Gilroy Garlic Fries. Grab some pine, Meat. Poserrific. The Cove. The Freak. Ross is Boss. Torture. Rally Thongs. Kruk and Kuip. Fear the Beard. Bye Bye Baby. World Champions. Giant s Baseball.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

San Francisco Giants Midterm Reports: Part 1 of 4

Part 1: Grading the Vets

Nate Schierholtz: A-
Analysis: What can you say about Schierholtz’ performance this season?  Did you see it coming?  Three years ago, I saw this kind of performance from him.  But at this point I certainly didn’t see him becoming the type of game-changing player he has been the past c0uple months.  We’ve always known about his glove and arm, but now the bat is coming around.  If this keeps up, he may just earn his way into the right field role of the future with us.  All of a sudden his average is near .300 and he’s hit 7 home runs, and arguably no position player has made as big of an impact as he has lately. 

Prediction: It seems pretty stupid to sit Nate the Great down now, so the Giants might as well ride out this surge that he is on.  Let’s hope it keeps up.  Realistically, I see a .272, 13 hr, 60 rbi line at season’s end, with more outfield assists and game-saving catches to come.    
Just another game-saving play from Nate the Great.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Half Thoughts

Three days off.  Bochy and the boys are on their way to the desert for some fun in the (sweltering) sun.  That means it’s time to reflect on what they’ve done to this point. 

Minor Thoughts: 7-11-11

Sorry I’m falling a bit behind, but there are many things Giants’ related to discuss these days, so it’s time for me to play catch up.  I haven’t had a chance to mention any of the short-season teams in the system yet, so I thought I would start with them this time around and work my way up to the higher levels.  Remember, most of the players listed in these posts are not big name prospects.  I like to give mention to some of the lesser-known players in the system as well.  For a list of some of the top Giants farmhands, please see my top 25 prospects list.

AZL Giants | Arizona Rookie League | 12-4
Ben Thomas (1B 22 y.o.) 14 Games, .404/.469/1.206, 4 HR 15 RBI (A lefty from Xavier in his first pro season)

Kelby Tomlinson (SS 21 y.o.) 8 Games, .323/.382/.931, 2 HR 6 RBI 3 SB (Giants 12th round pick.  Went to Texas Tech)

Leonardo Fuentes (OF 18 y.o.) 14 Games, .270/.281/.694, 1 HR 9 RBI (2009 Signee out of Colombia with a 6-4, 215 lb build)

Brian Maloney (P 22 y.o.) 1-0, 1.23 ERA, 7.1 IP 6 H 1 ER 4 BB 12 K (First-year lefty out of Franklin Pierce University)

Joan Gregorio (P 19 y.o.) 4 GS 0-0, 2.40 ERA, 17.2 IP 14 H 4 ER 3 BB 13 K (6-7 righty out of the Dominican Republic.  Played last season in the Dominican Summer League)  

* These kids all have a very long way to go, but there are some promising young draft talents among the Arizona League team to keep an eye on.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My Top 25 Giants Prospects List

KG’s 2011 Midseason Giants Prospect List

(Includes 2011 draft)
As always, feel free to agree or disagree.

1.       Brandon Belt (1B MLB): Age 23 | Although Belt has not lived up to the hype coming into the 2011 season and is now recovering from a fractured wrist, he remains one of the most promising young players in the Giants organization.  If the team continues to play above .500 baseball, Belt may have to wait until next season for another shot to crack into the everyday lineup.  In 167 career Minor League games, he’s hitting .349/.458/1.062 with 27 HR.  Giants fans would sure like to see his bat producing in San Francisco for years to come.  The scouts all seem to be in agreement on this guy; he’s not just another John Bowker or Nate Schierholtz.

2.      Zack Wheeler (SP High-A): Age 21 | Wheeler was drafted out of high school in the first round of the 2009 draft, and if he can sustain his current pace without any major setbacks, he seems to be on the Matt Cain/Madison Bumgarner track to the majors.  Wheeler has good size, throws hard, and can overpower hitters at times.  While he may not be a Tim Lincecum type talent, I’d say most Giants fans would agree that another pitcher in the mold of Cain would be just fine for the future in San Francisco.  I’m excited about this kid, and he seems to be getting better.  Through 33 Minor League games, Wheeler has a 3.91 ERA with 144 K and 73 BB in 124 IP.

