/AO= 2.25.
This is purely an upside pick here. Valdez has struggled with command, but has superior stuff and is still very young. 95 MPH fastball with downward plane and sink. Still developing his secondary pitches. Showed a glimpse of what he could become in his last start of the season: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 7 K. He may be back in Arizona for 2008, but he's still very young. I have a feeling he's going to get it all together soon and rocket through the system.

23. Sharlon Schoop, SS, B-R, T-R, 6'0", 160 lbs. BD: 04/15/1987. Stats: Augusta- .235/.286/.301. Salem-Keizer- .284/.347/.463. Hit .344 in his last 10 games. Schoop has been called the best fielding SS in the organization outside of Omar Vizquel. The question has always been, "can he hit?" He's still quite young, and was that a whiff of power showing up in Salem-Keizer? Not sure where he's going to play as he will be competing with Charlie Culberson and Nick Noonan for time at SS, but a good season somewhere could vault him past Emmanuel Burriss in line to be our SS of the future.

24. Jackson Williams, C, B-R, T-R, 5'11", 200 lbs. BD: 05/14/1986. Stats: Salem-Keizer- .231/.338/.369. 5 HR.
Many thought the Giants reached for Williams with the #43 pick in the supplemental round of the 2007 draft, but the Giants apparently were looking for a great defensive catcher. He may well be the best defensive catcher in the organization right now. Again, the big question is "can he hit?" Showed some plate discipline and HR power that might be hopeful signs for the future.

25. Sergio Romo, RHP, 5'11", 185 lbs. BD: 03/04/1983. Stats: San Jose- 6-2, 1.36, 66.1 IP, 15 BB, 106 K! AFL- 0-1, 0.00, 12.1 IP, 4 BB, 16 K.
Romo was a successful starter before the 2007 season which got off to a late start after a mysterious injury right at the end of spring training. Coming on the heels of a broken hand from punching the dugout wall in Augusta in 2006 really makes you wonder. Still, the guy has done nothing but put up great numbers wherever he's pitched including 7 innings of a combined no-hitter for Augusta in 2006. Reportedly doesn't have great velocity, but gets batters out with several pitches thrown from a variety of arm angles. Should move up to AA either as a starter or innings eating reliever. Time will tell if he can make it hold up at higher levels. His AFL performance, albeit a small sample size, would suggest he can.

26. Antoan Richardson, OF, B-S, T-R, 5'8', 165 lbs. BD: 10/08/1983. Stats: San Jose- .279/.379/.362, 43 SB, 11 CS. HWBL- .255/.385/.373, 14 SB, 2 CS. My man Antoan continues to show excellent OBP's and basestealing skills which make him a future leadoff prospect. He also is reportedly an excellent defensive CF. Whether his lack of power will derail him at higher levels remains to be seen. I'm not worried about the K's so much as those will happen with hitters who go deep into counts. As long as he can maintain his on-base skills, he'll do OK.

27. Ben Copeland, OF, B-L, T-L, 6'1", 195 lbs. BD: 12/17/1983. Stats: San Jose- .280/.387/.416.
Those are somewhat disappointing numbers for Copeland who may have been hampered by a pulled oblique muscle most of the season. I am encouraged by the OBP which may make him a candidate to do better than expected in CT.

28. Adam Cowart, RHP, 6'2", 190 lbs. BD: 08/18/1983. Stats: Augusta- 14-7, 2.39, 169.2 IP, 28 BB, 95 K, GO/AO=2.27.
Forget the age vs level thing, Forget the K rates. You can't project this guy with the usual criteria. If he makes it to the majors, it will be due to his extremely unorthodox delivery throwing hitter's timing off and keeping the ball on the ground. It's way too early to tell if he can do it, but those numbers are certainly encouraging. I'll say, once again, that I see no reason to hold Cowart back. What you see is what you get. His act will either play at higher levels or it won't. I'd advocate for him to jump to AA to start the 2008 season,but we're more likely to see him in San Jose. Probably projects as a future inning eating middle reliever which could be very valuable to a MLB club.

29. Dave McKae, RHP, 6'2", 190 lbs. BD: 11/24/1981. Stats: San Jose- 5-1, 1.93, 65.1 IP, 16 BB, 58 K. CT- 6-4, 4.24, 104 IP, 17 BB, 66 K.
McKae has put up excellent numbers wherever he's pitched. I saw him pitch in Rancho Cucamonga early last season. He certainly won't beat anybody by blowing fastballs by them topping out at 87-88 MPH. He is a very polished pitcher who can spot the fastball, has excellent secondary stuff, and keeps hitters off balance. Has written a pitching instruction manual with his buddy, Nick Pereira. Gotta root for a guy like this, but one suspects his polish may not be enough to get MLB hitters out with consistency. Maybe he has a future as a pitching coach?

30. Joe Martinez, RHP, 6'3", 185 lbs. BD: 02/26/1983. Stats: San Jose- 10-10, 4.26, 162.2 IP, 36 BB, 151 K, GO/AO= 1.42.
At first glance, Martinez' season was disapointing, but he was pitching in a hitter friendly league and maintained good secondary numbers. Should get a chance to prove himself in AA in 2008.

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Forging ahead......

31. Brian Anderson, RHP, 6'3", 210 lbs. BD: 05/25/1983. Stats: CT- 1-5, 3.93, 50.1 IP, 20 BB, 46 K. GO/AO- 0.57. AFL- 0-1, 0.00, 12.1 IP, 1 H, 9 K.
Anderson's max velocity is 89 MPH. He gets it done with a good breaking ball and good command. He's been a closer so far, but it's a stretch it imagine him closing in the majors. Best comp is probably Tim Worrell with less velocity. Gotta be concerned about the extreme flyball tendencies from a guy with suboptimal velocity too.

32. Osiros Matos, RHP, 6'1", 180 lbs. BD: 08/06/1984. Stats: CT- 5-0, 2.89, 56 IP, 21 BB, 43 K. Augusta- 0-0, 0.00, 9 IP, 1 BB, 9 K.
Matos, who has a low 90's fastball and a splitter, may have a higher ceiling than Brian Anderson. The late season transfer to Augusta was curious. Was it to bolster Augusta's playoff chances, or was it a disciplinary issue?

33. Justin Hedrick, RHP, 6'3", 225 lbs. BD: 06/08/1982. Stats: CT- 4-6, 2.14, 71.1 IP, 37 BB, 72 K.
Long time favorite of Giants prospect watchers. Justin used to post occasionally on this message board. Excellent ERA and K #'s, Still has issues with BB's. Time to move up to Fresno?

34. Andy D'Alessio, 1B, B-L, T-R, 6'3", 196 lbs. BD: 07/23/1984. Stats: AZL- .306/.376/.624, 14 HR's. Salem-Keizer- .556/.600/1.222, 2 HR, 18 AB's.
D'Alessio put up excellent numbers in a top notch college conference, so it is a bit of a mystery why he fell all the way to round 19 in the draft. Apparently he had serious holes in his swing that the Giants appeared to work on correcting right away. The preliminary results are promising, but Big Andy is awfully old for those leagues and he's going to have to move fast. What he does at higher levels is one of the more interesting story lines coming into the 2008 season.

35. Adam Witter, C/1B, B-L, T-R, 6'1", 175 lbs. BD: 02/17/1983. Stats: San Jose- .260/.342/.481, 18 HR's.
Another senior draftee from 2006. Witter made a successful jump to high A. The big questions are whether he can stay behind the plate and whether he can stay above the Mendoza line in AA. We'll soon find out. A lefthanded hitting catcher with power is a valuable commodity.

36. Matt Downs, 3B/1B, B-R, T-R, 6'2", 190 lb. BD: 03/19/1984. Stats: Salem-Keizer- .338/.410/.537, 8 HR.
If Downs were a couple of years younger, he might be one of the top prospects in the organization. As it is, he's going to have to move fast and keep hitting at higher levels. Should start no lower than San Jose where he will have to compete with Brett PIll and Ryan Rohlinger for PT at the corners. They can probably share DH duties, but Sandoval could still be there taking 1B and DH AB's. Hopefully, Sandoval sticks to catching.

37. TJ Brewer, RHP, 6'2", 200 lbs. BD: 08/30/1984. Stats: Salem-Keizer- 9-1, 3.05, 65 IP, 16 BB, 52 K, GO/AO= 1.74.
A 2007 draftee who put up good numbers in his first summer. S-K pitching numbers have tended to hold up well at higher levels

38. Jared Cranston, LHP, 6'2", 195 lbs. BD: 04/18/1984. Stats: Augusta- 0-0, 9.00, 3 BB, 13 K. Salem-Keizer- 5-1, 2.77, 55.1 IP, 16 BB, 71 K.
Cranston K'd 34 batters in 17 IP, last season as a reliever for S-K. This year he moves up to starter and had a couple of double digit K games. Is there room for him to start at San Jose?

