As the minor league seasons come to a close the weather gets colder, the days start to get shorter, and we’ll see some of the young talent each MLB team has. Given that the San Francisco Giants are floating around .500, barring a major win streak, we’ll be seeing a lot of the “kids” up.
A lot of movement has been made over the last week with Andrew McCutchen being shipped off to the Yankees for a couple of their mid-level prospects. Chris Shaw and Aramis Garcia made their MLB debuts this past weekend, much to the excitement of many fans. The San Francisco Giants get a much-needed boost to their farm system with the speedy infielder Abiatal Avelino and starter Juan De Paula. These will be much welcome additions to some decent talent the Giants already have in their system.
However, September call-ups don’t mean that we we will see the best our minor league system has to offer. In my opinion, some of our greatest minor league talent isn’t even on the 40-man roster. These are my guys that should not be slept on, as their contributions have been noted in my Power Rankings for the second half of the season.
Although it seemed like his season would be bleak and forgettable with the Sacramento River Cats, Dillon McNamara turned it around when he was sent down to AA. For those of you who are unfamiliar with him, he was dealt to the Giants from the Yankees last July. He features a four-seam fastball and a cutter, both with decent movement. Since coming to Richmond he is tasked with several different roles, from middle to late relief and closing jobs, and he has shined in his time with the Flying Squirrels. For a team that will be looking for help with relief pitching in the next few seasons, this is definitely a name to keep a look out for.
With all this talk of the future in the outfield, a lot gets overlooked in terms of young guys in the lower divisions who could help out in the coming seasons. Enter Heath Quinn, who started out great in April and went on a tear in May and June. His July numbers weren’t the greatest, but he bounced back in the month of August. He gets the ball in the air more than on the ground (0.74 GO/AO), which is becoming a popular trend among players looking to revamp their plate approach. His clutch numbers are also there, with a nice line of .312/.429/.538 in 93 at-bats with runners in scoring position. Although the strikeout numbers are high, the bulk of them come with the bases empty, which is fairly promising for a team desperate for hitters to keep the line moving. He should be a name to consider in the next couple of seasons, provided his production stays up.