As most of us know, the Giants have
5 6 minor leaguers playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League this October. The 5 6 are Brandon Belt, Charlie Culberson, Conor Gillaspie, Ryan Verdugo, Joe Paterson, and Jason Stoffel. Like last year, the most famous member of the team is the Nationals' 1st round draft pick from the most recent draft. Last year it was Steve Strasburg sucking up all the oxygen (despite Buster Posey obviously being the best prospect on the field), and this year it's Bryce Harper. Harper has yet to get his first pro AB in the AFL, but bookmark his stat page to follow his results n the coming days:
Harper's stat page
Of course, these are all very SSS, but I'll highlight the updated results of the Giants' prospects after the jump.
22 year old (DOB=4/20/88) uber-prospect Brandon Belt hasn't been as hot as he was thourghout most of the regular sesaon, and he already has 8 Ks, but he's continued to be a very pleasant surprise at the plate through his first 6 games in the AFL - with the following results:
.348/423/.478/.901 with 0 HR, 3 doubles, 8 K, and 3 BB in 23 ABs
Charlie Culberson has actually outshined Belt at the plate in the AFL, so far. The 21 year old (DOB=4/10/89) 2B prospect had a break-out year in SJ, but he limped to the end of the regular season enduring a 6 week-long mini-slump (most likely caused by a thumb injury). Now he has started out the AFL season on fire. It's especially significant that he's been able to maintain the huge power spike that he displayed at SJ this year. Through 4 games he's hitting:
.474/.500/.895/1.395 with 2 HR, 5 K, and 1 BB in 19 ABs
23 year old (DOB=7/18/87) Conor Gillaspie gave Giants fans a small glimmer of hope when he quietly had a nice 2nd half ot the season in the extremely pitcher-friendly Eastern League (the average slash line for the entire league was .259/.332/.397/.729 with an ISO=.138). Despite playing his home games in a home park that hugely suppresses power, he was able to slug at a repectable .430 pace, and generate an ISO power line of .133 - surprisingly much better than the .100 he generated in the power-happy Cal League last year. Unfortunately, he's struggling mightily through his first 5 games of the AFL:
.063/.111/.125/.236 with 1 double, 0 K, and 1 BB in 16 ABs
Ryan Verdugo is an intriguing propect. The 23 year old (DOB=4/10/1987) LSU alum has nasty stuff, but he also has a big issue with throwing strikes. Pitching out of the bullpen In his only 2 years of full-season ball (in 2009 and 2010) he had an eye-popping 145 Ks in only 98 innnings (K/9 =13.3), but he also walked 52 batters (BB/9 =4.8). Like Dirty Sanchez, Verdugo has been basically unhittable in his minor league career, with a BAA of .156 and .190 in 2009 & 2010, respectively. In the AFL, Verdugo has been used as a starter, with limited success. In 2 starts and 5 innings he has given up 5 runs (3 earned) and a .263 BAA. On the plus side he has a great GO/AO of 3.0.
Joe Paterson has a possible future in the majors as a LOOGY out of the pen. The 24 year old (DOB=5/19/86) reliever's throwing mechanics and form closely resembles the current guy holding down that spot in the Giants' pen right now, Javier Lopez. Paterson doesn't throw with a lot of velocity, but he has been able to put up a K/9 of at least 9.0 in each of his 3 years of full-season ball. He had a nice, but injury-delayed season in Fresno this year. Currently in the AFL, Paterson started out with 2 great relief appearances, then gave up 3 hit and 3 runs in 1/3rd of an inning in his 3rd appearance yesterday. On the plus side, he is getting a lot of Ks (6 in only 3.1 innings - K/9=16.2) and a lot of groundouts (GO/AO=4.0).
Jason Stoffel had an impressive season in the Cal League this summer (especially considering how hitter-friendly the league is), including going extra innings (2 & 2/3rd in total) to close out the final game of the do-or-die league championship game. He did have an disquieting tendency to blow-up about once every 10 days. He was assigned to the AFL, and pitched one game (2 innnings, 1 run & 1 BB), but apparently has developed some arm issue and will probably be shut down the rest of the way. Maybe the Giants will move another prospect over from the AIL to take his place?