Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sickel Reviews His Giants Top 20 Prospect List From Start of Season

John Sickel's, a prospect maven on the web (I think he used to work for Bill James and then worked for ESPN, so he has some cred), regularly publishes his thoughts on a team's top prospects early in the year and he just recently reviewed that list and gave his thoughts on how the players did this season.

There are a lot of good information on a lot of players there, so have a read, I'll note the ones that caught my eye; a lot, however, many Giants fans know already so the below I think are more value added (my comment in parens):
  • Angel Villalona: .248/.298/.400 with 13 homers, 18 walks, 111 strikeouts in 407 at-bats for Augusta in the Sally League. Horrible strike zone judgment, but just 17 years old most of this season.
  • Henry Sosa: pitching time limited by knee injury.
  • Madison Bumgarner: Not nearly as raw as most expected, breaking ball still needs some work but tremendous fastball command has made him unbeatable at this level.
  • Nate Schierholtz: Has nothing left to prove here. Needs a clean chance in the majors or a new organization. (No position for him, plus he still needed development after 2008 and thus regular playing time, something he wouldn't have gotten if he got promoted. It was all good, I believe, but 2009 will be different, and he really needs to be in the majors and starting, Winn must go!)
  • Nick Noonan: Poor plate discipline is biggest concern right now.
  • Clayton Tanner: Efficient strike thrower who gets grounders. Double-A transition in 2009 will tell the tale.
  • Eugenio Velez: Speed and versatility will get him more chances (Sickels noted his poor stats this season).
  • Wendell Fairley: Unimpressive, tools are not turning into skills yet. (Biggest disappointment of the season, all talk so far no action... I was a little worried about that, given his off-field problems, that he might not be that into his work and play, he would be more into his off-field stuff. Next season will show if he's capable of manning up and making up for his poor 2008 or if he sinks lower; seems to have a world of talent though, so we need to be patient)
  • John Bowker: He's capable of better but I don't see why he gets to play and Schierholtz doesn't. (Because Bowker really socked ball out in AA last season, it was masked by Dodd Stadium, and Nate struggled a bit with AAA last season and still needed development time, really)
  • Charlie Culberson: Not producing much of anything, just six steals, no power, weak on-base skills. Young enough to improve. (He might end up repeating at Augusta while everyone else moves up...)
  • Osiris Matos: Should be a useful reliever. (Despite his poor first time up in majors, along with other relievers, people forget that it is not just a competition adjustment coming up, but there are a lot of other things to deal with as a major leaguer; this is why Earl Weaver liked to bring starters up slowly, as a reliever where he can control his opportunities for success as he adjusts to major league life, then he gets to start next season)
  • Wilber Bucardo: Gets grounders and throws strikes, other marks not impressive at all.
  • Sergio Romo: Gotta love the K/BB and K/IP. Main concern is strong fly ball tendency leading to excessive homers. (Despite being a finesse strikeout pitcher, I think he's capable of doing well in majors based on the time he has spent so far in the majors, he just need to be more of a pitcher than a thrower, odd to say about a finesse guy, but his problems in the majors shows he's doing something wrong.)
  • Emmanuel Burriss: Good speed, but total lack of power will preclude big success. (Giants realize this, that's why Carney Lansford will be working with him during off-season and spring training to get him to hit more line drives, as recent Merc article noted. "As big and strong as he is, he should be able to drive the ball better.'' Apparently he's OK right-handed, but is totally weak as a lefty. "...he wants Burriss to develop gap power as opposed to hitting the ball out of the park. "He's done a very good job putting the ball in play. But he chases too much and there are other things we'll work on to help him. He's got the potential to be a much better left-handed hitter."" Sounds good to me, that's why I think he'll be the starter at 2B in 2009 with Frandsen at 3B; hopefully Burriss can develop and man SS after 2009. While I think Frandsen's better position is 2B, I think Noonan will grab that sooner or later, and I think Frandsen can hit at the major league level).
  • Ben Copeland: Still looks like a reserve outfielder to me.
  • Ben Snyder: Having problems making transition to Double-A, a common issue for finesse pitches.
Here is his final summary:

Villalona could develop into a superstar. He could also fail to gain
command of the strike zone and end up as a big bust. It is just too early to
know. Alderson has been really good, and Bumgarner has been unstoppable. The
middle infield options don't look too great right now, with failures to hit
sufficiently among the guys on this list. But overall the Giants system is in
better condition than it has been in recent years.

Not too surprising on Villalona, chill out if you are worrying, as this is normal stuff for such a young player playing at such a low level. The key point is that he is holding his own while playing against much older competition. That is a key to him making the majors at a young age, but it is a gaunlet he will go through as he rises up the minors, he will have to re-prove himself each and every season.

