2014 Roster Predictions: Fresno

(#) Cove Chatter 100 Ranking | *CC 100 Honorable Mention

Fresno (24) – 24-man active roster is the limit for the PCL.

C: (3) Andrew Susac

1B: (21) Angel Villalona

2B: (11) Joe Panik

3B: (20) Adam Duvall

SS: Nick Noonan

LF: Roger Kieschnick

CF: (16) Gary Brown

RF: Javier Herrera

DH: (50) Chris Dominguez

Bench: Guillermo Quiroz

Bench: Brandon Hicks

Bench: (44) Jarrett Parker

SP: (2) Edwin Escobar

SP: Mike Kickham

SP: David Huff

SP: *Chris Heston

SP: Jason Berken

RP: Mitch Lively

RP: George Kontos

RP: Dan Runzler

RP: Adam Reifer

RP: Jake Dunning

RP: Brett Bochy

RP: (15) Derek Law

Top 50: 9

Honorable Mention: 1

Fresno didn’t provide much help to the big club last year, but that could change this season. Admittedly, this isn’t the most exciting pitching staff in the world, but you’re always going to see former MLB guys like Berken trying to get it back together in AAA. I do think Escobar and Law will get the PCL assignment out of Spring Training, as Sabean was still talking about both of them at FanFest last weekend. These are the two arms everyone is getting hyped up about, and it’ll be interesting to see how they respond.

There’ve been quite a few knocks on the Giants farm system for its lack or positional talent this winter, but this Fresno lineup has a chance to answer some of these questions in 2014. The potential infield of Susac, Villalona, Panik and Duvall would all be making their first trip to AAA, and combined with Brown in CF they make up 20% of the organization’s top 25 prospects. All eyes will be on Brown, who has a lot to prove after falling on his face last year, but there will certainly be plenty of folks keeping tabs on Susac and Panik as well. If both guys can stay healthy, I think they’ll have nice seasons in Fresno. Susac in particular seems primed for a breakout campaign, but he’s got to stay on the field. Panik needs to shake the utility label, which I feel was placed on him very early. His season in Richmond wasn’t nearly as bad as some folks are making it out to be.

Overall, this is a group that should be much improved on offense, while the success of its pitching staff will hinge on the performance of guys like Kickham and Heston, both of whom didn’t quite live up to expectations last year. Heston himself was DFA mid-season but went unclaimed. Obviously, Escobar and Law are the arms to look for, but Kickham needs to show some improvement this season as well. If he does, it could go a long way to boost a Fresno staff that struggled in 2013.

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(Don Davis/Fresno Grizzlies)

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5 thoughts on “2014 Roster Predictions: Fresno”

  1. What happened to Carter Jurrica? I bet he’s on the Grizzlies roster so as to have 4 middle infielders. Maybe they take Villalona through more paces in AA.

    And what about the D-Train ? 🙂

    1. Hey FH… I didn’t do a very good job explaining the “extra’s” this time. In fact, it looks like I left them out altogether! Whoops. There were a few SS I couldn’t find room for. Jurica, Kelby Tomlinson and Bobby Haney. Just don’t know where they’re going to fit in, unless someone goes down. I’m betting on them starting the season on the reserve list. Same for the D-Train, unless Brett Bochy or someone similar is shown the door. There’s a whole group of those AAA guys that I really didn’t know what to do with, from Kam Loe, Dolis, Gutierrez to Willis. I’ll bet some of them don’t break camp still with the organization. But that’s just a hunch on my part.

  2. They have benn calling Kelby up to the big league games this spring and playing him at 2nd. Any thoughts on the move from ss?

    1. Thanks for the comment. If Adrianza and Hicks both make the MLB roster, I’d imagine Fresno will need another IF or two for depth. Tomlinson seems to be a pretty good fit for that spot, which would probably be a mix of 2b/SS/3b. I believe Carter Jurica is out of the organization, so that leaves the door open for Kelby to get to AAA for sure.

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