2012 San Francisco Giants Top 10 Prospects





Baseball America's Top 10 Prospects lists are based on projections of a player's long-term worth after discussions with scouting and player-development personnel. All players who haven't exceeded the major league rookie standards of 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched (without regard to service time) are eligible. Ages are as of April 1, 2011.

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Andy Baggarly
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TOP TEN
PROSPECTS
1. Gary Brown, OF
2. Tommy Joseph, 1B/C
3. Heath Hembree, RHP
4. Joe Panik, SS
5. Francisco Peguero, OF
6. Andrew Susac, C
7. Eric Surkamp, LHP
8. Kyle Crick, RHP
9. Ehire Adrianza, SS
10. Hector Sanchez, C
BEST
TOOLS
Best Hitter for Average Gary Brown
Best Power Hitter Chris Dominguez
Best Strike Zone Discipline Conor Gillaspie
Fastest Baserunner Gary Brown
Best Athlete Gary Brown
Best Fastball Heath Hembree
Best Curveball Eric Surkamp
Best Slider Stephen Harrold
Best Changup Eric Surkamp
Best Control Eric Surkamp
Best Defensive Catcher Hector Sanchez
Best Defensive Infielder Ehire Adrianza
Best Infield Arm Chris Dominguez
Best Defensive OF Gary Brown
Best Outfield Arm Francisco Peguero
PROJECTED 2015
LINEUP
Catcher Buster Posey
First Base Tommy Joseph
Second Base Joe Panik
Third Base Pablo Sandoval
Shortstop Brandon Crawford
Left Field Brandon Belt
Center Field Gary Brown
Right Field Mekly Cabrera
No. 1 Starter Tim Lincecum
No. 2 Starter Matt Cain
No. 3 Starter Madison Bumgarner
No. 4 Starter Kyle Crick
No. 5 Starter Eric Surkamp
Closer Brian Wilson
TOP PROSPECTS
OF THE DECADE
Year Player, Pos 2011 Org
2002 Jerome Williams, rhp Angels
2003 Jesse Foppert, rhp Marlins
2004 Melvin Mercedes, rhp Yankees
2005 Matt Cain, rhp Giants
2006 Matt Cain, rhp Giants
2007 Tim Lincecum, rhp Giants
2008 Angel Villalona, 3b/1b Giants
2009 Madison Bumgarner, lhp Giants
2010 Buster Posey, c Giants
2011 Brandon Belt, 1b/of Giants
TOP DRAFT PICKS
OF THE DECADE
Year Player, Pos 2011 Org
2003 David Aardsma, RHP Mariners
2004 Eddy Martinez-Esteve, OF Mariners
2005 Ben Copeland, OF Indians
2006 Tim Lincecum, RHP Giants
2007 Madison Bumgarner, LHP Giants
2008 Buster Posey, C Giants
2009 Zack Wheeler, RHP Mets
2010 Gary Brown, OF Giants
2011 Joe Panik, SS Giants
LARGEST BONUSES
IN CLUB HISTORY
Buster Posey, 2008 $6,200,000
Zack Wheeler, 2009 $3,300,000
Rafael Rodriguez, 2008 $2,550,000
Angel Villalona, 2006 $2,100,000
Tim Lincecum, 2006 $2,025,000
GIANTS
LINKS
Giants Team Page
Giants Top 10 Scouting Reports Premium
Last Year's Giants Top 10 Prospects
2011 Draft: Giants (Basic Database)
2011 Draft: Giants Premium (Advanced Database)
2011 Draft Report Cards: San Francisco Giants Premium
Complete Index of Top 10 Prospects
Pre-Order the 2012 Prospect Handbook
San Francisco Giants

The Giants officially remained in contention until the final week of the 2011 season, but for all practical purposes, their World Series rings were knocked off their fingers on May 25. That's when Buster Posey, their cleanup-hitting catcher and reigning National League rookie of the year, tore three ligaments in his ankle and broke his leg in a vicious home-plate collision with the Marlins' Scott Cousins.

Injuries would hit nearly all of San Francisco's starting position players, and those who remained healthy had major crashes in performance. The result was the lowest-scoring offense in the major leagues and a club malnourished for clutch hits. The Giants hit .173 with two outs and runners in scoring position, the lowest figure by a big league team in the three decades for which data is available.

Even Carlos Beltran, viewed as the biggest bat on the trade market, missed three weeks with a hand injury after arriving in a July 27 deal. San Francisco was in first place on the day of the trade, but Beltran's impact wasn't felt until September,and by then the damage was done. The Giants went 11-18 in August, their most losses in a month in four years, and the Diamondbacks zoomed past them to claim the NL West.

The Giants still managed to finish 86-76, almost solely because of a top-flight pitching staff that included a resurgent season from Tim Lincecum, another stalwart year from Matt Cain and a very solid first full campaign for Madison Bumgarner. The staff also witnessed the surprising emergence of first-time all-star Ryan Vogelsong, who returned from Japan to blossom 10 years after San Francisco traded him to the Pirates for Jason Schmidt.

But the rotation is getting more expensive to keep together, and the Giants' pitching factory under vice president of player personnel Dick Tidrow is beginning to stall. They sacrificed their only elite pitching prospect, Zack Wheeler, to the Mets for Beltran—who became a free agent after the season and can't bring draft-pick compensation because his contract forbid offering him arbitration.

The current strength of San Francisco's system is in position players, led by speedster Gary Brown and longball threat Tommy Joseph. Brandon Belt, who graduated to the majors in 2011, could make an impact for years to come. Scouting director John Barr added two polished college hitters in the 2011 draft, with St. John's shortstop Joe Panik in the first round and Oregon State catcher Andrew Susac in the second.

However, the Giants don't have another can't-miss position player like Posey in the system. He's determined to catch again and club officials will relent to his wishes, but they've talked about moving their best hitter out of harm's way in the not too distant future. Catcher may be the richest position in the system, with Joseph, Susac and Hector Sanchez.

The farm system was a priority for managing partner Bill Neukom, who was forced out by other partners in a palace coup in September. In the new management structure, club president Larry Baer was elevated to CEO and will report directly to the investors. The reorganization wasn't expected to impact Brian Sabean, baseball's longest-tenured GM with his current club.

        
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