The Giants had a five-year run in which they introduced Tim Lincecum, Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner, Pablo Sandoval, Brandon Belt, and Brandon Crawford. That's rather impressive for a team that used to have Marvin Benard on its Prospect Mt. Rushmore.
There was a lull in the farm system after that run, though. The best prospects were all at the lower levels, and it's hard to get excited about prospects in Class-A when the prospects you used to follow are winning shiny awards in the majors. Prospect-hounding is something that's better when times are tough.
Say, lookie here, times are tough again. And the Giants, bless their heart, were kind enough to give us another interesting farm system. Baseball America is releasing their league-by-league prospect lists, and the Giants have 30 percent of the California League list, including the entire San Jose rotation. Here are the Giants who made the list, along with a brief snippet of their scouting report.
3. Kyle Crick, RHP
Crick has the arsenal to pitch at the front of a big league rotation, headlined by a fastball at 95-97 mph with late life.
6. Edwin Escobar, LHP
He pitches at 89-92 mph with his fastball but can reach back for 94 when he’s going for a strikeout. He has an outstanding feel for changing speeds with his fastball, able to get outs by backing it down to 86 mph on occasion.
10. Adalberto Mejia, LHP
His fastball runs up to 93 mph from the left side and he pitches at 90-92. He complements the heater with a changeup and slider.
15. Ty Blach, LHP
Blach’s stuff doesn’t overwhelm, but he has four quality pitches and no glaring weaknesses. His fastball sits at 90-91 mph, but he can reach back for 93-94 when he has to
18. Mac Williamson, OF
Williamson has a hulking 6-foot-5 frame and can hit balls out of any park.
20. Clayton Blackburn, RHP
Blackburn has an outstanding feel for reading hitters’ swings and manipulating the ball as necessary. He pitches with an 88-92 mph fastball and can reach 93 when needed.
I've read the list six times now because it makes me tingly. I love piles of pitching prospects. One of these guys should work out, dang it.
The best part is that all of these guys are likely to be in Double-A next year, which means there's a decent chance we'll see a couple of them make their debuts. Escobar is already on the 40-man roster, which means it's not inconceivable that he could make the rotation out of spring training if there's a need or an injury.
What's more amazing, that Ben Snyder didn't get a pair of saves against the Giants in the 2010 World Series after the Rangers traded for him, or that the Giants actually got a real prospect for Snyder? The Giants I used to know would have watched Snyder turn into the Rangers' Javier Lopez and received Arturo McDowell's slower brother in exchange.
So if you're looking for hope on a day the Dodgers might move on to the NLCS, there you go. The Giants have a phalanx of young pitchers, and they're getting closer and closer to the majors. Maybe if all of them do well, the Giants can trade Matt Cain for some power. The Tigers have this first baseman, see, and ...