The rest basically captures our 2008 minor leagues except for our big breakout success of Pablo Sandoval. And the farm system obviously looks a whole lot better with the addition of Posey, Gillaspie, Kieschnick, and Crawford.


  1. This was from the start of the season. At that point, Ishikawa had, in the minds of those who didn't dig deeper, had two straight years of failure.

    In Sandoval's case, he didn't really do much in the minors until last season, and as evidenced by the need to keep him back in San Jose solely to work on his catching, his defense was in great need of work, meaning that his only real sure future position he could play was 1B, which requires a much greater level of hitting production to be considered a good prospect. He had a pretty good 2007, but not that great if you expect him to start at 1B.

  2. Sandoval started at 3B on Friday night (Aug. 22). Wow I had no idea he could possibly play 3B, but apparently he has started at 3B before in the minors in 2005 and 2006. I know it's very early, but Sandoval and Ishikiawa have been looking really good offensively so far. It would be great to be able to have them both, along with Molina, in the lineup on a consistent basis.

  3. Yeah, he had played that position, I thought, just one season, but that apparently took all his mental faculties and he was horrible offensively, so they then returned him to catching, at least from my recollection (I've seen someone else say it was two years too).

    Too early to say that they are sure things, but yeah, it would be great to have both of them playing, particularly since Rohlinger is Bococking it, heck, even Bocock hit better initially (or rather batted, he got a lot of walks initially, giving him a decent OBP, though horrible BA and SLG).

    Ish is Ish, HR with a fair amount of walks and a ton of strikeouts.

    The great thing about Sandoval so far is that he only has 2 strikeouts in 24 AB, a great ratio thus far, and indicative of good batting prowess up at this level thus far. Of course, small samples, but if he can keep it up, that's the ratio most batters need to maintain (roughly, 10% K-rate or less) if they want to be .300 hitters regularly.

  4. Wow, Sandoval has a 6 game hitting streak so far, with 4 games of multiple hit games! I knew he was hitting, but man, that's great production! Now he needs to figure out how to slip in some more power into his swing.

    Ishikawa hasn't been as consistent, but still 5 games with hits out of 7 starts, 2 multi-hit games, 2 doubles, 2 homers, 4 extra-base hits, 6 RBI, that's like the production for 1B for the month or two prior to him joining!

    The Giants are 6-3 since the two of them joined the lineup on August 14th, and helping the team towards a winning August, the first winning month since last August when they went 16-15.

    That was one of two winning months, they were 13-11 in April, plus nearly .500 in July going 12-13; June and Sept really killed them.

    This season, May and July killed them, even with Roberts and Zito's horrible start in April, they were 13-15 in April, plus were 13-14 in June. Appears that trading deadline bothered the players in July (from what I recall from reports by journalists), else, excepting Roberts horrible start, the Giants were basically playing .500 until July hit, as I had reported previously, showing that even with the horrible offense coming from SS, then 1B when Bowker stalled out, plus CF/RF as Rowand and Winn slumped for a couple of months in the summer, only snapping out in August, and C as Molina quick start faded greatly again, and of course 3B with Castillo's horrible hitting, really, only Lewis and Durham were our consistent hitters throughout the period up to the end of June.

    This supports my assertion in my business plan that if the players we had for the bulk of April-June could just do as good (poorly really) as they did then, with Lewis, hitting slightly above .800 OPS LEADING the team, the team with the pitchers we had (and remember, that included our horrible #5 starting from Correia and Misch, plus the horrible Zito pitching) would be capable of producing a contending season if we can just add one more potent bat.

    See how our offense has perked up (and winning) once we added two hot hitters to the lineup. It helps that Correia is now finally appearing to out of his spring training phase of his recovery and Zito is pitching decently, plus Winn and Rowand has started hitting again, but that probably only gets us to .500, with Ish and Sandoval, that pushes us to 6-3 thus far with their hot hitting.



