San Francisco Giants Top Prospects 2013, Part III: 25-36

Continuing on with my list of the Giants’ 60 top prospects heading into the 2013 season.  You can find Part I of the Series here and Part II here.

25.  Derek Law (RHP, 22).  The Giants’ 9th round pick in 2011 and another big-bodied (6’3″ and 218 lbs) right-hander at Class A Augusta, Law posted a 2.91 ERA and struck out 67 while walking 23 in 55.2 relief innings.

26.  Ricky Oropesa (1B, 23).  The Giants’ 3rd round pick in 2011, Oropesa hit .263 with a .338 OBP and .763 OPS at A+ San Jose.  Not particularly impressive for a 1Bman in a hitters’ league, but it was his first season in professional baseball.  Ricky’s biggest plus is power: he had 49 extra base hits last year, including 16 HRs.  Ricky’s biggest fault: he struck out 150 times in 518 at-bats, which is way too much for a player playing below the AA level.

My guestimate is that Oropesa starts 2013 back at A+ San Jose.  If so, he needs to get off to a great start and get himself promoted to either AA Richmond or AAA Fresno as soon as possible.

27.  Shilo McCall (LF, 19).  The Giants’ 9th round pick after being named New Mexico’s high school baseball player of the year, Shilo had a strong season for the Rookie League Arizona Giants.  While he batted only .246, he had a .377 OBP and .743 OPS in 39 games.  He also stole six bases in eight attempts.  Definitely a young player with tools.

McCall would be higher on this list, but, again, 39 Rookie League games isn’t much to go on.  Also, McCall struck out too much, 43 times in 138 at-bats.  He’s going to have to improve on that in 2013, most likely starting at the Giants short-season A league at Salem-Keizer.  At his age, however, he has plenty of time to develop.

28.  Keury Mella (RHP, 19).  Mella looks to be the most promising pitcher on the Giants’ 2012 Dominican Summer League team.  At age 18, he posted a 2.47 ERA with a pitching line of 69.1 IP, 58 hits and 28 walks allowed and 75 strikeouts.  At 6’2″ and 200 lbs, he’s also got a good body for a pitcher his age.

29.  Mac Williamson (RF, 22).  The Giants’ third round pick last June, Williamson had a strong first year of professional baseball, mostly at short-season Salem-Kaiser.  He hit .321 with a .375 OBP and .963 OPS in 33 games played on the season.  Williamson would rank higher on my list, but he was drafted as a senior out of Wake Forest and turns 23 this coming July.

30.  Joan Gregorio (RHP, 21).  Another former Dominican bonus baby, Gregorio pitched at short-season Salem-Keizer last year.  While his 5.54 ERA was poor, he struck out 69 while walking only 23 in 76.1 innings of work.  Gregorio is currently listed as 6’7″ and 180 lbs — one has to think that given his age, he’ll put on weight the next couple of seasons and that when he does, he’ll add some additional velocity to his fast ball.  In other words, he’s still very much a prospect.

31.  Angel Villalona (1B, 22).  Back playing baseball after two years dealing with murder allegations, Villalona was the top hitter for the DSL Giants, batting .303 with a .430 OBP and .927 OPS in 44 games.  While he ranked as an older player in the Dominican Summer League, it was nevertheless an impressive performance for a player that had not played since the 2009 season.

If Villalona can get a visa from the U.S. government for the 2013 season (which may be a big if given the nature of the charges against him), he’d likely start the season at A+ San Jose, where he played in 2009.  The thing to remember is that for all his time missed, he’s still only 22 years old, and he can obviously hit and hit with power.

32.  Jake Dunning (RHP, 24).  A 33rd round draft pick in 2009, the Giants like him well enough now to have him on their 40-man roster.  Pitching mostly in relief, Dunning had a 4.10 ERA at AA Richmond in 2012 and 4.74 ERA at A+ San Jose in 2011.

