2011 San Francisco SF Giants Top Prospects To Watch

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2011 SF Giants Prospects


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Here at Sports Card Radio, we don't deny it, we are huge San Francisco Giants fans and are proud of the team win or lose. There have been countless games over the years, heartache in 1989 and 2002, and jubilation in 2010. Since 2006 we have been following the Giants minor league system, as it became a focus of the organization going forward.. Here is a list of SF Giants prospects to watch during the course of 2011 and beyond.

The list is in no particular order, but the prospects rated higher by publications such as Baseball America are toward the top. We were so wrapped up in the 2010 MLB Giants season that we weren't able to make it to any of the minor league games this past 2010 season. We saw a few of these guys play in person in 2009 and provide insight in those cases. 
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Brandon Belt - 1B - Drafted 5th Round 2009
Born: April 20, 1988
Height: 6'5" Weight: 195 lb Bats/Throws: Left
2010 Levels: San Jose A+, Richmond AA, Fresno AAA

2010 Mojo: 492 AB .352 AVE. 23 HR 112 RBI 22 SB

It was a breakout first season of professional baseball for Belt who spent time at three different levels of the Giants farm system in 2010. The power and plate discipline translated well at all three stops which was evident in the fact that Belt almost took as many walks 93, as he had strikeouts, 99.

2011 Outlook: Baring an injury or the Giants inability to re-sign Aubrey Huff, Belt will begin the 2011 season in AAA Fresno. Many of the Giants beat writers believe Belt could be called up quickly, much like Buster Posey in 2010, if Belt continues to impress with the bat early in '11.

 

2010 Donruss EEE Brandon Belt Autograph Rookie RC
Key Rookie Card on eBay: 2010 Brandon Belt Donruss Elite Autograph #/610

Zack Wheeler - SP - Drafted 1st Round #6 2009
Height: 6'3" Weight: 180 lb Throws: Right
Born: May 30, 1990
2010 Level: Augusta A-

2010 Stats: 21 G 13 GS 58.2 IP 3-3 3.99 ERA 70 SO 38 BB

Zack is projected to be a starter, but spent some time coming out of the bullpen in 2010. He missed parts of the season because of a blister and the Giants probably didn't want to push him too hard during his first pro season. The Giants have had great success developing pitchers the past few years, Wheeler has got a shot just based on that alone.

2011 Outlook: Wheeler might start 2011 back in Augusta and if he impresses maybe he gets a shot at A+ San Jose during the season. The Giants will take their time with him, so don't look for him to blow through the minors like Madison Bumgarner did.

2009 Bowman Sterling Zack Wheeler Autograph
Key Rookie Card on eBay: 2009 Bowman Sterling Zack Wheeler Autograph

Francisco Peguero - CF/OF - Signed 17 year old FA - 2005
Height: 6'0" Weight: 190 lb Bats/Throws: Right
Born: June 1, 1988
2010 Level: San Jose A+

2010 Stats: 510 AB .329 AVE. 10 HR 77 RBI 40 SB

The Giants organization is very high on Peguero who figures to play CF in the big leagues. He is not a huge power guy, but can control the bat, as you can see, he hit .329 in 122 games last year in San Jose. In 5 total minor league seasons - Peguero has an average of .312 in 1,618 at bats.

2011 Outlook: Peguero will most certainly begin the 2011 season in AA and maybe there is an outside chance he starts in AAA Fresno. If he continues to play well he could be in line to be the starting CF in San Francisco by 2013.

2010 Bowman Chrome Francisco Peguero Autograph RC
Key Rookie Card on eBay: 2010 Bowman Chrome Francisco Peguero Autograph

Thomas Neal - RF/LF - Drafted 36th Round 2005
Height: 6'1" Weight: 225 lb  Bats/Throws: Right
Born: August 17, 1987
2010 Level: AA Richmond
Ranted #96 Prospect in all of Baseball by BA - 2010

2010 Stats: 525 AB .291 AVE. 12 HR 69 RBI 40 2B 11 SB

Neal had a breakout 2009 season, 22 HR .337 at San Jose, and did well for himself in the tough hitting Eastern League during the 2010 campaign.  Some scouts describe Neal as a 'NFL Running Back' type guy who could develop into a star.

