Baseball Prospectus Future Shock Giants Top 11
You can access their free content here. They don't usually make it free, but randomly chose a few teams to be free. Plus, they have now opened up their archives and anything over a year old is now available for free, so you can get his lists from prior years, though 2011's is still embargoed for another few days. Here is Kevin Goldstein's list:
System in 20 Words or Less: They have just one elite prospect, but the 2011 draft created the potential for more of them.
2. Joe Panik, SS
3. Heath Hembree, RHP
4. Tommy Joseph, C/1B
5. Kyle Crick, RHP
6. Andrew Susac, C
7. Eric Surkamp, LHP
8. Francisco Peguero, OF
9. Mike Kickham, LHP
10. Josh Osich, LHP
11. Charlie Culberson, SS
12. Hector Sanchez, C: He’s a plus defender, but he possesses few secondary skills at the plate.
13. Ehire Adrianza, SS: This defensive wizard has had injury problems, and questions about his bat remain.
14. Jesus Galindo, OF: He’s an absolute burner without power, but could compete for minor-league stolen-base titles.
15. Joan Gregorio, RHP: A raw Dominican arm, he’s also 6-foot-7 with power stuff.
16. Brett Pill, UT: His ability to hit and play multiple positions could make him an ideal backup.
17. Ricky Oropesa, 1B: This 2011 third-round pick has massive raw power, but is a one-dimensional slugger.
18. Jarrett Parker, OF: Though he's athletic and toolsy, Parker's showing in the Cal League last year disappointed.
19. Hector Correa, RHP: This reliever has an outside shot at reaching the big leagues this year, but he has a seventh-inning ceiling.
20. Conor Gillaspie, 3B: His improved approach in 2011 raised his stock, but he lacks the power of a corner infielder.
Go there to read, he has a full description of the Top 11 there.
I think this list is a typical list one would see for the 2012 Giants. The first name to jump out to me was Mike Kickham, at #9. He did not show up on either of the other lists. It was noted that he made "impressive progress during the year", as "he pitched well and improved as the season wore on." "Kickham has plus low-90s velocity and became more comfortable with adding sink to the pitch and generating ground balls in the second half." However, "Kickham's secondary pitches lag behind."
He also had Osich #10. It was noted that he was first round talent until his elbow problems dropped him, where the Giants selected him in the sixth round. "Osich has big-time velocity for a southpaw; he sits at 92-95 mph and touches 98. He has a plus changeup with plenty of depth and fade, and a fast-paced, aggressive style of pitching." Could be a power reliever or a third starter if his health holds up.
He's the only one of the three to mention Brett Pill, who he had at 16th (he gave 9 extra for a total of 20, but only short sentence blurbs). He noted Pill's "ability to hit and play multiple positions could make him an ideal backup."
Lastly, I thought for sure that Panik and Hembree would be 4 Star prospects, so that was disappointing to me.
MLB.com Prospects Giants Top 20
You can access the article here and the descriptions of each prospect here.
GIANTS' TOP PROSPECTS
1 Gary Brown OF 2013
2 Francisco Peguero OF 2012
3 Heath Hembree RHP 2012
4 Eric Surkamp LHP 2012
5 Tommy Joseph C 2014
6 Charlie Culberson 2B 2013
7 Joe Panik 2B 2013
8 Ehire Adrianza SS 2014
9 Chris Dominguez 3B 2013
10 Conor Gillaspie 3B 2012
11 Clayton Blackburn RHP 2015
12 Joan GregorioRHP 2015
13 Hector Sanchez C 2012
14 Jesus Galindo OF 2015
15 Andrew Susac C 2014
16 Kyle Crick RHP 2015
17 Ricky Oropesa 1B 2014
18 Adam Duvall 3B 2014
19 Josh Osich LHP 2014
20 Jarrett Parker OF 2014
Again, most of the list looks like it makes sense, but, wow, Panik is ranked 7th on their list (though he was placed 3rd in the article, but I'll go with the full ranking list). He noted that many didn't see him as a first rounder, so I assume that he was one of those (FYI, Perfect Games thought he had risen enough to be the first MI selected, and John Sickels, while he had him lower, thought that it was not a stretch for the Giants to do that). And there are a number of names that dropped down lower than I would think: Andrew Susac was ranked #15 (he was #6 and #4 in the other two rankings examined here) and Kyle Crick #16 (#5 and #8).
