With the 2010 season upon us, perhaps it's time to, look ahead to next year.
I'm not suggesting it is time for Giants nation to jump off the proverbial bandwagon in droves just yet, far from it in fact. The Giants are starting to show true promise so I think it is time to look at the future of a burgeoning contender.
Here is a projected lineup for 2011
C: Buster Posey (above)
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
2B: Freddy Sanchez
3B: Pablo Sandoval
SS: Brandon Crawford
LF: Mark DeRosa/Tom Neal
CF: Aaron Rowand/Darren Ford
RF: Roger Kieschnick
Now, one name may be jumping out at you is Adrian Gonzalez.
As I look over the Giants minor league system, I see a great deal of promise and talent, but not at the first baseman position. With the incarceration of Angel Villalona and his status for the future in doubt, the Giants have very little available to occupy the first sacker spot.
I say it is time to make a deal.
Gonzalez brings a very good glove, a patient approach and elite power to the Giants, all of those things are an improvement over what is already on roster.
At the end of this season we will be freed of the monumental disaster that was Edgar Renteria's contract and the Giants are giving Brandon Crawford a long, hard look already this year as he travelled north with the team.
Crawford is a serviceable defenseman but has a good bat, evidenced by his .282 BA, 10 HR and 48 RBI's through both Class A San Jose and AA Richmond.
He is a local kid as well, and would be a good PR move for the Giants, plus he is very talented, albeit young.
Now we move to the outfield.
The Giants will be saddled with Rowand's contract for a few more years and DeRosa is on a two year deal.
The nice thing DeRosa brings is a super utility skill set much like Juan Uribe, so if a player in the minors makes his push to the majors, DeRosa would not necessarily stand in his way.
Enter Tom Neal, Darren Ford and Roger Kieschnick. Ford, acquired in the Ray Durham deal has elite speed, very elite. The Giants have been severely lacking in the speed department for many years. Ford also has a decent glove and great range. He has minimal power but a good contact swing. In short, this guy has lead-off hitter written all over him.
Tom Neal and Roger Kieschnick may as well be put in the same sentence. They are very similar players and very high level prospects.
Kieschnick projects to have more power and Neal projects to have the better bat. By all accounts, both are good defensive players with good arms. Both are big kids, and both will turn 23 this year. These are potential outfield corner stones and project as middle of the order bats.
The pitching staff, which is the team's strength, already is nearly set, though it is likely that journeyman pitcher, Todd Wellemeyer, will not be back for next year and that Uber-prospect Madison Bumgarner will step into the fifth starter spot next season.
A trade for Adrian Gonzalez would need to include some major league ready talent as well as, prospects and if Jonathon Sanchez continues to improve, it is more than likely he would need to be included in any package for the big lefty.
The fact that Sanchez no-hitter came against the Padres last season, may only help to entice San Diego into taking him, a deal for Gonzalez. If we lose Johnny, how do we replace him?
Well as per usual the Giants minor league system is filled with pitching talent and Henry Sosa and Kevin Pucetas appear to be ready for the big show.
Sosa did not surrender a run through the entire preseason and Pucetas, who projects to possibly make the club this season as a long reliever, is a career starter in the minors.
There is more talent than can be mentioned in the Giants farm system. Kids like Ehire Adrianza, Nick Noonan, Connor Gillaspie and Brock Bond are potential major league talents and pitchers like Zach Wheeler are up and coming as well.
The Giants future is bright so long as they remember that they themselves, have preached the youth movement to the fans for years now, and soon enough they will have to honor those words.
Or else they could just open a retirement facility.