The Gamer

San Francisco Giants: The Future is Now

 

The Giants intend to rebuild around their $6.2 million dollar man, Buster Posey, the #5 overall selection.

The Giants intend to rebuild around their $6.2 million dollar man, Buster Posey (C), the #5 overall selection in 2008 from Florida State.

 

 

In 2005, the San Francisco Giants had the oldest collective starting lineup in baseball, stocked full of over the hill veteran players, injury ridden and worn from years of wear and tear.  Around the infield were J. T. Snow (37), Ray Durham (33), Omar Vizquel (37) and Edgardo Alfonzo (31); catcher Mike Matheny was 34; and the outfield consisted of Barry Bonds, Marquis Grissom (37) and Moises Alou (38).  Their average age, 36.1, was the highest for a group of starters.  The pitching rotation consisted of Jason Schmidt, Brett Tomko (32), Kirk Rueter (34), Brad Hennessey (25) and Noah Lowry (24); however, the rotation would get younger with the emergence of 20 year old Matt Cain at the end of the season.  The Giants finished 75-87 under one of the oldest managers Felipe Alou.  

 

The new look Giants have committed to restocking their minor league affiliates with high talent caliber position players and arms by investing more in their draft signings and making splashes on the international scene as well.  Since 2006, the Giants have started to rebuild their farm system.  The Giants have failed to produce an everyday position player since Pedro Feliz, and prior to him, Bill Mueller was the last position player to come out of the Giants farm system in 1996.  

 

 

Will Harris’ take on the Giant’s midseason progression towards youth:

First base
Rich Aurilia was the Opening Day starter, but Dan Ortmeier and John Bowker got chances. Now Bowker is back in Triple-A and it’s Travis Ishikawa’s turn. The 24-year old left-hander should deliver above-average defense, but his track record as a hitter is mixed. Ishikawa has a little pop, but strikes out excessively. He’s a career .257 BA/.352 OBP/.441 SLG hitter. Last year’s Double-A campaign was a disaster, as Ishikawa posted a .587 OPS and was sent back to Class A. This year, however, he’s slugging .603 in Triple-A. It’s Ishikawa’s first major league action since a 24-at-bat cup of coffee in 2006, and this time around he’ll get the bulk of the first base playing time versus right-handed pitching. Aurilia will back up at both corner infield spots.

Second base
Ray Durham was the starter until he was traded in July. Since then, there has been a timeshare at the keystone between switch-hitters Emmanuel Burriss and Eugenio Velez. Burriss is three years younger at age 23, but both are slap-hitting speedsters with similar skills. Travis Denker received a look earlier in the summer as well, but for now Burriss and Velez will continue to split time, with Burriss (who also plays shortstop) accumulating more total at-bats the rest of the way.

Shortstop
Brian Bocock started on Opening Day because Omar Vizquel was on the disabled list, but since then it’s been Vizquel’s job to lose, and he’s lost it. Now the 41-year-old shares time at the position with both Burriss and Ivan Ochoa. Like teammates Velez and Burriss, the 25-year-old Ochoa is a speedster with scant power.

Third base
Aurilia has seen time at third base, but for the most part, Jose Castillo was a mainstay at the hot corner until he was designated for assignment this week. The 24-year-old Ryan Rohlinger has been recalled to take over. Rohlinger will be an upgrade defensively, but with barely 100 at-bats above Class A, he may not be ready to improve Castillo’s miserable .244/.289/.391 line. Rohlinger is a polished hitter with good plate discipline and pitch recognition skills, but he lacks plus bat speed, though, and is unlikely to develop enough power to make it as a major league regular. He’ll get an audition during the season’s final six weeks, with Aurilia backing up.

Catcher
Bengie Molina has been the clear-cut starter all year, but that might change now that backupSteve Holm has been optioned out so the club can take a look at prospect Pablo Sandoval. The 22-year-old Sandoval does not yet have plus defensive skills behind the plate, although he’s improving, plus his glove is not a liability at first or third base. The switch-hitting Sandoval is a developing offensive talent who hit .350/.394/.578 in two levels in the minors this year. He has an average batting eye but makes hard contact and has developing power. He could see time at first base as well as catcher. Of the Giants’ newcomers, only Sandoval is worth more than a token flier in keeper leagues. All three could help fill a hole for the remainder of the season, with Ishikawa likely to receive the most at-bats.

 

Projected 2010 Opening Day Lineup:

C – Buster Posey 

1B – Pablo Sandoval 

2B – Nick Noonan 

SS – Emmanuel Burriss 

3B – TBD

LF – Fred Lewis 

CF – Aaron Rowand 

RF – Nate Schierholtz 

 

P – Barry Zito 

P – Matt Cain 

P – Tim Lincecum 

P – Madison Bumgarner 

P – Tim Alderson 

RP – Alex Hinshaw 

SU – Sergio Romo 

CL – Brian Wilson

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August 17, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment