Saturday, January 06, 2007

Giants Top 2007 Prospects

Just got my 2007 version of Baseball Forecaster, so I'll be posting info about the Giants from the book for the forseeable future. As I've noted before, this is a great book to get if you haven't before, if you want to learn more about sabermetrics in baseball. I never really put everything together from what I had read in Baseball Prospectus until I got BF.

That said, buying the annual is not worth buying UNLESS you also play fantasy baseball (which I do) or you really want to see their new studies and research results. If you can wait a year or two, they usually sell past years' editions at half price or less.

But I can vouch for the book. It helped me win one of my leagues in 2005 and finish top 4 (after a horrendous start where I ended up with much of my team looking like the 2005 Giants opening day roster - yes, that bad :^), then in 2006, I finished 3rd in one and I think 6th in the other.

Giants Prospects Among Top 100 Prospects

One area where the book really helped me out is in determining which prospects to look out for when they are brought up. Helped me get Weeks in 2005, for example, and Barfield and Hanley Ramirez in 2006.

The author of the section, Deric McKamey, tries to combine sabermetrics, which is where he started from, then he took the various scouting classes one can take and started seeing players from a scout's perspective. These are the players the Giants have (and rumored to have) on the Top 50 list for the 2007 season: Tim Lincecum, Yusmeiro Petit (#34 overall, thought I would throw in this since he's rumored to come if the Marlins want Benitez), and Nick Pereira. I'll post what was said about Lincecum and Pereira, plus a few comments.

  • Tim Lincecum: He was the 10th prospect, OVERALL! It noted, "Lincecum posesses the most electric arm of any 2006 Draftee. His curveball is lethal and his power sinker from an unconventional delivery is incredibly heavy." I don't think any other draftee from 2006 is on the list, either. In general, the players on the Top 50 from last season had a number of significant contributors but there where those who did not even make the majors. This confirms the impression I've gotten from most prognosticators that Lincecum will be ready to pitch in the majors by mid-season, probably as reliever, else as a starter by the start of 2008.
  • Nick Pereira: He was the 46th prospect! It noted that Pereira shows exquisite command (2.1 SO/BB) and ability to keep the ball low (0.6 HR/9), though he rarely pushes 90 MPH. His slider is tough on RH batters and he has made improvements to his changeup. I have not seen his name on anyone's Top 10 prospect list for the Giants, let alone the 46th top prospect for 2007. Wow!

Baseball Prospectus Top 10

BP recently released their top 10 to subscribers but you can get the Top 10 list plus blurbs about the top 3 via their site. I recommend reading this for info on Lincecum, Villalona, and Sanchez, particularly Lincecum and Villalona. Here is their top 10, I like the way they separate how good each is, this is missing from most prospect lists plus if you read the link, I like the way he set up each one:

Excellent Prospects

1. Tim Lincecum, rhp

Very Good Prospects

2. Angel Villalona, 3b

3. Jonathan Sanchez, lhp

Good Prospects

4. Emmanuel Burriss, ss

Average Prospects

5. Eddy Martinez-Estevee, lf

6. Sharlon Schoop, ss

7. Fred Lewis, lf/cf

8. Nate Schierholtz, lf

9. Billy Sadler, rhp

10. Mike McBryde, cf

I really recommend going to BP and reading the Villalona blurb - it will keep you warm and fuzzy all winter long reading about our first legit hitting stud prospects since the days of Will Clark and Matt Williams. The Lincecum blurb will then make you feel a bit sweaty and overheated. :^)

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