In a way, the Giants have all the young pitching talent you could ever ask for. With Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain both in the majors and under 25, and Madison Bumgarner and Tim Alderson in the minors and both under 20, the future looks very bright. However, once you get past those 4 pitchers, there isn’t much else to look forward to for Giants fans. That’s not to say that the Giants don’t have any other above average pitching prospects, they just don’t have anyone else that compares to the likes of Lincecum or Bumgarner. But enough talk, let’s get down to business.
1. Madison Bumgarner – I know that a lot of people feel that Tim Alderson is the top pick, but Bumgarner has just been too dominant at an early age to not give him the #1 ranking. His control has been absolutely amazing, and power lefties can be priceless in the majors. Don’t worry so much about the breaking ball. It’ll come.
Projection: #1 starter
Comparable player: C.C. Sabathia with better control.
2. Tim Alderson – I considered giving Alderson the #1.5 ranking on this list. The age difference between him and Bumgarner comes down to a matter of only 9 months, but those 9 months are enough to just barely set them apart. I realize that Alderson has been pitching at a higher level than Bumgarner this season and the 2 of them have posted similar stats, but he doesn’t have quite the ceiling that Bumgarner has. Regardless, he’ll be an amazing third or fourth starter behind Lincecum and Cain, with the potential to be a great #2 or even average #1 starter.
Projection: Great #2, possible #1
Comparable player: Adam Wainwright
3. Clayton Tanner— Here’s where the list begins to drop off. Unless I completely overlooked someone in the Giants’ farm system, Tanner is pretty much all there is after Alderson and Bumgarner. He’s a decent prospect, and would be a fantastic back-of-the-rotation guy in the future, but his upside is limited. Good stuff.
Projection: #3-4 starter, possible #2
Comparable player: Mike Pelfrey
4. Benjamin Snyder – I think Snyder has above average talent and some decent comparables, but I can’t find anything really great about him. Like Tanner, Snyder could make a great #4 or #5 starter in the future.
Comparable player: Jon Garland
5. Henry Sosa – I realize this won’t be a popular spot for Sosa, but I gotta’ go with the facts. At his age, Sosa really hasn’t done much, and his progress seems to be stalling. Most 23 year olds with average numbers at A+ don’t get much attention, so why should Sosa? Some may argue that injuries have set him back, and his high-90’s fastball will get him to the top, but don’t expect it to happen in the next 5 years. He may eventually put it all together, but the odds are very much against him by now.
Projection: #4-5 starter, good closer
Comparable player: Boof Bonser