Friday, March 22, 2013

Game Wrap Spring Training 2013: Giants 11 Rockies 6

It was an eventful day in Arizona as the Giants made some significant roster moves and Brandon Belt led a ferocious offensive attack pounding the Rockies into submission.  Key Lines:

Gregor Blanco- 3 for 4, 2B, 3B.  BA= .280.  Blanco has been hitting better after a slow start to the spring.  He apparently started out trying to copy Marco Scutaro's batting stance and swing, but did not have success with it.  Pagan was originally slated to start, but the Giants decided to give him an extra day to recuperate from the rigors of the WBC.

Hunter Pence- 1 for 3, HR(2).  BA= .353.  Has anyone else noticed that the baseball is flying out of the spring training parks as the weather has heated up in Arizona?  Still, The Rev is having an encouraging spring.

Brandon Belt- 4 for 4, 2B, 2 HR(6).  BA= .439.  Woo! Hoo!!  The Belter is absolutely on fire!  Can we please bottle some of this up and save it for the regular season?  Anyone else think Belt may be worth a late round flyer in my upcoming fantasy draft?

Nick Noonan- 1 for 5, HR(1).  BA= .188.  It was only 1 for 5 and it was in the desert, but Noonan just might have sealed the deal on a reserve IF roster spot with that dinger.

Chris Heston- 4 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 3 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 9.28.  The spring has been a mixed bag for Hesto Presto.  These  ST games get mighty tough for pitchers with the warming weather, so not sure how much stock to put in this subpar outing.

George Kontos- 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 3.75.  Very nice job here by Kontos who has to be a lock for a bullpen job.

Scott Proctor- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 5.40.  Proctor's only chance would seem to be if Mijares does not make it back in time for opening day and the Giants decide Runzler needs more seasoning in Fresno.  Proctor is on a minor league deal and can't opt out until July 1.

In somewhat surprising moves, the Giants released Wilson Valdez and Ramon Ramirez today.  The timing came as a courtesy to allow them time to try to hook up with other teams before the end of spring training as the Giants brass made a decision that neither player was going to be in the opening day roster.  The Valdez move leaves Nick Noonan in the driver's seat for the last IF roster spot, although the Giants will undoubtedly be looking intently at waiver wires as spring training winds down.

The Giants also released minor league OF Wendell Fairley who was part of the 2007 draft class.  The current scorecard on the 6 first and supplemental first round picks from that draft:

Madison Bumgarner- Currently Giants #2 starter and quickly becoming a star in the major leagues.

Tim Alderson- traded in 2009 for Freddy Sanchez who did not help the Giants in 2009, but came with an option that helped the Giants re-sign him.  He was an important member of the 2010 World Series Championship squad.

Nick Noonan- See discussion above.  Currently battling for a roster spot as a reserve infielder.

Wendell Fairley- released today.

Charlie Culberson- Got a cup of coffee with the Giants last year, then was traded to the Rockies for Marco Scutaro and another World Series Championship.

Jackson Williams- Still in the organization as a defense first catching prospect.  May have a big league future as a backup catcher somewhere.

Dump on that draft all you want, but by my accounting it played an essential role in the first 2 World Series Championships in San Francisco Giants history with possibly more to come.

Hot tip:  Check out a very nice article on draft prospect Oscar Mercado over at Big League Futures.  It seems like  his stock has dropped just a bit and he may be drafted in the late 20's of the first round.  I think he would make a very nice pick for the Giants at #26.  The post generated a spirited Giants-oriented discussion in the comments so make sure and go have a look-see.

Around the League:  The Cincinnati Reds announced today that Aroldis Chapman will be their closer in 2013.  It would seem that Dusty Baker and Aroldis won their battle with GM Walt Jocketty over Chapman's role.

Adam Eaton has a strained UCL and is expected to miss out at least 8 weeks.  Wow!  The D'Backs pretty much bet the farm on Eaton and now they are staring at him missing the first 3'rd of the season and possibly all season as you never know with UCL's.  Man, that must be a bitter pill for them to swallow!  Pretty much throws a monkey wrench into their plans.

Down on the Farm:  Alex Pavlovic is reporting on Giants Extra that it now looks like Mac Williamson will open the season with San Jose and Chris Stratton will open in Augusta.  Stratton in Augusta would seem to be disappointing for last year's first round draft pick.  Hope he is not still having post-concussion issues.


  1. Where will they assign Agosta?

    1. I think Agosta has been ticketed to for Augusta from then end of last season.

  2. Fairley is a big name. 29th pick. Here's BA's draft report: Although Fairley's athletic ability and talent were recognized early, he has been somewhat of a mystery to most scouts because he split time between football (as a wide receiver) and baseball in high school. He also never showed interest in playing in showcases. Fairley's tools are unquestioned. He shows ability to hit for average as well as plus power, and his quick lefthanded stroke allows him to pull balls out of the park or line them to left field. (part, and as always, its worth getting a subscription) I'd say he's a warning on dreaming too much on tools, but there were also some character issues. Say what you will with the Giants being composed mainly of boy-scouts, it hasn't turned out half bad. The opposite end of the spectrum is Tampa Bay, and those guys have some serious silliness with character issues.

    I have a pretty simple rating for drafts: if you get a bonafide major league baller its a B+ or A- right there. If its an ace, as Bumgarner is turning into, its a straight up A, or a home run. You throw in the trades that gave us scrappy 2B, and its a grand slam. Its also the gift that can keep giving. Great, great draft, and I think its most likely one of the most successful "load up" types when a team gets multiple picks in the top 100. I'd actually like to do an analysis of that. Sure, there are big name flame outs. Prospects flame out. All. The. Time.

    I get stuck with an optimist label. Well, I am under no illusions about just how hard it is to make the show. If 2 of the current DrB top 50 make it, that will be a minor miracle. This prospecting stuff is tough, rough business.

    On that BLF, I like the new guy Kevin's energy, but he's young, and he's stepping on Mack's toes a bit. Like the passion though. I agree with your point about SS being thin organizationally, and it being a tipping point. If they're on the fence and one of these SS's are there, I wouldn't mind. Especially McGuire, he seems like he might be a special bat.

    Thanks for the tip on the Augusta, sort of a surprise, but maybe they just want to build confidence. And maybe they have that much confidence in the Dominican Dandies that they want those guys getting first crack.

  3. Gotta love Nick Noonan...The kid is just a baseball player..Can play anywhere in the IF and play it welll..And will hit more than enough..And he obviously has made adjustments thru an up and down mnor league career even though only 23....Not as shiny as the new prospects that comde along every new year but he gets the job done which at times should outweigh "potential"

    Sorry to see Runzler get rocked the other day,,he was doing well and I was hopeful he migbht get that last lewfty spot (especially if Mijares was still hurt)