2012 Community Prospect List in Review

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BEWARE THIS IS LONG. 5000 words to be precise. I wanted to take the 2012 Community Prospect List and put in a bunch of information, mostly stuff that I remember and got off stat sites (I didn't troll this site for information; I'm not that crazy), so we can remember - or learn - who these guys are and what they did in 2012.


Further, everyone's rank is taken from the 2012 CPL, there are no re-rankings. I put in some opinion on everyone; like I said, if I said anything out of sorts please say something. There are also expected/ceiling/floor projections, these are opinions based on:

Expected: Makes the majors (with a few exceptions) and performs mostly in line with what their minor league career shows.

Ceiling: Maximizes all their tools, what their line would be in their career year.

Floor: Makes the majors (with more exceptions than "Expected") but doesn't improve from current talent level.

I also added an asterisk to players I think will have a substantive major league career; not necessarily become stars or everyday players, but guys I think will see the big leagues in multiple seasons and at least occasionally as useful players.

That just about sums up everything I know people will question, so let's move on because you will not read all of this.

1. *Gary Brown: The Giants' first-round pick in 2010, Brown possesses two plus-plus tools in defense and speed. A prototypical leadoff hitter if he can get on base, he doesn't hit for much power, but has enough pop to keep pitchers honest, and should have a decent average.

Expected: .300/.350/.400. Ceiling: .320/.400/.450. Floor: 5th OF

Stock: PUSH. Brown's 2012 started off very disappointing until a midseason hot streak, and ended up with a .279/.347/.385, which is better than it looks for a CF in Richmond, but still not anything close to his San Jose Performance

2. *Joe Panik: Another first rounder, this time in 2011, Panik was considered an overdraft by many, but silenced some doubts by hitting .341 in S-K last season. A strong contact hitter with a good eye and mediocre power, Panik spent his San Jose campaign at shortstop, but most projections put him at second base long term.

Expected: .280/.350/.400. Ceiling: .300/.380/.450. Floor: Utility INF

Stock: DOWN. Like Brown, Panik started slowly before a hot streak boosted his numbers. But for a 21-year-old college first rounder in High-A, he needed to do better than a .768 OPS. More walks than strikeouts and the intact possibility of a future at short keep hope alive, but he'll need to produce in Richmond if he wants to stay penciled in as the Giants' 2B of the future.

3. Tommy Joseph: Traded to the Phillies in the Hunter Pence deal.

4a. *Eric Surkamp: Surkamp lead the Eastern League in ERA in 2011, with excellent peripherals, but had a disappointing performance in a late-season callup.

Expected: 3.50-4.50 ERA as a starter. Ceiling: sub-3.00 ERA. Floor: Long reliever

Stock: DOWN. Surkamp went down without throwing an inning in 2012 and eventually had Tommy John surgery.

4b. *Heath Hembree: Hembree dominated across multiple levels in 2011 and appeared the heir apparent to Brian Wilson. A blazing fastball and strong slider coupled with decent command projected a permanent move to San Francisco as early as 2012.

Expected: Closer/set-up arm. Ceiling: Shutdown closer. Floor: Middle reliever

Stock: DOWN. Hembree suffered injuries in 2012 as well as fewer strikeouts and more walks in Fresno. After 2011, he looked like a probable late-2012 callup, and now he's questionable to see the majors in 2013 with far more reservations about whether he'll stick in the majors.

6. *Hector Sanchez: Sanchez shot through the system in 2011, moving from San Jose to Fresno to the majors. A ML debut at 21 is quite auspicious, but Sanchez is a bit of an enigma, showing lots of power in San Jose but no patience, and the exact opposite in AAA. His defense remains raw but with potential.

Expected: ???. Ceiling: .300/.350/.450. Floor: Backup catcher

Stock: UP(ish). Sanchez stuck in the majors this year as an adequate backup catcher, but didn't show much power OR patience. His free-swinging approach has resulted in many strikeouts, but he also makes a lot of hard contact. The glove is clearly raw but shows glimpses of serious potential. Sanchez could still become a good starting catcher and has at least proven he can handle an MLB backup job.

7. Andrew Susac: Susac was a good pick in the second round of the 2011 draft, a projected first rounder who suffered a hamate bone injury that dropped his stock. Susac strikes out a lot, but is supposed to have a good eye, decent power, and a solid glove to make up for it.

Expected: Backup catcher. Ceiling: .260/.320/.400. Floor: Bounces around on non-tenders/releases and minor league deals, intriguing teams with his potential but never producing

Stock: DOWN. Susac had a disappointing 2012 in San Jose, with a .244/.344/.380 line showing good patience and decent power, as advertised, but far too many swings and misses. Reports on his apparently solid glove were also somewhat disconcerting.

8. *Francisco Peguero: Peguero's calling card has always been his high averages, because he literally does not walk. Solid power and good defense have accentuated his contact-first approach, but once-strong legs appear to have deserted him.

Expected: 4/5th OF. Ceiling: .320/.350/.450. Floor: Organizational player

Stock: DOWN. Peguero finally showed everyone what happens when he doesn't hit for average, batting .272/.295/.394 in Fresno. Yes, .272 is Peguero "not hitting for average", and a .295 OBP probably would have been a career high in walks were it not for an emergency call-up. Peguero looked like a potential starting outfielder (to some) as early as 2013, but things aren't pretty now.

9. *Kyle Crick: Crick was a supplemental round pick in 2011, with a very high velocity fastball and questions about his command and secondary pitches. Extremely raw but with a high ceiling, with Tommy Joseph gone he's probably the highest-ceiling prospect in the system.

Expected: 3.50-4.00 ERA starter. Ceiling: sub-3.00 ERA, true #1. Floor: Middle reliever

Stock: UP. Crick dominated Augusta to the tune of a 2.51 ERA and 128 strikeouts in 111.1 IP. His control problems manifested in a 5.42 BB/9, but he has plenty of time to get a handle on that and allowed only 6.06 H/9 for a super-low BAA of .190.

10. *Ehire Adrianza: Adrianza's a glove-first shortstop who always had questions about his bat until 2011, when he hit .300 with good on-base numbers (a skill he's consistently shown) and a career-high ISO in San Jose.

Expected: Utility infielder. Ceiling: .270/.350/.380 with plus defense at short. Floor: Org player

Stock: DOWN. Adrianza had his worst year ever in 2012, with a .220/.289/.310 line in Richmond. At the major league level and with a strong glove, that might be acceptable, but Adrianza isn't particularly young and has only one good offensive year under his belt. On the plus side, he suffered from a .266 BABIP and his walk and strikeout numbers were more or less in line with his career, and his low ISO might be explained away by the Eastern League.

11. Josh Osich: Osich was considered a steal in the 6th round of the 2011 draft, a high-ceiling pitcher who fell due to injury concerns. Working from the left side, he's got a very good fastball and a couple promising offspeed pitches.

Expected: LOOGY. Ceiling: Mid-rotation starter. Floor: Injury wreck

Stock: DOWN. Osich spent more time on the DL in 2012, and when he was healthy, he threw out of the pen, which appears to be his long-term home and severely limits his value. A 2.52 FIP is pretty good, but only 32.1 IP is rather sad.

12. Clayton Blackburn: Blackburn was a huge sleeper coming into 2012, with excellent showings in late 2011 after being a 16th round selection. A low-90s fastball with heavy sink, good secondary offerings, and excellent command combined for a promising profile.

Expected: Mid-rotation starter. Ceiling: No. 2. Floor: Long reliever

Stock: UP. Blackburn had a huge 2012, easily generating more buzz than anyone in the system. With a 2.54 ERA and even lower 1.91 FIP (9.80 K/9, 1.23 BB/9), solid scouting profiles, and youth, Blackburn is fast rising in the Giants' system, likely a top 5 system prospect and will end up on a couple top 100 lists if Keith Law's hints are any indication.

13. Adalberto Mejia: Mejia was the biggest guy to come out of the DSL after 2011, and a jump to Augusta in 2012 was considered a major vote of confidence. Working in the high 80s as a lefty starter, Mejia's got a couple developed secondary pitches, is very young, and limits walks.

Expected: Long reliever. Ceiling: 4th starter. Floor: Organizational pitcher

Stock: PUSH. Mejia had a terrible time out of the gate, pitched well on a demotion to the bullpen, and came back strong with a return to the rotation. Mejia's 2012 is a bit hard to decipher; he hardly struck anyone out, but walked even fewer, suffered a little from the batted-ball gods, has age on his side, but doesn't project too well from a traditional scouting perspective.

14. Adam Duvall: Duvall was a big story in 2011, with an excellent all-around performance in Augusta, hitting for average, getting on base, and showing lots of power. Serious questions about his glove abound, but for now he's a third baseman. He's old for his level as well.

Expected: Bat-first bench player. Ceiling: .270/.350/.500 as a 3B. Floor: Organizational player

Stock: UP. Might be a push, but Duvall led the organization with 30 HR in 2012, and while the walks came down a bit, the strikeouts stayed level. The biggest issues he faces are still the glove and birthdate; he'll need to fight to make the majors before turning 25, and doesn't really have an obvious position outside DH. Overall he had a solid year, but there are still plenty of questions.

15. *Conor Gillaspie: Gillaspie has spent the last two years in Fresno, and wouldn't be old for the level if he returned in 2013. That would be likely were it not for the fact that he's out of options after this season, and with the lowest single-season wRC+ of his minor league career a 97 would absolutely get claimed on waivers. Gillaspie is consistently adequate at everything, but not truly exceptional anywhere (though he does post very good OBPs)

Expected: .280/.360/.420. Ceiling: .300/.400/.450. Floor: Bench player

Stock: PUSH. Gillaspie perpetually posts wRC+ numbers in between 97 and 109; in four full seasons from 2009-2012 he hasn't escaped that vortex. He's not considered a good defensive third baseman, doesn't hit enough for first, and those positions are taken in SF anyway. Expect Gillaspie to get traded this offseason; he plays a position of need in MLB, and the Giants have no use for him.

16. Ricky Oropesa: Oropesa was strongly hyped after the 2011 draft, with scouts claiming he had plus raw power and some stat guys questions that after his HR total dropped significantly when the NCAA moved to more wood-like BBCOR bats. A true 1B, Oropesa's going to have to punish the ball to make the majors.

Expected: PH in September. Ceiling: .270/.370/.500. Floor: Organizational player
Stock: DOWN. Oropesa didn't really have a terrible year, but he was 22 in San Jose, plays a mediocre 1B, cranked out only 16 HR in 518 AB, and sported a K/BB of nearly 3. The ceiling is still there, but it'd be nice to see more production than this.

17. Jarrett Parker: Parker had a solid year in San Jose in 2011, so it was somewhat surprising to see him return in 2012. Parker possesses good defense, solid power, and strong on-base ability, which is good, because he strikes out a ton.

Expected: 5th OF. Ceiling: .250/.370/.450. Floor: Organizational player

Stock: DOWN. Parker was 22 in San Jose in 2011, already fairly old, and returned for 2012. He responded by striking out 30 more times in 80 fewer ABs, though the walk rate and power increased a bit. A .247/.357/.443 line isn't terrible, and should finally get him to Richmond, but the fact that he was repeating a league he was already old for and struck out at a ridiculous pace kills him.

18a. Chuckie Jones: One of the highest-ceiling prospects in the system, Jones possesses superior athleticism and a strong eye, giving him the potential to turn into a Justin Upton-type player. He won't, though, because that's ludicrous.

Expected: Organizational player. Ceiling: .270/.370/.550. Floor: Worse organizational player?

Stock: DOWN. Jones went to Augusta for a bit, but struck out in nearly half his at-bats. Uh, yeah. Sent back down to S-K, Jones cut down the K's and increased the walks and power, though he still has contact issues and doesn't smack the ball as hard as one would like. He's got room to grow, but he's gone from sleeper to coma patient.

