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Monday, April 28, 2008

April Minor League Report

Since the Giants are in a period of transition, I am going to start paying a little more attention to their minor league system this summer. The Giants Blog will now start giving monthly minor league reports, exploring what's going on in the Giants' system from AAA Fresno and below.

So far, the talk of April as far as positional prospects go has been all about Pablo Sandoval. Sandoval is off to a ridiculous start, hitting .423 with 7 home runs, 24 rbi and 11 doubles while sporting an OPS over 1.3. Sandoval is helping lead the Giants single A affiliate, San Jose, to one of the better records in the California League. The 21-year old catcher looks like he could be the first guy to get the shot when Bengie Molina's contract runs out at the end of the '09 season. Sandoval still has some work to do defensively, but it wouldn't surprise me at all to see him up with Connecticut before long and then possibly Fresno before the end of the season. I know it's still way early, but any time you have a young, left-handed hitting catcher on pace for 30 plus home runs in a season, that's certainly something to get excited about.

Another youngster helping out the San Jose Giants is 2007 first round pick Tim Alderson. The 19 year-old righty is 3-1 with a 2.67 era in 5 starts. He looks like he could be the first player from the '07 draft class to wear a Giants uniform at this rate. The Giants have him on a fast track so seeing him in early '09 is a possibility. A few other arms thriving in San Jose are 22 year-old Ben Snyder (3-0, 1.23 era, 23:4 K/BB in 29 ip) and 20 year-old lefty Clayton Tanner (2-1, 2.55 era 16:8 in 25 ip).

There really aren't too many other guys sticking out in the Giants system early on in April. In Fresno, Elizier Alfonzo (.316, 3 hr, 13 rbi) and Nate Schierholtz (.315, 2 hr, 13 rbi) have been solid, but not spectacular. Billy Sadler and Jessie Foppert are sporting fairly solid numbers on the mound in relief for the Grizzlies, but both have been too wild to even be considered a potential call-up.

The 2 biggest names in the Giants system have gotten off to slow starts. The 2007 10th overall pick, Madison Bumgarner, turned in his first real dominant performance as a professional on Sunday night. The 18 year-old lefty finally looked comfortable going 6.1 innings while striking out 8 hitters and allowing 1 unearned run on only 2 hits. Bumgarner had struggled in his previous starts so it's good to see him get his first taste of success as a pro. The top dog in the Giants' system, 17 year-old Angel Villalona, hasn't seen the success he's accustomed to quite yet. The Giants' top rated prospect has gotten off to a slow start hitting only .233 with 1 home run in 70 at-bats in low A Augusta. Keep in mind he's still one of the younger players in that league and I fully expect to see him around .300 with 15+ home runs before the end of the year.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 8:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'd like to see Schierholtz up with the big club and playing over Winn.

    Good to see Foppert back with the Giants and healthy!

  • At 11:13 PM, Blogger Michael Seff said…

    What the hell is wrong with Zito?


  • At 7:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wait a minute...it is great your talking about the Minors; however, Hennessey with an ERA over 12.00 and Zito moved to the Pen...and you want to talk about wild??? At AAA so far this year Sadler boasts 18 K's in 11 innings with only 2 earned runs, OBA of.178; ERA 1.54. Sadler and Schierholtz should have already been called up! OBTW...Sadler last year at AA .072 ERA -now that is wild!!!

  • At 1:54 PM, Blogger Trevor said…

    Sadeler is also walking over a batter an inning and is sporting a very high whip for such a good strikeout ratio, but I agree, he will likely be one of the next arms called upon.

    Regarding schierholtz. There is nowhere for him to play unless the Giants are ready to sit Winn which probably wont happen for a while, even if Winn continues to struggle. I still would like to see Schierholtz start playing some first base in Fresno so he could get some ab's there when he's recalled.

  • At 2:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sergio Romo is the closer for the AA Connecticut Defenders. In six save opportunities, he has made all six saves, and he also has a win in there, as well. The twenty-five year-old righty has ten strikeouts and has allowed 3 hits. Oh, did I mention that in 10 innings, he hasn’t allowed a run? That’s pretty damn impressive. One thing that bothers me is that he is doing this against Eastern League opponents. I think it’s pretty clear that he might be in the Pacific Coast League pretty soon, but to be honest, he’ll struggle initially, but he will be a very good closer next year in Fresno.

  • At 2:45 PM, Blogger Trevor said…

    Yeah, Romo has been dominant for a long stretch now, everywhere he's thrown. I really liked what he did in the AFL last fall. I think he should have definitely been brought up to fresno by now as well.

  • At 6:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I like your idea of looking at the rest of the giants system its good to see what we can look for in the future

  • At 10:38 AM, Blogger Drew said…

    Hey Guys - I've started a website devoted to providing video clips of west-coast based prospects. I just published some San Jose Giants clips on my site.

    Check it out: http://pacificprospectreport.com


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