Giants Invite a Number of Prospects and Vets to 2006 Spring Training
The Giants announced the invitation of prospects and MLB veterans to their 2006 Spring Training. Chief among them, as I've already noted, is Jamey Wright. I thought I would point out some interesting ones:
- Joe Bateman: Don't know exactly why I've liked him from the start, didn't know much about him, didn't know his stats when I first learned of him, but my gut says to watch him. He's been pretty good for the Giants the past two seasons, don't know why Brian Wilson flied to AAA while Bateman, after a good season in A plus a good stint in AA in 2004, gets sent back to high A in 2005 and stays there all year despite totally dominating the batters there, ranking first in a number of stats (which was partly expected since he's older than most players there but still he was in the top 5-10 among all pitchers in a number of categories).
- Justin Hedrick: Steve turned me on to him and he had a real nice season in San Jose in 2005. He was in the Top 10 of a couple of categories. Assuming he's in Connecticut, the team should have a real nice bullpen as San Jose had a great one in 2005 and most of them are moving up.
- Billy Sadler: Had a nice season in Norwich (writer forgot that the AA team was called Norwich last season, not Connecticut), improving his walk rate, and therefore his K/W ratio, greatly, but it was still lacking (1.9 vs. the 2.0 minimum to be good and the 2.2 one would like to see ideally).
- Brian Wilson: flew up the organization in 2005, it was his first full professional season healthy and he did not disappoint. He's probably the reliever to watch in 2006, the second guy up out of the system after whomever among Munter, Taschner, and Accardo is sent down. He is relieving because of his recovery from surgery, he could end up trying out for the starting rotation in 2007 if there is a need. And he loves Brian Wilson music, natch.
- Jonathan Sanchez: lefty strikeout machine. His name is showing up on the lips of fans, his stats are electrifying. Could fly up the system in 2006 if he can continue to dominate like that.
- Kevin Frandsen: Future 2B of the Giants? Probably not if Marcus Sanders continues to progress, as his injury probably pushes him from SS to 2B. Sabean mentioned 3B and SS as possibilities - for him to have a long career as a starter, he's probably going to have to do it at SS as he has not shown much power and 3B is normally a power position. Plus this next guy might make 3B his home for many years if he continues to develop.
- Pablo Sandoval: As noted, he's only 19, a 3B, and will be the youngest player in camp. He had a great season in Salem-Keizer, hitting .330/.383/.425/.808 with 3 homers in 294 AB. That seems and is low but he's middle of the pack as players in this league are young and undeveloped, perhaps their first year in pro ball, and 3 homers looks to be in the middle. He was a Baseball America top prospect pick for the Northwest League.
- Jake Wald: Had a quiet season but he hit .293/.357/.493/.850 with 15 homers in 304 AB. His HR/AB rate ranked 13th in the league out of 82 hitters with over 250 AB.
- John Bowker: Not sure why he got the call, he had a down year in 2005, which took some lustre off his prospect status, but I guess it wasn't bad enough. Plus he was only 22 last season.
- Brian Horwitz: Had a great season in Augusta and his hitting prowess got him this invite, though at 22, he was a little old for the Augusta crowd, he really should have been in San Jose, but as an outfielder, he is probably being held back by all the good outfielders we had in San Jose. They probably want to assess him carefully this season and make sure he isn't held back any more, they could be comparing him with Bowker to see who gets to AA Connecticut and who gets to San Jose.
- Clay Timpner: He had a nice season, good speed, no ability to take a walk or hit with power though, but great bat control otherwise, he doesn't strike out that much, making a lot of contact. Looks like a typical Giants CF: all glove, no bat, though maybe he'll hit a bit better than Calvin Murray or Jason Ellison because of his ability to make contact.