In April, most the hype around the Giants farm system surrounded the Giants High A affiliate in San Jose. This month the spotlight has to be on Madison Bumgarner. The month that Bumgarner put together in low-A Augusta has to have Giants fans optimistic about the young lefty's future. Bumgarner followed up a mediocre April by going 3-0 in May with 34 strikeouts and 23 hits allowed in 29.1 innings pitched. He only allowed 2 earned runs in May which led to a 0.23 era as well. Now sitting at 5-2 with a cool 2.10 era, Bumgarner is starting to look worthy of the number 10 pick he was taken at last June. The Giants aren't going to rush Bumgarner, so even if he continues to dominate the way he has in over the last 5 weeks, don't expect to see him make any advancements any time soon. As for the other 2007 top draftees, Nick Noonan has been the best at the plate hitting .275 with 3 home runs and 27 rbi. Wendall Fairley was the draft pick with the most offensive upside but the outfielder is still recovering from injuries and hasn't been cleared to start his professional career quite yet.
The San Jose Giants continue to be the organization's best minor league team. Pablo Sandoval was carrying them with the bat and their starting pitching was brilliant during the month of April and May was much of the same. Sandoval, who hit over .420 last month, cooled off a bit but is still hitting .372 with 10 home runs and 46 rbi. The pitching staff has stayed rock solid led by 22 year-old Ben Snyder and 19 year-old Tim Alderson. Snyder has had only one bad start all year long and looks destined for AA Connecticut any time now. Alderson, one of the Giants first rounders from last years draft, had his best start as a pro in his last outing May 31st in which he went a career high 7 innings while allowing 3 hits and 1 run with no walks and 8 strikeouts. 22 year-old Henry Sosa, another top ten prospect, made his 2008 debut in late May with San Jose and looks good. Sosa should be moved up as soon as he shows he healthy and ready to pitch 5-6 innings a start.
Up in Fresno, the Giants have a few familiar faces playing very well. Eugenio Velez was sent down from the big league squad in early May and apparently he wasn't too happy about it as he's been on an absolute tear ever since. He's hitting .388 with 2 home runs, 7 rbi and 5 stolen bases in 12 games. Another recent demotion, Brad Hennessey, has also stepped up his game since his send-down. Hennessey has been used as a starter in Fresno and there's been whispers that the Giants are doing that in order to market Henny for a possible trade. The only Giants' prospect who hasn't gotten a shot in '08 is Nate Schierholtz. Nate continues to do what he does keeping his .300 average with a some pop (8 home runs) and a little speed (8 stolen bases). Giants fans keep wondering why other guys (Jon Bowker, Brian Horwitz) keep getting called up before Schierholtz but the Giants want Schierholtz playing everyday and the only place he's guaranteed to do that is in Fresno. He's not going to stay down there all year long, but at this point, with the Giants outfielders playing well, there really is no spot for him.
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