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Giants’ Top Ten Prospects

January 20, 2009
2007 First-Rounder Madison Bumgarner has quickly established himself as one of the game's premier pitching prospects.

2007 First-Rounder Madison Bumgarner has quickly established himself as one of the game's premier pitching prospects.

Reports were originally posted on Pro Sports Daily- I wrote it under a different name.

1. Madison Bumgarner, LHP- Bumgarner was the 10th overall pick of the 2007 draft. He’s a tall lefty that throws from a high 3/4 arm slot. Since his father didn’t allow him to throw curveballs until recently, Bumgarner’s offspeed offerings are unrefined and aren’t very sharp. But that hasn’t stopped him from dominating hitters with with a 91-94 MPH fastball that tops out at 97 with immaculate command. With one of the most dominant seasons by a pitcher in the Minor Leagues (and earning the SAL Most Dominant Pitching Award), Bumgarner has quickly emerged as one of the premier left-handed pitchers in the Minors. How his offspeed pitches develop will determine how good of a pitcher he’ll become.
2008 Stats: 15-3, 1.46 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 141.2 IP, 111 H, 3 HR, 164 K, 21 BB (7.8:1 K/BB ratio)
Projected Debut: 2011
Perfect World MLB Comparison: Randy Johnson, Andy Pettitte
2. Buster Posey, Catcher- Posey is an athletic player that should be able to stay behind the plate and appears to be a safe bet to become a solid regular in the Major Leagues. He has a very strong arm from behind the plate with soft hands, and he should be a plus defender. He profiles to hit for a good average with plenty of walks, but there’s some question as to how much power he’ll hit in the Majors. Most think he’ll hit 10-15 annually with a ton of doubles, but there are some that think he could surpass the 20 home run mark.
2008 Stats: 32 AB, .313/.450/.563/1.013, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 8:4 BB/K in the AZL and the NWL.
Projected Debut: 2010
Perfect World MLB Comparison: Russell Martin

3. Angel Villalona, First Baseman- Villalona was the youngest player in the SAL league in his first full professional season. Despite his size, he’s quite athletic. There’s no doubting Villalona’s pure power and upside, but there’s some question that he’ll be able to make consistent enough contact to reach his potential. He started off the season slow but improved each month (aside from July), to finish off with some very respectable numbers. He was hitting the ball with much more authority in his final months of the season, and the Giants hope that this carries on to next season, when he’ll be 18 years old in High A Ball.
2008 Stats: 464 AB, .263/.312/.435/.747, 29 2B, 17 HR, 18:118 BB/K
Projected Debut: 2011-12
Perfect World MLB Comparison: Andres Galarraga, Miguel Cabrera

4. Tim Alderson, RHP- The 22nd overall pick of the 2007 draft, Alderson is 6’7″ and still growing. Despite his herky-jerky delivery he has incredible command of his pitches. The deception in his delivery and height allow for his 89-92 MPH fastball and sharp 12-6 curve to baffle hitters, and his composure on the mound leads many to believe that he’ll develop into a #2 or 3 starter, if not a dominant closer, in the Majors. At 18 years old, Alderson dominated High-A hitters in the hitter-friendly California League. He’s going to move very quickly through the Minors.
2008 Stats: 13-4, 2.79 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 145.1 IP, 125 H, 4 HR, 124 K, 34 BB (3.6:1 K/BB ratio)
Projected Debut: 2010
Perfect World MLB Comparison: James Shields

5. Nick Noonan, 2B- Noonan was a supplemental first-round pick in the 2007 draft and was widely regarded as one of the more polished high school hitters in the entire draft. Drawing some comparisons to Chase Utley, Noonan has excellent bat control, plus speed and solid defense, making him look like a future #2 hitter. He projects to hit for a good average in the Majors and has 15-20 HR potential. He had a good first year in Augusta, showing solid overall tools but didn’t walk much. He has an advanced bat and should move at a steady pace, especially if he improves his plate discipline.
2008 Stats: 499 AB, .279/.315/.415/.730, 27 2B, 7 3B, 9 HR, 29 SB, 4 CS, 23 BB, 98 K
Projected Debut: 2010-2011
Perfect World MLB Comparison: Chase Utley (the 15-20 HR version), Kelly Johnson

