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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Top 10 Prospect Round Up (July)

With the trade deadline at the end of this month, it's a good time to check on the Giants most marketable assets.  I've reiterated that I would not want to give up Kyle Crick for almost anyone though I think I'd do it for a controllable starting pitcher like Gallardo.  But aside from that, Crick stays put.  Especially with his output of late.  Here is the Top 10 Prospect Round Up for July:

Kyle Crick (1-1, 1.46 ERA, 1.38 WHIP in Single-A)

Notes:  Crick has come back from his DL stint and has quite simply dominated.  He has struck out 28 batters in 15 innings pitched since being activated and overall he's pitched 24.2 innings and struck out 40.  He remains the Giants top prospect and his value is only increasing.

Gary Brown (.246 AVG, .306 OBP, .733 OPS in AAA)

Notes:  Gary Brown turned it on a bit in June.  He started hitting homers in bunches and lifted his OPS over 100 points.  Overall his numbers still don't look great but his hot June at least put him in the discussion for a potential call up when Blanco went ice cold and Pagan was officially ruled out for the majority of the season.  He didn't get the call but if he keeps the positive uptick in his numbers, he'll get his cup of coffee sooner rather than later.

Chris Stratton (7-3, 3.81 ERA, 1.29 WHIP in Single-A)

Notes:  Stratton has been consistent.  His numbers declined slightly but not alarmingly.  He still has more strikeouts than innings pitched which is one of the main stats I look at when I'm looking at potential MLB pitching prospects.  I have a feeling he's being dangled in trade talks however so I'm not painting him in orange and black quite yet.

Joe Panik (.255 AVG, .342 OBP, .694 OPS in AA)

Notes:  Just as Gary Brown turned it on in June, Panik turned it off.  His numbers plummeted.  Panik is being groomed to take over 2B when Scutaro's contract ends so he has time to prove himself.  He's not expected to be a big power guy so he just needs to make sure he gets on base.   With a .342 OBP, he's still where he needs to be.  An improvement in the average would be good.

Heath Hembree (17 Saves, 4.79 ERA, 1.40 WHIP in AAA)

Notes:  Giants fans have been waiting on a Hembree call up.  He's been labeled the closer of the future.  He was supposed to be Brian Wilson's replacement had Brian Wilson never been injured and was playing his last season in SF at the moment.  With all the bullpen issues the Giants currently have, you'd think Hembree would get a call.  Except he hasn't done anything to warrant the call up.  He struggled in June and his overall numbers in Fresno are pedestrian at best.  His 43 K's in 36 innings look nice but the WHIP and ERA are not what you want from a late inning reliever.  He has work to do.

Francisco Peguero (.310 AVG, .355 OBP, .762 OPS in AAA)

Notes:  Peguero hasn't forced himself back to SF.  His numbers are okay but the Giants are giving guys like Juan Perez and Cole Gillaspie opportunities instead of Peguero.  That says something about what the Giants think of Frankie Pegs overall.  At a time where the Giants absolutely have a chance to audition someone internally for the LF spot, they're not giving Peguero or Roger Kieschnick the job.  You wonder if they can't force the issue now, will they ever?

Martin Agosta (7-3, 2.18 ERA, 1.08 WHIP in Single-A)

Notes:  Agosta continues to be a revelation.  Opponents are batting just .186 off him.  He has 92 K's in 74.1 IP.  He has only given up 48 hits.  Granted, it's A ball we're talking about here.  That being said, it's impressive.  This guy is flying under the radar but he's developing into a legitimate stud.

Chris Heston (7-5, 5.73 ERA, 1.60 WHIP in AAA)

Notes:  The good news is Heston's numbers actually improved between May and June.  The bad news is they're still not good.  Heston right now is looking like a fringe prospect.  He could be a long man in the pen perhaps but his status as a starting prospect doesn't look great at the moment.

Eric Surkamp (1-0. 2.66 ERA, 0.84 WHIP between A and AAA)

Notes:  Surkamp was activated off the 60 day DL in June and started throwing for the first time in over a year after recovering from Tommy John surgery.  He made 5 starts for San Jose before being promoted to Fresno.  As the Giants best MLB ready starter, the lefty is likely being used as trade bait to acquire a veteran starting pitcher.  Right now Surkamp is proving his health and taking his turns in the Grizzlies rotation.  If he's not traded, he will likely have the inside track to replace one of the soon to be departed Giants starters in 2014.

Edwin Escobar (2-4, 3.19 ERA, 1.17 WHIP in Single-A)

Notes:  The Giants most promising guys are a couple seasons away from San Francisco.  Escobar is one of them.  He has continued to put up good numbers in San Jose.  He has 86 strikeouts to 15 walks in 68 innings pitched.  Combined with Agosta, Crick, and Stratton the Giants have some talented young pitching in the lower levels of their minor leagues.  If the Giants are serious about making trades this July, it would not be surprising to see of these names go elsewhere.

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