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  1. “it’s possible that he’s sacrificing miles per hour for movement and/or control.”

    I doubt it. I never read anyone in the organization suggest anything along these lines, and it’s not like he was still topping out at the same and just averaging less – his velocity as a whole went down a decent amount. My biggest concern is the K-rate. We’ll see how that progresses.

    “Defensively, his range is better suited for left field but he has the arm strength to play right field without embarrassing himself.”

    Don’t we generally think LF = RF defensively?

    I also don’t think there’s been any real talk of Posey moving positions – everything that comes out of the Giants organization says he’s a C and they aren’t moving him.

    Comment by B — March 2, 2010 @ 2:36 pm

  2. Where would Villalona have ranked, if not for the, ahem, legal issues?

    Comment by Nathaniel Stoltz — March 2, 2010 @ 3:29 pm

  3. “Don’t we generally think LF = RF defensively/”

    Avoiding any general discussion on the need for arm strength in right field to help stop doubles from turning into triples, range is a serious issue for right fielders in San Francisco, where right fielders usually need to play significantly out of position compared to other parks to cover AT&T’s deep right-center gap, and need range to cover the line.

    Comment by Kevin C. — March 2, 2010 @ 4:03 pm

  4. True – I just took it as a general statement that I thought was curious, if it was intended to be specific to the Giants, I understand, but if it’s not, I think it’s a weird thing to say if we’re going to give them the same positional adjustment.

    Comment by B — March 2, 2010 @ 4:42 pm

  5. I think we give them the same defensive adjustments but they require different skills like how 2nd base and 3rd base have the same adjustment (I’m pretty sure) but 2nd requires more range and 3rd requires a better arm.

    Comment by ingeindahouse — March 2, 2010 @ 5:02 pm

  6. no rafeal rodriguez?

    Comment by SF 55 for life — March 2, 2010 @ 5:42 pm

  7. My Top 10:

    1. Buster Posey
    2. Madison Bumgarner
    3. Zack Wheeler
    4. Thomas Neal
    5. Rafael Rodriguez
    6. Brandon Crawford
    7. Roger Kieshnick
    8. Tommy Joseph
    9. Nick Noonan
    10. Francisco Peguero

    Comment by DrBGiantsfan — March 2, 2010 @ 5:55 pm

  8. Nice call with Waldis Joaquin. Good movement on his fastball and everything seems to sink and tail away from lefties. If he can get a little more control, he’ll be a good 7th-8th inning guy. Giants bullpen is good – Brian Wilson, Romo, Affeldt, Runzler, Medders, Joaquin. Pretty solid.

    Comment by Johnnie LeMaster — March 2, 2010 @ 6:25 pm

  9. Pardon the ignorance, but what exactly are the “legal issues”?

    Comment by tbad — March 2, 2010 @ 7:19 pm

  10. Villalona is being held in his home country of the Dominican Republic on murder charges. Although, it seems like they have been holding him for several months now while they “gather evidence.”

    Comment by Jason F — March 2, 2010 @ 7:38 pm

  11. Is Roger Kieschnick related to Brooks?

    Comment by zurd — March 2, 2010 @ 8:22 pm

  12. Oh wow. Can’t believe I missed that somehow.

    Comment by tbad — March 2, 2010 @ 9:01 pm

  13. Nah, arm is overvalued in the outfield. Range is the big factor – basically, in a generic field, sure arm is a little more important in RF, but not much, they essentially take the same skills. Plus, having a strong arm hardly means you’re going to save runs with it.

    Comment by B — March 2, 2010 @ 9:41 pm

  14. Plus, his visa was revoked so he can’t even enter the US at the moment…

    Comment by B — March 2, 2010 @ 9:42 pm

  15. Whatever happened to Eddy Martinez-Esteve?

    Comment by Trev — March 2, 2010 @ 9:49 pm

  16. AKA RafRod, should be 7th on this list.

    Comment by Ramah71 — March 2, 2010 @ 9:56 pm

  17. Yes.

    Comment by Bhaakon — March 2, 2010 @ 11:11 pm

  18. “Plus, having a strong arm hardly means you’re going to save runs with it.”

    Stick a Juan Pierre type in RF and watch how often teams will advance to 3rd with less than two outs on a can of corn. Over the course of the year this might cost a team 5-6 runs (maybe even more).

    A strong arm isn’t about the outs you actually make, it’s about the threat of throwing someone out from 2nd to 3rd on a sac fly or from 2nd to home on a hard hit groundball single.

    Comment by Joel C. — March 3, 2010 @ 1:53 am

  19. I was wondering if I might get a clarification on the speed of Thomas Neal. I saw him play once live and a few times on TV and came away with the impression that he had average speed or slightly above average.