18b. *Mike Kickham: Surprised with a promotion from Augusta to Richmond, Kickham possesses plus left-handed velocity for a starter and enough secondary stuff to get K's, but doesn't always know where the ball is going.

Expected: Middle reliever. Ceiling: Mid-rotation starter. Floor: LOOGY

Stock: UP. Kickham had a pretty good year in AA, reducing some age-to-league concerns while maintaining his strikeout rate and cutting his ERA by more than a run. His walk rate ballooned to 4.5 BB/9, though, so that improvement was mostly a result of BABIP and LOB%.

20. Kendry Flores: The Master of Salem-Keizer, Flores returned to short-season ball in 2012 after posting some good numbers in 2011. Somehow he managed to get only 48 IP in 11 starts and one relief appearance.

Expected: Middle reliever. Ceiling: Mid-rotation starter. Floor: 6/7th starter

Stock: PUSH. Flores' K rate dropped by 1.5 per nine this year, and a small reduction in BB/9 wasn't enough to keep his K/BB in line. He's still young and should get going to Augusta next year with at least three rotation spots probably opening up, but it'd be nice to see more than 4-5 innings per start.

21. Jacob Dunnington: Not to be confused with Jake Dunning (but will be), Dunnington is Heath Hembree-lite, with a good fastball and decent projection. He spent 2011 mostly in Augusta but also saw time in San Jose. An undrafted free agent, he's got some projection but is still a middle reliever

Expected: Middle reliever. Ceiling: Set-up guy. Floor: Triple-A bullpen depth

Stock: PUSH. Dunnington had a decent year, with middling numbers in Augusta and Richmond, but only threw 25.1 innings all season due to multiple injuries. He continued to strike guys out and walk everyone else.

22. Angel Villalona: Villalona was a big-bonus international guy whose calling card was his power. And then he was implicated in a murder in the Dominican Republic. Whether he actually killed someone or was framed for extortion is still a bit up in the air, but he hasn't been granted a US visa since the charges were dropped.

Expected: Doesn't return to the US. Ceiling: .270/.330/.550 at 1B. Floor: Gets locked up again

Stock: DOWN. Villalona had some pretty unimpressive performances for a guy his age in the DSL and with experience as far as High-A San Jose. Until he returns to the states, he isn't a prospect despite his youth and power potential.

23. Charlie Culberson: Traded to the Rockies for Marco Scutaro.

24. Jesus Galindo: Another speedy outfielder, Galindo (and his partner in crime, Shawn Payne) are two of the only guys in the Giants' organization that have the ability to steal a lot of bases at a high success rate. Coupled with a good eye, he could end up being valuable despite possessing Burrisian power.

Expected: 5th OF. Ceiling: .270/.350/.350 as a CF. Floor: Organizational player

Stock: DOWN. Galindo moved up to Augusta from Salem-Keizer, but didn't find the environment much to his liking. His peripheral stats aren't much different, except his batting average fell with a few more strikeouts and no home runs. A .626 OPS out of a 21-year-old CF in Augusta isn't irredeemable, but it's certainly not good. Luckily he still possess excellent game speed, with 40 SB against 11 CS.

25. Seth Rosin: Traded to the Phillies as part of the Hunter Pence deal

26. Chris Dominguez: Some of you know how much I hate Chris Dominguez as a prospect, but I'll try not to let that affect this. Dominguez has huge power potential and a killer throwing arm, two plus tools that will ensure he keeps getting chances. But he can't make any contact, continually strikes out, has poor overall defense, and is almost 26. Promoted to Richmond mid-season last year and again to Fresno this season.

Expected: Organizational player. Ceiling: .250/.280/.400 at 3B. Floor: Released very soon

Stock: DOWN. All right, I said I'd keep it civil. Dominguez keeps moving up the food chain, but he just doesn't hit. At 25, you don't want to have just a half-season in AAA under your belt, and you certainly don't want to post a .618 OPS there. Though I guess it's better than the .554 in Richmond. I get the tools, but Dominguez is just awful, and it's high time he moved to the mound.