39. Wilmin Rodriquez, LHP, 6'2", 175 lbs. BD: 05/13/1985. Stats: Salem-Keizer- 0-1, 5.49, 39.1 IP, 23 BB, 47 K.
Not sure why, but I have a feeling about him. Mostly the K/9 I think. Kind of reminds me of Henry Sosa last year. LHP with a 92 MPH fastball will get a chance to move up.

40. Jesse English, LHP, 6'2", 215 lbs. BD: 09/13/1984. Stats: Salem-Keizer- 5-0, 0.69, 26 IP, 5 BB, 46 K. San Jose- 0-1, 3.24, 8.1 IP, 6 BB, 11 K.
I think everybody is rooting for Jesse English. A long time ago, he outshone Matt Cain back in the AZL. He's kicked around since then with an assortment of injuries and a bad rap for his conditioning. Put up sick numbers for Salem-Keizer, but kind of disappeared after a few appearances for San Jose. I'm still concerned about his durability. He's going to have to pitch a full season somewhere before I get too excited about him. He wasn't picked in the Rule 5 draft, which also makes me wonder.

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Whooo! One more round to go. I'm getting tired. Onward!

41. Erick Threets, LHP, 6'5", 240 lbs. BD: 11/04/1981. Stats: Fresno- 3-1, 3.46, 54.2 IP, 35 BB, 40 K, GO/AO= 2.00. Mexican Pacific Fall Winter League- 1-2, 1.69, 21.1 IP, 8 BB, 20 K's. I was going to leave Threets off the Top 50 entirely, but a pretty good showing in winter ball made me decide to give him one more chance. Remember when I used to say that we should keep Threets until his arm falls off or he's 30 yo, whichever comes first? Well, his arm almost fell off and we're almost to 30 yo! He still reportedly has a high 90's fastball, and he keeps the ball on the ground, but it's still hard to imagine him pitching in the majors without endangering the spectators.

42. Bill Sadler, RHP, 6'0", 200 lbs. BD: 09/21/1981. Stats: CT- 0-0, 0.73, 12.1 IP, 6 BB, 18 K's. Fresno- 3-2, 5.95, 42.1 IP, 35 BB, 59 K.
Sadler is in a very similar boat as Threets. Many of us thought he would be part of the Giants 2007 bullpen after a stellar 2006 AFL season. Instead, the control problems that he seemed to have conquered returned with a vengeance. I was also going to leave him off the Top 50 list, but PH convinced me to take another look. With the 94 MPH fastball and good curveball, he probably has more chance to pitch successfully in the majors than some of the soft tossers with better numbers. He ain't getting younger though, and this is probably his last best chance to show he deserves that chance.

43. Juan Trinidad, RHP, 6'3", 200 lbs. BD: 11/06/1985. Stats: Augusta- 3-3, 1.94, 51 IP, 15 BB, 50 K.
I've heard Trinidad is a soft tossing sidearmer, but he has size, age, and stats in his favor. I'll be looking for him when San Jose comes south.

44. Brock Bond, 2B, B-S, T-R, 5'10", 195 lbs. BD: 07/11/1985. Stats: AZL- .227/.345/.318 in 44 AB's. Salem-Keizer- .342/.453/.430, 7 SB, 2 CS.
Don't know much about him, but a switch-hitting second baseman with those numbers bears watching.

45. Daniel Otero, RHP, 6'3", 205 lbs. BD: 02/19/1985. Stats: Salem-Keizer- 0-0, 1.21, 22.1 IP, 0 BB, 15 K's, 19 Saves, GO/AO= 1.94.
Follows in the footsteps of Brian Anderson and Juan Trinidad as S-K closers. We'll see how it hold up at higher levels. Gotta love the BB/9 though.

46. Timothy Egart, RHP, 6'4", 205 lbs. BD: 03/13/1985. Stats: Salem-Keizer- 3-0, 2.94, 33.2 IP, 7 BB, 44 K.
Don't know a whole lot about him, but his size and stats get my attention.

47. Steven Edlefsen, RHP, 6'2", 175 lbs. BD: 06/27/1985. Stats: Salem-Keizer- 2-0, 1.62, 33.1 IP, 16 BB, 26 K, GO/AO=4.20!!
Was a no-bat utility man for Nebraska until 2007 when he moved to the bullpen with not much success in college. Apparently Giants scouts liked what they saw and he was drafted ahead of Andy D'Alessio. The GO/AO is not a mirage as Edlefsen has a quick-release sidearm delivery very similar to Adam Cowart except that Edlefsen gets it up into the 90's MPH with vicious sink. Another very interesting story line for 2008.

