Fan’s take: Are prospects the solution to the Giants’ issues?

In my opinion, the San Francisco Giants are not really suffering through many issues this season. Everyone knows that the offense is pretty lackluster and has been all season, but is that really a huge issue for now? We are talking about a team that is leading the National League West by multiple games despite the lack of runs. Undoubtedly, the Giants have found a formula that includes lights-out pitching with few runs that works somehow.

Still, such a formula will not work next season, especially since the offense will only weaken further in its current form. San Francisco's saving grace might just become its prospects in 2012—some of who are nearly ready to play in the majors.

Sure, the Kansas City Royals might be packed with prospects, but the Giants have their own potentially great players. Hector Sanchez's(notes) name often comes up as the No. 1 catching prospect in the minors. Plus, Brandon Crawford(notes) and Brandon Belt(notes) found their way to the lineup this season and should remain there next season, too. Multiple outfielders could arrive at the end of 2012 or sometime in 2013, including Gary Brown, Francisco Peguero, and Thomas Neal. You cannot forget about Charlie Culberson, a second baseman, either.

As you can see, there are plenty of young talents in the minors right now that the Giants could call upon within the next couple seasons. The Giants will more than likely trade some current players for more experienced players on other major league rosters, so we should not be seeing a huge wave of debuting prospects in 2012 or even 2013. Still, the Giants could easily solve some offensive and even defensive shortfalls by giving a few of these players a shot in the coming seasons. It might not be a good idea to just throw some of them into full-time starting spots, but a little bit of action now and again might produce some viable full-time replacements.

You may have noticed that I have not mentioned a single pitching prospect for San Francisco. For now, the current starting rotation and bullpen are not exhibiting any major issues. Most of the pitchers are solid enough to where the Giants do not really need to worry about pitching next season or even in 2013. That could easily change, though, but Zack Wheeler, Eric Surkamp, and others are all available in the coming seasons.

Of course, San Francisco is not just going to call up five or six prospects and put them into the lineup full-time. That usually does not happen with any team. Nevertheless, we could see new players get the call-up in 2012 or 2013 to show their stuff. Any players that excel at their position just might remain with the team. The team should trade for some veteran players in the off-season for a better guarantee in the coming seasons, but giving some of the talents in the minors a shot could prove an even smarter idea.

One of the biggest benefits of using these players is minimizing payroll while maximizing the potential offensive and defensive benefits. In the coming seasons, payroll will become an increasingly annoying issue for the team. San Francisco would be much better off using young talents that do not cost millions of dollars per season to upgrade the team offensively and defensively rather than signing big-name players or something like that. I would not mind seeing a lineup stocked with some of these players.

For more information, visit The San Francisco Giants Site.

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Updated Monday, Jul 11, 2011