Duvall had one of the biggest years in 2011 among Giants minor leaguers. An 11th round pick out Louisville, Duvall was the everyday 3B at Augusta and hit .285/.385/.527 finishing 5th in the league in home runs. The main reason I can’t rank him higher is because of concerns that he may have been beating up on younger/weaker competition and there are concerns with his defense. Still, one has to take note of that type of season.
Marlowe is probably one of the least fun pitchers to face, if you’re a batter. He has also posted incredibly strikeout rates, but the problem is that he doesn’t really have good control. His college numbers make him look kind of like Carlos Marmol with worse control. But he throws hard-touching the upper 90’s and has a good breaking ball to go along with it. If he can improve his control he could move quickly.
Oropesa is in some ways like 3B Chris Dominguez. Both are guys with big power and strong throwing arms that were 3rd round draft picks. While Oropesa has a better idea of the strike zone, he doesn’t have Dominguez’s athleticism that allow him to stay at 3B. Oropesa’s main issue is his contact rate and his ability to translate his raw power into game power. He’ll likely start the year in the California League, where he could post big numbers but also runs the risk of getting into some bad habits.
Parker was a guy who I was very high on last year given his power/speed potential. He spent the year in RF, due to Gary Brown‘s excellent defense and had a bit of a disappointing year. Everyone expected him to struggle with his contact rate and he did, but he didn’t really hit for power either. He could spend another year at San Jose, this time as the CF.
Dunnington and Jake Dunning have actually been seen at the same place, at the same time as they spent part of the year at San Jose together last year. Dunnington is a rare Non Drafted Free Agent signed out of high school, and has had a good start to his career posting double digit K rates out of the bullpen. He’s another guy who needs to hone his control as the lowest walk rate he’s posted is 4.0 per 9 innings, but the encouraging part is that came when he was moved to San Jose toward the end of the year. Dunnington will only be 21 next year and there has been some talk that he could move to the rotation to start next season.
I touched on Dominguez when I did Oropesa’s write up. Dominguez essentially has two very loud tools-his power and his arm. His arm has done a good job of making up for his below average range at the hot corner, however his lack of an approach has hurt his transition from raw power to game power as he has only a career .446 slugging percentage. He has also been old for every level and will likely start next year back at AA. He has upside, but I think if he makes the majors, it will likely be more in a reserve corner infielder role.
2011 was a banner year for Oklahoma High School draftees. Dylan Bundy, Archie Bradley, Adrian Houser, and Mason Hope were all fairly high picks. Blackburn flew a bit under the radar thanks to those guys but signed quickly and had a very strong pro debut. The Giants bought out his commitment to Oklahoma for $150K and he went to the AZL where he posted a 30:3 K:BB and a 1.08 ERA. Given his polish he’ll likely spend next year as a 19 year old in Augusta which could feature a very young rotation including him, Kendry Flores, Lorenzo Mendoza, and Kyle Crick.
I discussed Gillaspie a while back, comparing him to Dominguez and basically I thought he was an interesting player with a weird profile. He’s a solid hitter for average and has some on-base skills, and while his power is improving it still is below what teams usually like from a 3B. I think he could probably settle in as a 2nd division starter and maybe could end up being a Greg Dobbs type.
Culberson has had a bit of a weird career. He was drafted in the last draft before John Barr took over and struggled badly in the SAL for 2 years before having a big year in the Cal League. His K:BB numbers indicated that 2011 could be rough for Culberson and he did struggle, posting an OBP under .300. However, he was still fairly young for AA and he didn’t completely fall on his face while also improving defensively. I could see him starting out next year back at AA and then getting prom0ted to AAA in the middle of the year.
Osich is a total wild card. He was looking like a first round pick this year, with a very good fastball-change up combination including beating Trevor Bauer by no-hitting UCLA. However, on his last start before the draft, he hurt his elbow and left the game after just 12 pitches. This was especially concerning as he was just returning from Tommy John surgery. Still, if Osich can stay healthy he has arguably the highest upside of any Giants minor league pitcher.