3.      Gary Brown (CF High-A): Age 22 | 2010 first round pick Brown excelled in the first half of the 2011 season in San Jose.  He’s since cooled off a bit, but his numbers are still very good, and his future is quite promising.  Could this be the next young, speedy Giants leadoff hitter for years to come?  If his development continues, he’ll be in the big leagues sometime within the next two years.  In his first 83 professional games, Brown is hitting .300/.375/.810 with 6 HR and 35 SB.  Could he become a Drew Stubbs type player, maybe with less pop but a higher contact rate?    

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Minor Thoughts

AAA Fresno | 32-41

Brett Pill (26 y.o.) continues to drive in runs (49) despite hitting only .231 (9-39) in his past 10 games.  While he doesn’t seem to fit anywhere on the current Giants team, you have to be impressed with his numbers against lefties.  In 81 AB, he’s hitting .321/.379/.959 with 5 HR and a 5:3 BB to K ratio.  One thing the Giants could really use is a reserve infielder who can play multiple positions and hit against lefties.  Just a thought.
Speaking of reserve first basemen, Travis Ishikawa has been placed on the 7-day DL.  He’s still only hitting .251, including a 3-30 slump in his last 10 games. 

Some catching notes:
The Giants signed Max Ramirez and assigned him to Fresno.  Ramirez (26) is a veteran who’s had a couple of Short major League stints in his career.  He’s known for his bat, not for his glove, and could potentially be a short term option behind the dish.  Fresno is Ramirez’ third AAA stop of the season.  In 36 games total, he’s hitting .223/.261/.592 with 3 HR and 19 RBI. 

Recent San Jose call-up Hector Sanchez (21) is hitting .286/.342/.771 through 10 games with Fresno.  The young catcher has been the subject of recent rumors regarding a possible call to the big leagues.  While I do believe he should receive some looks in the future, I just can’t see the Giants turning to a kid who spent last season hitting .274 in a part-time role at Low-A Augusta to solve their catching woes.  He’s also not on the team’s 40-man rotation.  But at this point, I guess anything is possible.
Pitcher Dan Otero (26) has earned 3 saves without allowing a run since his promotion from AA Richmond.  Otero has always seemed to be an overlooked player in the organization, as you would assume most relievers would be.  But his numbers are always impressive, and this year has been no different.  In 41 IP between Richmond and Fresno, he’s posted a 1.32 ERA with 44 K and only 5 BB.              

Barry Zito seems to be nearing the end of his rehab stint.  In his most recent start, he fanned 7 hitters in a two-hit shutout of Salt Lake City.  Other players of note in the Fresno rotation include Shane Loux and Andrew Kown.  Both pitchers have sub-4.00 ERA’s despite low strikeout numbers.  It’s unlikely that either will see a big league call-up anytime soon, however.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Giants Brass in a Tough Spot with Offense

Swept by the A’s in Oakland.  Good pitching with little to no run support.  Can’t say we haven’t seen this before.  At some point, you had to expect the magic to fall off a bit.  You can’t just keep losing players at the rate the Giants have and expect things to be the same.  Remember, without Posey and Sanchez, no way do we win the World Series.  However, you also don’t expect to see an entire offense just fall apart at the same time.  Nobody is stepping up at the plate for this squad.  Nobody.  I think I read a tweet from Andrew Baggarly saying the Giants were 0-19 with runners in scoring position against the A’s, and are 0-26 including the final game (a loss) in Arizona. 

I would like to think that Pablo will get his bat established soon, but that’s not a given.  I’d also like to think that Andres Torres would start hitting soon.  Once again, though, not a given.  Torres was not a career journeyman minor leaguer for nothing.  I don’t think we’ll see Aubrey Huff’s batting average over .260 this year (hopefully he proves me wrong on that one), and I don’t think anybody can accurately predict what the Giants’ catching situation will look like in a month or two.  What I do know is this:  the fan base is getting impatient, as is Bruce Bochy.  No matter how solid the pitching staff is, you just can’t sustain a first–place run with this type of offensive struggles.  To me, this Giants season just proves how difficult it is to repeat as champions in baseball.  With such a long season, there are so many twists and turns that can derail a team’s chances.  I’m not saying that I give up on this team, just that the chances of repeating are looking very tough.  Even with a healthy squad, they will still be very tough odds.
I’ve been thinking about all of the recent cries for change from the Giants fanhood, and I cannot help but ask myself, what would I do if I were in charge of this team?