We've all had a chance to submit our various prospect lists and will probably do so again in the near future. Everyone with an opinion agrees on one thing, as they should--The Giants have four prospects who are in a class by themselves. I think these young men deserve to be broken down further to help determine what exactly we should expect from them...and when.
I call them the Gang of Four. Of course, named after these guys, not so much because of these guys. I mean, come on, they deserve a better moniker than the "big four". Don't get me started on the lameness of new school (A-Rod) nicknames. Enchanter, now that's a nickname!
Buster Posey- Busty leaves me so hot and cold (there's a joke here somewhere). On one hand, he was considered the best prospect in the '08 draft by many people. He plays a demanding position and projects to do it very well. You see him compared to a guy like Joe Mauer and its hard not to be excited. I was never a huge fan of him going #1in the draft due to his lack of power, and its tough put my hopes for the future of a franchise on a Jason Kendall type who had never called a game. With Pablo already on board, and C being his best position, it makes sense to try Busty out at 3B where he also projects well defensively. But then you can make an argument that he doesn't have the power profile at 3B....and if his bat doesn't play at third, can he be your #1 prospect?
Madison Bumgarner/Tim Alderson- I group these two together for a reason. I find it hard to believe the argument that these two are far from eachother in value as prospects. Especially not enough to rank another player between to two of them. MadBum obviously throws harder...but that's really it. Is that 4-5 mph enough to call Bumgarner a top 5 prospect in baseball and put Timmy Two 40-50 spots later. For example, if MadBum played the full year for SJ in '09 and put up the exact line that Tim put up in '08, would you be dissapointed? I wouldn't...Timmy dominated. Maybe you could cross your fingers for a few more K's. That's a big jump in levels and will be interesting to see how they fare if both in AA to start the year.
Angel Villalona- I tend to lean toward giving Angel the number one spot. ZOMG Dingerzz! Power...Absurd power considering age. All other tools be damned, a legit middle of the order bat, no matter the position trumps all else and is much less likely to flame out than a young fireballer at the same level.