Baseball Prospectus is looking for a Public Data Services Director. Read the description here.
top 11 prospects

Five-Star Prospects
1. Buster Posey, C
2. Madison Bumgarner, LHP
Four-Star Prospects
3. Zach Wheeler, RHP
Three-Star Prospects
4. Dan Runzler, LHP
5. Ehire Adrianza, SS
6. Rafael Rodriguez, RF
7. Thomas Neal, OF
8. Roger Kieschnick, OF
9. Tommy Joseph, C
10. Francisco Peguero, OF
Two-Star Prospects
11. Chris Dominguez, 3B

Four More:
12. Jason Stoffel, RHP: A top college reliever in the spring, Stoffel took a huge fall in the draft after a rough season. His stuff still misses bats, and he could prove to be a steal.
13. Nick Noonan, 2B: Scouts still love the tools, but they admit frustration on how slowly they’ve translated on the diamond.
14. Darren Ford, OF: Ford finally showed some signs of life at San Jose; was it too little, too late for a guy who needed three years at High-A?
15. Brandon Crawford, SS: He has a plus glove, but there are plenty of questions about the bat.

1. Buster Posey, C
DOB: 3/27/87
Height/Weight: 6-1/205
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: 1st round, 2008, Florida State University
2009 Stats: .326/.428/.540 at High-A (80 G); .321/.391/.511 at Triple-A (35 G); .118/.118/.118 at MLB (7 G)
Last Year’s Ranking: 2

Year in Review: This top pick from 2008 performed as well, if not better than expected with the bat, but he showed he still had some work to do defensively.
The Good: Posey could step into the big leagues right now and be an above-average offensive catcher. His approach is excellent, and his quick, compact swing leads to consistent hard contact and at least average power. He’s a very toolsy player for a catcher, with average to a tick above-average speed once he gets going. He has an outstanding arm.
The Bad: Posey didn’t begin catching until college, so his receiving skills are a bit raw, although most believe his fantastic athleticism for a catcher will allow him to develop into an average-if not more-backstop. His platoon differences are sizeable, as he absolutely destroys left-handed pitching, while he’s merely good against righties.
Ephemera: Of Posey’s 18 home runs in the minors last year, 11 came against left-handers in just 114 at-bats, as did both of his Arizona Fall League homers.
Perfect World Projection: He’s an All-Star catcher.
Path to the Big Leagues: The signing of Bengie Molina was a confusing one, leaving Posey to likely start 2010 in the minors. There were some rumblings about a positional switch, but he’s staying at catcher.
Timetable: Posey will begin 2010 working on his defense back at Triple-A Fresno, but he should overtake Molina for the big-league job at some point during the year.

2. Madison Bumgarner, LHP
DOB: 8/1/89
Height/Weight: 6-4/215
Bats/Throws: R/L
Drafted/Signed: 1st round, 2007, South Caldwell HS (NC)
2009 Stats: 1.48 ERA (24.1-20-4-23) at High-A (5 G); 1.93 ERA (107.0-80-30-69) at Double-A (20 G); 1.80 ERA (10.0-8-3-10) at MLB (4 G)
Last Year’s Ranking: 1

Year in Review: The Giants‘ top prospect entering the year was good, but not nearly as dominant as 2008 due to a disturbing drop in velocity.
The Good: When he’s on, Bumgarner can be electric, touching 95-96 mph with a fastball that earns as much praise for its movement as its velocity. He’ll show an excellent power breaking ball at times, and earns high praise for his aggressive, fearless style.
The Bad: Bumgarner’s velocity fell throughout the 2009 season, with him rarely getting to 90 mph by the end of the year. The Giants believe this was due to fatigue and a self-imposed off-day schedule that had him throwing far too hard. He’ll still flatten out a breaking ball on occasion, and his changeup is just a show-me pitch.
Ephemera: While the 10th overall pick in the draft has produced oodles of great hitters, it hasn’t been as kind to pitchers, as Jon Garland is the all-time wins leader with 117, and only six pitchers drafted in that slot have even reached double-digits. Tim Lincecum, whom the Giants selected at 10th the year before they took Bumgarner with the identical pick, should shatter Garland’s mark.
Perfect World Projection: If the stuff comes back, his potential remains that of a front-line starter.
Path to the Big Leagues: We’ll know much more this spring.
Timetable: Bumgarner will get a long look this spring as the potential fifth starter.

