Polishing His Tools
Peguero workingto fulfill his potential
SAN FRANCISCO—When scouts look at center fielder Francisco Peguero, they grade out a five-tool talent. When managers and coaches work with him, they are amazed at his energy level and enthusiasm.
The only thing missing is experience, and Peguero is getting plenty of it. The 21-year-old outfielder hardly spent a week away from a baseball diamond over the winter, and he'll be in major league camp for the first time this spring after the Giants added him to their 40-man roster.
If he isn't the freshest guy in Scottsdale, Peguero has an excuse. Following a long season in the sweltering heat of low Class A Augusta, he was promoted to high Class A San Jose for the California League playoffs—and ended up winning postseason MVP honors.
Then it was off to instructional league on the baked fields in Arizona, where he was named the most inspirational player. From there, he joined Gigantes de Cibao in the Dominican League as the starting center fielder. They made the playoffs, too, keeping Peguero busy into February.
But the Giants aren't worried that Peguero will sleepwalk through Scottsdale.
"He reminds me of Robin Yount in that respect," Giants farm director Fred Stanley said. "I don't care if he checks his swing and it rolls it to the pitcher. He's running as hard as he can to the bag."
His never-ending enthusiasm and uncanny contact skills remind Giants officials of another player who blew through the system—Pablo Sandoval. Peguero shares Sandoval's hyper-aggressive tendencies, too. He drew eight walks in 75 games between short-season Salem Keizer and Augusta last year. Of course, he also hit .353.
Peguero, who was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2006, is an exceptional athlete and has the tools to be a Gold Glove caliber outfielder.
• The Giants signed former Athletics reliever Santiago Casilla to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training. Casilla's younger brother, Jose, is among the Giants' more intriguing arms in the lower minors.
• A few months after designating him for assignment, Giants re-signed righthander Osiris Matos to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training. Matos was 3-3, 3.48 in 45 appearances for Triple-A Fresno in 2009.