2011 Outlook: Look for Neal to begin the season in AAA Fresno. He should put up better numbers in the hitter friendly ballpark and possibly could be due for a call-up mid-season if the Giants need help in the outfield.

2010 Bowman Chrome Thomas Neal Rookie RC Autograph
Key Rookie Card on eBay: 2010 Bowman Chrome Thomas Neal Autograph

Charlie Culberson - 2B - Drafted 1st Round #51 2007
Height: 6'1" Weight: 185 lb  Bats/Throws: Right
Born: April 10, 1989
2010 Level: San Jose A+

2010 Stats: 503 AB .290 AVE. 16 HR 71 RBI 25 SB

Culberson was a forgotten man of sorts in the Giants system at the beginning of 2010 because he didn't hit above .250 in two seasons at A- Augusta. The move up in levels proved to help the young player as he had a fine season and he continued the hot hitting in the Arizona Fall League.

2011 Outlook: The most logical move would be AA Richmond and that's where he will probably end up. In Culberson and Brandon Crawford, the Giants have a nice pair of middle infielders who could end up in the MLB soon.

2007 Donruss Elite EEE Charlie Culberson RC Rookie Autograph
Key Rookie Card on eBay: 2007 Donruss Elite Charlie Culberson Autograph

Brandon Crawford - SS - Drafted 4th Round 2008
Height: 6'2" Weight: 200 lb Bats: Left - Throws: Right
Born: January 21, 1987
2010 Level: San Jose A+ (18 AB) Richmond AA (291 AB)

2010 Stats: 309 AB .236 AVE. 7 HR 23 RBI

Crawford was hurt for much of the 2010 season which was too bad because he had a nice debut season in 2009.  Crawford might begin the season again in AA, but many expect to see him in AAA with the hopes his bat heats up. He is known as a very good defensive SS and that is an area of need for the MLB Giants.

2011 Outlook: Will start the year in AA or AAA. Must stay healthy and his bat must show signs of life. If he hits above .300 at AAA Fresno he will get called up sooner rather than later.

2008 Playoff Prime Cuts Brandon Crawford Autograph
Key Rookie Card on eBay: 2008 Donruss Elite Brandon Crawford Autograph

Ehire Adrianza - SS - Non-Drafted International FA 2006
Height: 6'1" Weight: 165 lb  Bats: Switch - Throws: Right
Born: August 21, 1989
2010 Level: San Jose A+

2010 Stats: 445 AB .256 AVE. 3 HR 35 RBI 33 SB

Just like Brandon Crawford, if Adrianza's bat ever heats up, he will be promoted very fast because some believe the glove at SS is MLB ready now. His .256 AVE in 2010 is about what he has done since signing with the Giants in 2006.

2011 Outlook: The obvious guess is that Crawford is the starting SS in AAA Fresno which allows Adrianza to move up and start the year in AA Richmond.

2010 Bowman Chrome Ehire Adrianza Autograph Rookie
Key Rookie Card on eBay: 2010 Bowman Chrome Ehire Adrianza Autograph

Rafael Rodriguez - OF - International FA ($2.55M) - 2008
Height: 6'5" Weight: 198 lb Bats/Throws: Right
Born: July 13, 1992
2010 Levels: AZL Rookie League, A- Salem Short Season

2010 Stats: 166 AB .265 AVE. 2 HR 18 RBI 5 SB

Long term project, signed as a 16 year old in 2008. Played last year at age 17. Should end up having power because of tall 6'5" frame. Still very thin and needs to add muscle.

2011 Outlook: Possibly A- Augusta Greenjackets? Not sure, but you know that the Giants will be cautious and not rush him along the way, the $2.55 million they have invested insures that.

 

2008 Playoff Contenders Rafael Rodriguez Rookie Autograph
Key Rookie Card on eBay: 2007 Donruss Elite Rafael Rodriguez Autograph

Gary Brown - CF/OF - Drafted 1st Round #24 2010
Height: 6'0" Weight: 170 lb Bats/Throws: Right
Born: September 28, 1988
2010 Levels: AZL Rookie League, A- Salem Short Season

2010 Stats: 44 AB .159 AVE. 0 HR 2 RBI 2 SB

Brown was the 1st round pick of the Giants in 2010 and he signed early enough to get his feet wet at the end of the season. Don't pay attention to the 2010 stats, see where he begins in 2011 and go from there.