48. Ben Snyder, LHP, 6'1", 175 lbs, BD: 07/20/1985. Stats: Augusta- 16-5, 2.09, 151 IP, 32 BB, 145 K. HWBL- 0-4, 9.39, 18.1 IP, 4 BB, 16 K.
Gaudy numbers for Augusta, but he should have been pitching at a higher level. Got hit hard in Hawaii, but after a lot of innings during the season, so I'm not counting that against him so much. We'll see what he does in San Jose.

49. Kevin Pucetas, RHP, 6'4", 225 lbs. BD: 11/27/1984. Stats: Augusta- 15-4, 1.86, 145.1 IP, 21 BB, 104 K.
Won the minor league ERA title, but again, had no business pitching the whole season in Augusta. Word is he is a bit velocity challenged and may not hold up at higher levels.

50. Brett Pill, 1B, B-R, T-R, 6'4", 200 lbs. Stats: Augusta- .269/.321/.416, 47 doubles, 10 HR's.
Giants think he has a chance to turn some of those doubles into HR's. They had him on a strengthening program this fall and winter. Lots of competition for 1B PT in the low minors, though. Look for him in San Jose.

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  • 1/13/08

Wow! That was exhausing! Especially typing in all those BD's and stats.

I want to finish up with a list of players who, while there was not room for them on the Top 50, have enough going for them that I think they have some kind of chance of playing in the majors or else having a breakout season somewhere along the way and getting into the Top 50. There are more than in past years as talent has gotten deeper in the past 2 years.

Honorable Mention: (in no particular order)

Tyler Graham, OF
David Newton, RHP
Matt Weston, OF/1B
Brian Bocock, SS
Clay Timpner, OF
Brian Horwitz, OF
Ryan Rohlinger, 3B
David Maroul, 3B
Chance Corgan, RHP
Dan Turpin, RHP
Joe Paterson, LHP
Craig Clark, LHP
Lars Knepper, RHP
Dom Duggan, OF
Ramon Corona, IF
Skylar Stromsmoe, 2B
Roberto Martinez, LHP
Robert Felmy, OF
Eugene Espinelli, LHP
Shane Jordan, OF
Sean Van Elderan, OF
Chad Rothford, 1B
Mike Loree, RHP
Garrett Baker, OF
Andrew Davis, 3B

Undrafted FA special mention: Steve Palazzolo, RHP. 6'10", 270 lbs. This monster has been working with our friend Carlos Gomez on his mechanics. He as reportedly dabbled with the enigmatic "gyroball". Reportedly throws in the low 90's. Must be a most intimidating sight on the mound. I'm going to take a guess and say he'll start out in San Jose's bullpen.

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  • 1/13/08

Possible Comeback Kids(AKA "Jerry's Kids"): These are players who once were highly rated prospects but have been injured several years in a row, or have had several poor seasons in a row, making it difficult to rank them. This is probably a make or break year for all of them,but a good season could vault them back to the upper levels of the Giants system.

Eddy Martinez-Esteve
Marcus Sanders
Craig Whitaker
Dan Griffin
Travis Ishikawa
David Quinowski(only injured one year)
Orlando Yntema(only out one year. See discussion for Henry Sosa).
Merkin Valdez

Here's a complete list of players reinstated from the DL in Sept 2007:
Manuel Cabeza, RHP
Brandon Grabham, RHP
Marvin "Butch" Hobson, RHP
Mike Loree, RHP
Bryan Millikan, RHP
Andrew Reichard, RHP
Merkin Valdez, RHP
Orlando Yntema, RHP
Damon Brewer, LHP
Nathan Pendley, LHP
David Quinowski, LHP
Jesus Reina, LHP
Ricardo Rincon, LHP
Michael Ambort, C
Nestor Rojas, C
Derin McMains, 2B
Emmanuel Cividanes, OF
Santiago Lara, OF
Mike Loberg, OF
Thomas Neal, OF
Jesse Foppert(from inactive list).

Don't even recognize a couple of those names. A few others, I'm surprised to see them still in the organizatin.


Edited 1/13/08   by  drbgiantsfan
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  • 1/13/08

Dominican Dandies: Here's a few players who got my attention playing in the DSL. It sure is nice that milb.com is supplying us with stats from the DSL now.

Hector Sanchez, C/1B, B-S, T-R, 6'0", 185 lbs. BD: 11/17/1989. Stats: DSL- .286/.401/.471.
Keep in mind that the DSL is a pretty tough pitcher's league. Love the BD, love the B-S, love the OBP. Look forward to seeing him in Arizona this summer.

