January is one of the bigger countdown months for baseball happenings without baseball happening, which means you have the final free agent push going strong, arbitration numbers and figures starting to be discussed, and the ever-important link-click, site-hit-generating prospect lists. MLB.com is going at it with their positional rankings and though the Giants may not have the deepest or most top-heavy system in the league, especially with household names like Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey, Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, and Brandon Belt all grown up and graduated, but they’ve definitely been re-loading at pitching, and heck, even one of their catchers drafted is getting a little love.
Edwin Escobar, who split time between High-A San Jose and Double-A Richmond, was ranked as the number eight left-handed pitcher of all MiLB prospects. You can read the non-numerical scouting reports for him and the other players that made the list. I love their charts that they made for their prospects, including a little guide for those unfamiliar with the scouting vocabulary:
So with this chart, you get to see that Escobar is overall, projected to be a little better than average, with his fastball and his control being his calling card. Nice to project to have three above-average pitches, though, for sure. The name I’m keeping an eye on in that group is Max Fried, just because I was really intrigued by him when he was drafted, and he’s got a ways to go. Even after a year, Fried was already a Top 100 prospect.
Then the other side of the pitch-and-catch battery, the Giants have someone you might have heard of that dons the catcher’s gear in quite a good looking way. So much so that my wife has assured me our first born son’s name will be Buster Posey Jones. There is certainly nothing wrong with having another catcher in your system that can play at the MLB level, and the Giants may have that in former Oregon State Beaver Andrew Susac. The Giants do already have a decent back-up catcher in Hector Sanchez, so if Susac starts to push the bill and everyone on the MLB field stays healthy, I believe it will be interesting to see what management does with Sanchez and Susac, though that may be an issue for 2015. Susac, like Escobar, ranked eighth amongst all MiLB catching prospects. Their numbers:
While I hear the most glowing reports on defense about Austin Hedges (another Padres prospect), Jorge Alfaro definitely should have your attention as well. Maybe for me it’s because offense is a lot easier to see than defense at times, especially when you have the power to really swing for the fences. Chicks aren’t the only ones that dig the long ball, no, sir-ee.
More prospect lists will be coming out to keep us busy, with Baseball Prospectus having released their Giants article — I haven’t read it yet, work’s been really busy this week — and when Top 100’s come out, we’ll all be searching to see where Kyle Crick places. Maybe we’ll get a surprise and Edwin Escobar will be there or will get an honorable mention. Talking about the future is pretty fun in baseball circles, here’s to hoping I’ll get to write about some glowing reviews Giants prospects have received in the past year soon.