Friday, April 13, 2007

The Lincecum Watch

I thought I would start Friday with some positive news from the Giants' system. Primarily, let's talk about the kid Steve Kline knicknamed, "Franchise."

Tim "Franchise" Lincecum

Tim Lincecum's line in Fresno last night:

  • 7 innings
  • 4 hits
  • 0 runs
  • 2 walks
  • 9 strikeouts

After two games, Lincecum's numbers look like this:

  • 2 wins
  • 12 innings
  • 6 hits
  • 0 runs
  • 5 walks
  • 17 strikeouts
  • 0 runners allowed past second base
  • 1 Congressional medal of Jesus

Everybody assumed Lincecum (last year's first round pick out of Washington) would perform well at AAA, but I don't think anybody thought he was going to be this dominant this early. Baseball American ranked Lincecum as the #10 prospect in all of baseball and he would have been higher had there not been injury concerns due to his much-publicized, unorthodox delivery. (OZ, this is mainly for you) Lincecum is a 5'10", 160 pound right-hander who throws up to 99mph with a hammer curveball that scouts say is a top 5 MAJOR LEAGUE curve right now. At times he can be unhittable. His delivery is really weird as he coils his body like Kevin Brown and has a huge stride to the plate that catapults the ball towards home. Baseball America compares his delivery to Sandy Koufax and Bob Feller... good company.

The Giants aren't going to be able to keep the 22-year-old in the minors much longer. Yes, Russ Ortiz, you were meant to hear that. Of course, the starting pitching (including Ortiz) has been great to this point, but I just can't wait to see this kid throw at AT&T Park.

Other Minor League numbers:

  • The Giants four minor league teams have a combined record of 23-4
  • The two single-A affiliates (San Jose and Augusta) are a combined 15-1
  • Brian Wilson, the would-be closer, has pitched 6 shutout innings (2 saves) striking out 8 and allowing only 2 hits (4 walks)
  • 23-year-old Nate Schierholtz had a hot start at Fresno: .357, 3 homers, 8 RBI
  • The Giants have a ton of speedy middle-infielders at the lower levels. San Jose and Augusta have stolen a combined 33 bases in the first 16 total games (8 each). SS Brian Bocock leads the minors with 9 stolen bases in Augusta's first 8 games.

Looks like the entire weekend could be snowed out in Pittsburgh. Ortiz goes tonight against lefty Zach Duke.


stapes said...

They won't fool with Ortiz for very long, especially if they are way below .500 and feel like a roster move could give them a spark. I'm predicting we see the kid i mid-May.

Any trades out there that could help the line-up? The only tradeble players they have with any value are Linden, Lowry and Wilson.

stapes said...

I just checked the hour by hour forecast and I think they'll play tonight. (Means I gotta get out of here by 4).

I wonder about an old-team in this cold of weather. Not their performane (we know that will suck), their safety. They need to have ambulance parked right off the field like at high schoool football games.

SonDog said...

Dude, you are exactly right. Half of these guys could pull a hamstring just coming out of the dugout or tweak an oblique in the on-deck circle. You know how the cold weather can effect arthritis.

I wonder if they are trying to use Neikro as trade bait to get... um... a minor league utility player? Seriously, they have nobody with value that they can afford to trade. If anything, they should unload some of these guys (if they can) if they continue to drown way below .500.

Jayson Stark's column yesterday was pretty harsh on the Giants (and Phillies).

OZ said...

F.P. Santangelo is on the morning show I listen to and he said they have some 16 or 17 year old kid that they think is Barry’s replacement. Who's he talking about?

Radio stations are talking about Lincecum on an almost daily basis. They have to bring him up.

SonDog said...

The 16 year old kid is Angel Villanova (that's probably missssspelled. They signed him to a record signing bonus last year ($2.25 million) as a 16-year-old (Dominican or something). He's at least four years away, but he's already ranked as the 3rd best prospect in the organization. He's a 3B.

the butler said...

Too bad you just jinxed the kid by giving him the same nickname as Steve Francis.

SonDog said...

Damn you, Butler. Why did you have to mention that?