The San Francisco Giants winter shopping appears to be complete. The club re-signed Hunter Pence, Tim Lincecum, Javier Lopez, and Ryan Vogelsong while also adding Tim Hudson to the rotation mix and signing left fielder Michael Morse.
With the winter shopping finished, let’s take a look at what the San Francisco Giants organization has down on the farm. The Giants’ farm system is light on position player talent, but loaded with arms.
Here are the club’s top 10 prospects according to Andrew Baggarly of Baseball America:
1) SP Kyle Crick
2) SP Edwin Escobar
3) SP Chris Stratton
4) SP Adalberto Mejia
5) RF Mac Williamson
6) SS Christian Arroyo
7) RP Heath Hembree
8) SP Ty Blach
9) 2B Joe Panik
10) SP Clayton Blackburn
Here’s the Giants top 10 according to Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus:
1) SP Kyle Crick
2) SP Adalberto Mejia
3) SP Edwin Escobar
4) SP Kendry Flores
5) SP Clayton Blackburn
6) C Andrew Susac
7) SP Keury Mella
8) SP Joan Gregorio
9) SP Martin Agosta
10) SP Ty Blach
Parks lists nine starting pitchers among the Giants’ 10 best prospects, and he doesn’t include 2012 first-round pick Chris Stratton, as he’s much higher on Stratton’s Augusta teammate Kendry Flores.
Here’s how I’d order the Giants’ top prospects:
1) SP Kyle Crick has ace stuff, but he needs to clean up his control after walking 39 over 68.2 innings last year and 11 more in 15.2 innings during the Arizona Fall League.
2) C Andrew Susac posted an .820 OPS at Double-A last season and a .987 during the Arizona Fall League. He has demonstrated power and patience at a premium position. Injuries are the main concern, as he missed time during his junior year at Oregon State and last season as well.
3) SP Edwin Escobar could see the big leagues in 2014 after an impressive 10-start cameo at Double-A in which he posted a 2.67 ERA. The lefty reminds me of Jonathan Sanchez but with much better control.
4) SP Adalberto Mejia isn’t quite as advanced as Escobar, but he might have the higher ceiling.
5) SS Christian Arroyo was seen as an overdraft last year, but he immediately dispelled that notion by hitting .326/.388/.511 in Rookie ball.
6) SP Kendry Flores outshone 2012 first-rounder Chris Stratton at Low-A August last year, posting a 2.73 ERA and 137 strikeouts in 141.2 innings.
7) SP Chris Stratton didn’t produce quite as expected for a college draftee in the Sally League, but the potential the Giants saw when they selected him in 2012 is still there.
8) SP Clayton Blackburn doesn’t project to be more than a back-end guy despite his exceptional minor league numbers because he lacks premium stuff. The 20-year-old Oklahoman has gone 18-10 with a 2.87 ERA and 5.55 strikeout-to-walk ratio across three minor league seasons.
9) SP Ty Blach is in the same boat as Blackburn, but he has the benefit of being left-handed. He walked only 18 hitters in 130.1 innings at San Jose last year pitching in a loaded rotation that included Crick, Escobar, Mejia, and Blackburn.
10) SP Keury Mella is a long ways away from the big leagues; however, he’s got as much upside as any starter in this system behind Crick. The 19-year-old righty fanned 41 in 36 innings at Rookie ball last year.
Honorable mention: 11) Martin Agosta, the club’s 2012 second-round pick, had an excellent but injury-plagued campaign at Augusta; 12) Joan Gregorio is a 6’7″ righty who struck out 84 in 69.2 innings at Augusta last season; 13) Mac Williamson raked at High-A San Jose, but Double-A will be the real test next year; 14) Heath Hembree could be a late-inning option in the Giants bullpen next year; and 15) 2011 first-rounder Joe Panik fell off at Double-A last season but should end up as at least a utility man in the big leagues.