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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1. Brandon Belt, 1b
2. Zack Wheeler, rhp
3. Gary Brown, of
4. Francisco Peguero, of
5. Ehire Adrianza, ss
6. Brandon Crawford, ss
7. Thomas Neal, of
8. Charlie Culberson, 2b
9. Eric Surkamp, lhp
10. Tommy Joseph, c/1b
Best Hitter for Average Brandon Belt
Best Power Hitter Chris Dominguez
Best Strike-Zone Discipline Brandon Belt
Fastest Baserunner Gary Brown
Best Athlete Francisco Peguero
Best Fastball Zack Wheeler
Best Curveball Eric Surkamp
Best Slider Jose Casilla
Best Changeup Eric Surkamp
Best Control Eric Surkamp
Best Defensive Catcher Jackson Williams
Best Defensive Infielder Ehire Adrianza
Best Infield Arm Chris Dominguez
Best Defensive Outfielder Gary Brown
Best Outfield Arm Francisco Peguero
Catcher Buster Posey
First Base Brandon Belt
Second Base Brandon Crawford
Third Base Pablo Sandoval
Shortstop Ehire Adrianza
Left Field Thomas Neal
Center Field Gary Brown
Right Field Francisco Peguero
No. 1 Starter Tim Lincecum
No. 2 Starter Matt Cain
No. 3 Starter Madison Bumgarner
No. 4 Starter Jonathan Sanchez
No. 5 Starter Zack Wheeler
Closer Brian Wilson
Year Player, Position 2010
2001 Jerome Williams, rhp Out of baseball
2002 Jerome Williams, rhp Out of baseball
2003 Jerome Williams, rhp Out of baseball
2004 Jesse Foppert, rhp Out of baseball
2005 Merkin Valdez, rhp Blue Jays
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
Year Player, Position 2010
2001 Brad Hennessey, rhp Twins
2002 Matt Cain, rhp Giants
2003 David Aardsma, rhp Mariners
2004 Eddy Martinez-Esteve, of (2nd round) Giants
2005 Ben Copeland, of (4th round) Giants
2006 Tim Lincecum, rhp Giants
2007 Madison Bumgarner, lhp Giants
2008 Buster Posey, c Giants
2009 Zack Wheeler, rhp Giants
2010 Gary Brown, of Giants
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
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San Francisco Giants

The Giants couldn't win a World Series during the Barry Bonds era. They couldn't get it done with names like Mays, McCovey and Marichal, either. Yet there was a magic within their starless ranks in 2010.

As unbelievable as the story might be, the Giants really did win the first World Series in the franchise's 53 seasons in San Francisco. They're still cleaning up the ticker tape from the parade down Market Street, which drew almost a million people.

For all the talk of misfits, castoffs, rally thongs and black beards, the Giants won the National League West and charged through three postseason series because their homegrown pitching staff was deeper and better than every opponent they faced. Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner—all first-round picks—remained solid to the end, and Jonathan Sanchez was just as good in his first two playoff starts before fading down the stretch. The bullpen was dominant, led by Brian Wilson, whom the organization shrewdly took as a 24th-round pick in 2003 knowing he needed Tommy John surgery.

Guiding these golden arms was Buster Posey, who became the first rookie backstop to hit in the middle of the order for a World Series winner since Yogi Berra in 1947. Posey won the NL rookie of the year award, San Francisco's first recipient since John Montefusco in 1975. That's a pretty good reflection on scouting director John Barr, who made Posey his first pick for the franchise in 2008, and a big reason why the Giants were Baseball America's Organization of the Year.

San Francisco stood in fourth place at the all-star break and made over its Opening Day lineup during the summer. Only Aubrey Huff and Juan Uribe remained everyday players from beginning to end. From Pat Burrell to Cody Ross to Andres Torres, there weren't enough Cinderella slippers to go around.

The championship was an affirmation for Brian Sabean, the longest-tenured general manager in the game, who refused to break up his young rotation to get offensive help. In a champagne-soaked clubhouse after the clinching win against the Rangers, Sabean resisted wagging his finger at critics of his insular management style and his scouting-heavy evaluation methods. Instead, he said he was happy for the club's longtime employees, folks behind the scenes and long-suffering fans in the Bay Area.

Manager Bruce Bochy also came out of the title run having earned a newfound appreciation among Giants fans, who often criticized his lineup whims during the season but had no reason to complain as he made one genius move after another in the playoffs.

Now San Francisco looks ahead to defending in 2011, confident in a rotation that is under club control through 2012 but aware they have work to do on the lineup. Sabean received the green light to take the payroll over $100 million for the first time, which should give him enough money to cover raises to his nine arbitration-eligible players, and the team re-signed Burrell and Huff and brought in Miguel Tejada.

The Giants graduated most of their elite minor league talent, led by Posey and Bumgarner, and the system is light on starting pitching. They do have one more potential impact player on the cusp of the big leagues in first baseman Brandon Belt, and they're eager to see how quickly their top two 2010 draft picks, college outfielders Gary Brown and Jarrett Parker, can move through the system.

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