3. Zach Wheeler, RHP
DOB: 5/30/90
Height/Weight: 6-4/180
Bats/Throws: S/R
Drafted/Signed: 1st round, 2009, East Paulding HS (GA)
2009 Stats: Did not play
Last Year’s Ranking: Did not qualify

Year in Review: The top high school arm in the South, Wheeler was the sixth overall pick, but he signed too late to make his pro debut.
The Good: Wheeler has the much-desired combination of right-now stuff and plenty of projection, as his long, skinny frame still has plenty of room to fill out. His fastball sits in the low 90s, touches 95 mph, and he gets a bit of natural sink on the pitch as well. He’ll flash a plus slider and already has advanced feel for a changeup.
The Bad: Wheeler’s secondary pitches need refinement, as he’ll lose feel on both due to overthrowing. His arm slot is a bit low, leaving some to wonder is he’ll have trouble against left-handed hitters. More than anything, he just needs innings.
Ephemera: The Giants had drafted sixth overall just twice before, selecting righty Steve Soderstrom in 1993 and shortstop Johnnie LeMaster in 1973.
Perfect World Projection: It’s an All-Star level ceiling…
Path to the Big Leagues: …With plenty of work still to be done.
Timetable: Wheeler should be polished enough to handle a full-season league in his pro debut and will likely begin 2010 at Low-A Augusta.

4. Dan Runzler, LHP
DOB: 3/30/85
Height/Weight: 6-4/230
Bats/Throws: L/L
Drafted/Signed: 9th round, 2007, UC Riverside
2009 Stats: 0.68 ERA (26.1-8-13-45) at Low-A (19 G); 0.84 ERA (21.1-8-4-26) at High-A (19 G); 0.96 ERA (9.1-5-7-11) at Double-A (7 G); 0.00 ERA (2.0-2-0-1) at Triple-A (2 G); 1.04 ERA (8.2-6-5-11) at MLB (11 G)
Last Year’s Ranking: Not ranked

Year in Review: This relatively obscure lefty began the year in Low-A and ended it in the majors, dominating at every stop along the way.
The Good: Runzler’s fastball has plus-plus velocity for a left-hander, but the pitch is just as noticeable for its massive sink, as evidenced by a ground-ball ratio of nearly 4.7-to-1 at Augusta. He’ll mix in a curveball that flashes plus at times.
The Bad: Runzler needs to find more consistency with his breaking ball, and he loses the strike zone at times due to almost too much movement on his pitches. He’s big and bordering on soft, so his conditioning will need to be monitored.
Ephemera: Big-league lefties facing Runzler went 1-for-17 with six strikeouts.
Perfect World Projection: Runzler is a late-inning reliever, maybe even a second-division closer.
Path to the Big Leagues: Runzler’s minor-league career is likely over.
Timetable: Runzler is all but guaranteed an Opening Day job in the Giants’ bullpen.

5. Ehire Adrianza, SS
DOB: 8/21/89
Height/Weight: 6-1/155
Bats/Throws: S/R
Drafted/Signed: Venezuela, 2002
2009 Stats: .258/.333/.327 at Low-A (117 G)
Last Year’s Ranking: Just missed

Year in Review: This Venezuelan shortstop made some progress with the bat while showcasing his always excellent glove work.
The Good: Adrianza is just a special defender, as every aspect of his shortstop play is above average, with outstanding instincts, tremendous range, excellent hands, and a strong arm. He has a patient approach at the plate to go with a contact-oriented line-drive swing that serves him well.
The Bad: Adrianza has very little power, nor projection for any, so the hope is that he can simply hit enough line drives to be an everyday shortstop who bats at the bottom of a lineup. Like many young defensive stalwarts, he’ll make spectacular plays yet boot run-of-the-mill ones.
Ephemera: Adriazna hit a robust .320 in 36 games batting sixth for the GreenJackets, but just .229 in any other lineup slot.
Perfect World Projection: Adrianza will be a plus-plus defensive shortstop with just enough offense to be a starter.
Path to the Big Leagues: He’s still at least three years away.
Timetable: Adrianza will likely spend all of 2010 at High-A San Jose.

