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Monday, May 02, 2011

Giants' April Minor League Report

Well, with the Giants hitting the wall at the end of April, and pretty much every writer and their mother knocking them on the internet and radio waves, I figured I'd go a different route. I thought it would be a perfect opportunity for our April Minor League Report. Now, again, forgive me for the shortness in the post, I've been battling some bad ligament issue in my right hand rendering it pretty much useless on the keyboard.

Anyhow, like has been the case recent years, the San Jose Giants are the cream of the crop as far as the Giants minor league teams go. They lead all in the organization with a 16-8 record and like they seem to have done every year since 2008 with Pablo Sandoval (Posey in '09, Belt in '10) and they're hoping that 2011 will be no different. They have a few candidates down there doing well for themselves so far, but nobody really jumping off the page. Chris Dominguez leads the team with 6 homers, 18 RBI and a .286 avg., but is still striking out too much and still making errors. Supplemental 2010 pick Tommy Joseph started off the year red hot with 2 homers and 10 RBI in the first week, but has cooled mightily since. The two guys who are under the microscope the most are the last 2 season's #1 picks, CF Gary Brown and SP Zach Wheeler, and both are looking very good early. Brown doesn't hit for much power, more in the mold of Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury, but is hitting .333 with 17 steals (by far most in Cal League), a .418 OBP. He looks a little under-matched in A ball right now, and that's a good thing.

Wheeler, the first rounder from '09 has been coming along a bit slower, but he's throwing the heck out of the ball right now. In 4 starts, Wheeler's 2-0 with 3.38 era, 15 h, 6 bb and 27 K's in 22 innings. Good for a WHIP of 0.98, and the Giants finally feel the 20 year-old is ready to take off... Another young right-hander I'm keeping my eye on in SJ is 23 year-old Kelvin Marte (3-1, 0.94 era in 5 starts).

In the upper level's, AA Richmond and AAA Fresno, the demotion of top-prospect Brandon Belt has livened the atmosphere up back in Fresno. Belt has been getting a lot of reps in LF where he could see a lot of PT when he returns to San Fran. In his 8 games since his demotion back to Fresno Mr. Belt has been on fire, hitting .458 though 24 at-bats with 2 homers, 8 RBI and a 1.427 OPS. Basically saying to the Giants, I'm ready if you need me. In AA, 2B Charlie Culberson is the lone, semi-bright spot on offense, hitting .293 (most on that team are in the .230's) with 40 total-bases while the next closest is at 29. On the mound, my boy Erick Surkamp is dealing, but is getting no luck, much like the Matt Cain of 2008. He's got a 2.21 era in 4 stars and 31 K's in 20 innings, but an 0-2 record to show for it. I'd like to see him in Fresno, ASAP... Speaking of Fresno, things are worse up there. There are a few things I am watching though, and that is Thomas Neal, who's been injured and missed 1/2 the games so far, but is hitting .333... As far as pitching though, it's a mess. Only recent call-up Ryan Vogelsong had respectable numbers as a starter, the rest have era's in the 5's and 6's. Relief wise, Marc Kroon has been lights out with 13 K's in 9 innings and a 2.25 era, but needs to get those walks down.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 4:05 PM, Anonymous San Jose Joe said…

    I'm a fan of Joseph, I actually saw one of his homers this year and at the time their was a buzz around the yard about him cause of his hot start.

    I hope he get's hot again! Brown is cool to watch too. Reminds me kind of a young RH-version Johnny Damon.

  • At 5:43 PM, Anonymous Jason Billingsley said…

    Oh, I don't blame you for not wanting to talk about the big league club... This is horrible.

    I can't figure out why they can't hit. They miss the Panda already.

    Ross will get it going, and Rowand has been good, but everyone fell off the planet since they had that decent 11-7 record or whatever it was in early April there.

    So where does that leave us? If you ask me, we meed to add a big time corner outfielder and maybe a SS in order to win the west. THe Rockies aren't a joke. The Giants can't compete with Tulo and Cargo. They have Posey and had Sandoval but lets see what happens with Sandy when he comes back. Just hope he stays in shape!

  • At 8:55 PM, Anonymous Noah said…

    The most frustrating thing about baseball is the upcoming draft won't pay off for years, unlike NBA or NFL. Instant gratification.

    Zach Wheeler looks like he might have the biggest upside. His stuff is electric in the clips I've seen of him. I just hope he doesn't get traded in a shortstop package later in the year.

  • At 5:55 PM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • At 6:00 PM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    Yeah, occasionally you'll get the Strasburg's and Storens who arrive the year after the're drafted, but for most it takes 2.

    Then again, it depends on when you sign after your drafted. You could be looking at basically a full year the same year your drafted (draft is in first week of June), plus one full year after that in the minors, at least, until most are big league ready. That's the route Posey and Linceucm each took.

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