Kyle Crick tops Baseball America's top-10 list

Chris Stratton tops list of prospects without a last name ending in "K."

January and February are usually the prospectiest time of the year, with best-of lists coming fast and furious. Earlier we looked at John Sickels's organizational rankings (note: he did a top-10 list earlier in the offseason), but today's also a big day for prospectin', as the Baseball America top-10 list is out.

If you want the scouting reports, you'll have to pay (which you should do, anyway), but you can take a gander at the list, with an artisanally selected quote from each report:

1. Kyle Crick, RHP

Crick maintains a 93-95 mph into the late innings and can reach 99 mph.

2. Joe Panik, SS

He works counts, makes consistent line-drive contact and flashes gap power.

3. Chris Stratton, RHP

He pitches to both sides of the plate with a 91-93 mph fastball that touches 95 and has easy, late carry. He has a short slider that he can throw for strikes or use as a chase pitch.

4. Gary Brown, CF

He bears some similarity to a righthanded Randy Winn and destroys lefthanders, but he has trouble when righties pound him inside.

5. Mike Kickham, LHP

Kickham's raw stuff easily is the best among lefthanders in the system. He works off a two-seam fastball that he throws in the low 90s with sinking and tailing action.

6. Clayton Blackburn, RHP

His mound presence, command and ability to set up hitters are uncanny for a pitcher his age.

7. Heath Hembree, LHP

He works at 93-96 mph with quality life when fully healthy and got back up to 95 in the AFL.

8. Francisco Peguero, OF

Peguero has the most exciting combination of speed and power in the system, along with perhaps the best bat speed.

9. Roger Kieschnick, OF

Before he got hurt, Kieschnick was showing vastly improved patience and pitch recognition that enabled him to punish mistakes in the strike zone.

10. Adalberto Mejia, LHP

He's a flyball pitcher who works off an 89-91 mph fastball that touches 93 and should gain steam as he continues to mature and fill out his 6-foot-3 frame.

And some quick thoughts:

* Panik! at the top of the prospect list is encouraging, especially since I am a firm and committed Panikite. He was young for the Cal League, and his strikeout-to-walk ratio was stellar, even if the raw numbers weren't too exciting. I'm still a believer. Just like I was for Nick Noonan. But this is different. Because it is.

* The San Jose starting rotation should have Crick, Stratton, Blackburn, and Mejia, which should be outstanding to watch. Tickets!

* If you're at work, do not -- do not -- enter "SanJoseGiants.com" into your browser. Nekkid women on the Internet! Well, I never.

* Gary Brown is sounding more and more like a role player, but I'd still put money on him becoming at least the 7th-most valuable player ever drafted #24. His defense and speed alone will keep him in the majors for 10 years.

* If Kieschnick were right-handed, he would probably be starting a few games in the majors this year. Alas, he's a lefty, and his light-tower power will get masticated by AT&T Park and spit back out. Still, he's high on the list of players you aren't expecting to see in 2013, but probably will.

* I keep forgetting about Hembree. The Giants aren't, which is yet another reason they aren't keen on committing a lot of money to Brian Wilson.

While I'm not excited about the potential of a lot of these guys to help the Giants in 2013, I am excited to watch the San Jose Giants field a boffo rotation, considering that I go to as many of those games as I do the major-league games.

As a final note, BA always looks at a projected lineup four years into the future. They aren't trying to predict what will actually happen -- that would obviously be silly -- but they're giving you an idea of what's currently in the organization. The 2016 projected lineup:

C - Buster Posey
1B - Brandon Belt
2B - Joe Panik
3B - Pablo Sandoval
SS - Brandon Crawford
LF - Angel Pagan
CF - Gary Brown
RF - Hunter Pence
No. 1 Starter - Matt Cain
No. 2 Starter - Madison Bumgarner
No. 3 Starter - Kyle Crick
No. 4 Starter - Tim Lincecum
No. 5 Starter - Chris Stratton
Closer - Heath Hembree

Looking good, except for the Pence part (if only because he'll be 34). Just for gits and shiggles, here's what BA predicted for the 2013 Giants four seasons ago:

C - Buster Posey
1B - Tommy Joseph
2B - Nick Noonan
3B - Pablo Sandoval
SS - Brandon Crawford
LF - Thomas Neal
CF - Francisco Peguero
RF - Roger Kieschnick
No. 1 Starter - Tim Lincecum
No. 2 Starter - Matt Cain
No. 3 Starter - Madison Bumgarner
No. 4 Starter - Zack Wheeler
No. 5 Starter - Jonathan Sanchez
Closer - Brian Wilson

And what they predicted the 2010 Giants would look like four seasons earlier:

C - Eliezer Alfonzo
1B - Travis Ishikawa
2B - Kevin Frandsen
3B - Angel Villalona
SS - Emmanuel Burriss
LF - Eddy Martinez-Esteve
CF - Fred Lewis
RF - Nate Schierholtz
No. 1 Starter - Matt Cain
No. 2 Starter - Tim Lincecum
No. 3 Starter - Jonathan Sanchez
No. 4 Starter - N/A?
No. 5 Starter - Matt Morris
Closer - Brian Wilson

Would that lineup also have won the World Series? I guess we'll never know.

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