6. Rafael Rodriguez, RF
DOB: 7/13/92
Height/Weight: 6-5/198
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2008
2009 Stats: .299/.392/.362 at Rookie-level (35 G)
Last Year’s Ranking: 5

Year in Review: After singing for a then-Dominican record $2.55-million bonus in 2008, Rodriguez showed plenty of potential in his pro debut.
The Good: Tools, tools and more tools, as Rodriguez passes the scouting sniff test in every way. He’s a long, exceptionally fluid athlete who scouts are universal in the belief that he’ll develop plus power down the road. He showed a surprisingly advanced approach in his debut, working the count well and making a surprising amount of contact. He’s an average to plus-runner who has a plus arm.
The Bad: Rodriguez is still raw. He needs to add loft and backspin to his swing in order to tap into his power, while also learning how to pull fastballs. His routes in the outfield need work, as does his work on the basepaths.
Ephemera: Rodriguez made progress throughout the year, going just 2-for-16 in four June games, batting .286 in July, and a healthy .364/.400/.436 in August.
Perfect World Projection: If he develops fully, he’ll be an impact-level corner outfielder.
Path to the Big Leagues: Just 18 years old, there’s no need to rush him.
Timetable: Rodriguez likely showed enough offensive polish to earn a 2010 full-season assignment to Augusta.

7. Thomas Neal, OF
DOB: 8/17/87
Height/Weight: 6-1/205
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: 35th round, 2005, Riverside CC (CA)
2009 Stats: .337/.431/.579 at High-A (129 G)
Last Year’s Ranking: Not ranked

Year in Review: Finally healthy, Neal delivered on the promise the Giants saw in him for some time, finishing in the California League’s top five in all three triple-slash categories.
The Good: Neal is a pure hitter with excellent bat speed and hand-eye coordination, and enough strength to rate as having average power. He works the count well and brings a lot of intensity to the plate. His arm is another plus tool.
The Bad: Neal is not very athletic. He’s a slow runner and bad outfielder. Despite slugging .579, scouts see him as much more of an average hitter than a power one, predicting a significant drop-off in that department once he’s out of the California League.
Ephemera: While Neal played in just 16 day games for San Jose, he hit .441/.514/.881 in those contests.
Perfect World Projection: Neal will be an everyday left fielder with a high on-base percentage and decent power.
Path to the Big Leagues: He could be ready for a big-league look at some point in 2011.
Timetable: Like many who put up big numbers in the California League, the jury is still out on Neal. He’ll get a bigger challenge in 2010 at Double-A Richmond.

8. Roger Kieschnick, OF
DOB: 1/21/87
Height/Weight: 6-3/200
Bats/Throws: L/R
Drafted/Signed: 3rd round, 2008, Texas Tech
2009 Stats: .296/.345/.532 at High-A (131 G)
Last Year’s Ranking: 11

Year in Review: Kieschnick’s an athletic outfielder who had an impressive showing at High-A in his full-season debut.
The Good: Kieschnick has solid tools across the board. He takes a healthy cut with plus power, while he’s also an above-average runner with a good outfield arm. He gets high marks for his makeup.
The Bad: Kieschnick needs to temper his approach. He sits dead red early in counts and can often get tied in knots by breaking balls when behind in the count, which is often. He has few weaknesses, but some scouts also argue he has no true impact tools, either.
Ephemera: Keith Ginter (38), Josh Bard (34), Joe Dillon (3), Donald Harris (2), and Mike Humphreys (1) are the only players drafted out of Texas Tech to hit big-league home runs.
Perfect World Projection: He projects to be a solid everyday right fielder.
Path to the Big Leagues: Kieschnick’s big-league ETA is late 2011.
Timetable: Kieschnick will join Neal in 2010 at Richmond.

9. Tommy Joseph, C
DOB: 7/16/91
Height/Weight: 6-1/210
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: 2nd round, 2009, Horizon HS (AZ)
2009 Stats: Did not play
Last Year’s Ranking: Did not qualify

Year in Review: Among the best power hitters in last June’s high school crop, only defensive questions kept Joseph out of the first round.
The Good: Joseph has massive raw power thanks to a quick, simple swing that is backed by a broad-shouldered, heavily muscular build. Even with wood bats, he already puts on a show in batting practice, and he pulls balls as easily as he drives them the other way. His arm behind the plate is well above average.
The Bad: Joseph is a below-average athlete. He lumbers on the basepaths and is a well below-average receiver, with bad footwork and hard hands. Most feel he’ll be moved to first base well before he’s big-league ready, which only adds to his offensive expectations.
Ephemera: A baseball powerhouse in Arizona, Horizon High also produced former Giants first-round pick and current Pirates prospect Tim Alderson, as well as Angels third baseman Brandon Wood.
Perfect World Projection: Joseph will be a slugger, but as a first baseman.
Path to the Big Leagues: It could take a while.
Timetable: Joseph will remain a catcher for now, and he’ll begin the 2010 season at Augusta.