2011 Outlook: With Peguero moving on from San Jose A+, maybe that is where Brown starts the year in CF. He will be one of the more interesting players to watch in the Giants farm system during 2011.

2010 Donruss EEE Gary Brown Autograph Rookie RC
Key Rookie Card on eBay: 2010 Donruss Elite Gary Brown Autograph

Jarrett Parker - CF/OF - Drafted 2nd Round 2010
Height: 6'4" Weight: 210 lb Bats/Throws: Left
Born: January 1, 1989
2010 Level: Did Not Play

Some found it odd that the Giants drafted two CF/OF with their first two draft picks in 2010, but it shows me that they must really like both guys.

2011 Outlook: Interesting choices for the Giants. Parker and Brown are both around the same age, and my guess is that the Giants want to start them both out in CF. We'll see who ends up where to start 2011.

2010 Donruss EEE Jarrett Parker Autograph Rookie RC
Key Rookie Card on eBay: 2010 Donruss Elite Jarrett Parker Autograph

Chris Dominguez - 3B - Drafted 3rd Round 2009
Height: 6'3" Weight: 215 lb  Bats/Throws: Right
Born: November 22, 1986
2010 Level: Augusta A-

2010 Stats: 559 AB .272 AVE. 21 HR 101 RBI 133 SO

There is good news and bad news about Dominguez. First, the good. You want power? Oh boy, does he bring the wood. Very muscular, grown-man type frame. I've also heard he is a nice guy. Bad news. He was old for his level and it's no wonder he put up good numbers. He strikes out....... a lot....... Some question his defense at 3B, but I've read other 'experts' say he is improving.

2011 Outlook: The Giants have got to put him in A+ San Jose to see what he can do. If he ever can control his swing just a little bit, he will be called up because the power is MLB legit.

2009 Donruss Elite EEE Chris Dominguez Rookie Autograph
Key Rookie Card on eBay: 2009 Donruss Elite Chris Dominguez Autograph

Tommy Joseph - C - Drafted 2nd Round 2009
Height: 6'1" Weight: 215 lb  Bats/Throws: Right
Born: July 16, 1991
2010 Level: Augusta A-

2010 Stats: 436 AB .236 AVE. 16 HR 22 2B 68 RBI 116 SO

Like Dominguez, Tommy Joseph has power, or as his High School coach said 'light tower power'.  Joseph was young for his level and he will probably begin the season again in Augusta. He also played 10 games at 1B as some 'experts' question his defense behind the plate.

2011 Outlook: He will be back in Augusta and hopefully the batting average will improve and the strikeouts will go down. The Giants may even play him more at 1B just to save his legs a bit.

2010 TriStar In Pursuit Tommy Joseph Rookie Card
Key Rookie Card on eBay: 2010 Topps Pro Debut Tommy Joseph

Eric Surkamp - SP - Drafted 6th Round 2008
Height: 6'4" Weight: 190 lb  Throws: Left
Born: July 16, 1987
2010 Level: San Jose A+

2010 Stats: 17 GS 101.1 IP 4-2 3.11 ERA 108 SO 22 BB

There is a lot to like about Surkamp who put together a very nice season in the hitter friendly A+ San Jose. The left-hander's curveball is nice and as you can see, he doesn't walk too many batters.

2011 Outlook: Look for Surkamp to begin the season in AA Richmond, which has been known to be really pitcher friendly. Surkamp may put up great numbers but the organization probably wants to see him stay healthy and pitch over 150 innings.

2008 Upper Deck USA Eric Surkamp
Key Rookie Card on eBay: 2008 Upper Deck USA Eric Surkamp

Roger Kieschnick - LF/RF - Drafted 3rd Round 2008
Height: 6'3" Weight: 215 lb Bats: Left - Throws: Right
Born: January 21, 1987
2010 Level: AA Richmond

2010 Stats: 60 Games 223 AB .251 AVE. 4 HR 23 RBI

Missed much of 2010 because of injury (Back) which is too bad because he had a fantastic 2009 season in A+ San Jose, 23 HR 110 RBI. He has power and plays good defense in RF.

2011 Outlook: My guess is that the Giants don't rush him back and they start him off again in AA Richmond. If he can stay healthy and put up numbers like he did in 2009 he will be one of the teams top hitting prospects.

