Thursday, January 29, 2009

Baseball America's Giants Top 10 Prospects

Baseball America changed up their schedule and instead of doing the Giants last, like they usually do, they released it today here, with some commentary. The Top Ten:
  1. Madison Bumgarner
  2. Buster Posey
  3. Angel Villalona
  4. Tim Alderson
  5. Nick Noonan
  6. Ehire Adrianza
  7. Conor Gillaspie
  8. Rafael Rodriguez
  9. Scott Barnes
  10. Sergio Romo
Other things he noted:
  • After the 162-game experiment ran its course, the Giants identified a few players—Fred Lewis, Sergio Romo, Pablo Sandoval, Brian Wilson—who could be part of their next contender.
  • There's hope deeper in the system and the Giants might not be down for long. First-year scouting director John Barr redirected the club's former pitching-heavy philosophy and took college bats with his top four draft picks. None made a bigger statement than catcher Buster Posey, Baseball America's College Player of the Year and the Golden Spikes Award winner, who signed at the Aug. 15 deadline for $6.2 million.
  • Most of the system's top talent is at least a year or two away, however...
  • Magowan approached his role from a fan's perspective, often making impetuous moves such as the Zito contract. Neukom, the former chief legal mind at Microsoft, plans to take a measured, analytical approach while prioritizing player development and a "Giants Way" of competing both on and off the field.
  • Neukom said he expects San Francisco to be competitive in 2009 and contend the following season, all while bringing his "Microsoft meritocracy" to the front office. Even if the Giants show improvement, Neukom could decide he wants a baseball architect with a more modern perspective than Sabean, who isn't known to squint at a laptop screen.
Giants Thoughts

The most interesting thing about Andy Baggarly's list is that Ehire Adrianza was ranked 6th in the farm. That's pretty good for limited play in rookie ball and not that much of a bonus given him (I didn't hear about his signing, so I assume it wasn't for a large amount). He had some nice stats - .275/.367/.391/.758, and very importantly, only 7 K in 69 AB plus 9 BB.

That is excellent plate discipline, both avoiding strikeouts and getting more walks than strikeouts. And he must be plenty fast because his groundball rate is high (49%), line drive rate is very low (13%), and fly ball rate low too (37%). In addition, he had 5 doubles in those 69 AB (that's around 40 doubles with 560 AB) and I believe he was 18 year old for the 2008 season, so he still has some growing to do, physical maturity. According to Baseball-Reference.com, he is 6' 1", 155 pounds.

Also of note is that Henry Sosa did not make the list. He did have a pretty horrible 2008 season so I can see that happening, though other prospect lists did include him. I think he should have still made the list given how well he did the year before.

Another interesting thing was Scott Barnes making 9th. He was just dominating in his short pro career so that would explain that, but his skills are not considered that plus, from most reports I've seen, so I wonder what BA saw that made them think that he can continue to do well as he rises.

Lastly, it was nice to see Sergio Romo get recognized in the list. He gets on because he's a reliever who didn't play in the majors all season, and thus don't have the innings to be ineligible. He's had a nice couple of seasons, so good for him making the list, can't take that away from him.

I had the same Top 4 on my list, but placed Rodriguez and Ishikawa higher (I only gave a Big 6). I think most people acknowledge that Noonan is the best of the next tier, followed by Gillaspie, but don't know what to do with Rodriguez. But basically you don't give the guy $2.5M unless you think he's a Top 5 type prospect, so I gave that to them.

I think Ishikawa will hit 15-20 homers and keep 1B cheaply and competently warm with a platoon buddy until Villalona makes the big show.

3 comments:

  1. Ishikawa has all the earmarks of a platoon 1B. Watching his ABs last year against LH pitching did not instill a lot of confidence that he will be able to figure LH pitching out. I'd like to see him succeed, but I just don't see it happening. However, right now, he's the best we've got (barring any more deals) so they should let him give him his chance.

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  2. I did not know that Neukom worked for Microsoft.

    I am really interested to see Phelps v. Ishikawa in ST to see what he (phelps) can do. He definitely has power potential, and I would to see him on the roster come the beginning of the season.

    It is also interesting to see AnVil/Alderson flip flopped in other polls as well, but if I recall correctly, all lists had the same top four.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hence why I say with a platoon buddy Boof. :^)

    Yeah, not too encouraged that he can rise above that, I'm just hopeful that he can rake enough against RHP. Earl Weaver used to platoon and was effective in utilizing that. Hopefully with that lefty who throws BP for the Giants (he used to do it for Bonds), Ishikawa will get more reps against LHP and improve (heck, Sandoval too), plus, he wasn't THAT bad against LHP relative to RHP, so there is some hope there as well.

    Similarly, Phelps has actually not been that bad against RHP, though there is a platoon factor, he does rake against LHP. Also, his overall stats, which look nice to put in our lineup, has been boosted by 55 points because of his hitter friendly home parks, .876 OPS at home, .760 on road, .815 overall.

    I don't see any reason why he hasn't stuck based on his offense, but as you can see in his fielding stats, he played mostly at DH, so his defense has to be pretty bad.

    If he makes the team as Ishikawa's platoon buddy, he'll probably end up getting replaced by Ishikawa late in games for defensive purposes, and right now, with the signing of Juan Uribe, the talk is that he could play 3B against LHP, pushing Sandoval to 1B; thought not sure how that works as a platoon with Sandoval, that's a platoon really with Ishikawa.

    In any case, I don't really see it happening, Phelps and Ishikawa can only play 1B, that's very limiting on the bench, that is why they got Uribe, he can play the whole infield, and that's why Aurilia is still being considered, he could also play th whole infield. Plus they look stuck with Roberts on the bench as well, plus has Holm as the backup catcher, and he don't play other positions either.

    With five bench spots, you got Schierholtz, Roberts, maybe Velez, probably Uribe, plus Holms, that is going to be almost impossible to have Phelps, unless he takes Velez's spot but then you only have one backup infielder. I don't see that happening.

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