10. Francisco Peguero, OF
DOB: 6/1/88
Height/Weight: 6-0/175
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2006
2009 Stats: .394/.421/.465 at Short-season (17 G); .340/.359/.437 at Low-A (58 G)
Last Year’s Ranking: Not ranked

Year in Review: Slowed by injuries early in the season, Peguero recovered to put on a hitting show in the Sally League in the second half.
The Good: Peguero’s slash-and-run style is reminiscent of an old-school early-1980s leadoff hitter. He flicks the bat and pokes balls between and over infielders, with enough speed to steal plenty of bases. He’s a very good outfielder with an excellent arm.
The Bad: Peguero swings at any pitch within the same area code and needs to develop not only better, but any, plate discipline to project as a top-of-the-order hitter. He’s has a career 82-percent success rate as a base stealer, yet at times seems hesitant to run.
Ephemera: In 28 home games for Augusta, Peguero hit .402, but had just a .407 on-base percentage, as he coaxed just two walks out.
Perfect World Projection: He could be a leadoff hitter and a good center fielder, but one scout liked him better as a good ninth hitter for an American League team.
Path to the Big Leagues: His distance to the big leagues is directly correlated to his ability to develop a discernable eye.
Timetable: After spending the 2009 postseason at San Jose, Peguero will spend the regular season there in 2010.

11. Chris Dominguez, 3B
DOB: 11/22/86
Height/Weight: 6-5/235
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: 3rd round, 2009, University of Louisville
2009 Stats: .306/.375/.528 at Rookie-level (9 G); .254/.298/.442 at Short-season (47 G)
Last Year’s Ranking: Did not qualify

Year in Review: One of college baseball’s top sluggers, Dominguez showed all the promise-and all the holes-in his game during his pro debut.
The Good: Dominguez has massive, huge light-tower power that rates as a pure 80 on the 20-to-80 scouting scale, with one scout joking, “They should sell tickets just to watch him take BP.” He’s a surprisingly good athlete for his size, with average speed once he gets going and a very strong arm at the hot corner.
The Bad: Unlike many sluggers, Dominguez doesn’t look for pitches to drive as much as he simply tries to drive every pitch, leading to few walks and truckloads of strikeouts. While he has the tools to stick at third base, he’s a sloppy, haphazard defender who often boots the most routine ground balls and gets his feet tied up on throws.
Ephemera: In the University of Louisville media guide, Dominguez listed the late, great Bruce Lee as his favorite athlete.
Perfect World Projection: The next Russell Branyan?
Path to the Big Leagues: If he doesn’t make adjustments, he’s going to be known more for his 200-plus strikeout seasons than his big-league profile.
Timetable: Because Dominguez played four years of college, the Giants can’t be too cautious with his timetable. He’ll likely move to San Jose for his full-season debut.

The Sleeper: Right-hander Henry Sosa still has one of the better arms in the system, and many scouts think he could flourish with a transition to the bullpen

Top 10 Talents 25 And Under (Born 4/1/84 or later)

1. Tim Lincecum, RHP
2. Pablo Sandoval, 3B/1B
3. Matt Cain, RHP
4. Buster Posey, C
5. Madison Bumgarner, LHP
6. Zach Wheeler, RHP
7. Dan Runzler, LHP
8. Ehire Adrianza, SS
9. Rafael Rodriguez, RF
10. Thomas Neal, OF

Lincecum and Cain are one of the better 1-2 rotation punches in the game; the fact that both qualify for this list should give Giants fans plenty of reason for optimism. I can’t find a scout who think Sandoval’s 2009 season was a fluke, so as long as he can stay somewhat in shape, he should be contending for batting titles on an annual basis.

