(Update as of 2:30 p.m. mountain time) The Giants just announced their 25-man roster and consequently, the Grizzlies just unveiled their roster as well. Will have another post to come. The biggest change to this post is that Ehire Adrianza is NOT going to Richmond, but Fresno after all. He is off the Squirrels' list and is now on the Grizzlies roster page. Will have thoughts on the Giants and Grizzlies in a post sometime later today
San Jose Roster Notes
- Though there were rumors that Jarrett Parker would make the move up to Richmond with draft classmate Gary Brown, the Giants decided to keep him in High-A to start the year. The move is probably a wise one, since Parker struck out a lot at the plate, and didn't have a steady position with Brown patrolling center field. Now, he most likely will get to play his natural position of center field (his main competition is Chris Lofton, who's athletic but a lot less skilled than Parker), which should give Giants fans and scouts a gauge of how good he is defensively. Hopefully Parker can make some adjustments and cut down on the whiffs that hurt his stock so heavily last season.
- It will be quite a battle to see who'll be playing in the middle infield in San Jose. Joe Panik predictably makes the move to the California League after mashing in the Northwest League the previous season. However, he won't simply be handed the position, as he will be competing with Carter Jurica, the Giants' third round pick in 2010. Jurica has the experience factor on Panik, as he played in 50 games and put up a slash of .250/.355/.383 in 212 plate appearances for San Jose in 2011. However, Panik profiles as the better player overall, for Jurica did commit 14 errors last year at the shortstop position. The best seems to be that Jurica will start at second and Panik will be the shortstop on Opening Day.
- Despite not playing at all last year due to signing late, Ricky Oropesa will start the year in San Jose. With his power potential, he could have a big season, especially in terms of power numbers and home runs. He may strike out a lot, but I could see him having the kind of season in the Cal League that Roger Kieschnick had in 2009 in the CL.
- Some notable absences from the list were Aaron King, Michael Main, Ryan Scoma, and James Simmons, who were all released, according to this post on the McCovey Chronicles. King and Main were once top pitching prospects in the Giants and Rangers systems, respectively, but injuries and ineffectiveness have derailed their careers.
Richmond Roster Notes
- Tommy Joseph makes the move up to Double-A and it'll be interesting to see how the Giants will handle him in Richmond. The Flying Squirrels will have Johnny Monell back behind the plate, but it's obvious that more upside rests in Joseph. Because of Monell's presence, it wouldn't be surprising to see Joseph split a lot of time between catcher and first base in 2012, especially if he continues to hit in Richmond like he did in San Jose in 2011.
- The Flying Squirrels will have an interesting outfield setup with Wendell Fairley, Juan Perez and Nick Liles battling for two spots. Right now, I'd say the favorites are Perez (whom I like a lot) and Liles (whom I'm not much a fan of, but more so than Fairley) for the right and left field positions, respectively. Center field won't be up for debate as Gary Brown should and will have the position on lockdown barring injury.
- The pitching staff lacks big-time arms or names, but it should be interesting nonetheless. Michael Kickham looks like the most intriguing prospect on the Flying Squirrels staff, but don't count out Jake Dunning (who's No. 26 on my list), Justin Fitzgerald (the Squirrels' projected Opening Day starter), Austin Fleet (who could transition to more of a starter after spending most of the time in the bullpen in Augusta and Richmond last year) or Craig Westcott (who went 13-4 with a 3.42 ERA in SJ last year). They may not dominate like Eric Surkamp a year ago, but they do have some potential to have good years in the EL.
- Chris Dominguez looks slated to be the starting third baseman for the Squirrels and safe to say, it's a big year for him. He got off to a hot start last year when he made the transition from SJ to Richmond, but he struggled down the stretch and ended finishing with a .244/.272/.403 line for the year. The power potential with Dominguez is there, and his arm strength is probably the strongest out of any infielder in the Giants system. That being said, his ability to make consistent contact as a professional has been lackluster at best. At 25 years of age, he doesn't have much time left on the clock.