My list to date
Now on to the top 10!
Crick was the Giants’ supplemental 1st round pick as a right hander out of a high school in Texas. He has good arm strength and a strong build but is still raw as a pitcher as he spent most of his time in high school playing 1B. He threw 7 innings in the AZL last year after signing and next year could head to Augusta, though given how new he is to pitching, an assignment to EST and then Salem-Keizer would not surprise me.
Sanchez probably did not expect to make his major league debut this year. He spent 2010 and part of 2011 splitting time behind the plate with Tommy Joseph before Buster Posey‘s injury caused the Giants to try and catch lightning in a bottle, so to speak, with Sanchez. Sanchez has shown flashes of power and on base ability, but unfortunately never at the same time. Last year he naturally struggled a bit with the adjustment to the higher levels. He’ll likely spend the year at AAA and possibly come up as a reserve if Chris Stewart or Eli Whiteside struggle.
This ranking may be a little low given how electric Hembree’s stuff is, but I have trouble ranking him any higher given his relief profile. Hembree was almost unhittable last year, striking out 13.2 batters per 9 across two levels. While his control could use some refinement, Hembree is knocking on the doors of the majors and looks like he could be a potential successor to Brian Wilson.
I like Peguero and early on thought about ranking him as high as second though. He is a very good hitter for average and has some pop as well as solid athleticism and a strong arm. His main weakness is his approach which is very poor as he has just 35 walks over the last 3 years. To put it another way: last year the Eastern League as a whole hit .259/.329/.395. In the EL Peguero hit .309/.318/.446. Peguero had a batting average 50 points higher than league average and still had a below average OBP. That’s…hard to do. He still has some electric tools though, so if he is able to mature his approach a little he could be a very good player.
Eric Surkamp made his major league debut and it did not go well as he walked more batters than he struck out. By now you probably know the story about Surkamp. He has a fringy fastball but a good curveball and change up as well as good command. Last year he didn’t show it in the majors but he was setting a career high in innings pitched and jumping to the majors from AA is a big leap, no matter how polished you are. I do think Surkamp will settle in as a nice back of the rotation guy, who should get some benefit from AT&T Park.
Susac was the Giants’ 2nd round pick which was surprising to me as I thought he definitely would have been picked in the first round. He slipped though, mainly due to a hamate injury and the fact that he had increased leverage as a draft eligible Sophomore. Susac has good tools including solid power and a strong arm. He has some things to work on behind the plate but he should stay at catcher. He’ll likely start the year at San Jose.
Panik was the Giants’ 1st round pick and he seemed to catch people a bit by surprise. Panik is a solid hitter for average and has good patience. He made his debut in the NWL and hit .341/.401/.467 before then playing in the AFL. Panik will likely start next year at San Jose playing SS, but if he hits there, the Giants could try to expedite his bat and promote him to AA to play 2B along side Ehire Adrianza.
And speaking of Adrianza-here he is. I probably have him rated higher than most places, and that is mainly due to the fact that I think he’ll hit enough to play everyday. He is regarded as a fantastic defensive SS and offensively has always posted a good walk rate. Last year, as a 21 year old in the Cal League he hit .300/.375/.470, though he was repeating the level. Next year he’ll likely head to AA which should provide a challenge for him offensively. While he may need 1000 more at bats in the minors, I do think that he can be good enough to hit at the bottom of the order and let his defense carry him.
Joseph is one of the more intriguing youngsters in the Giants system. He was drafted as a catcher and the common refrain at the time was that it was a question of when Joseph would need to move, not if. Now, after 2 years in the minors, most people believe he’ll be fine at catcher. Offensively he has big time raw power but a poor approach has hindered it a bit from translating completely, though he did have a good year in the Cal league last year. Joseph’s two best qualities are his age (he’ll be 20 in AA next year), and position. I think he could end up as a Miguel Olivo type with the upside to be more.
Brown was the 2010 1st round draft pick and he had an electric debut in the Cal league, hitting .336/.407/.519 with 53 stolen bags. Brown has game changing speed-an example of this was in a televised game he hit a groundball right up the middle to the CF-when the CF looked down to pick it up Brown bolted for second and made it. Brown is also an excellent defensive CF and has an excellent contact rate. While he’ll never walk a lot, he should have a high enough BA to keep a solid OBP. A median projection for him could be something along the lines of a Michael Bourn player. While I would have preferred to trade Brown and keep Wheeler, Brown certainly is a very good prospect.