A January lull for baseball suddenly became busy as the Augusta GreenJackets named their coaching staff for the 2013 season and MLB.com released its top 100 prospects on Tuesday, and Baseball America released its top 10 Giants prospects today.
The GreenJackets announced Mike Goff as the new manager of the team. Goff managed the Arizona League Giants from 2009-2011, which is a rookie league affiliate two levels below the Class-A GreenJackets. The natural progression through the farm system means Goff could be reunited with players from the rookie league team. That team had the best overall record in its league for two consecutive seasons.
Goff's largest amount of experience came as a Mariner, serving as first base coach and eventually bench coach under manager John McLaren. Goff was also a coordinator of instruction in the system for nine years. He was also previously a coach for the Double-A Jacksonville Suns and manager of the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts.
Goff was drafted in the 21st round of the 1984 draft by the Red Sox as an infielder. He climbed to Double-A at one point but retired after four seasons in the minors. He retired with more walks than strikeouts in his short stint as a pro, while recording a .368 OBP.
Baseball America, considered a standard in baseball for its minor league coverage among other things, released its top 10 Giants prospects for the 2013 season. As expected, Kyle Crick, a 2012 GreenJacket who recorded a 2.51 ERA in 111.1 innings, is ranked No. 1 in the system. His fastball was named the best in the system.
Mike Kickham, a 2011 GreenJacket who had a 4.11 ERA in 111.2 innings that year, is ranked fifth. Kickham is now 24 years old and knocking on the door for San Francisco.
Clayton Blackburn, a 2012 GreenJacket who teamed with Crick to produce a solid 1-2 punch, had a 2.54 ERA in 131.1 innings, adding 143 strikeouts to 18 walks. Blackburn was tabbed as having the best control among pitching prospects in the system.
Outfielder Francisco Peguero is ranked eighth. Peguero had two stints with Augusta between 2008-2009, although he had no more than 252 plate appearances with the team at a time. He hit .340/.359/.437 in 58 games in '09.
Adalberto Mejia rounds out the list at 10th as a 2012 GreenJacket. The 19-year-old left-hander recorded a 3.97 ERA in 106.2 innings for Augusta.
Other GreenJackets made the best tools list. Adam Duvall, a 2011 member who hit 22 home runs that year, is rated as the best power hitter in the system. Duvall hit 30 homers for Class-A Advanced San Jose in 2012.
Chris Marlowe, a 2012 member, has the best curveball in the system, according to the list. Chris Heston, a 2010 member, has the best changeup. Jeff Arnold, a catcher for Augusta in 2011 and 2012, is rated as having the best defense behind the plate. Ehire Adrianza, an infielder for the team in 2009 and 2011, is the best defensive infielder. Chris Dominguez, 2010 member, is best infield arm.
MLB.com released its top 100 prospects, featuring two Giants but just one former GreenJacket.
Crick is ranked 86th on the list. The report:
"The Giants have had some success in developing young pitchers taken out of high school – see Cain, Matt and Bumgarner, Madison – and Crick might be the next in line. He's big, strong and athletic, albeit raw. His fastball is easily plus, though he's still learning to command it. While he throws two breaking balls, and both can be effective at times, his slider is the better offering, one that eventually could become a plus pitch. His changeup has improved, though it's behind his other offerings. All the pieces are there for him to be a frontline starter. All he needs is time and experience to tighten his command and improve his offspeed stuff and he'll be ready."
The other Giant is Gary Brown, ranked 100th.