- Gustavo Cabrera (5th): Solid overall package of tools. A lot of potential with the bat.
- Nathanael Javier (10th): Nice swing, athletic. Has a few bad habits defensively. Could be very good all around player.
That is similar to a ranking that Mayo did last season just before the signings started:
- Gustavo Cabrera (1st): Cabrera has dazzled scouts with his bat speed, hitting mechanics and raw power, but he has also opened eyes with his instincts on the bases. His all-around speed combined with his aggressive style, strong arm and athletic body have brought about comparisons to Arizona outfielder Justin Upton when he was the same age. Cabrera’s prior experience in the United States could prove to be an advantage in his development.
- Nathanael Javier (11th): The big third baseman is considered a solid all-around player and is projected to hit for average and power in the future. He has impressed scouts with his large body frame, lean muscle mass and high baseball IQ. He appears to have the perfect body for third base but might have to move to first base if he gets too big to play the position. Some believe Javier is second only to Gustavo Cabrera and Wendell Rijo in terms of upside and overall talent. Javier just might have all the tools Major League scouts look for in a prospect, and he has the potential to be a special bat with plus power.
Given the article on top prospects by BA the other day (and Mayo), I thought this is a good point to remind people that we had two really good signings last season on the International front. I think the Giants did well to take advantage of a level playing field (every team had the same amount that they could spend on international signings) and concentrate their spending on two top prospects (again, basically two of the top 10), because there will be a high to low budget slot assigned like in the amateur draft, based on win/loss record, starting in 2013 for all the teams, and the Giants will be at a disadvantage then, relative to most teams. Though, to their advantage, they are looking to supplement their farm system with international signings, and went for the biggest bang for the buck, instead of going for volume. Other teams that are more desperate for more bodies with some talent than a lot of talent in one body might have spread out their set budget across more prospects.
On top of that, these signings complement nicely all the pitchers we picked up in the June amateur draft, and gives the Giants some additional depth at 3B, which sooner than later will need a replacement, as Pablo will surely eat his way to 1B in a few years (or off of our team). Currently, only Duvall look like a possible replacement in a couple of years.
In addition, I've been thinking that 3B might be a good position to move Posey to at some point in the future. It is not as dangerous there as 2B, physically, and his bat so far would be considered superior there still. He once was a SS, and while not of MLB quality, he obviously has the arm for it and the reaction to handle the hot corner. Assuming Posey does move, Susac and Hector appears to be the most likely contenders to take over from Buster at that point. In any case, I hope the Giants sign Buster to a long term contract this spring, that is the thing I most want to see (followed by a deal with Lincecum long-term).
And the OF is not set either, we will have Pagan, but the early 30's are treacherous area for baseball players, and we might have Pence, but again, he'll be in his 30's as well. I don't know if Blanco, Kieschnick, Peguero (though he would be nice for an "All P" outfield), or Brown will be an answer in the future either, though I'm still very hopeful of Brown. So Gustavo is a very nice injection of talent into that area of player development. And comparisons with Justin Upton is very nice, very nice indeed. I recall reading that had the new budget system not been in place, Cabrera probably would have gotten $3M+, so he could be a bigger talent than AnVil or RafRod ever were.