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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Minor League Report: May

The Giants have struggled mightily to score runs over the last 10 days, and they've gone 1-8 over their last 9 to prove it. If you want to know why they've been struggling so bad, take a look at my last couple of posts, cause not much has changed. And since they're still sputtering and there isn't much new to report on, I figured now would be a good time to take our monthly look at what's happening in the minors.

The Giants made a couple of organizational moves at the beginning of the month, promoting a few 2007 draftees that had been doing more than their fair share in San Jose to AA Connecticut. Those three guys; Brandon Crawford, Tim Alderson and Madison Bumgarner have hit the ground running in the great Northeast and have done as good or better there than they were doing in San Jose. Bumgarner has been especially impressive, as he's gone 3-0 over his first 3 starts in AA. During those 3 outings, MadBum has pitched 18 innings, allowing only 10 hits and 4 walks while striking out 21 batters. Oh yeah, he's also allowed just one run, period, and is carrying an era of 0.50. The other top starter from 2007, Tim Alderson, has seen his game elevate with the promotion to AA. After carrying a mediocre 4.15 era over 5 starts in San Jose, Alderson has been lights out in Connecticut so far. Alderson has gone 2-0 in his first 2 starts, allowing 11 hits and 3 earned runs over the course of 14 innings. He's k'd 18 and walked only 1 in his three appearances (one in relief). The Giants two prize arms from the 2007 draft continue to dominate at every level they've been tested at, and it might not be too far fetched to think that we could see them in San Francisco as early as this September.

Alderson and Bumgarner aren't the only guys getting headlines in Connecticut though. Henry Sosa, another bright young starting pitcher, has got completely back on track after missing parts of last season with an arm injury. So far in 2009, Sosa has started 8 games and has a record of 3-0 and an era of just 1.85. Over his last four outings, he's been especially stingy, allowing only 2 earned runs over 22 innings. It's just a matter of time before he gets a promotion to Fresno and is waiting on the doorsteps of the big leagues. The only question I have with Sosa is whether or not he'll be able to stay in the rotation once he hits the big leagues. He's never been a guy who's pitched deep into ballgames in the minors and has the type of live arm that could translate well in late relief. I would like to see what he does as a starter in Fresno over a month or so before made that decision if I were the Giants' brass... As far as relievers in the system go, Ben Snyder, a former starter, has really come into his own since being put into the bullpen. In 11 relief-outings, spanned over 31 innings, so far this year, the 23 year-old lefty has surrendered 4 earned runs on just 16 hits (for a ridiculous ratio of 4.5 hits per 9 IP) while averaging a strikeout per inning with 31. The Giants don't have many high-upside releivers in their system right now outside of Edwin Quirarte, so seeing Snyder make the transition the way he has is re-assuring.

As far as the hitters of note through May, it's still been really all about Brandon Crawford. The former-UCLA Bruin's lightening quick start in San Jose has already placed him amongst the Giants top positional prospects and he's continuing to swing a steady bat in AA. Crawford has followed up his .371, 6 homer and 17 RBI start in San Jose by hitting .333 over his first 55 at-bats in AA. The 6'2" shortstop has just 1 home run and 3 RBI in his first 13 games in Connecticut, but the Eastern League has some of the more spacious ballparks in the minors and has traditionally carried some of the games better pitching prospects. Those numbers from the second year pro aren't too shabby at all, especially coming from the middle infield.

The teams top pick from last years draft, Buster Posey, didn't get the call-up to AA with Crawford and the two aces but he's still swinging a steady bat in San Jose. Posey has seen his production drop off slightly since his hot start, as his average has dipped below .300, but he's still producing with 7 home runs (although just one in May) and 32 RBI. I was somewhat surprised that Posey didn't get the call-up when the other guys did, but I think it's just a matter of time. They want to see him completely master the A-level before moving him along and he's not quite done that. You need to remember that Posey is a catcher, so he's got a lot more to learn than your typical everyday position player. That said, I would expect him to be in AA by mid-summer and possibly up in Fresno by the end of the year. Also helping Posey on the offensive side in San Jose is fellow '08 draftee Roger Kieschnick. The younger brother of former big leaguer Brooks Kieschnick is currently leading the San Jose Giants in batting average at .327. He's also producing runs with 5 home runs and 22 runs batted in.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 12:24 AM, Anonymous J-Rock said…

    The Giants need to trade a starter for a bat. They have no room for all of these guys who are going to be ready over the next 2 years. Zito is un-tradeable and LinceCain aren't going anywhere. Seems like the best option is Sanchez and maybe Henry Sosa. I wonder if those two would have any trade value. I think Matt Holliday would be a sweet addition to left field. Wonder what Billy Beane would want for him?

  • At 3:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think Posey could be doing a good job for the Giants right now. Why wait until 2010?

  • At 12:21 AM, Anonymous D&D Sports said…

    Who are the top 5 position prospects in the system? I know about Posey and Gillaspie but do they have any other big time offensive prospects. This is the first I've ever heard of Brandon Crawford, what kind of player can he be?

  • At 10:41 AM, Blogger Andrew said…

    I may not know diddly squat about baseball but these guys need to go to drug rehab and get off steroids.


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