Friday, February 23, 2007

A Lesson About the Net

I just saw this prospect website - and I'm not linking to it, one, so as not to embarrass them, two, so as not to provide them help in their google ranking by linking to them - and I was aghast at who they list for the Giants Top 10 for 2007:
  1. Tim Lincecum
  2. Nate Schierholtz
  3. Jonathan Sanchez
  4. Kevin Frandsen
  5. Dan Ortmeier
  6. Emmanuel Burriss
  7. Benj (SIC) Copeland
  8. Fred Lewis
  9. John Bowker
  10. Eddy Martinez-Esteve
Where do I begin to rip this list? I don't have as good a feel for the farm system like past years because I was busy dealing with my mom's passing, but I think I know it enough to see that this list is lousy. I like Frandsen, but where's Villalona? I also like Ortmeier but his star has fallen and even I wouldn't put him on the Top 10 list, though in an ideal world I would give him a chance to make the roster, competing for the 5th spot in the outfield (unless Linden totally stinks, he's got that, plus Lewis is in the mix too). "Benj" Copeland is also nice but his offense isn't enough to put him on the Top 10 period, particularly since he was old to play in low-A ball last season, let alone above, say, Brian Wilson, Billy Sadler or Brian Anderson, and certainly not above Villalona or EME or even Fred Lewis.

Then there's Bowker. Boy.... First, he hasn't done much of anything in the minors, he has been a disappointment since his promising first season. But then to put him above EME and Villalona? I am not even sure Bowker would even make most Giants knowledgeable Top 30 lists It boggles my mind!!!

For example, I'm looking through my copy of Baseball America's 2007 Prospect Handbook and Ortmeier is near the bottom of their Top 30 list, Copeland is only 3 spots above Ortmeier, he is not even close to making the teens, and Bowker is not even on the list. I don't have their list from 2006, but I would bet that he wasn't on that Top 30 list either. In my copy of Minor League Baseball Analyst, none of them makes the Top 15 list of that book, and Bowker does not even get a mention in the player section, where there is about 25-30 Giants prospects listed.

Even a Giants fan who knows nothing about the team's minor league system, but who looked through all their minor league teams and picked out players with outstanding performances could have picked a better Top 10 list, so I have no idea how this guy created his top 10.


  1. allfrank, I know you didn't intend to do this and just innocently stepped into a bit of history, but I've purposefully have not been going to McCovey Chronicles and just posting here and other places because I don't want to see his moniker since it upsets me greatly.

    If you want to see why, then you (or anyone else) can look at my last comments on McCovey Chronicles when I was last active there or even research the history of me and him there and in Fanhome and find out why I simply don't care to see his name anywhere anymore. It might be hard but it's not impossible, someone else did it and kindly offered me his support.

    I do this to enjoy myself, but I get very upset seeing his name, so I'm probably going to be deleting your post at some point so that I don't have to see his name in my blog now. But I won't do it before answering your question, once I have time.

  2. I like Sanchez too, but from what I read in an article from the Chronicle, it doesn't sound like he's going to break the rotation this year. It also doesn't seem like he's going to be sent to Fresno to work toward coming to the rotation.

    The little blurb at the bottom of the article had Bochy saying he doesn't want to juggle Sanchez between starter and relief. So if he starts the season in the 'pen, he's going to stay there.

    The good news is that Bochy says he's throwing a pretty good breaking ball right now. Maybe when the dust settles at the end of March, it'll be Russ Ortiz that's in the pen. I, somehow, find that very unlikely.

    Ortiz has fifth starter written all over him. He's an "ex-Ace" who is trying to re-establish himself as a serviceable starting pitcher. If he uses the fire that should be in him to succeed, I don't see why he doesn't show Bochy that he's a fully capable fifth starter.