Summary: The Giants’ system lacks depth, but it certainly has star power with a five-star battery that is close to contributing to the big leagues. A few things break right, and this team should return to contention in the National League West.

Thank you for reading

This is a free article. If you enjoyed it, consider subscribing to Baseball Prospectus. Subscriptions support ongoing public baseball research and analysis in an increasingly proprietary environment.

Subscribe now
You need to be logged in to comment. Login or Subscribe
Nitpick: Giants AA affiliate is Richmond now.
Best of all, the phrase "facing life without possibility of parole" isn't attached to any of them.
Should be Pablo (not Pedro) Sandoval in the Top-10 Under 25 list.
Na I think its a subtle jab at the system being so bereft of talent that the abstract neo-expressionism guy is our #2.
Where's Angel Villalona? Oh wait, that's not funny.
It's funny.

I haven't heard what's up with Villalona lately. The last report I saw suggested that he might get off due to corruption and bribery, which was not exactly a heart-warming story.
Why should we be the only country with the best justice money can buy?
Hear anything about Jose Casilla? Is he done starting? What are scouts saying?
Obviously, many people are disappointed that Posey was not handed the Giants everyday catching job. At this point, a likely situation would entail him getting some early starts at Fresno and then graduating to sporadic play at the major league level. He's got nothing left to prove offensively in the minors, so it's primarily a defensive assignment. That being said, I find it hard to believe that he hasn't improved in that capacity this off-season (as well as in strength and conditioning). Working him into action with the Giants might offer a way to combat the fatigue that so clearly affected him at the end of 2009. If he looks good, maybe they are able to ship Molina (and his expiring deal) off by the deadline and let Posey assume the lion's share of the playing time.
It is my understanding that my Giants lost a year of service time by bringing Timmy up in May rather than June of 2007, only to place 3rd and miss the playoffs. In that light, I have no problem delaying Posey's service time in dissimilar fashion, lest we lose a year of all-star level production. After all, in terms of open market dollars, pulling Lincecum up early cost us somewhere around $15 million.
I find comments along this line extremely offensive.

What you are basically saying is that you would have been happier if the Giants had screwed their two time Cy Young award winner out of 15 Million dollars that he more than earned.

Look at Lincecum's numbers, there was absolutely no reason to keep him in the minors, he utterly dominated every level. And from the day he was called up he was an above average starter.

You call the player up when he is ready, if he ends up costing you millions in arb it is because he deserves millions for the contribution he has made to the team.
I guess it must be nice having an unlimited payroll in your mythical world where people get what they trully deserve. For the rest of us, living in the real world, it was a mistake calling up Tim Lincecum as early as they had allowing his arbitration period to start earlier than necessary.
So, because you are all about value, how many players can you name that provided more value to their team prior to their first arb year?

And what would it have cost to provide the same level of pitching from a veteran pitcher?

I don't have a payroll the team does, this isn't fantasy baseball, these are real people who recognize when you are an asshole to them and try to screw them. If they had kept Timmy in Fresno for another couple of months to decrease his chances of being a super two (there is no fixed date, the top players in roster time get super two status) it would have been seen as what it was, a middle finger pointed at Tim. He had an 0.29 ERA, and struck out half the batters he faced, he was beyond ready.

I am a fan of the players, not just the team, and there is absolutely no way you can look at Lincecum's career and see anything but a hellacious good deal. If his arm falls off next week and he never pitches again and they still have to pay him the 23M it is still a hell of a good deal.

The thing about the super two's, if everybody tries to avoid players being super twos you just move the date further into the season. It isn't a bullet you can just dodge.
Appreciate your love for the sport. I know everyone here loves baseball as much as you do, but it is a multi-million dollar business, my friend.
You love the players, not the team? So you'll root for Tim Lincecum when he signs with the Red Sox in a couple years, and for Pablo Sandoval wherever he goes?

That's cool if true, I just find that surprising.
He actually said "I am a fan of the players, not just the team" which could mean he is a fan of both.

I'll second that, I'm more of a fan of a team then a player, but I don't stop enjoying/being a fan of a player when he moves teams, nor do I like a guy I previously didn't care for just because my team signed him.
Because the Giants have shown that they won't sign marquee players to long term contracts? Oh wait, that is the A's.

