The Giants signed their second overall pick from June's amateur draft Friday. The signing comes exactly a week before the August 15th deadline, and will allow Conor Gillaspie to partake in some minor league ball this season. He will start off in the Arizona rookie league and then should be moved to either Salem Keizer or Augusta shortly thereafter. The un-official number being put next to Gillaspie's deal is $975,000 which would be right in line with what other supplemental picks receive. I am definitely excited to see Gillaspie get going. The 21 year-old has had a lot of experience in the amateur ranks and his polished bat could allow him to breeze through the Giants' system. The only question about him is where exactly to play him. He's played 3rd base throughout his collegiate career, but his contact bat and average arm strength may have him better suited for second base in the major leagues. Now all we can do is hope that Buster Posey miraculously signs in the next 24 hours or so and he can join Gillaspie in Arizona next week, but that's probably wishful thinking.
Speaking of young Giants, Bruce Bochy has actually stuck by his plan on playing the youngsters more over the last 2 months of the season. We are still getting the daily dose of Randy Winn and Rich Aurilia, but Emmanuel Burris and Ivan Ochoa are being given a long look in the middle of the infield. Ochoa has been especially impressive since he's been starting. His defensive ability at shortstop is certainly major league caliber, and some. The only question about him is can he maintain enough offense to stay here? So far, he's 11-39 at the plate and is hitting second in the batting order on most nights. Bochy has also re-worked the Giants lineup since Ochoa and Burris have been inserted. Fred Lewis has now moved down in the order where the Giants feel he can put his ability to drive in runs to use. I don't know if Lewis is a true number 3 or 5 hitter in the long run, but it's not going to hurt anything by batting him there for the short term. I would eventually like to see him get a look in the number two spot. His patience and speed are still best used at the top of the order. He's more of a gap-to-gap, line drive hitter than a run producing, power hitter.
I couldn't go without mentioning the FSMA fundraiser that took place in downtown San Francisco on Wednesday night. If you were there, you know what a great event it was, and if you weren't, do everything in your power to make it there next year. Most of the Giants' were there and served as guest bartenders and the atmosphere was great. I had a chance to talk to Kevin Correia for a while and he was one of the most humble, down to earth ball players I've ever met. The same can be said for Fred Lewis. Even Tim Lincecum was out there having a good time and mingling with everyone. Again, if you missed it, stay on the heads up next August as it looks like this event is becoming an annual gig. A great time for a great cause, can't go wrong.
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