By Scott Barzilla

It’s been no secret that I’m not a big Brian Sabean fan. Yet, he seems to defy the odds every season. Still, like a professional golfer that scrambles out of the woods every hole, the time is coming where the luck will begin to dry out. A quick look at the farm system is the first clue that something is going wrong. Yet, one should look no further than the product currently on the field.

The Dodgers still trail the Giants in spite of the fact that they have a better lineup, better bench, and an equally good bullpen. Heck, even Tim Lincecum has been one of the worst starting pitchers in baseball this season. Bruce Bochy deserves all kinds of credit for piecing together a working lineup. They are winning in spite of Sabean and not because of him.

   

AGE

LV

How

BP

BA

MLB

POS

C Andrew Susac

22

A+

D

6

6

14

NR

1B Ricky Oropesa

22

A+

D

17

NR

15

NR

2B Ryan Cavan

25

AA

D

NR

NR

NR

NR

3B Conor Gillaspie

25

AAA

D

20

NR

9

NR

SS Joe Panik

21

A+

D

2

4

6

NR

OF Gary Brown

23

AA

D

1

1

1

NR

OF Francisco Peguero

24

AAA

I

8

5

5

NR

OF Jarrett Parker

23

A+

D

18

NR

18

NR

P Kyle Crick

19

A+

D

5

8

2

NR

Andrew Susac– Catcher

This was Tommy Joseph before the trade deadline, but the Giants dealt him to the Phillies to get Hunter Pence. Joseph accompanied two other players including Nate Schierholtz. For their largesse, Pence has hit .230/.296/.363 as a Giant. Schierholtz has outperformed that in Philadelphia on his own. Susac will be organizational depth as Buster Posey appears ready to hold down the fort for the next decade.

Ricky Oropesa– First Base

There is nothing like opportunity to make a prospect look better than what he really is. The Giants are going through that currently with the likes of Brandon Belt and Brett Pill. Aubrey Huff will eventually be jettisoned out of town leaving those two to fight over the job. Oropesa might challenge them down the road, but it probably won’t be until 2014.

Ryan Cavan– Second Base

This used to be Charlie Culberson, but they apparently thought Marco Scutaro was more important. This is where luck comes into play as Scutaro is hitting .331 as a Giant despite the fact that his road numbers in Colorado were terrible. I’d rather be lucky than good any day I guess.

Conor Gillaspie– Third Base

Pablo Sandoval (AKA Kung Fu Panda) has been the third baseman of the future for the past several seasons. When his weight is under control he is their best overall hitter. His weight hasn’t been under control this year. Gillaspie is not going to bow anyone over, but he might be a decent bench guy down the road.

Joe Panik– Shortstop

Panik is hopefully going to be a better shortstop prospect than Brandon Crawford has been. Sure, Crawford might be one of the top three fielding shortstops in the National League, but I don’t see anyway he will be able to hit long enough to hold down the job. Panik probably has two seasons left to develop, so Crawford has that time to prove everyone wrong.

Gary Brown– Outfield

Brown was one of the top ten outfielders among prospects coming into 2012, but he hasn’t been as dominant as he was in seasons past. He was in AA this season, so it makes some sense that his numbers might be worse. Melky Cabrera went down with extra testosterone, so Brown might end up moving into that slot in 2013.

Francisco Peguero– Outfield

Peguero does not have the long range potential that Brown has, but he is closer to making an impact. What his role will be will depend on what they plan on doing with Hunter Pence. If Pence is a long-term solution than Peguero could become a fourth outfielder, but since Pence will be so expensive there is an outside chance that he could land in right field.

Jarrett Parker– Outfield

Parker exists on the fringe of the Giants system. He might elevate himself with his play down the road for right now, but being in only advanced A ball and being in the California League doesn’t ever make position players look great. Even those with great numbers have to be tempered with reasonable expectations.

Kyle Crick– Pitcher

Crick has elevated himself as a prospect with his play this season. MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo has updated his lists and Crick has made it all the way to number two. When a hitter succeeds in a hitter’s environment we yawn. When a pitcher succeeds in that same environment we stand up and take notice.

 

 

 

 

 

Scott Barzilla

Scott Barzilla is the editor in chief at hardballchat.com. He is also the author of four books, including The Hall of Fame Index. The Hall of Fame Index was nominated for the Sporting News Award for statistical innovation in 2011.

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