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BP Blurbs on the Youngsters


Eliezer Alfonzo C BR TR 6'0" 205 Age 27

Alfonzo is an organizational soldier who started knocking the ricotta out of the ball in 2005. The Giants were all set to tap him for the backup spot in the majors when they traded Yourvit to Seattle, but Alfonzo was on the hook for a substance abuse violation, so Yamid Haad got the nod instead. The Giants re-signed Alfonzo at the end of the year and sent him to instructional league.

Comparables: Kevin Brown, John Lindsey, Shawn Wooten


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"...the best evaluation of players is subjective judgment...The real baseball world is inevitably going to be hundreds of times more complicated than the model that we construct...." -Bill James
3/14/2006, 1:35 am Link to this post   
 
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Re: BP Blurbs on the Youngsters


Kevin Frandsen 2B BR TR 6'0" 175 Age 24

The Giants love Frandsen and it's not just because he's infaillingly polite and always remembers to bring enought chewing gum for everyone. He makes excellent contact, has an even line-drive stroke, and he's more than capable of playing second at higher levels. Comparisons to Robby Thompson abound, but they are not really apt. Frandsen probably won't field as well as Thompson did, and he deifinitely won;t have the same kind of power. He can make up for some of that with a much better average, but he's a future starter, not a future star.

Comparables: Freddy Sanchez, Jose Lind, Ruben Salazar


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"...the best evaluation of players is subjective judgment...The real baseball world is inevitably going to be hundreds of times more complicated than the model that we construct...." -Bill James
3/14/2006, 1:35 am Link to this post   
 
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Re: BP Blurbs on the Youngsters


Travis Ishikawa 1B BL TL 6’3” 190 Age 22

Ishikawa finally showed the power that the Giants were waiting for, but he also struck out in about 30% of his plate appearances. Sometimes strikeouts are a predictor of power in a player’s future, and sometimes it just means that you can’t catch up with the fastball. Time will tell just which shade of foreshadowing Ishikawa’s strikeout totals represent. One good sign is his reverse platoon split; he actually hit lefties better than righties. There’s also no doubt about his fielding, he’s a almost a Gold Glove quality defender right now. The team will give him the starting job at Double A next year to see what he can do against tougher competition.

Comparables: Pete Paciorek, AJ Zapp, Brad Hawpe



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"...the best evaluation of players is subjective judgment...The real baseball world is inevitably going to be hundreds of times more complicated than the model that we construct...." -Bill James
3/14/2006, 1:35 am Link to this post   
 
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Re: BP Blurbs on the Youngsters


Fred Lewis CF BL TR 6’2” 190 Age 25

In April and May, Lewis hit a combined .210/.289/.304. The rest of the way he went .308/.397/.447. Lewis spent so much time fixing his swing in the batting cage at Norwich that the team joked about naming it after him. Because of his 2004 breakthrough, the second half of ’05 seems more like the real Lewis. One concern is that the Giants moved him from center to left so he could concentrate on getting out of his slump. In so doing, they diminished his offensive value. It doesn’t help that he’s already 25; he needs to move back to center to retain what prospect status he has, and doing a better job hanging in against lefties couldn’t hurt. He hit .234/.331/.340 against them, versus .288/.372/.418 against righties.

Comparables: Rich Becker, Bill Mott, Mike Darr


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"...the best evaluation of players is subjective judgment...The real baseball world is inevitably going to be hundreds of times more complicated than the model that we construct...." -Bill James
3/14/2006, 1:35 am Link to this post   
 
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Re: BP Blurbs on the Youngsters