1984 Draft (1) 2007 Draft (15) 2007 Giants (52) 2008 Draft (22) 2008 Giants (53) 2008 season (6) 2009 Draft (18) 2009 Giants (87) 2009 season (24) 2010 Decade (10) 2010 Draft (11) 2010 Giants (137) 2010 NL ROY award (1) 2010 season (19) 2010's (3) 2011 Draft (9) 2011 Giants (84) 2011 season (8) 2012 Draft (11) 2012 Giants (93) 2012 season (11) 2013 Draft (3) 2013 Giants (39) 2013 season (5) 2014 draft (5) 2014 Giants (43) 2014 season (12) 25 man roster (7) 3B (1) 40 Man Roster (4) 6-man rotation (1) 89 Quake (1) 89 World Series (1) A's (6) A-Ball (1) A-Gon (1) A-Rod (3) AA-Ball (1) Aaron Rowand (25) accomplishments (1) Adalberto Mejia (4) Adam Duvall (2) AFL (4) Alex Hinshaw (3) All-Star Game (1) almost perfect game (1) Amphetamine (2) analysis (5) Andre Torres (14) Andres Torres (2) Andrew Susac (4) Andy Baggerly (2) Andy Sisco (1) Angel Joseph (1) Angel Pagan (10) Angel Villalona (29) Anniversary (1) appendicitis (1) Aramis Garcia (1) Arbitration (12) Armando Benitez (5) Armando Gallaraga (1) art of failure (1) At the Rate They Are Going (1) ATT Park (1) Aubrey Huff (20) Award (4) BABIP (2) Barry Bonds (28) Barry Zito (77) Baseball America (2) Baseball Prospectus (2) Baseball Prospectus Bias Against Giants (3) baseball strategy (5) Baseball Study (13) baserunning (2) batting peripherals (1) batting stance analysis (1) batting title champion (1) Beat LA (6) bench players (1) Bengie Molina (14) Benjamin Snyder (1) Bert Blyleven (1) Beyond the Box Score (1) Bias Against Giants (1) Big 6 (7) Bill Hall (1) Bill James Handbook (2) Bill Neukom (21) Billy Beane (1) Blog Philosophy (2) Bob Howry (2) Bob Mariano (1) Bobby Evans (1) Brad Hennessey (5) Brad Penny (2) Brandon Bednar (1) Brandon Belt (38) Brandon Crawford (17) Brandon Hicks (1) Braves (5) breakout (1) Brett Bochy (2) Brett Pill (9) Brian Anderson (1) Brian Bocock (2) Brian Cooper (1) Brian Horwitz (3) Brian Ragira (2) Brian Sabean (40) Brian Wilson (14) Bridegrooms (2) Bruce Bochy (22) Bucky Showalter (1) bulllpen (1) Bullpen (20) Bumgarner (1) Business Plan (13) Buster Posey (91) Byung-Hyun Kim (1) Cained (4) call-ups (1) Cards (8) Career Prospects (3) Carl Hubbell (1) Carlos Beltran (4) Carlos Gomez (1) Carney Lansford (2) Carter Jurica (1) catcher injury (4) catching (1) CC Sabathia (1) censorship (2) CEO (2) Chad Gaudin (5) Charles Culberson (5) Charlie Culberson (3) Chase Johnson (2) Chillax (1) Chris Brown (1) Chris Gloor (1) Chris Heston (2) Chris Lincecum (1) Chris O'Leary (1) Chris Ray (4) Chris Stewart (4) Chris Stratton (8) Christian Arroyo (3) Christmas (1) Christopher Dominguez (3) Christy Mathewson (1) Chuckie Jones (2) Clay Hensley (3) Clayton Blackburn (5) Clayton Tanner (3) Closer (7) closer by committee (3) Coaches (3) Cody Hall (1) Cody Ross (8) Col (1) Comeback Award (1) Commissioner (1) competitiveness (1) Conor Gillaspie (22) contender (1) contract negotiations (1) contract signing (4) Cory Hart (1) Craig Whitaker (2) cuts (1) Cy Young Award (5) D-backs (14) D-gers (31) D-Rocks (3) D-Rox (16) Dallas McPherson (1) Dan Ortmeier (11) Dan Otero (2) Dan Runzler (6) Daniel Slania (2) Darren Ford (1) Dave Roberts (11) David Aardsma (1) David Huff (2) David Loewenstein (1) Decade of the Giants (10) decline (1) Defense (8) Deferred Money (1) deleted comment (1) Derek Law (4) Detroit Tigers (1) DFA (3) DH (2) Dick Tidrow (1) Dirty (1) DL (1) dodgers (5) Donald Snelten (1) Draft (3) Draft Analysis (8) Draft Bonus (7) draft list (1) draft signing (3) Draft Strategy (11) Draft Study (2) Draft Success (2) drafting (1) Dres (16) DRS (1) Edgar Renteria (13) Edwin Escobar (4) Ehire Adrianza (14) Eli Whiteside (4) Elimination game (1) EME (2) Emmanuel Burriss (18) epic season (6) Eric Byrnes (1) Eric Surkamp (6) Eugenio Velez (12) extension (6) fanfest (1) Fielding (4) Fielding Stats (4) finger injury (1) first post-season press conference (2) Francisco Peguero (4) Fred Lewis (3) Freddie Lewis (17) Freddie Sanchez (4) Freddy Sanchez (7) Free Agency (3) Free agent possibilities (17) Free agent signing (4) Free agent signings (21) gamer-tude (1) Gary Brown (22) Geno Espinelli (1) George Kontos (3) Ghosts of Giants Drafts (1) Giants blogs (2) Giants Chat (3) Giants Draft (7) Giants Drafts (2) Giants Farm System (29) Giants Franchise record (2) Giants Future (62) Giants GM (4) Giants Greats (2) Giants hitting manual (1) Giants No-Hitter (4) Giants Offense (21) Giants Offseason (21) Giants Strategy (34) GiDar (1) Gino Espinelli (1) glossary (1) good will (1) Graphical Player (1) Gregor Blanco (12) Gregor Moscoso (1) Guillermo Moscoso (2) Guillermo Mota (2) Gustavo Cabrera (3) Hall of Fame (7) Hall of Shame (3) Hank Aaron (5) Happy Holidays (2) Hate mail (1) heart-warming (1) Heath Hembree (6) Hector Correa (1) Hector Sanchez (8) Henry Sosa (8) HGH (1) high expectations (1) high school focus in draft (1) Hitting (15) Hitting Coach (1) hitting mechanics (3) hitting pitchers (2) hitting streak (1) Hitting; (1) Home Run Career Record (7) Home Run Hitting Contest (1) Hunter Pence (19) Hunter Strickland (1) Idea (4) improvement (1) Indictment (1) injury (2) instant replay (2) instructor (1) Interesting Question (1) International Free Agent Pursuits (3) International Signings (5) interview (3) Investment (1) Ivan Ochoa (2) Jack Taschner (4) Jackson Williams (2) Jacob Dunnington (1) Jacob McCasland (1) Jake Dunning (1) Japanese Starters (1) Jarrett Parker (5) Jason Heyward (1) Jason Stoffel (1) Javier Lopez (5) JC Gutierrez (2) Jeff Kent (1) Jeff Suppan (1) Jeremy Affeldt (10) Jeremy Shelley (1) Jerome Williams (1) Jesse English (2) Jesse Foppert (1) Jesus Guzman (4) Joaquin Arias (9) Joe Panik (10) Joe Torre (1) Joey Martinez (2) Johan Santana (1) John Bowker (22) Johneshwy Fargas (2) Johnny Bench (1) Johnny Monell (1) Johnny Rucker (1) Jonah Arenado (1) Jonathan Mayo (1) Jonathan Sanchez (48) Jose Canseco (1) Jose Casilla (1) Jose Guillen (3) Jose Mijares (3) Jose Uribe (2) Josh Osich (3) JT Snow (1) Juan Perez (4) Juan Uribe (9) Juggling Monkey (1) Just Say No (1) Kendry Flores (1) Keury Mella (1) Kevin Correia (2) Kevin Frandsen (22) Kevin Pucetas (10) Kung Fu Panda (30) Kyle Crick (10) Larry Baer (2) Larry Ellison (1) Lead-off (2) left-handed (1) Lew Wolff (1) LHP (1) Lineup (17) lineup construction (1) Lineup position (1) Long-Term Contract (21) long-term planning (3) luck (1) Luis Angel Mateo (2) Mac Williamson (5) Madison Bumgarner (121) Mailbox (1) Malcolm Gladwell (1) management change (3) management issues (5) managerial value (2) Manny (1) Marc Kroon (2) Marco Scutaro (11) Mark DeRosa (8) Martin Agosta (6) Marvin Miller (1) Masahiro Tanaka (1) Mason McVay (1) Matsuzaka (1) Matt Cain (122) Matt Downs (2) Matt Graham (1) Matt Holliday (1) Matt Morris (2) Mechanics (4) Media (15) Media Bias (17) Media Trade Idea (3) Medical (1) Mediocy (10) Mediots (4) Melk-Gone (1) Melky Cabrera (14) mental (1) Merkin Valdez (8) Message in a Bottle (1) Michael Main (1) Michael Trout (1) Miguel Cabrera (2) Miguel Tejada (5) Mike Fontenot (3) Mike Ivie (1) Mike Kickham (8) Mike Matheny (1) Mike Morse (6) milestone (1) minor league contract (1) minors (10) mismanagement (1) mistakes (2) MLB (2) MLB stupidity (2) MLB Success (6) MLB Trade Rumors (1) MLBAM (1) MLBTR (1) MLE (1) Mock Draft analysis (4) MVP (1) Natanael Javier (1) Nate Schierholtz (45) Nathanael Javier (1) Naysayers (1) Negotiations (1) Nick Noonan (25) Nick Pereira (1) Nick Vander Tuig (2) NL Champions (2) NL West (21) NL West Division Title (15) NL West Future (1) NLCS (15) NLCS MVP (1) NLDS (7) Noah Lowry (14) non-roster invitees (1) non-tenders (1) NPB (1) Oakland A's (4) OBP (1) oddities (1) Offense (3) offensive era (1) Omar Vizquel (3) one-run games (1) Opening Day (4) opening day pitcher (1) opening day roster (3) Optimism (1) Osiris Matos (2) Outfield (1) Ownership (7) Pablo Sandoval (87) Panda (6) Pandoval (1) passing (1) Pat Burrell (15) Pat Misch (5) Payroll (8) Pedro Feliz (12) PEDS (10) Perfect Game (2) perjury trial (1) Personal Reminiscence (2) Pessimism (1) Pete Rose (3) Peter Magowan (2) Phillies (7) Phoenix Theory of Rebuilding (1) Pitch Count (3) pitch value (1) Pitching (14) Pitching Rotation (54) pitching staff (1) plate discipline (1) Play Ball (1) player budget (2) player development (2) playoff (2) playoff hopes (24) playoff roster (1) playoff rotation (3) Playoff Success (18) Playoffs (26) postmortem (1) PQS (65) press conference (1) pressure (2) priorities (1) Projected Record (4) projection (2) promotion (1) prospect (2) prospect analysis (1) Prospect of Note (3) prospect study (1) Prospects (42) questions (1) Rafael Rodriquez (8) Rajai Davis (2) Ralph Barbieri (1) Ramon Ramirez (3) Randy Johnson (9) Randy Messenger (2) Randy Winn (14) Rangers (5) Ranking (4) raspberry (1) Ray Durham (5) re-sign (2) Rebuilding (4) Rebuilding Myths series (1) rebuttal (1) Reds (5) Relocation Concession (2) Research (2) resource scarcity (1) Retired (3) Retirement (1) return (1) RHP (1) Rich Aurilia (7) Rick Peterson (1) Rickie Weeks (1) Ricky Oropesa (3) right-handed (1) risk mitigation (2) risk profile (1) Rod Beck (1) Roger Kieschnick (13) Roger Metzger (1) Ron Shandler (2) Rookie of the Year (1) Roster (4) ROY (2) Rule 5 Draft Pick (3) rumors (9) runs support (1) Russ Ortiz (11) Ryan Garko (2) Ryan Klesko (4) Ryan Rohlinger (2) Ryan Theriot (3) Ryan Vogelsong (65) Ryder Jones (2) Sabean Naysayers (4) Sabermetric Thoughts (5) sabermetrics (3) Salary speculation (3) SALLY (1) San Jose Giants (1) San Jose Relocation (3) Sandy Rosario (1) Santiago Casilla (8) Scott McClain (2) Scott Shuman (1) Scouting (1) Sergio Romo (13) SF Giants (2) Shilo McCall (1) Shooter (1) shutouts (1) Signature Song (1) signing (12) Silly-Ball (3) South Atlantic League (1) South Bay Rights (1) Spring Training (15) standings (1) starting lineup (14) starting pitching (48) statistics (2) STATS (1) Steroids (5) Steve Edlefsen (4) Steve Johnson (3) Steve Okert (1) Sue Burns (1) sunk costs (1) superstition (1) Team Speed (1) Team Support (1) The Giants Way (1) The Hey Series (15) Thomas Joseph (3) Thomas Neal (9) Tigers (4) Tim Alderson (17) Tim Hudson (17) Tim Lincecum (158) Todd Linden (3) Todd Wellemeyer (6) Tommy Joseph (3) top prospect list (4) Trade (9) Trade Analysis (15) Trade Idea (7) Trade PTBNL (2) Trade Rumors (28) trading (1) training staff (2) Training Tool (1) Travis Blackley (1) Travis Ishikawa (40) turning point (1) Ty Blach (2) Tyler Beede (2) Tyler Horan (1) Tyler Rogers (1) Tyler Walker (2) umpire mistake (3) Umpires (3) USA Today (1) Voros McCracken (1) Waldis Joaquin (5) walks (1) WAR (1) Warrior Spirit (1) Wendell Fairley (10) What-If Scenario (3) wild card (1) wild card race (1) Will Clark (1) Willie Mac Award (1) Willie Mays (1) Winter League (1) World Series (18) World Series Champions (10) WS Ring Bling (1) Yusmeiro Petit (18) Zack Wheeler (9)