On positives, Mayo says don't be surprised if Brown gets to SF sometime this season. And he notes that #2 Peguero has "tools galore". His description of #3 Heath Hembree reminds me of Wilson: "Hembree has the power arsenal to continue in the closing role he's been filling, with an overpowering fastball that will reach the upper 90's on the radar gun." And he has Clayton Blackburn #11 (BP did not even mention him): "He's polished, especially for a high schooler, and has four pitches, highlighted by a good sinking fastball, all of which he can throw for strikes."
Minor League Baseball Analyst Top 15
While not free, I have to put in a plug for my favorite prospect book (real cheap on Amazon). I like that they consider age relative to level when doing their analysis, I am strongly in that camp.
- Gary Brown, OF
- Francisco Peguero, OF
- Joe Panik, 2B
- Andrew Susac, C
- Heath Hembree, RHP
- Ehire Adrianza, SS
- Eric Surkamp, LHP
- Kyle Crick, RHP
- Tommy Joseph, C
- Charlie Culberson, 2B
- Hector Sanchez, C
- Jesus Galindo, OF
- Clayton Blackburn, RHP
- Jarrett Parker, OF
- Joan Gregorio, RHP
Again, no real big surprises, for the most part, every list has the same core group of prospects but the order changes depending on what they value more as well as their opinion of that particular prospect. For me, reading the description of each is the value add, as I get their opinion on each player's strengths and weaknesses. Nothing that really catches my eye here.
Other than that most ranks have Peguero higher than I would put him.
If I have time and inclination, I will put together my Big 6 Prospect List during spring training, after my mind has had time to ruminate on all the info and let it all mesh together. I go with 6 because, to me, prospect watching is more about the guys who look like they are going to make it sooner or later. I will again quote El Lefty Malo, who was quoting, if I recall right, Kevin Goldstein of BP: most systems at any time have on average two who will become starters and two who will become bench/bullpen players.
I think that illuminates how hard it really is for any prospect to make the majors, plus put the lie to the idea that a team should be able to put together a team solely from the farm system. Remember, often the two starters are on the prospect list for at least a couple of years, if not up to 4-6 years. Even if a team is really able to generate 2 starters and 2 bench players each and every season, a team has 14 starters - 8 position, 5 starting pitchers, 1 closer - and that would take a minimum of 7 seasons for any team to fill up their 25 man roster with farm players. Minimum.
Thus all the commentary and complaints about how the Giants don't know how to produce position players misses the fact that it is almost impossible for a team to build within, and thus a team should focus on building its core competencies first, which as I've been saying, is having a strong dominating starting rotation (as shown by PQS) and a good to great closer. Once that is done, then you can switch focus to filling position players, though along the way, if a position player is the BPA (like Posey), you go for him too.
And that is basically what has happened, the Giants focused all their first round picks on mostly pitching, particularly since Tidrow joined the staff, until they had enough, then they started picking up a lot of position players, particularly with their early round picks and particularly prospects who were once first round worthy but for one reason or another fell when the draft arrived. But it has worked out for Giants fans like Brandon Crawford and Andrew Susac, who got selected by their boyhood team. And it has worked out for the Giants, as they have a boatload of good position players, some already up in Posey, Sandoval, Belt, some arriving soon, in Brown, Panik, Peguero, Joseph, and maybe Crawford and/or Adrianza, plus still possibly Culberson, Parker, and Noonan.
As DrB has been going through on his site, covering his Giants Top 50, this is exciting times for Giants prospect hounds. Not that long ago, guys who are ranked in the teens and 20's or lower would have been among the Giants top 10 lists. For example, I think Bochy the Younger would have been a Top 10 Giants prospect back in the fallow days. John Barr took a good scouting system and put turbos in, seemingly overnight, I hope we can keep him around, he and Tidrow make a good pair working under Sabean.