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SF Giants Retrospective: Re-Ranking The Top Ten 2010 Prospects

Could Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Zack Wheeler return to the SF Giants organization in a trade? (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)
Could Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Zack Wheeler return to the SF Giants organization in a trade? (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)
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SF Giants, Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford
SF Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford (left) and first baseman Brandon Belt (right). (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

SF Giants Top 10 Prospects In 2010
#3 Brandon Belt, 1B

Grade: 60
2010 Baseball America Rank: Unranked
Career WAR: 22.0
WAR Per 162 Games: 3.14

The Giants 2008 draft class, which includes Posey and shortstop Brandon Crawford, rightfully ranks as one of the best drafts in franchise history. However, the following year’s class was no slouch either. In the first round, director of amateur scouting John Barr selected future mid-rotation starter, Zack Wheeler. Then, four rounds later, he nabbed Brandon Belt.

Belt has been the spark for endless debate in fan circles since debuting with the team in 2011. Over the first two years of his MLB career, Belt struggled to find consistent playing time behind veteran first baseman Aubrey Huff. Then, once he finally became the everyday player, the #BeltWars began.

His propensity to walk and lack of big-time homer power made him an easy target for old-school fans. Simultaneously, analytically inclined watchers have always been big advocates that Belt was one of the most underrated players in the league. Regardless, it’s hard to argue that he’s been anything less than an above-average starter for much of his career. A career-year in 2020 hopefully put to bed any arguments that he cannot put up big power numbers too.

#4 Brandon Crawford, SS

Grade: 55
2010 Baseball America Rank: 9
Career WAR: 22.2
WAR Per 162 Games: 2.76

Brandon Crawford was one of the most enigmatic prospects in baseball throughout his collegiate and minor league career. Some believed he lacked the athleticism and premium bat to be more than a fringe big-league contributor. Others saw a first-round talent capable of being an above-average everyday player.

A dearth of MLB options led Crawford to the Giants before fully developing as a hitter and seemed to be a defense-first starter without much offensive value from 2011-2014. However, Crawford showed that players could make up for lost time in the minors at the big-league level. In 2015-2016, his offense took another step, and he was worth roughly 4.5 WAR a year.

Over his career, Crawford has posted a roughly league-average .250/.317/.392, but his elite defensive play at a premium position carries him to a strong 55 grade.

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