Former San Jose Giants pitchers Kyle Crick and Edwin Escobar received mention on the MLB.com Top 100 prospects list released last week. Crick was rated the #32 prospect overall while Escobar checked in at #95. The two were the only San Francisco Giants prospects to make the list.
Crick missed two months during the first half last season due to an oblique injury, but returned after the All-Star break and dominated the California League. A former supplemental first round draft, Crick fashioned a 1.57 ERA and a 3-1 record in 14 starts with San Jose last year. The 21-year old right-hander struck out a whopping 95 batters in 68 2/3 innings while issuing 39 walks. Crick allowed only one home run for the entire season and limited the opposition to a .201 batting average. He struck out 10 or more batters in five starts and didn't allow more than three earned runs in any outing.
MLB.com notes that Crick "attacks hitters with his lively mid-90s fastball that reaches 98 mph" and "his breaking ball is a swing-and-miss pitch that looks like a hard, biting slider at its best." Crick is the 16th highest pitcher on the top 100 list.
At the conclusion of the season, Crick pitched in the Arizona Fall League where he compiled a 2.87 ERA with 24 strikeouts in just 15 2/3 innings. According to MLB.com, Crick was the second-youngest starting pitcher in the AFL this year.
Escobar enjoyed a terrific 2013 campaign with San Jose and Double-A Richmond. The 21-year old left-hander was 3-4 with a 2.89 ERA in 14 starts with the Giants earning midseason California League All-Star honors. Then after an early-July promotion, he logged a 2.67 ERA and a 5-4 record in 10 AA starts. Between the two stops last year, Escobar struck out 146 compared to just 30 walks in 128 2/3 innings.
Escobar's scouting report on MLB.com describes the young southpaw as someone with "a good feel for pitching and can add or subtract velocity and movement to his low-90s fastball as the situation requires" and "he can throw all of his pitches for strikes and isn't afraid to use them in any count."
Crick almost certainly will begin the 2014 season in Richmond while Escobar figures to have an opportunity to open the year in Fresno. Both pitchers will participate in big league spring training.
Last year's top 100 also included a pair of Giants prospects in Crick (#84) and Gary Brown (#100). Brown (#48) and Francisco Peguero (#98) were top 100 selections two years ago. Brandon Belt received a #17 ranking prior to the 2011 season.
Minnesota Twins outfield prospect Byron Buxton, the second overall pick in the 2012 draft, has been rated as the #1 overall prospect by MLB.com this year. Other 2013 California League players in the top 100 include: #5 Archie Bradley (RHP, Visalia - Arizona Diamondbacks), #12 Addison Russell (SS, Stockton - Oakland Athletics), #14 Jon Gray (RHP, Modesto - Colorado Rockies), #19 Robert Stephenson (RHP, Bakersfield - Cincinnati Reds), #24 Austin Hedges (C, Lake Elsinore - San Diego Padres), #41 Eddie Butler (RHP, Modesto - Colorado Rockies) and #66 Delino DeShields (OF, Lancaster - Houston Astros).