However, Dunning is still young and has fairly good stuff, having struck out 172 batters while walking only 55 in 182 professional innings pitched.

33.  Johnny Monell (C, 27).  No two ways about it: Monell is old for a prospect who has played only five games in his career at the AAA level.  However, catchers often have successful careers starting at older ages, because it takes more time to develop them in the minors leagues.

The thing I like about Monell is that he is a catcher who can hit.  He has always hit extremely well for a catcher.  Last year at AA Richmond, a very tough place to hit, Monell hit .257 with a .345 OBP and a .794 OPS.  For his minor league career, he has a .348 OBP and a .795 OPS.  By way of comparison, Eli Whiteside and Chris Stewart, two recent back-up catchers for the Giants, have career minor league OPS numbers of .675 and .689 respectively.

Monell was a 30th round draft pick and his defense at catcher is probably poor.  However, if he starts the 2013 at AAA Fresno and gets to play regularly, I think he’ll hit well enough that he’ll get a job as a back-up catcher for a major league team, even if not the Giants who are currently well stocked at catcher with Buster Posey and Hector Sanchez.

34.  Roger Kieshnick (RF, 26).  The Giants’ 3rd round pick in 2008, Roger was poised for a promotion to the big league club in late May of last season, when he was hitting over .300 and had an OPS over 1.000 through 50 Pacific Coast League games.  However, on May 29th, he busted up his shoulder running into an outfield wall and wasn’t able to come back until the last week of the PCL season.  Roger played 24 games in the Dominican Winter League this off-season, but hit only .228 with a .699 OPS.

Kieschnick’s unfortunate injury may have ruined his chances of having a successful major league career.  He turns 26 later this month, and he’ll have to start the 2013 season back in AAA to prove that his first 50 games in 2012 were no fluke.

35.  Eury Sanchez (RHP, 20).  Sanchez had a 1.23 ERA with 36 Ks in 29.1 relief innings for the 2012 Dominican Summer League Giants.  He’s listed as 5’10” and 170lbs, so hopefully he’s still growing.

36.  Francisco Peguero (CF, 25).  The Giants like Peguero well enough to have him on their 40-man roster, but he had a poor season at AAA Fresno.  While his .272 batting average wasn’t bad, his .297 OBP and .691 OPS were.  Also, after being a base-stealing threat throughout his minor league career, Peguero stole only one base for the Grizzlies (although he stole three bases without being caught during a call-up with the Giants where he was primarily used as a pinch runner).

However, Peguero hit well the previous three seasons, so there’s a good chance he’ll hit much better at Fresno is 2013.  Whether it will be enough to get him up to the majors while he’s still young enough to have a successful career remains to be seen.

Part IV of this series can be found here and Part V here.

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2 Comments on “San Francisco Giants Top Prospects 2013, Part III: 25-36”

  1. BigUglyScott Says:

    Great article series, Burly. Thanks for helping me appear knowledgeable without having to do my own homework! BTW, we need to go climbing soon.

  2. Burly Says:

    3/29/13: I’ll admit that I almost certainly underrated Francisco Peguero, if only because the Giants like him and he’ll therefore get opportunities as he did this Spring.

    The Giants’ website rates Peguero as the Giants’ 6th best prospect, which is more likely the opinion of the people at mlb.com than the team itself, but even so it strongly suggest the Giants like Peguero. I should also mention that I failed to note that Baseball America rated Peguero has having the Giants system’s best outfield arm after the 2011 season.

    With only one Spring Training game left, Peguero has had a terrific spring, batting .328 with an .833 OPS in 25 games. An article on the Giants’ website today states that he and Cole Gillespie are battling for the Giants’ last regular season roster spot as the team’s fifth outfielder.

    All that said, I’m still not sold on Peguero. He only walked twice this spring in at least 60 plate appearances. I just don’t see how he can be a consistent major league hitter unless he improves his plate discipline substantially.


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