  3. Good points, sfgfan.

    Allfrank asked and I deleted: Sorry, Martin, this is off topic, but it has been on my mind. Initially, I thought the Giants scouts had to see something pretty significant before the team would spend even the minimun on him. Then I read in some blog today that he thought if he did reasonably well in ST he would get the 5 spot. I also read [someone’s] analysis of Sanchez on [somewhere]. He says Sanchez only has a FB and change up, that his slider is very, very inconsistent. He hopes they send Sanchez to Fresno to develop the slider, the third pitch he would need as a starter. He also thinks they may just need him in the pen and/or decide his future is in the pen and not as a starter. I have really high hopes for Sanchez, but it is looking to me like the organization may be thinking he is not starter material. Thoughts?
    (Friday, February 23, 2007 11:51:00 PM)

    Allfrank, I agree with sfgfan, Ortiz is the 5th starter barring him imploding like he had the past couple of seasons - and thus far everyone is raving about his returned velocity and stuff. Barring injury or Sanchez blowing the socks off everyone, Ortiz is probably the 5th starter.

    Thinking about it, I've read before that the dry air in Arizona does things to pitches (don't remember exactly what), and perhaps Ortiz screwed up his mechanics trying to compensate for his home park (a la what I've been complaining about Dodd and the Defenders' prospects).

    Anyway, back to subject, I think the Giants see Sanchez as a starter because from what I've read about him, he's unusual in that there (for some reason) is rarely a LHP with velocity so I think they will work with him to become a starter. Just because they decide to use him as a reliever on the MLB team this season does not mean that they won't try again next season.

    The Orioles and Earl Weaver was known to use pitchers in reliever roles to acclimate them to the majors, before they put them into the starting rotation, and I assume Dobson imparted that to our organization before his untimely death.

    This also allows Righetti and the coaches time to work with Sanchez to pick up the 3rd pitch he needs to be a starter, on the side since he'll be traveling with the main club. In the minors, Righetti wouldn't be there to work with him, and Righetti as a former lefty starter, one would think he would have something to teach Sanchez.

    The problem might be what the Giants need, starters or relievers, next year. Next year, we could have Zito, Cain, Lincecum, Lowry, Morris, Ortiz, and Sanchez battling for a spot in the rotation. This, of course, assumes Ortiz is back to at least #5 starter productivity.

    This can be a good thing, however, because a team can experiment with pitchers in the #5 spot and not hurt their team's chances for the playoffs. Thus the Giants could choose to start Sanchez in the #5 spot and could trade away any starting pitcher they deem expendible (I assume Lowry, Morris, and Ortiz) to get a young position prospect who is a good hitter (I assume it will be a package to get a good young hitter, not just that pitcher, our pitchers are not that good by themselves, unless Lowry has a standout season in 2007 after curve tips from Zito).

    I think the potential upside of Ortiz is being a #2/3 starter and he could bring something of value in trade if he is back. At worse, we owe him $300K+ and took a spot in spring training. Given all the comments I've heard, him returning to #2/3 status is not far-fetched, though still yet to be proven. Even his return to 3/4 status would mean that he has value in trade, as we only have him for this season. And I don't think it impossible that he does well in Spring Training while Sanchez also does well, resulting in trading Ortiz somewhere for prospects.

    With Threets and Taschner as lefties in the pen, for the future, I would bet on the Giants making Sanchez a starter. Here's what BA says in their prospect book (great buy for understanding prospects!): "Sanchez profiles as a quality starter."

    Oh, here's another reason why the Giants might bullpen him. BA notes, "The Giants aren't sure if Sanchez is ready to shoulder a full-season workload. He never has thrown more than 126 innings in a season and he has trouble maintaining his velocity when he's used on consecutive days." That would indicate that maybe the Giants might start him in the minors to build up arm strength for 2008.

    In any case, whereever Sanchez ends up, I would not take that as an indication the Giants think less of Sanchez as a starter. He clearly has a high ceiling and the Giants will do their best to reel in that talent and hit the jackpot. Where he ends up will all depend on what he shows this spring, but whereever he ends up, the Giants long term plan, at the moment, is to make him a starter.

    Just look at Ortiz. He was a closer all through the minors then the Giants took him and made him into a starter. So relieving does not mean the Giants think of Sanchez as a reliever, but it does mean that the Giants need a reliever and he would bring more to the role than they think Taschner would.

  4. Although it is only half way through the season, do you still feel the same about John Bowker's performance? We all know about Dodd stadium, and with that in consideration, his numbers so far this season are quite impressive. Do you still feel the same way as you did in feb, or do you think he could be a considerable prospect in the upcoming years?



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