He looks like such a nice young man, too. - USA TODAY Sports
Another prospect list, another poor showing for the Giants. You're right not to dwell on it, so let's look further into the future.
Baseball Prospectus has their top-101 list out, which means we're pretty close to the end of prospect-ranking season. The final tally from the big five:
|Baseball America||Baseball Prospectus||Keith Law||John Sickels||MLB.com|
|Kyle Crick||66||65||76||26 (of top-50 pitchers)||86|
|Clayton Blackburn||N/A||95||80||35 (of top-50 pitchers)||N/A|
Sickels also had Chris Stratton as his #30 pitcher, FYI. I'm also going to pretend that Hector Sanchez hit .340/.370/.549 in San Jose last year, which means the Giants have a top-50 hitting prospect, too. It's intellectually honest (like, without question), and you can't stop me.
But for the most part, what you see is what you get, and the Giants don't have the sexiest minor-league system right now. They don't have one o' them Poseys or Bumgarners that were so fascinating back in the day. Remember when those guys were prospects, and you would daydream about what they would contribute to the Giants? Anything was possible. Even a couple of championships. You were limited only by your imagination, and now that you don't have that -- all you have are those fleeting realizations of your wildest daydreams -- don't you feel a little hollow?
No? Just checking.
It's still fun to daydream about prospects like Oscar Taveras when you have them, though. Man, that kid's going to be good.
Don't get too discouraged by these rankings, though. Matt Cain used to be the #91 prospect according to BA. Bumgarner didn't crack the list in 2008, and neither Crick nor Blackburn were on many lists last year. The odds are pretty good that next year at this time, there will be a Giants prospect on the top-100 lists who isn't there now. Or, perhaps more importantly, Crick or Blackburn will be much higher.
This brings us to the comment starter of the day: Which Giants prospect are you expecting to shoot up the lists next year?
You don't need to bring logic to this fight. Fanboys and fangirls are welcome. And I'd like to ...
/reveals glossy brochure, unfolds it on the table
... talk to you for a moment about Joe Panik.
I'm no prospect hound. I can't break down a swing and find the holes, loops, and hitches. But what I do know is this:
- The average age for the California League is 22.6. Panik was 21 last season.
- The average hitter in the Cal League hit .273/.342/.427 last year. Panik hit .297/.368/.402.
- Municipal Stadium isn't as hitter-friendly as the other Cal League stadiums, especially when it comes to home runs
So I'm choosing to believe. Hopefully, the Eastern League won't swallow him alive, and he'll get a late-season promotion to Fresno. The Panik bandwagon has a lot of room, if you're interested. Hop on now, so you can brag about it later. And everyone on the Internet knows that what you think about a prospect now is what you will feel about him forever and ever, so get crackin'.
I could also see some Stratton love, Edwin Escobar fancying, or even some Hollick hankerin'. For now, though, I'm in Panik mode.