Jorge Bucardo, RHP, 6'1", 155 lbs. BD: 10/18/1989. Stats: DSL- 7-2, 1.35, 60 IP, 7 BB, 39 K.
Doesn't get the GB's like his brother, Wilbur, yet, but he's also 2 years younger. I would think we will see Jorge in Arizona next summer too.

Kelvin Marte, RHP, 6'0", 180 lbs. BD: 11/24/1987. Stats: DSL- 5-1, 1.62, 61 IP, 14 BB, 91 K, GO/AO= 1.81.
19 is old for the DSL, but gotts love those stats. I wonder if he could jump to S-K or Augusta?

Julio Izturis, SS/2B, 5'11", 165 lbs. BD: 08/29/1989. Stats: DSL- .246/.359/.267, 36 SB, 7 CS.
Maybe you can walk and run off the island?

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  • 1/13/08
Sure glad to see your take on Nate....I really like this guy. I talked to him in Denver last September and found him to be modest, but confident. Here's hoping that Carney will help him to develop the higher OBP.

Edited 1/13/08   by  desertdave2
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  • 1/13/08
Downs is really a 2B who was moved to 1B to make room for Bond. That should make the middle infield competition interesting in SJ if Downs and Andy D continue to rake.
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  • 1/14/08

yow, thanks for that massive effort, a lot of key stats and comments in one place. A fun read.
I think the dropoff from prospect to suspect happens somewhere between Romo and Joe Martinez. Prior to that, they all seem likely to reach the majors, after that it is mostly questionable.
Another thing that stands out is that they started focusing on middle infielders. We know they can draft pitchers, and you need a lot of them, and they are good trading chips. Are MI's like that too? Or maybe you have to draft a bunch in hopes one of them develops as a hitter. Or maybe the scouting staff just grabs one when they can't find a power hitting prospect, which is most of the time.
Anyway, ifiguring where the 2Bs and SSs land and how much time they get is as you say a real puzzle. I keep thinking somebody has to make a big leap to AA or so just because of crowding in SJ.

I like your pretty high rankings for Velez, Romo, Pablo, Antoan Richardson and Fairly. And finding places for Quinowski, McKae, Osegura.
I guess it's a sign of strength that Espinelli, Chad Rothford and Horwitz only made honorable mention. At least Horwitz will see time in the bigleague camp this Spring, maybe get evaluated more seriiously.


Edited 1/14/08   by  54wasgood
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  • 1/14/08

Mike McBryde I think is missing.

Nice list, there are so many players we know nothing about to differentiate the prospects between the suspects. BA seemed to like Baker a little more than Downs, but it seems they had similar ceilings(minus Garret's athleticism) and 2B is easier than the OF to project as average offensively.

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  • 1/14/08
Baker was injured...hia back I think...during college and spent most of his senior year as a DH. The rest of his time he spent in the weight room and now looks like a blacksmith. Hopefully good coaching can convert the strength to HR power. Downs is just versatile and consistent right now. Both are a year older than their group. We won't know until assignments are made, but I would guess Baker to Augusta and Downs to SJ.
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  • 1/14/08

Dr. B,

As always, appreciate your time and effort!

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  • 1/14/08
It's a good list. It's different from my list, in mostly small ways, but I find your list to be just fine. Speaking of other lists, why hasn't Sickels done the Giants? He's done everyone else I think. BA says they'll be shipping theirs in 2 weeks.
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  • 1/15/08
You are right. I did forget Mike McBryde. I'm not as high on McBryde as I was last year. He's a player the scouts love because of his speed and his arm. The big question is whether he can hit enough. While he wasn't terrible last year, he wasn't great either. He also failed to take full advantage of his speed. I think I'm actually comfortable leaving him off the Top 50 and adding him to honorable mention.
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  • 1/15/08
Thanks PH, and the others who have expressed their appreciation.
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  • 1/15/08
Thanks for the info, didn't know that Baker was injured or why he was listed as a DH in college but played LF for SK
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  • 1/15/08

Dr B,

Really good list put together there and learnt alot. Having only been following baseball for a couple of years and not living in America it is quite hard to find out information on these guys barring their minor league stats and some I just have no idea about.

Much appreciated

Dawks

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  • 1/15/08

PH,

Sickel's list is now up and just from a quick check of it I think he has underrated MadBum and Fairley. I think Fairley should have been given a B- do to his vast tools, while we may not be good at developing these types of players the talent is there. As for MadBum Grant posted a comment on MC that MadBum has developed 2 curveballs which I think should bump him up to a solid B. Either way I'm mostly quibbling here but I like last years draft the more I think about it. This year I'm hoping for a great bat at the number 5 pick.

~DT

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