Players in bold were my correct picks.
C: Andrew Susac: Is this the year he stays on the field? If so, he’s a 20-HR candidate. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a September MLB cup of coffee this season.
C: Guillermo Quiroz: He’s off the 40-man, but still probably the first C to get called if there’s an injury in SF.
C: Tyler La Torre: Organizational player will provide depth in Fresno, but probably won’t see much playing time.
IF: Tony Abreu: Cleared waivers, back in the organization.
IF: Juan Ciriaco: Minor league journeyman split time between AA and AAA last year. Can play all over the infield.
IF: Chris Dominguez: Wasn’t protected on the 40-man, but still saw considerable action in MLB camp this spring. Great arm at 3B… were the offensive adjustments last year for real?
IF: Adam Duvall: Another guy who battles injuries often. Might have the bat to play in the majors, but defense has always been a concern.
IF: Mark Minicozzi: I love this guy. One of the best stories of this spring. He’ll play a lot of 1B in Fresno, and I hope he gets to play on a major league field one day.
IF: Joe Panik: Not the greatest statistical season in Richmond last year, but I think he bounces back in Fresno. He’s not an old prospect by any means, and the Giants have a pretty glaring need at 2B.
OF: Gary Brown: Will Brown make the adjustments at the plate this season? He’s finally on the 40-man, but if he wants to be a Giant, he needs to earn it.
OF: Darren Ford: Speedster brought back to the organization this spring. His bat was always the issue before.
P: Michael Kickham: For the moment, Escobar seems to have jumped him for the “next guy in line” label. How will he respond? This is a big year for Kickham, who needs to harness his stuff if he wants to remain a starter.
P: Edwin Escobar: The quickest mover in the system over the past couple of seasons. Earned some valuable experience this spring. Won’t overpower, but has control and can work out of trouble.
P: Jason Berken: Veteran with MLB experience had some nice outings this spring. Nice to have a guy like this on your AAA club.
P: Mitch Lively: Susanville (not too far from my neck of the woods), CA native had a nice VWL campaign, earning himself an MLB spring training invite. Fighting for his chance in the Show.
P: Chris Heston: 2013 was a big season for him, but it went sideways pretty fast. Can he adjust to AAA hitters and keep the ball down?
P: Dontrelle Willis: Remember when Dontrelle’s windup was the coolest thing in baseball? He’s a full-on reclamation project now, and I’m glad he made the roster out of camp.
P: Brett Bochy: He doesn’t throw hard, but there’s a place for his type of profile in the game. I think he’ll get a shot someday, but maybe not with the Giants.
P: Erik Cordier: Throws HARD. Doesn’t have a clue where it’s going. Fighting with Kontos and Hembree for a trip to SF if the need for a bullpen arm arises.
P: Rafael Dolis: Another hard thrower with MLB experience. Didn’t last long in MLB camp. Likely needs to reign his stuff in.
P: Jake Dunning: Dunning pitched fine in MLB action a year ago, but seems to be buried by harder throwers on the depth chart this spring. Those things can change quickly when the games count.
P: Heath Hembree: Most of us thought he had a spot to lose this spring. Either he did and he lost it, or the Giants planned for him to start the year in Fresno all along. Keep grinding, Heath; your time will come.
P: George Kontos: Didn’t quite make the cut this spring. Kontos has shown he can be an effective MLB reliever, but he lost his consistency last year. He’ll look to get it back this time around.
P: Adam Reifer: 27 yo righty came over this winter from the Marlins system. Originally came up with St. Louis… never been a big leaguer, but features good velocity on his fastball. Maybe a name to watch.
P: Dan Runzler: Released from the organization last year, found himself down to the final cuts in Giants camp this spring. Runzler has always had the stuff. Will his new delivery help him to better control it?
P: Mason Tobin: Hard-throwing Glendive, MT (just down the road from my current neck of the woods) native has spent the last two springs in MLB camp. The Giants like his arm, and he had a brief cup of coffee with Texas a couple years back.
Analysis: Not a juggernaut team by any means, but a solid roster by my estimation. Should feature one of the best young lineups Fresno has seen in a while, with Susac, Panik and Duvall leading the way. How will Gary Brown respond to his 2013 struggles?
On the pitching end, Escobar looks to continue his evolution into an MLB starting pitcher. The Giants like him a lot, and they’ll be watching closely. The bullpen could be the strength of the pitching staff. A lot of lively arms in that group.
I’m trying like crazy to get a Minor League preview of sorts up this afternoon, so stay tuned!