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SJ Giants Dominate MiLB.com Organizational All-Stars12/07/2012 3:00 PM ET
By Joe Ritzo
The San Jose Giants were heavily represented on the MiLB.com San Francisco Organizational All-Star team announced today. Of the 12 players recognized, six were members of the San Jose club at some point during the 2012 season headlined by top prospects Joe Panik, Adam Duvall and Ricky Oropesa.
The Giants finished the regular season with a North Division-best 75-65 overall record and were the only team within the San Francisco farm system this year to reach the playoffs.
After setting San Jose's single-season home run record, Duvall was honored as the top third baseman in the Giants minor league system. Duvall led the organization in home runs (30), RBI's (100) and runs scored (101) this year while also contributing 24 doubles and a .258 batting average.
MiLB.com also recognized Oropesa as the top first baseman in the San Francisco farm system in 2012. He was second in the organization (trailing only Duvall) in both home runs (16) and RBI's (98) to go with 30 doubles and a .263 batting average.
Panik (shortstop) and Carter Jurica (second base) were listed on the All-Star team giving San Jose a clean sweep of the infield spots. Panik hit .297 this year with the Giants, including a .337 mark after the All-Star break. His 76 RBI's were third-best in the organization while he also knocked out 27 doubles and seven home runs.
Jurica hit an even .300 this season - tied for the fourth-highest batting average of any qualifying player in the San Francisco farm system. He also contributed 19 doubles, six home runs and 56 RBI's.
After each excelling in the California League this year, all four infielders figure to have an opportunity to move to Double-A Richmond together for the 2013 season.
Shawn Payne (outfield) and Cody Hall (relief pitcher) are the other San Jose players on the Organizational All-Star team. Payne was recognized primarily for his work in Augusta (Class A) this season, where he hit .309 with six home runs and 57 RBI's. Payne ranked second in the farm system in batting average and first with 53 stolen bases. He was promoted to the Giants during the final weekend of the regular season.
Hall led the organization with 21 saves this year, 20 of which came while pitching in Augusta. The right-hander fashioned a 3-0 record with a 1.60 ERA in 36 games out of the GreenJackets bullpen before a promotion to San Jose in August. He combined for 64 strikeouts and just 16 walks over 47 2/3 innings between the two stops this year.
Former San Jose Giants Johnny Monell (catcher), Roger Kieschnick (outfield), Nick Noonan (utility) and Chris Heston (right-handed starting pitcher) were also selected to the All-Star team. Monell's 11 home runs this season were tied for the top mark in Richmond while Kieschnick paced the Fresno Grizzlies (Triple-A) with 15 home runs, despite missing most of the second half of the season due to injury. Noonan enjoyed a breakout year in Fresno where he batted .296 with nine home runs and 62 RBI's. Finally, Heston led all qualifying Giants minor leaguers with a 2.24 ERA to go with a 9-8 record this year in Richmond. The former San Jose star was the 2012 Eastern League Pitcher of the Year.
Fresno's Justin Christian (outfield) and Augusta's Edwin Escobar (left-handed starting pitcher) rounded out the team. Escobar had a stellar year in the GreenJackets starting rotation ranking third in the South Atlantic League with a 2.96 ERA. Escobar could join Payne and Hall in San Jose to begin the 2013 season.
Duvall, Panik, Heston and Christian were selected to the Giants MiLB.com Organizational All-Star team for the second year in a row.
MiLB.com San Francisco Organizational All-Star Team
C - Johnny Monell, Richmond