Prospect Rankings

By Joe Ritzo

Joe Panik is rated the #2 prospect in the system by Baseball America and #4 by MLB.com

Joe Panik is rated the #2 prospect in the system by Baseball America and #4 by MLB.com

Several former San Jose Giants have found themselves on recently released top prospect lists. Baseball America’s top 30 San Francisco prospects includes 18 players that have suited up for San Jose. Additionally, 11 players among MLB.com’s top 20 Giants prospects have once called Municipal Stadium home.

Baseball America Top 30 – Former SJ Giants

2. Joe Panik, SS
4. Gary Brown, OF
6. Clayton Blackburn, RHP
7. Heath Hembree, RHP
8. Francisco Peguero, OF
9. Roger Kieschnick, OF
11. Adam Duvall, 3B
13. Andrew Susac, C
17. Chris Heston, RHP
20. Josh Osich, LHP
22. Juan Perez, OF
23. Nick Noonan, SS/3B
24. Ehire Adrianza, SS
25. Eric Surkamp, LHP
26. Cody Hall, RHP
27. Ricky Oropesa, 1B
28. Jacob Dunnington, RHP
29. Shawn Payne, OF

MLB.com Top 20 – Former SJ Giants
2. Gary Brown, OF
4. Joe Panik, SS
5. Heath Hembree, RHP
6. Francisco Peguero, OF
8. Chris Heston, RHP
9. Eric Surkamp, LHP
11. Clayton Blackburn, RHP
13. Conor Gillaspie, 3B
15. Ehire Adrianza, SS
17. Andrew Susac, C
18. Ricky Oropesa, 1B

20-year old phenom Kyle Crick is rated the #1 prospect in the system by both Baseball America and MLB.com. Crick dominated in the South Atlantic League last season with Augusta and is expected to earn a promotion to San Jose this year. He was recently ranked the #86 prospect in all of baseball by MLB.com.

The two lists have differing opinions on the top position player prospect currently in the organization. Baseball America has 2012 San Jose co-MVP Joe Panik in the #2 overall slot while MLB.com puts Brown, the 2011 San Jose Most Valuable Player, in the second position. Panik is fourth according to MLB.com while Brown is #4 on Baseball America.

2012 first round draft pick Chris Stratton, another candidate to open this season in the SJ Giants starting rotation, is rated the #3 prospect in the system on both lists.

Former San Jose standouts Heath Hembree and Francisco Peguero received top 10 mention by both Baseball America and MLB.com. Hembree and Peguero each have realistic goals of making an impact in San Francisco this season.

Chris Heston shot up the prospect rankings after his outstanding 2012 with Double-A Richmond

Chris Heston shot up the prospect rankings after his outstanding season with Double-A Richmond

Chris Heston has improved his prospect status tremendously after claiming the 2012 Eastern League Pitcher of the Year award. The right-hander cracked the top 10 on the MLB.com list (#8) while he checks in at #17 on Baseball America’s list.

Conversely, Andrew Susac has dropped on the prospect charts this year after his up-and-down 2012 campaign in the California League. The backstop is ranked #13 by Baseball America and #17 by MLB.com. Susac is considered the top catching prospect in the system in both rankings.

Significant differences between the two prospect lists include their evaluations of Roger Kieschnick, Adam Duvall and Eric Surkamp. Kieschnick, who led Fresno in home runs last season (15) despite missing over half the year due to injury, is rated #9 by Baseball America, but unranked on MLB.com’s top 20. A year after blasting a San Jose Giants record 30 home runs, Duvall received the #11 prospect distinction by BA, but is also unranked by MLB.com. Meanwhile, Surkamp is still highly thought of by MLB.com with a #9 prospect ranking despite missing all of 2012 after undergoing Tommy John Surgery. Surkamp, however, is only Baseball America’s #25 prospect. He’s not expected to return until midseason this year.

Looking ahead to this season, Baseball America, in their individual prospect descriptions, notes that four of the top 10 could open the year in San Jose: #1 Crick, #3 Stratton, #6 Blackburn and #10 Adalberto Mejia – all starting pitchers. #13 Susac, #14 Edwin Escobar (LHP), #15 Martin Agosta (RHP), #16 Mac Williamson (OF), #18 Steven Okert (LHP), #19 Chris Marlowe (RHP), #26 Hall and #29 Payne are also candidates to begin this season with the San Jose Giants. Last year, seven out of Baseball America’s top 30 were on San Jose’s opening day roster (#4 Panik, #6 Susac, #15 Jarrett Parker, #17 Oropesa, #23 Osich, #25 Stephen Harrold, #28 Duvall).

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