27. *Brett Bochy: Considered by many a "favor" pick, Bochy was a late-round 2010 draftee who is the son of one of the Giants' current employees. Who it is, I'll never say. He doesn't have overpowering stuff, but he dominated Augusta in 2011 and appears to use deception as his main weapon instead of heat.

Expected: Middle reliever. Ceiling: Set-up guy. Floor: Bullpen depth

Stock: UP. Bochy skipped San Jose in favor of Richmond, which was good because this was his age-24 season. Amid concerns that he was just beating low-A hitters with actual ability to make the ball sort of go where he wants, Bochy did very well in Richmond, with a 11 K/9 and 3 BB/9 and 14 saves. Watch out for him to make the major league team sometime in 2013 if this keeps up.

28. Ryan Cavan: Cavan spent a mediocre 2011 campaign in San Jose and moved up to Richmond in 2012. He does most things okay, but nothing spectacularly, and reports on his defense are mixed. Nearly as old as Chris Dominguez, he needs to get moving.

Expected: Utility infielder. Ceiling: .280/.340/.430 at 2B. Floor: Organizational player.

Stock: DOWN. Cavan finally made it to the upper minors at the age of 25, and while he's only six months younger than Dominguez, until this year he had pretty good numbers across the board. But then he put up a .620 OPS in AA. Once a semi-interesting prospect, Cavan doesn't look like much anymore.

29. Shawn Payne: Payne is a very similar player to Jesus Galindo, except he apparently doesn't play defense all that well. Moved from 2B to LF, he possesses a Brett Gardner-like profile: average and OBP, but little power, and a lot of steals at a very good rate.

Expected: Super-utility player. Ceiling: .280/.370/.380 in LF with lots of SB. Floor: Org player

Stock: UP. Payne spent all of the 2012 regular season in Augusta, and moved up to San Jose for the playoffs. With a batting average of .309, an OBP just shy of .400 in low-A, and 53 stolen bases in 56 attempts, Payne could develop into a prototypical leadoff guy.

30. Hector Correa: Acquired for Ronny Paulino, who spent about ten minutes in the Giants' organization, Correa posted some pretty solid numbers in San Jose and Richmond in 2011. Not too many strikeouts, but he limited walks and hits. At 23, he's got time to develop.

Expected: Bullpen depth. Ceiling: Middle reliever. Floor: Released soon

Stock: DOWN. Correa threw only 18 poor innings in San Jose this year, finding some strikeout ability but walking 7.5 per nine as well. Recently DFA'd to make room for Jean Machi, Correa may not be long for the organization and likely won't see much of the majors for anyone.

31. Lorenzo Mendoza: Mendoza is an awesome pitcher with a Cy Young future. Now that my personal bias is out of the way, Mendoza had a good year in 2011, with strong peripherals in Salem-Keizer as a 19-year-old starter.

Expected: Depth starter. Ceiling: Mid-rotation starter. Floor: Organizational guy

Stock: DOWN. Much as it pains me, Mendoza repeated S-K in 2012 and actually performed slightly worse overall. Things look worse than they are, as he didn't pitch like a 5.00 ERA guy, but he only threw 49 innings in 14 appearances (10 starts) compared to 73 innings in 14 starts last year. He's still only 21 next year, and will likely be headed to Augusta.

32. Joan Gregorio: Gregorio is, like Mendoza, a projectable right-hander. Tagged as a sleeper for 2012, he moved up to S-K from rookie ball, and has a ton of growing room at 6'7" 180 lbs.

Expected: Depth starter. Ceiling: Mid-rotation starter. Floor: Organizational guy.

Stock: UP. Gregorio moved up a level and responded by improving his K and BB rates. His ERA also doubled year-over-year from 2.32 to 5.54, but this was mostly the result of poor luck, with a 3.95 FIP sending a better message. Gregorio is still interesting just based on his potential though.

