Top 5 San Francisco Giants prospects to watch at Spring Training

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Top 5 San Francisco Giants prospects to watch at Spring Training

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The San Francisco Giants started their MLB Spring Training about two weeks ago. Spring Training statistics barely indicate how players will perform in the regular season, but certain aspects of the of the MLB’s preseason can be helpful in showing just how ready players, especially young prospects with something to prove, are ready for the season. Five players on the Giants, in no particular order, are worth keeping an eye out for in the upcoming weeks.

Kyle Crick– Crick dominated in 14 starts at High-a-ball in 2013 with a 1.57 ERA and 95 strikeouts in 68.2 innings. Crick is a right hand pitcher who stands at 6’4” and throws fastballs that can run in the high 90s, but typically around 93-94 mph. He also improved his off-speed pitches mainly his curveballs and changeups.

Pablo Sandoval– If you are a San Francisco Giants fan, you are probably tired of hearing about Sandoval’s weight problems and how they can affect his possibly impending contract extension with the Giants. We have seen what Pablo Sandoval can do when he is healthy and in shape. He will play with motivation as his contract runs out at the end of the season.

Clayton Blackburn– Blackburn has proved to be a steady performer at the lower levels of the minors during the past couple of seasons, compiling a 2.87 ERA in just under 300 innings between rookie and Single-A ball from 2011-2013. He’s great at missing bats (311 strikeouts in 297.2 innings) and also shows impeccable command (just 56 walks).

Heath Hembree– Hembree isn’t at the top of most lists of Giants prospects, but he’s certainly one of the most polished young pitchers. Last season, Hembree was dominant in his 7.2 innings of work with the Giants, striking out 12 batters while allowing only six baserunners and no runs. That came despite his fastball sitting in the low 90s, somewhat slower than the 94-95 mph range he generally reached in the minors. Despite the lack of velocity, however, Hembree did an excellent job of locating his pitches.

Gary Brown– After reaching his peak in 2011 with a .336/.407/.519 line, including 53 steals, at High-A ball, Brown crashed mightily in the following seasons, especially at Triple-A in 2013, when he batted .231 in 137 games. Regardless of Brown’s struggles while playing at the highest level in the minors, Brian Sabean said he hasn’t lost hope in his formerly prized outfield prospect.

The grass has been cut and the fields manicured, the San Francisco Giants spring baseball team is upon us. The smell of hot dogs wafts through the air, as the fan next to you curses the nacho cheese he just dripped on his new jersey. Yes, after a long winter, it’s time for a good 2014-2015 baseball season.

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