Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE
News! Actual news! The Rule 5 Draft is coming, and to prevent another team from chewing on their championship-winning architecture like a bunch of Fraggles, the Giants added a handful of players to the 40-man roster. Those players:
Edwin Escobar, a 20-year-old left-hander who posted a 122/20 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 130 innings in Low-A. He came over from Texas in the Ben Snyder trade, and while I'm sure I can find something around here with me complaining about that, it sure looks like that was a brilliant move from here.
Nick Noonan, a 23-year-old middle infielder and former supplemental first-round pick. He never had a breakout year, but he was always intriguing because he would hold his head above water while being young for his league. Then the Eastern League ate him alive, and they found his head over by the sno-cone concession. He's rebounded a bit, he's still youngish, and he's actually a player you could see another team taking -- plays short, has tools, easy to stash at the back of a bench for a year. HANDS OFF, ASTROS.
Jake Dunning, a 24-year-old reliever who didn't have the most impressive stats in Double-A, but was also a shortstop in college. By that standard, he's taken to pitching pretty well. He also went to Indiana, so it probably took the Giants three months to stop him from dribbling the ball out to the mound.
Chris Heston, a 24-year-old right-hander who led the minors in ERA with a 2.24 mark in 148 innings. He's the Joe Martinez of our generation -- at least, those are probably the reasonable expectations -- and he has a great shot at being a fill-in for a starter in the majors at some point this year.
Juan Perez, a 26-year-old center fielder who did this in Western Oklahoma:
He didn't quite get there as a pro, but he's an interesting, toolsy guy who could stick as a fifth outfielder one of these years. He hit .301/.340/.439 in the Eastern League, which translates to .400/.450/.550 in Fresno. He also played with Danny Almonte in college!
As much as I'd like to be glib and suggest none of these moves will ever mean anything, I can see all of these players contributing (or velezing) at some point. So congrats, fellas. Welcome to the 40-man roster, where they keep the washroom clean, the coffee tastes like coffee, and if you make the majors, people try to set your shoes on fire when you watch a game.