6. Conor Gillaspie, 3B- Gillaspie was a supplemental first-round pick in the 2008 draft out of Wichita State. While he’s not going to be a superstar, Gillaspie has an advanced bat and should hit for a high average in the Majors. He’ll never hit a lot of home runs, but he hits to the gaps well and should have a lot of doubles. His defense is merely average at third base, and there’s a chance he could see some time at second base as well. He’s a polished hitter that compares well to former Giants farmhand Bill Mueller. Because of the Giants’ lack of depth at the hot corner, Gillaspie will receive plenty of chances to succeed in the Major Leagues.
2008 Stats: 92 AB, .272/.356/.348/.704, 7 2B, 12 BB, 14 K
Projected Debut: 2008, 2009
Perfect World MLB Comparison: Bill Mueller

7. Henry Sosa, RHP- Sosa is a pitcher in the mold of former Giants reliever Felix Rodriguez: a lean, hard throwing right-hander with an unclean delivery that produces a low to mid-90’s fastball with a ceiling of 98. Unlike Rodriguez, Sosa compliments his fastball with a hard curve, which is inconsistent. After a breakout 2007 campaign, Sosa underwent knee surgery and has since altered his mechanics to relieve stress on his knee. His 2008 was cut short with a pectoral injury. Sosa has the ceiling of a #2 or 3 starter or a top-flight reliever, if he can stay healthy and learn to throw more strikes.
2008 Stats: 3-4, 4.31 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 56.1 IP, 62 H, 6 HR, 58 K, 18 BB (3.2:1 K/BB ratio)
Projected Debut: 2010
Perfect World MLB Comparison: Kelvim Escobar

8. Rafael Rodriguez, OF- Rodriguez received a bonus from the Giants for $2.55 million in 2008. A 6’5″ 200 pound 16-year old, Rodriguez is all projection. He offers excellent speed and raw power (both rating as 70’s on the 20-80 scouting scale), but there’s a lot of question as to whether or not he’ll be able to make consistent contact. He has power to all fields and is incredibly athletic for his size. Right now he plays well in CF, but there’s a good chance he’ll move to RF as he grows, where his above average arm should work well. He’s got a long ways to go before he’s ready for the Majors, but the sky’s the limit.
2008 Stats: Did not play
Projected Debut: 2014
Perfect World MLB Comparison: Alex Rios

9. Ehire Adrianza, SS- Adrianza is a 19-year old switch-hitting shortstop from Venezuela. A switch-hitter, Adrianza profiles to hit for moderate power (10-15 HR) in the Majors and makes great contact at the plate with good plate discipline. Defensively, some believe he’s already Major League ready with plus hands, great range and a good arm. It’ll take him a while to refine his offensive game, but he’s already off to a good start. Even if his bat never pans out, he could still make a good backup infielder thanks to his glove.
2008 Stats: 55 AB, .255/.349/.382/.731, 4 2B, 1 HR, 7 BB, 4 K
Projected Debut: 2012-2013
Perfect World MLB Comparison: Omar Vizquel

10. Roger Kieschnick, OF- Kieschnick was selected in the third round of the 2008 draft. The cousin of former Major League pitcher/pinch hit slugger Brooks Kieschnick, Roger also has awkward swing mechanics that some believe will lead to problems in the future against advanced competition. There’s no denying his talent, though, and he’s got 5-tool potential. He has plus raw power and profiles best in right field, where he has a good arm. He will most likely begin the season in either Low A Augusta or High A San Jose.
2008 Stats:
Did not play
Projected Debut: 2011
Perfect World MLB Comparison: Jeremy Hermida, Geoff Jenkins

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