Thursday, January 31, 2013

Kyle Crick is number 1

1. Kyle Crick, rhp
2. Joe Panik, ss
3. Chris Stratton, rhp
4. Gary Brown, of
5. Mike Kickham, lhp
6. Clayton Blackburn, rhp
7. Heath Hembree, rhp
8. Francisco Peguero, of
9. Roger Kieschnick, of
10. Adalberto Mejia, lhp

Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area reports on Baseball America ranking the top 10 prospects for the Orange and Black and Kyle Crick -- a big guy like Cain and Bumgarner -- is number one.Here's the key verbiage on what happened last year and what to expect -- 

Though the pitching staff was largely the same on both World Series winners, Posey was the only everyday position player held over from the team that took down the Rangers in 2010. But if San Francisco's first World Series title since 1954 was something of a happy accident won by a band of misfits and castoffs, its second championship featured the kind of lineup that longtime general manager Brian Sabean long had long coveted.
Sabean put together a younger, more athletic and defensively skilled team that sought to use AT&T Park's ample dimensions as an advantage instead of an excuse. The Giants became the first team since the 1985 Cardinals to reach the playoffs despite hitting the fewest homers in the majors, including just 31 longballs in 81 home games.

Sabean utilized prospects like Charlie Culberson, Tommy Joseph, Charlie Culberson and Seth Rosin in July deals for Marco Scutaro (the NLCS MVP) and Hunter Pence (who became San Francisco's inspirational leader). The farm system lacks depth as a result of trades and late draft positions in recent years, but the Giants still have their share of quality pitchers, starting with Kyle Crick, Chris Stratton and Mike Kickham. Pitching guru Dick Tidrow must matriculate some of those arms to the big leagues soon, because Lincecum and Zito could be spending their last season in a San Francisco uniform.

It's going to get tougher for the Giants now that the Dodgers have deep-pocketed ownership and are threatening to become the Yankees of the West. Though the Giants aren't run on a shoestring budget, they probably won't turn themselves into the Red Sox in order to compete.

Expect Sabean and his staff to adhere to their blend of scouting, pragmatic assessment and turning over rocks to find athletic, two-way players. That strategy couldn't be working any better.


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