One of the biggest reasons the San Francisco Giants won the 2010 World Series was the emergence of numerous rookies and other young players into positions of prominence. Buster Posey is the easy example given his breakout rookie campaign. John Sickels ranked him his number three hitting prospect heading into 2010 and Posey did not disappoint. He and number one hitting prospect Jason Heyward did battle throughout the summer and into the NLDS and will made for an intriguing rookie of the year race.
The Giants also received big contributions from rookie pitcher Madison Bumgarner, whom Sickels ranked the number eight pitching prospect. He came up midway through the season and put together some sharp performances over 111 innings, with key contributions in the postseason.
Now the Giants have additional prospects to consider as they look towards 2011. The two primary options at this point are shortstop Brandon Crawford and first baseman Brandon Belt. They are intriguing options in large part because of the positions they play. As a shortstop and first baseman, Crawford and Belt sit behind two Giants free agents, Juan Uribe and Aubrey Huff.
Crawford and Belt both struggled at times with the bat in 2010, but if they have strong spring trainings they might force their way onto the roster. I’d imagine the Giants will re-sign Huff and/or Uribe in the meantime, but not to particularly sizable deals at this point. Sabean spoke about both young men:
Sabean expects Crawford to start the year in the minors to work on his hitting, but he could be a midseason promotion … Same probably goes for Brandon Belt, though Sabean suggested Belt could force his way onto the team out of spring training.