33. Rafael Rodriguez: Another big international signing, Rodriguez has been mostly a disappointment since donning a uniform. Entering his fourth full season as a professional, Rodriguez was demoted from Augusta to Salem-Keizer based on some serious futility at the plate.

Expected: Organizational player. Ceiling: Not really sure, but it's high. Floor: Org guy

Stock: DOWN. Getting a demotion is already bad, but not hitting after that demotion is worse. Rodriguez posted a .235/.287/.364 line, with more power than he's ever shown, but obviously still a disappointing season. He's still a prospect based on age alone (20 entering 2013).

34. Chris Marlowe: Marlowe is one of the more interesting guys among a ton of high-strikeout, high-walk, high-velocity arms drafted by the Giants in 2011. A conversion to the rotation in Augusta was on the books for 2012.

Expected: Middle reliever. Ceiling: Closer/Back-of-the-rotation. Floor: Too wild to make it.

Stock: DOWN. Outside of a couple starts, Marlowe actually had some promise to begin the season. But that was mostly an illusion, as a K/9 just over 9 isn't enough to make up for walking six batters every nine innings. Combined with an injury, Marlowe is on the "to-watch" list but isn't rocketing up any charts.

35. Enmanuel De Jesus: De Jesus was the sidekick of Adalberto Mejia in the DSL in 2011, posting a few more walks but also a few more K's. Super-young at 18 years old entering 2012, he spent the season in the Arizona Rookie League

Expected: Depth starter. Ceiling: Mid-rotation starter. Floor: Organizational guy.

Stock: DOWN. De Jesus only threw 10.2 innings in 13 relief appearances in rookie ball this season, walking as many hitters as he struck out and allowing plenty of runs. This isn't enough of a sample to draw a conclusion from obviously, but it's very hard to find a bright spot. De Jesus is still a guy to watch but he's much less interesting now.

36. Demondre Arnold: Another hard-throwing 2011-drafted reliever, Arnold wasn't moved to the rotation like Marlowe, but still had some hype coming into the year based on mostly velocity and rookie strikeout and walk numbers.

Expected: Bullpen depth. Ceiling: Set-up guy. Floor: Released soon.

Stock: DOWN. De Jesus had a bad year in a small sample, and Arnold raised him a worse year in a substantial sample. After a good showing in 26 innings in rookie ball last year, Arnold had 56 very poor innings in Augusta this season, with more strikeouts than walks and not many strikeouts anyway. He's got some work to do.

37. Kelby Tomlinson: Much beloved by certain fans around here, Tomlinson has mixed scouting reports, with some people saying he's a great SS and others not so sure. He has spent nearly all his time at short, and after an excellent showing in the AZL Tomlinson was pegged as a sleeper coming into 2012.

Expected: Utility infielder. Ceiling: .270/.320/.330 at SS. Floor: Organizational player

Stock: DOWN. Tomlinson looked like a 12th round steal, and now he looks like a regular ol' 12th rounder. A .575 OPS in Augusta at 22 tends to do that; he did a good job of getting on base, but struck out very often and hit for no power. He crushed the AZL, so there might still be something there, but it didn't show up in 2012.

38. Roger Kieschnick: A veteran among Giants prospects, Kieschnick is all the way in Fresno and was drafted way back in 2008, making him 26 next year. Generally considered a toolbox, injuries and poor performance after 2009's San Jose season dropped him way down.

Expected: 4th OF. Ceiling: .280/.350/.550 in right. Floor: September call-up.

Stock: UP. Way, way up. Kieschnick's frail body plagued him once again this year, but when he was on the field he hit .306/.374/.604 in Fresno. For a good defensive right fielder, that'll do. It remains to be seen whether that was a PCL mirage or his talent finally showing up, but Kieschnick has put his name into the conversation for Melky Cabrera internal replacements.

39. *Dan Otero: Along with Steve Edlefsen, Otero looked like a reliever that was very close to the majors, albeit one without a ton of upside. Making his living limiting walks instead of racking up K's, Otero projected as a solid, cheap middle relief option.

Expected: Middle reliever. Ceiling: Set-up guy. Floor: ROOGY.