2010 Topps Pro Debut Roger Kieschnick Rookie
Key Rookie Card on eBay: 2008 Upper Deck USA Roger Kieschnick

Jason Stoffel - Relief Pitcher - Drafted 4th Round 2009
Height: 6'2" Weight: 220 lb  Throws: Right
Born: September 15, 1988
2010 Level: San Jose A+

2010 Stats: 52 G 50.2 IP 2-4 25 Saves 4.80 ERA 66 SO

2011 Outlook: The San Jose closer will get that same opportunity in either AA Richmond or AAA Fresno. Don't worry about the high E.R.A. in 2010, this guy can bring it and might even make the MLB bullpen in 2011.

2010 Topps Pro Debut Jason Stoffel Rookie
Key Rookie Card on eBay: 2010 Topps Pro Debut Jason Stoffel

Nick Noonan - 2B - Drafted 1st Round #32 2007
Height: 6'0" Weight: 180 lb  Bats: Left - Throws: Right
Born: May 4, 1989
2010 Level: AA Richmond

2010 Stats: 372 AB .237 AVE. 3 HR 26 RBI

2011 Outlook: Big year for Noonan who was still young for his level in 2010. He still needs to step it up, perhaps, much like Charlie Culberson did this past season to prove he still is a prospect the Giants can look toward in the future.

2008 TriStar Projections Nick Noonan Autograph
Key Rookie Card on eBay: 2007 Bowman Chrome Nick Noonan

Michael Main - SP - Drafted 1st Round #24 2007 (Texas)
Acquired by SF Giants in Bengie Molina trade - 2010
Height: 6'1" Weight: 170 lb  Throws: Right
Born: December 14, 1988
2010 Level: A+ Bakersfield (Texas), AA Richmond

2010 Stats: 20 G 105 IP 5-6 4.80 ERA 79 SO 35 BB

2011 Outlook: Got roughed up in AA debut with Giants. I've heard he is sort of a 'head case'. Has good stuff, we'll see how he does in 2011.  The Giants are very good at developing pitchers and this is a guy they must have liked in order to trade for him.

2007 Bowman Chrome Michael Main Rookie
Key Rookie Card on eBay: 2007 Bowman Chrome Michael Main Autograph

Conor Gillaspie - 3B - Drafted 1st Round #37 2008
Height: 6'1" Weight: 200 lb  Bats: Left - Throws: Right
Born: July 18, 1987
2010 Level: AA Richmond

2010 Stats: 491 AB .287 AVE. 8 HR 67 RBI 25 2B

2011 Outlook: Gillaspie has played okay for the Giants so far in two seasons, but the bat was supposed to be .300+. His defense is also a question mark. Big year for Conor who might be trade bait if he doesn't get it going.

2009 Upper Deck Spectrum Conor Gillaspie
Key Rookie Card on eBay: 2009 Topps Finest Conor Gillaspie Autograph

Wendell Fairley - RF/LF - Drafted 1st Round #29 2007
Height: 6'2" Weight: 195 lb  Bats: Left - Throws: Right
Born: March 17, 1988
2010 Level: San Jose A+

2010 Stats: 391 AB .292 AVE. 1 HR 46 RBI 10 SB

2011 Outlook: It was actually a good season in 2010 for Fairley who was looking like a bust. He still doesn't have much pop in the bat, but he will only be 23 next season.

2008 TriStar Projections Wendell Fairley Autograph
Key Rookie Card on eBay: 2007 Donruss Elite Wendell Fairley

Seth Rosin - SP - Drafted 4th Round 2010
Height: 6'5" Weight: 235 lb Throws: Right
Born: November 2, 1988
2010 Level: A- Salem Short Season

2010 Stats: 6 G 1 GS 11 IP 1-1 4.91 ERA 9 SO 1 BB

Rosin signed early enough to get some work in during 2010 but his debut was brief because the Giants wanted to rest the young arm. He is projected to be a starter although he spent most of the time coming out of the bullpen which is normal for guys who just sign.

2011 Outlook: I would think that Single A San Jose might be a place the Giants look to start with Rosin. Some consider him to be a 'Brad Penny' type pitcher - he is one of the young arms to watch in 2011.

2010 Donruss Elite EEE Seth Rosin Autograph Giants



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