The Giants have deep pockets and strong desire to keep players that draw fans. There is no way the Giants get rid of either of those players before the end of their arb years, and I would be stunned if they left before providing ample evidence of decline, that is the Giant pattern.

With every year as they get closer to paying off their stadium the Giants improve their financial position.In value and income they are probably one of the top five already.
Wizstan, sorry to have offended you - I wasn't trying to make a judgment about the ethics behind deferring a players' arb status - rather just pointing out how business is typically done. It was done to Evan Longoria, will be done to Stephen Strasburg, and was even done to J.J. Hardy this last year with his minor league stint.
Kevin, probably easier than asking on Twitter (already did), but how come Neal is 7th here, yet was the 4th Giants prospect on the Top 101? Did your opinion change after talking to more scouts; ie, was it a case of Neal falling, or the others rising?
woops. I'm an idiot.
You subscribe to BP -- you are not an idiot.
Am eagerly anticipating the release of Rafael Rodriguez's first album, "Gigantico Galactico."
Do scouts believe the fatigue theory for Bumgarner's loss of velocity, or are we talking shoulder injury? He is scheduled to pitch in the Giants spring training opener so I guess we will find out soon enough.

This is the first I've heard of the "off-day throw schedule" that might have caused fatigue last season.

Is this new information you got from conversations this winter that you didn't have last fall when everyone was speculating and worrying about injury?
It was reported by some of the Giants beat writers sometime shortly after pitchers and catchers reported. Apparently Bumgarner's off-day routine was lengthier than average.
Thanks for the great write up Kevin. Hopefully I don't get blasted for this comp, (like my pujols and pedro one) but if things click for Runzler, could he be a BJ Ryan type? I saw him in person play the Brewers last year, I think it was his first call up, and his stuff was over powering at moments.
I actually don't hate that comp anywhere near as much as I hate most (that's a compliment, by the way).
Kevin, I am hoping that you will take the time to explain something -- the difference between Roger Kieschnick and Scott Van Slyke of the Dodgers, who did NOT get three stars when you did you Dodgers prospect list, and didn't get two stars either. When someone asked you about Van Slyke in the comments section of your Dodgers system write-up, you declared yourself "not a Van Slyke believer." For the benefit of people reading who may not be familiar with Van Slyke's 2009 performance, let me present the numbers and add Kieschnick's numbers for easy comparison.

Van Slyke: .294/.373/.534, 496 AB's, 61 BB's, 128 SO's

Kieschnick: .296/.345/.532, 517 AB's, 36 BB's, 130 SO's

Van Slyke and Kieschnick both played RF in the California League in the 2009 season, both were in their age 22 seasons, and both of their home parks were relatively pitcher-friendly compared to the average California League park. Nearly the same batting average, nearly the same slugging percentage. Both equally prone to striking out. The big difference seems to be that Van Slyke is more prone to taking a walk. Could Van Slyke be a liability defensively? Baseball America's newest prospect handbook pronounces Van Slyke the "Best Defensive Outfielder" in the Dodgers system, so apparently not.

Trying to think of a reason why somebody would "believe" in Kieschnick but not Van Slyke, all I can come up with is this: Kieschnick was a 3rd round draft pick out of college who had success in his first pro season, while Van Slyke was a 14th round draft pick out of high school whose first three full pro seasons were nothing to be proud of, and then as soon as Van Slyke hit the offense-friendly California League -- boom! -- he finally puts up respectable numbers. But I wonder, doesn't this just amount to penalizing the high school guy drafted as a project, the guy whose choice to sign right away didn't give him the luxury of hiding away in college ball for three years? I recall the Dodgers saying after they signed Van Slyke, after the 2005 draft, that Van Slyke was very raw and would take a lot of time to come into his own, but they believed in his tools and thought that if Van Slyke went to college he would end up a costly draft pick in 2008. Well, four years later Van Slyke matched the performance of a comparable player taken in the 3rd round of the 2008 draft, though in the plate discipline area Van Slyke was actually better.

