With Spring Training coming to and end and Opening Day right around the corner, it’s time to look at which key prospects are going to make the team and which ones will have to try again next year. This will give us a better idea of what to expect during the 2013 season. We’ll look at a few of the key decisions made by the Giants’ management.
Had I written this article a week ago, I’d be telling you top the top Giants’ prospect, Gary Brown, would be my top pick to be making the team going into the 2013 season; however, as of the end of last week, the Giants announced he will be spending the season in the minors.
The reason, according to the Giants’ general manager, is hitting: Brown needs to swing with more confidence. The hope is for Brown to eventually fill a leadoff hitter’s role in the Giants’ batting order. Brown, ranked the number two prospect for the Giants by MLB.com, would probably improve his hitting more being in the majors and hitting against major league pitchers. He will, though, get his chance in the upcoming years.
There are a couple of prospects likely to be in a Giants uniform this year, though not at the start of it; they are Kyle Crick and Joe Panik. Kyle Crick is a tall right-handed pitcher who struck out 128 batters in only 111 innings in minor league play. The reason he isn’t going to start the 2013 season in a Giant’s uniform is that he still needs a little work on his pitching. His problems aren’t huge, and it is possible we’ll see him pitching for San Francisco late in the season.
Joe Panik would be ready to play in the majors if asked to. He played shortstop at St. John’s, but he will likely play second base when he plays for the Giants. For Panik, he just needs to prove his playing capabilities at lower levels before playing in the majors. He batted .341 in Low-A and .297 in High-A, and if he does even better this season in the minors, don’t be surprised to see him in a Giants uniform later in the season as well.
Overall, this is a rough year for prospects. The Giants’ management, as I mentioned last week, want to keep last year’s championship team as close to the same as possible. Brown wasn’t the only player to be relegated to the minors at the end of last week; 20 other players were cut at the same time, including Heath Hembree and Chris Heston, and sent to the minors. Even though this is a rough year for prospects hoping to make the team, it is much more likely they will make it onto the Giants’ roster in the years to come.