Bochy's Son Earns Plaudits On His Own
Best Player: Gary Brown
did not impress early at Double-A Richmond, but there was no denying his month-by month average trended in the right direction. He hit .227 in April, .258 in May, .294 in June and .355 in July before tiring down the stretch. A center fielder and leadoff hitter with speed to burn, Brown might not be the impact performer that some predicted after he set a franchise record for hits at high Class A San Jose in 2011, but he still possesses an impressive combination of tools and projection.
"He never lost his aggressiveness defensively or on the bases, but when he struggled at the plate it was hard on him," Giants vice president Bobby Evans said. "But part of development is facing challenges, so it's a very successful year for him."
Best Pitcher: Righthander Clayton Blackburn
doesn't have the same electric stuff as fellow teenage prospect Kyle Crick, but the 19-year-old drafted in the 16th round in 2011 out of an Oklahoma high school combines a true four-pitch repertoire with solid command and an advanced feel for setting up hitters.
Blackburn made an immediate impression last year in the Rookie-level Arizona League after signing quickly. He continued to impress at low Class A Augusta, by posting an 8-4, 2.54 record with a 143-18 strikeout-walk ratio in 131 innings.
Keep An Eye On: Sure, Brett Bochy's
father is in his sixth season as the Giants' manager. But there's no nepotism involved in a .161 opponent average or 1.3 strikeouts per inning. Those are the stats the 25-year-old former Kansas closer posted in 41 games for Richmond before the club shut him down because of shoulder fatigue in August, finishing 7-3, 2.53 in 53 innings.
Bochy just touches 90-91 mph, but he comes at hitters with a moving fastball and slider that keeps missing bats. The Giants took him in 2010 knowing that he needed Tommy John surgery; after he threw a couple of times off a bullpen mound in August, club officials were convinced he had nothing more than fatigue and would be ready for spring training next year.
• San Jose third baseman Adam Duvall
finished with 30 home runs to lead all of Class A and set a new franchise record. In the final game of the season, Duvall also became the fifth player in San Jose history to reach 100 RBIs.
• Outfielder Shawn Payne
led the organization with 53 stolen bases for Augusta, and more impressively he was caught just three times. Payne, 26, was a 35th-round pick out of Middle Georgia JC in 2011.