SF Giants Top 10 Prospects In 2010
#7 Dan Otero, RHP
2010 Baseball America Rank: Unranked
Career WAR: 3.0
WAR Per 65 Appearances: 0.54
Since WAR is a cumulative statistic, relief pitchers like Otero are always at a disadvantage. While he may not have accrued big-time numbers, from 2013-2017, he was a fantastic middle reliever for the Oakland Athletics and Cleveland. He averaged 61 innings a season over that five-year stretch and posted a strong 2.79 ERA with decent peripherals as well (3.15). Looking back, Otero never racked up strikeouts in the minor-leagues but had just posted a 1.19 ERA at Double-A in 2009. He carried his ability to limit free passes and hard contact into the major league for a solid career.
#8 Conor Gillaspie, 3B/1B
2010 Baseball America Rank: 17
Career WAR: 1.9
WAR Per 162 Games: 0.60
The Giants used the first-round supplemental pick they acquired for losing Pedro Feliz in free agency on another third baseman: Conor Gillaspie. Selected the same year the Giants drafted Posey and Crawford, Gillaspie would be the first member of the class to make his MLB debut but failed to become a consistent everyday player. He had a strong approach at the plate but ultimately lacked the premium power or defensive ability to stick for too long. He did have a productive 2014 season with solid batted-ball luck for the Chicago White Sox, but that success was short-lived. Given his ability to avoid strikeouts, it’s worth wondering what he could have if he attempted to adapt his swing to elevate the ball more consistently.
#9 Ehire Adrianza, SS
2010 Baseball America Rank: 8
Career WAR: 2.5
WAR Per 162 Games: 0.87
Ehire Adrianza was the first player on this list to sign a professional contract, inking a deal with the Giants in 2005, and less than a year older than Wheeler, he might have a chance to be the last one standing too. From the moment he signed, the question was simple: would he ever hit enough to allow his elite glove to play at the MLB level? After struggling in a utility role with the Giants, Adrianza seemed to find more comfort with the Minnesota Twins, hitting .260/.321/.391 from 2017-2019. Back on the free-agent market after a bad 2020 season at the plate, Adrianza should find another opportunity on a team’s bench. While he’s accrued more overall WAR than Gillaspie, he needs another strong season or two as a bench bat to surpass someone who was an everyday player for multiple years. He should get that chance. As bad as things went offensively in 2020, Adrianza still ranked in the 89th percentile by Outs Above Average.
#10 Charlie Culberson, Inf/LF
2010 Baseball America Rank: Unranked
Career WAR: -0.1
WAR Per 162 Games: -0.04
After losing Jason Schmidt, Moises Alou, and Mike Stanton in free agency, the Giants had six of the top 51 selections in the 2007 draft. The Giants selected four high school and two college players that left many scratching their heads. While most of the picks failed to become major contributors, they nabbed Bumgarner with the tenth overall pick. Charlie Culberson has had the best career of the rest of that group. Originally drafted as a premium defensive prospect with questionable power, Culberson has found a career as a versatile defender with some pop against southpaws. Of course, most importantly to Giants fans, he was the prospect the team traded to acquire Marco Scutaro in 2012.
Tommy Joseph (ranked 6 by BA in 2010) had a strong case to receive the last spot on this list. However, while Joseph was an everyday player with the Philadelphia Phillies from 2017-2018, Culberson has appeared in parts of eight MLB seasons. Plus, Culberson is not too far removed from strong 2018 and 2019 seasons. Someone will offer him a minor-league contract with an invitation to Spring Training, and given his defensive versatility, he has a good chance to get another shot to add to his career numbers.
Others in consideration: Jarrett Parker, Chris Heston, Matt Downs, Dan Runzler, Joe Paterson
The 2010s were quite a decade for the SF Giants. Yet, as important as it was to find valuable contributors on the trade market, waiver wire, and via free agency, everything started with a strong farm system. Heading into the 2010 season, the Giants had five prospects who would become at least above-average everyday players and many others who would be MLB contributors. Heading into 2021, the franchise hopes to be on the cusp of producing future stars once again.