Giants Happy With Francisco Peguero's Progress





SAN FRANCISCO—Three years ago at low Class A Augusta, manager Dave Machemer spent a lot of time mentoring young Francisco Peguero.

When they were reunited at Double-A Richmond last season, Machemer was able to appreciate just how far the exciting outfield prospect had come.

"His awareness was so much better," Machemer said. "He used to have issues with picking up coaches, running blind, maybe not always playing to the scoreboard. He improved in all those areas. He understood when to take chances with his speed. He came a long way."

He is still learning lessons. Peguero is a hyper-aggressive hitter whose on-base percentage is almost totally dependent on his average, and he drew just 12 walks in 87 games last year. He covers the plate so well that his strikeout totals are minimal. But he's often putting borderline pitches into play, which works to his detriment.

Peguero had to manage a tentative streak, too. He missed the first two months of the season after requiring arthroscopic knee surgery at the end of spring training.

Peguero needed most of the season to regain confidence on the basepaths, while also trusting his knee to make hard cuts in the outfield. Still considered an above-average defender with premium arm strength, Pegoero shifted from center field to right field at Richmond.

"He competed very well the last month, and much better in the outfield as his knee got better," Machemer said. "People who watch him play know what kind of talent he has. He's got all the tools you look for."

One of those tools is power, although his seven home runs in 353 at-bats wouldn't seem to show it. Peguero makes loud contact and isn't overmatched by premium velocity.

Peguero, 23, made up for lost at-bats in the Dominican League and will benefit from a healthy spring before taking on higher-level pitching at Triple-A Fresno.

GIANTICS

• The Giants promoted pitching coach and former big league lefthander Steve Kline from Augusta to San Jose. Kline replaced Brian Cooper, who drew raves for his work with pitchers but left to pursue opportunities outside of baseball. Mike Caldwell, who had managed the Rookie-level Arizona League club, will replace Kline at Augusta.

• The Giants hired three new coaches: Michael Couchee as a pitching coach in the Arizona League, Billy Horton as a hitting coach in the AZL, and Nestor Rojas as hitting coach at Augusta.