I am hoping Kevin replies; perhaps he can point to scouts who are telling him that Kieschnick is the real deal while Van Slyke is fool's gold. If anybody else has some relevant thoughts to add, please do.
Kieschnick is 6 months younger and you have to give him some bonus points for hitting as well as he did in his first season in a professional league. Statistically, they did have pretty similar years. I guess we will find out in AA which one is the real deal.

rweiller, thanks for replying to my comment. If I'm not mistaken, in prospect analysis an age difference of six months is not considered meaningful in any sense, and the convention in baseball is to compare players by "seasonal age," which is determined by a player's age as of July 1 of a given year. Van Slyke and Kieschnick were both 18-year-old high school seniors in 2005. Neither guy was probably ready to excel in pro ball right away. But one guy did turn pro, while the other went to college to face easier competition that he would have dealt with in pro ball. What you said about "bonus points" essentially goes to what I said about a double standard applying to the college guy and the raw high school guy, without the part I added questioning the legitimacy and fairness of such a double standard. The college guy simply never had the opportunity to perform poorly in rookie ball as a teenager, and then face batting in a tough pitcher's league the low A Midwest League. In other words, Van Slyke, in the final analysis, gets downgraded for choosing to take the more difficult route to get to the California League by age 22.
Hi Canuck,

I do like Kieschnick better than Van Slyke, and by a decent margin. However, we are looking at a rating issue, as I'd call Roger a low 3 and Van Slyke a high 2. I think there's a gap, but it's not a huge one. I don't think the draft thing has much to do with it at all, however, these ranking are based nearly entirely on discussions with scouts, and the fact that scouts have seen a lot of failure from Van Slyke in the past I think resonates with them, and they're less convinced he's as 'real' as Kieschnick. I do think Van Slyke is a good sleeper pick in that org, and I do think we'll know much more about both after a season in Double-A.
Kevin, thanks very much for answering my question. I appreciate it. I hope you won't mind me saying this, but it confirms what I suspected: your ratings of Van Slyke and Kieschnick, rather than being based on either a tools analysis or stats analysis of their relative performances in the one year they were playing in the same league at the same age, simply reflected what scouts are saying, and what they say reflects their having seen "years of failure" from Van Slyke while Kieschnick spent those years hidden from their view pounding the pitches of sociology majors. I am always interested to know what scouts are thinking, and you and Baseball America provide an INVALUABLE service by relaying their opinions to the baseball-loving public, but I think the whole Van Slyke/Kieschnick matter nicely illustrates just how scouts, as important as they are, are very far from being free from biases, prejudices, and old baggage about player "pedigree" (but I doubt you will agree with me on that conclusion). Nevertheless, as you say, we will see what happens with Van Slyke and Kieschnick in Double A this year. If Kieschnick flourishes and Van Slyke doesn't, I will eat crow.
Did Adrianza really sign when he was 13? Wow.
I'm not sure you can call Thomas Neal a slow runner. He has never stolen many bases in the minors, but I believe he stole 11 in the AZL only being caught a couple of times.
If Adrianza was signed in 2002, that means he was signed at 13. Tell me that's a typo!
From his minor league baseball page:

"Signed with Giants as a non-drafted free agent on March 8, 2002."

It could be wrong though.
Seriously, an update on Angel Villalona would be nice. If he isn't convicted, what do the Giants do with him?
Where do Eric Surkamp, Connor Gillaspie, and Edwin Quirarte rank on the list? That draft was supposed to be amazing, but right now it has 1 5 star player, 1 3 star player, 1 2 star player. How does it look now?
Gillaspie would be in the 16-20 range for me. Honestly, if you get one five star guy out of a draft, it's already a success, no?
Kevin, what can you tell us about Buster Posey's defense? Here are some positives I am aware of:

. The Giants don't want to have him switch positions because they believe he is too valuable as a catcher.

. They see him as an excellent leader, a true captain on the field.

. He finished something like 3rd in his high school class and carried a 4.0 average in his finance major one term at Florida State.

. While he has little experience calling pitches, he mentally called them along with his coach in his two years of catching in college. The kid is poised and bright.

. In his four starts with the Giants, pitchers fared well, so his lack of pitch-calling experience didn't really show up then.

. Posey has had a lot of passed balls and likely shows his lack of extensive catching experience in other ways, but he also is very athletic for the position.

. He has a strong arm and threw out over 40% of attempting base stealers last season. His two throws with the Giants were darn near picture perfect (one to third and one to second), although iron-handed second baseman Eugenio Velez dropped one on a bang-bang play, so Buster threw out only one of two.

So, where do you think his defense stands right now, and what do you think his likely level will be. How soon?