Stock: DOWN. Otero did make the majors, in fact breaking camp with the club, but didn't last long. After giving up six earned runs in 1.2 innings in late April, Otero found himself demoted to Fresno. Victimized by a .405 BABIP and 52.6% LOB%, Otero didn't pitch badly enough to deserve his 7 ERA, but a 4.35 K/9 doesn't leave much wiggle room even if you're walking fewer than two per nine. Otero is just another fungible reliever, and will likely grow very familiar with the ride between Fresno and San Francisco over the next couple years.

40. Leonardo Fuentes: Fuentes is a hugely projectable young outfielder. Of course, that also means he must tiptoe around the graves of many other hugely projectable young outfielders on his way to the majors. After a decent-not-great 2011 season following up a decent-not-great 2010, Fuentes became a guy to keep an eye on if not expect the world from.

Expected: Free-swinging ways doom his career early. Ceiling: .260/.350/.500. Floor: Scary

Stock: DOWN. Fuentes did everything he could do get around another decent-not-great tag in 2012, mostly by running furiously away from "decent". He struck out in over half his at-bats, dropped his power to a third of its 2011 level, and actually had a negative wRC+ - .088/.167/.150 is just terribad.

41. *Chris Heston: Heston's one of those guys every org has a couple of: not quite old enough to be a non-prospect, not young enough to be a top guy, not good enough to induce a "wow", not bad enough to repeat levels or get released. He works off a lowish-velocity fastball with sink and doesn't walk many, a good profile for a back-of-the-rotation starter.

Expected: #4 starter. Ceiling: #3 starter. Floor: Long reliever.

Stock: UP. Kieschnick and Heston must have been furious with their positions on this list, because they both tore it up in 2012. Heston's still a bit old, but a 2.24 ERA that FIP pretty much entirely backs up is not to be ignored. He found some more strikeout ability and continued to limit walks and severely limit homers, keeping his general luck stats at reasonable levels and crushing the competition. Heston's never going to be an ace, but he's done a lot to get himself into the conversation for even a mid-rotation starter.

42. Derek Law: Like Marlowe and Arnold, Law was a hard-throwing high-strikeout reliever drafted in 2011. Another good fastball, not much else to say about a 9th round relief prospect in A ball.

Expected: Middle reliever. Ceiling: Closer. Floor: Bullpen depth

Stock: UP. Unlike Marlowe and Arnold, Law remembered how to pitch in 2012, with a solid 55.2 innings. Lots of strikeouts, walks but not too many, and he'll be in San Jose next year carrying a career ERA of 2.81.

43. Kentrell Hill: Inverse Fuentes, Hill is another young toolsy outfielder, but he possesses very different ones. Instead of power, Hill doesn't strike out and gets on base a ton, though he doesn't use his legs well. After a mediocre-at-best rookie league debut, Hill got on mostly for being young and kind of interesting.

Expected: Bench bat/pinch-hitter. Ceiling: .280/.380/.400. Floor: Organizational bat.

Stock: UP. Hill moved up to Salem-Keizer and improved, hitting for average and getting on base. If he could do more with his legs, he might go even higher. Or maybe he could hit for power. Still, this skillset will play in the majors and Hill should be climbing this list.

44. Jake Dunning: Remember Jacob Dunnington? Probably not. Dunning is another right-handed pitcher, but he's a little more developed, though he doesn't have as high a ceiling. Middle reliever is a good term, because he looks like a very middling pitcher.

Expected: Middle reliever. Ceiling: Middler relieverer. Floor: Bullpen depth.

Stock: PUSH. Dunning kept on keeping on in 2012, with a 4.10 ERA slightly lower than his 2011 mark of 4.74. He did have a season that was a bit worse, losing a strikeout and a half per nine innings (8.5 to 7), but he also moved up a level and kept his walks under three per nine. Dunning doesn't look as good as he did a year ago, but he didn't do so badly as to warrant a down comment.

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Join McCovey Chronicles

You must be a member of McCovey Chronicles to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at McCovey Chronicles. You should read them.




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