(Includes 2011 draft)As always, feel free to agree or disagree.
1. Brandon Belt (1B MLB): Age 23 | Although Belt has not lived up to the hype coming into the 2011 season and is now recovering from a fractured wrist, he remains one of the most promising young players in the Giants organization. If the team continues to play above .500 baseball, Belt may have to wait until next season for another shot to crack into the everyday lineup. In 167 career Minor League games, he’s hitting .349/.458/1.062 with 27 HR. Giants fans would sure like to see his bat producing in San Francisco for years to come. The scouts all seem to be in agreement on this guy; he’s not just another John Bowker or Nate Schierholtz.
2. Zack Wheeler (SP High-A): Age 21 | Wheeler was drafted out of high school in the first round of the 2009 draft, and if he can sustain his current pace without any major setbacks, he seems to be on the Matt Cain/Madison Bumgarner track to the majors. Wheeler has good size, throws hard, and can overpower hitters at times. While he may not be a Tim Lincecum type talent, I’d say most Giants fans would agree that another pitcher in the mold of Cain would be just fine for the future in San Francisco. I’m excited about this kid, and he seems to be getting better. Through 33 Minor League games, Wheeler has a 3.91 ERA with 144 K and 73 BB in 124 IP.
3. Gary Brown (CF High-A): Age 22 | 2010 first round pick Brown excelled in the first half of the 2011 season in San Jose. He’s since cooled off a bit, but his numbers are still very good, and his future is quite promising. Could this be the next young, speedy Giants leadoff hitter for years to come? If his development continues, he’ll be in the big leagues sometime within the next two years. In his first 83 professional games, Brown is hitting .300/.375/.810 with 6 HR and 35 SB. Could he become a Drew Stubbs type player, maybe with less pop but a higher contact rate?