MLB

WHO TO WATCH: Giants prospects

Share This Story

foxsports admin

 
   
 

overview

The recent trade with the for robbed the of and Ryan Hannaman, two hurlers who would¿ve ranked quite high on this list. So what a week ago was undeniably the best stable of young arms in all of baseball is now arguably the best stable of young arms in all of baseball. Needless to say, that¿s still impressive. The , as always seems to be the case with them, have a troubling paucity of position prospects, and, with several aging regulars on the roster, that¿s going to catch up with them in the coming seasons. But they do have a highly promising stash of arms. And as GM Brian Sabean has proved time and again, they can always be traded to plug holes elsewhere. Overall ranking: 3rd

Top Ten Prospects

1. , RHP, Age: 23 The spent a second-round pick in 2001 on Foppert, and they haven¿t been disappointed. Foppert has a blazing fastball with excellent movement, and he also throws a plus slider and splitter. His changeup still needs some refinement, but that¿ll come. In the minors, he¿s posted excellent K rates and shown strong command. In 2002, he completely blew away the competition at AAA-Fresno, striking out 109 batters in 79 innings. He¿s been with the big-league club for most of the season in 2003, and he¿s struggled at times. However, that¿s to be expected, and he¿s still posting strong K numbers. Provided he stays healthy, he¿s a future ace. ETA: Now. 2. , RHP, Age: 21 Williams, at age 21, is already a fixture in the ¿ rotation, and he¿s doing the job (76.2 IP, 2.82 ERA). His command at the major-league level needs improvement, but the fact that he¿s doing well at such a young age speaks volumes. In the minors, Williams didn¿t dominate, but he was quite solid despite always being younger than his peer group. His fastball is average, but he has a very good curve and change. His mechanics are excellent, and he repeats his delivery — two factors that should help him stay healthy. He¿s a good one. ETA: Now. 3. Matt Cain, RHP, Age: 19 Cain, a high-schooler out of Tennessee, was the ¿ top pick of the 2002 draft. Dismissed by some as an overdraft, Cain has thrived this season in the low-A South Atlantic League. In 74 innings for Hagerstown, Cain has struck out 90, walked 24 and surrendered only 57 hits. He¿s obviously a long way from the majors, but he¿s got excellent raw stuff. He¿s performing tremendously well so far, but he¿ll need to stay healthy and prove himself at the higher levels. So far, so good. ETA: 2006. 4. Noah Lowry, LHP, Age: 22 The drafted Lowry out of Pepperdine with their first pick of the 2001 draft. He¿s had some injury problems in his young career, but right now those seem to be behind him. He showed good command and posted strong K rates in the low minors. This year, he¿s holding his own in his first taste of double-A. He¿s struggled a bit with his control, but his strikeout numbers are still fairly strong. His ceiling is somewhat limited, but he could make a solid back-of-the-rotation type. And that means he has value. ETA: Late 2004. 5. Merkin Valdez, RHP, Age: 21 Valdez came to the as part of the trade with Atlanta. He had a strong debut in the Gulf Coast League in 2002, and this year he¿s thriving in the Sally League alongside Matt Cain. He could stand to improve his control a bit, but he¿s having no trouble striking out hitters. At this juncture, he¿s not quite the prospect that Cain is, but that could change. Like any young pitcher in the low minors, health and success at higher levels must follow for him to be an elite prospect. He and Cain will probably be pitching in the Cal League before season¿s end. ETA: 2006. 6. Boof Bonser, RHP, Age: 21 Bonser, who easily possesses the greatest name in organized sports, burst onto the scene after a scorching year in 2001 in the Sally League. Since then, however, his performance has been somewhat vanilla. This year, he¿s toiling in the AA-Eastern League. He¿s posting a decent K rate (99 Ks in 128 IP), but his control and command aren¿t there. Given his merely adequate performance since 2001, his ceiling appears to be somewhat limited. He could have a productive career as a fourth or fifth starter or perhaps he¿d fare better as a reliever. He¿s probably not a future star, though. But keep in mind he¿s still younger than most of his double-A peers. ETA: Late 2004. 7. David Aardsma, RHP, Age: 21 Aardsma, the ¿ top pick of the June draft, was the closer for the national champion Rice Owls last season. Although I think there were better relief choices still available when then selected Aardsma, he has good stuff, solid numbers and experience pitching in high-leverage, high-pressure situations. He debuted in the high-A Cal League not long ago, so the have him on the fast track. The hope is that he¿ll soon be closing games in Pac Bell. ETA: Late 2004. 8. Jesse English, LHP, Age: 19 The nabbed English in the sixth round of the 2002 draft out of a California high school. Last season, he blew away the rookie-level Arizona League. This season, he was returned to the AZL, and he¿s once again pitching well. His control has been more of a problem this season, but the K rates are still strong. He¿s obviously raw and a long way from the majors, but he¿s already got an excellent changeup. Most young pitchers have trouble developing their change, but when a 19-year-old already sports a plus change you should pay attention. This is a total projection ranking, but I have a good feeling about him. The usual health caveats apply. ETA: 2007. 9. , OF, Age: 23 Linden, an LSU product, is really the only hitting prospect of note. He¿s a switch-hitter with some speed on the bases. In previous seasons, he¿s shown good plate discipline and a power stroke as high as double-A. But he¿s run into trouble in the PCL. He had a disappointing 110-AB audition there last season, and he hasn¿t made strides this year. His OBP is a respectable .359 (although it¿s been buoyed by 17 HBPs), but he¿s not hitting for power. He still has potential and may do quite well at the highest level, but his performance in triple-A is cause for skepticism. ETA: 2004. 10. Francisco Liriano, LHP, Age: 19 Liriano, signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2000, has put up some excellent numbers in his young career, but he¿s also battled serious shoulder maladies. His injuries shut him down last season and have limited him to less than an inning of work this year. When healthy, he throws hard and posts excellent K rates and solid command. He¿s still very young, but shoulder injuries — contrary to what some believe — are more serious than elbow injuries. Anything could happen to his career at this point. ETA: Late 2006.
Tagged: Orioles, Braves, Giants, Jerome Williams

More Stories From foxsports admin



MLB Videos

Bautista talks Derek Jeter's final All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Jose Bautista discusses Derek Jeter's career and his final appearance in the MLB...

Jeter honored to play in last All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Derek Jeter compares his first All-Star Game experience with his last, Mike Trou...

Matheny defends Wainwright: He's out there to compete Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Mike Matheny comments on the media's reaction to Adam Wainwright's joke about le...

SimLeague Baseball - Simulation Baseball Game

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Yankees/browse/featuredproduct/606363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_606000/ff_606363_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash
    Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/1064043/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1064000/ff_1064043_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Gray http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067359/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067359_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room Pullover Hoodie - Steel http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067382/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067382_xl.jpg&w=100 54.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room 39THIRTY Flex Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067785/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067785_xl.jpg&w=100 31.95 New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Ro..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068294/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068294_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Bl..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice Performance Jersey - Black/Orange http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068787/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068787_xl.jpg&w=100 94.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice P..