Todd Linden RF BB TR 6’3” 210 age 28

Long rumored to be someone with a future, Linden had his first outstanding season since his time at Double A Shreveport in 2002; his .682 slugging rate led all minor leaguers. He was also a true switch hitter, slugging .523 vs RHPs and .852 vs Lefties. Unfortunately, he looked lost during 187 plate appearances in the majors. Sometimes it takes a while to adjust to major league pitching, but Linden has now had three consecutive auditions, and none were very promising. In his third pass through the PCL, Linden’s walk rate was quite strong, but his judgment collapsed after his promotion. Felipe Alou must have given off some anti-walk pheromone; only five times in his 13 year managing career has one of his players – Bonds aside – drawn more than 60 walks in a season. Thirty-six have done it for Bobby Cox during the same period, 34 for Tony LaRussa, 31 for Joe Torre, and even 19 for Dusty Baker, who feels the same way about walks as Joan Crawford did about wire hangers (again, not counting time with Bonds)

Comparables: Joe Borchard, Melvin Nieves, Jim Hickman

 
  


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"...the best evaluation of players is subjective judgment...The real baseball world is inevitably going to be hundreds of times more complicated than the model that we construct...." -Bill James
3/14/2006, 1:36 am Link to this post   
 
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Re: BP Blurbs on the Youngsters


Eddy Martinez-Esteve LF BR TR 6’2” 215 age 22

Eddy was an extra-base hitting machine in San Jose this year, and the only thing holding him back from a promotion to Double A was his shoulder. He had labrum surgery in his throwing arm in the off season and wasn’t capable of playing the field until the last two months of the minor league’s shorter season. Even with a healthy arm, though EME isn’t considered a potential asset in Left Field. A trade to an AL team might be good for Martinez-Esteve but bad for the Giants who don’t have a lot of hitters of this quality in their system

Comparables: Rusty Keith, Garrett Atkins, Conor Jackson


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"...the best evaluation of players is subjective judgment...The real baseball world is inevitably going to be hundreds of times more complicated than the model that we construct...." -Bill James
3/14/2006, 1:36 am Link to this post   
 
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Re: BP Blurbs on the Youngsters


Marcus Sanders SS BR TR 6’0” 160 age 20

The system’s best position prospect, Sanders has the hands and range for short, but there are concerns that high school shoulder surgery left him without enough arm strength for the position. There’s also a concern that the shoulder might impinge on his developing power. After the season the docs went in again. Depending on how the surgery turns out, Sanders could stay at short, though a move to second or center is more likely. There must be something about the surname Sanders that makes one really fast. Barry, Deion, heck Winnie the Pooh lived under the name of Sanders because when the honey bees got after him he could really hustle. Marcus is no exception. Not only does he have speed, he has discernment, posting a 86% stolen base success rate. He’s also discerning at the plate, making him the rare prototypical leadoff hitter who walks like a leadoff hitter should. He’s a prospect, but the shoulder keeps him out of the “ strong buy” category.

Comparables: Travis Dawkins, Elliot Johnson, Gregor Blanco



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"...the best evaluation of players is subjective judgment...The real baseball world is inevitably going to be hundreds of times more complicated than the model that we construct...." -Bill James
3/14/2006, 1:36 am Link to this post   
 
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Re: BP Blurbs on the Youngsters


Nate Schierholtz RF BL TR 6’2” 215 age 22

It’s hard to hit homers in San Jose as a pull-hitting lefty, but still, people wanted more from Schierholtz that he delivered. His plate discipline also leave much to be desired, and while half the scouts in the league will tell you not to worry, the other half say he’ll be brutally exploited by pitchers at higher levels. Our translations say he had a good year in a tough environment, but that doesn’t’ mea the nay-saying scouts are wrong about his ultimate fate as a free-swinger. His move from third base to right field had mixed results; his arm strength helped him lead the league in outfield assists, but bad breaks and bad routes made line-drives and adventure.

Comparables Josh Kroeger, Jeremy Dodson, Michael Ryan

 
  


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"...the best evaluation of players is subjective judgment...The real baseball world is inevitably going to be hundreds of times more complicated than the model that we construct...." -Bill James
3/14/2006, 1:36 am Link to this post   
 


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