- Magowan: "The last few years we have been changing direction. Four of the first six guys we drafted last year were position players. We hope to get a position player this time."
- Dick Tidrow, the Giants vice president of player personnel has been an advocate for drafting pitching, particularly when the Giants were winning and did not get to pick until the end of the first round. By then, Tidrow said, the remaining hitters were not as good as the pitchers still available.
- Magowan: "We did not do as good a job as we should have done in our farm system. Everybody knows it. I'm not confessing to a crime that everybody doesn't agree was committed. I'm part of that. We should have seen it probably sooner than we did."
Spilled milk and all. Now that he's officially leaving, I guess he felt like he could be more critical of his tenure here. Frankly, I like the job the farm system has done overall, the pitching staff has been totally revamped and recharged and we have two who look like Aces in Cain and Lincecum, one who looks like he can be in Sanchez, three good starters among Lowry, Correia, and Misch (injuries notwithstanding) and a good closer in Wilson.
Sure, I would love to see another key hitter or two. However, we have two in Lewis and Bowker who are looking better over time plus one who should be coming in with the #5 pick and, of course, there is still Villalona (though he is struggling horribly in Augusta). Let's see how the Giants look like after the season. Things can change by the end of any season for any team's farm system evaluation.
Even then, you still don't know, though. As a relatively new fan long ago, I was totally into Larry Herndon after his great first season, only to see him fade into averageness. Then you would have thought I would have learned by then, after failures like Rich Murray, David Green, and so on, but then I thought for sure that Dan Gladden was going to do it. So many prospects under the bridge and nothing. So I guess I'm a bit jaded, like any long-time fan would be.
Still, now that I can research this info, I do think that Bowker can be a useful contributor going forward. He really outhit the other prospects in AA last season, even with the Dodd Stadium depressant on his stats (his road stats were stellar, leading the league by a mile type of stats), so I think he can adjust and do something for us here in the majors. I realize that it was only one season, but he did it all season long and, if I recall right, he even improved as the season went on.
Lewis I am waiting and seeing. Bowker at least had a great full season in AA, and it led the league when looking only at his road stats, while Lewis had not done really well in any league until last season, and at that, he only did it in a partial season, which means he could have just been hot while he was down in AAA.
The encouraging thing is that he handled his first stint in the majors hitting around average for a corner OF in 2007, which even a lot of hot shot prospects (see the D-backs) could not do in their first try up in the majors, and has continued to not only be average, but he's been doing very well this season. But, again, it is and could be very small samples. And even then, so many players have had a good to great first season, I would need to see Lewis start out 2009 well before I will start to concede that he might be the real deal.
About Magowan's comments, I still wish they had selected a position player in last season's draft. Yes, Madison Bumgarner has been a great pick, he's been doing very well, but we had a chance to pick up hitters like Matt Dominguez, Beau Mills, Jason Heyward.
I can understand Mills, because DH might be his eventual position, plus with Heyward, him being a Georgia kid, he might have decided to hold out for more in order to be with the Braves, since that is their practice, to draft local, plus we have OF galore, so I can maybe see that. But we had no real depth at 3B/SS other than Villalona and I don't see how anyone looking at him don't see that 1B was his eventual position, plus even if he stuck at 3B, you could eventually move one to 1B anyway, or even LF, so I'm not sure why they didn't go for Dominguez other than they didn't like him as much as Madison.
Was he that much worse talent-wise than Bumgarner? He did do terribly as a pro last season and he hasn't even been placed on a regular season minor league team this season, so he's probably in some sort of instructional league, like Wendell Fairley is right now, whereas Bumgarner is already in A-ball and doing well there. Still, we don't have anyone great at 3B right now in the system, though the Giants liked Rohlinger enough to consider bringing him to the majors until they snagged Castillo off the waiver wire.
Still, better late than never, and as he noted, we did select 4 position players out of the first 6 (though none in the first two, again, I love both Bumgarner and Alderson, but couldn't we have gotten at least one position player among the two?). And Noonan has looked great so far, though not doing so great this season.
Though I guess I should heed my first words written: spilled milk. :^)