    I have read both here and BP’s Giants prospects rating of Neal’s relative lack of speed.

    I can see where the possible discrepancies come from. In 306 games in his minor league career, Neal has stolen only seven bases in 14 attempts. Yet, turned loose in the Arizona Fall League in 2009, he stole 12 bases in 15 attempts in just 20 games.

    I guess my assessment of Thomas’s speed (which is really little more than a guess on my part) isn’t necessarily incongruous with yours, Marc, but it certainly seemed to be out of sync with BP’s judgment.

    If we gave Neal a 6 speed rating on a 1-10 scale, might we be close? At least a 5? I got the impression Kevin Goldstein of BP rated him as a 4 or even a 3.

    It is encouraging that Neal has overcome a shoulder injury to be ranked in the top 10 minor league left field arms. I was most impressed this past season by his large improvement in plate discipline.

    And that he began the season batting 9th for San Jose and soon moved all the way up to #3 in the order.

    Comment by SharksRog — March 3, 2010 @ 6:13 am

  20. “A strong arm isn’t about the outs you actually make, it’s about the threat of throwing someone out from 2nd to 3rd on a sac fly or from 2nd to home on a hard hit groundball single.”

    Well, it’s about both. Pretty sure everyone understands this, and tries to measure this with their fielding metrics. If you check out UZR’s breakouts for all qualified OF’s last year, you’ll find the range in “arm” runs is 10.1 to -6.6 The range for “Range”, on the other hand, is 29.3 to -20.9. Over the past 3 seasons cumulative, the ranges are 22.4 to -18.1 and 56.6 to -65.8 for arm and range, respectively. You can have your strong armed RF. I’ll take Randy Winn (defensively speaking) any day of the week.

    Comment by B — March 3, 2010 @ 10:09 am

  21. Prospect evaluators seem all over the place with Neal. I can’t figure it out. Some think he can be a decent corner OF, others project him at 1B. It doesn’t seem too clear what the deal is.

    Comment by B — March 3, 2010 @ 10:11 am

  22. No Zach Wheeler? For shame..

    Comment by Fergie348 — March 3, 2010 @ 3:21 pm

  23. Thomas Neal played first base when he was recovering from arm surgery. I haven’t seen him play there, but he’s enough of an athlete that I suspect he is fine.

    I think he best position may be left field. His hitting would stand out there, and I think he would be an above-average left fielder defensively.

    I’m wondering if Roger Kieschnick’s speed isn’t above average, as well. I have read that, and Jon Miller was speaking to the issue during today’s spring training game, comparing Kieschnick’s speed to that of Nate Schierholtz.

    Schierholtz is far from a burner, but once he gets going his speed is well above average. I think Kieschnick’s speed is above average. I have even seen him referred to as a five tooler.

    Sadly I think that the one tool in which Roger is deficient is hitting, where his lack of discipline will likely kill his average. He has some of the best power potential in the Giants’ system, so it would be nice if he could get on base more than occasionally, but I think that will be the big question.

    Comment by SharksRog — March 3, 2010 @ 11:44 pm

  24. All of the recent draft picks were excluded from the top 10 lists that Hulett has recently done.

    Wheeler ranks 3-4 on most lists that include the recent draft picks.

    Comment by The Czar — March 7, 2010 @ 4:21 am

  25. I think Neal is probably most valuable in the corner OF, there are some who think his power will not be as great in the majors as it appeared last season, making 1B unlikely unless he was plus defensively there.

    Kieschnick was described as a 5-tool player when we drafted him, with hitting the worse of his attributes, and that seemed to play out in 2009. Minor League Baseball Analyst 2010 lists him as having plus speed. BA noted that he has “surprising speed and athleticism for a big man” (he’s 6′ 3″). Last year they noted that he has “solid-average speed.”

    Meanwhile Neal is rated as below average speed, his AFL notwithstanding, though I would note that technique (and surprise) helps there when you don’t have speed. BA notes that Neal is a “below average runner” and his OF range is not the greatest.

    Comment by obsessivegiantscompulsive — March 12, 2010 @ 6:33 pm

  26. All the major lists list our top prospects in this order: Posey, Bumgarner, Wheeler.

    Comment by obsessivegiantscompulsive — March 12, 2010 @ 6:34 pm

  27. do people fail to read? Every one of Hulet’s lists for every team this year has had a poster ask why he didn’t include recent draft picks. If you just take a quick look at…well, the beginning of this write-up, you’ll see this:

    (2009 Draft Picks/International Signees Not Included)

    Wheeler is the consensus #3 guy in the Giants farm system, but what Hulet is doing with these write-ups is discussing their current crop of talent, and NOT what they recently brought him this past year via draft/international signings. Not hard to figure out

    Comment by richman — March 12, 2010 @ 7:12 pm

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