Despite a less-than-stellar record, the 2012 GreenJackets benefited from a rich collection of pitchers, ranging from No. 1 Giants prospect Kyle Crick to Clayton Blackburn and Adalberto Mejia.
The 2013 GreenJackets didn't have quite the same talent level on its roster, although Chris Stratton, Martin Agosta and Joan Gregorio certainly had their moments in full-season debuts.
But the 2014 GreenJackets could return to the talent levels of previous years, albeit in surprising positions.
Augusta could receive the rare feat of the first two Giants picks from the 2013 draft in infielders Christian Arroyo and Ryder Jones.
Arroyo was drafted 25th overall this past June out of a Florida high school. He was the starting shortstop on Team USA's 18-under squad two summers ago in the World Championships, earning a gold medal. He comes with solid instincts and intangibles, which are common traits among Giants middle infielders these days.
But unlike many ahead of him in the system, Arroyo is more of a bat-first middle infielder. He has good wrists and hands at the plate, and he can drive the ball to the gaps well while also having a plan at the plate. There are concerns he might have to move off shortstop in the future because of range issues, but that remains to be seen.
Jones played shortstop and was drafted in the second round out of Boone, N.C. He has shifted to third base as a pro and projects for better power than Arroyo. His tools are a little louder than Arroyo's, too, but there appears to be some miss in his swing, and I get the sense his swing can grow long at times.
Jones also has instincts and a baseball mentality as the son of Appalachian State head coach Billy Jones, so his tools might play up, but I would need to get eyes on him to determine that.
Linked is video from Jason Cole provided by McCovey Chronicles, showing the swings of Arroyo and Jones.
Staying with position players, Johneshwy Fargas could see time in Augusta next year. Fargas was drafted in the 11th round in 2013 out of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy, and he hit .299 with a .393 on-base percentage and eight stolen bases in the Arizona League to finish the season.
The Giants tend to jump college hitters past Augusta, especially higher draft picks, so names like Brian Ragira, Brandon Bednar and Tyler Horan could skip the GreenJackets. The Giants went heavy with catching between the 12th and 16th rounds, so Augusta is likely to see one or two of Ty Ross, Eugene Escalante and Rene Melendez.
Pitching is a little more complicated. The Giants don't move pitchers as quickly, Stratton being a perfect example of not wanting a young arm to experience the California League in his first full season. So college pitchers might make stops in Augusta.
Chase Johnson would be the most notable pitcher from the 2013 draft, taken in the third round out of Cal-Poly. Daniel Slania and Nick Vander Tuig are possibilities after being picked in the fifth and sixth rounds. Donald Snelten and Tyler Rogers are two more options as top 10 picks for the Giants.
You can find video of Johnson here.
For the first time in what seems like forever, the GreenJackets could get a nice little wave of positional talent between Arroyo, Jones, Fargas and the group of catchers picked in the 2013 draft. It's good news for a Giants system that's heavy on pitching and without much positional depth. San Francisco made a concerted effort in June to select some bats with upside, and the GreenJackets could reap the rewards of this effort in 2014.