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Down on the Farm: Roger Kieschnick 2013 Preview

Posted on February 5th, 2013 by admin in Down On The Farm

 

Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Outfielder Roger Kieschnick was the San Francisco Giants‘ third-round draft pick in 2008 out of Texas Tech. In ’09, Kieschnick was a Cal League All-Star and shined in San Jose hitting .296 with 23 home runs and 110 RBI. Since then however, Kieschnick has struggled with some nagging back injuries which limited him to only 60 games in 2010 and 55 games in 2012.

Before being sent to the DL last year in Triple-A Fresno, Kieschnick showed poise at the plate (.306 average) and good pop (15 home runs). With good speed, a good glove, and a strong arm Kieschnick is a potential 4 or 5-tool player but his time is running out. In 2013, the 26-year old right fielder will need to not only prove that he can stay healthy but that he can be counted on to contribute at the major league level. Below is an interview that I did with Kieschnick.

Stamati: When did you first realize you could play baseball professionally?

Roger Kieschnick: As a kid I played all sports growing up like most kids but I was a freshman in high school when I started focusing on baseball. I was playing football at the time and I was missing baseball practice to play football so that’s when I knew I had to make a decision to do one or the other. So I chose baseball and it has worked out for me.

Stamati: I’d say. Out of curiosity, what position did you play in football?

Roger Kieschnick: Mostly outside linebacker. A little tight end and receiver.

Stamati: What type of commitment did you have to make to baseball when you decided to play full time?

Roger Kieschnick: The high school I went to had a pretty good off-season workout program. You always just want to play at the next level so I set my sights on D-I and did what I could to get myself ready. As you grow, your goals change and now I want to play in the majors.

Stamati: Did you ever think this is just too hard?

Roger Kieschnick: No, not at all. I enjoy playing this game and I want to do it for as long as I can. It’s something I’ve done since I was little so I’ve never thought about that.

Stamati: How have you handled obstacles along the way?

Roger Kieschnick: My parents and my grandfather have been very influential in my life. They’ve always taught me right from wrong. Being a Christian has helped put things in perspective for me to choose the right path.

Stamati: So, you grew up in Texas and attended Texas Tech. Was that a dream of yours?

Roger Kieschnick: Actually, my mom and sister both went to the University of Texas. I watched them win the College World Series so I wanted to go there at first. They recruited me a bit but when I talked to them they had already signed two high school All-Americans to play outfield so I thought maybe I should look somewhere else. Texas Tech was right there, it’s in the Big 12, it’s a great school, and they had a great coach. They offered me a scholarship and the opportunity to play every day so I couldn’t turn it down.

Stamati: You were at Texas Tech when coach Bobby Knight was there. Did you go to the basketball games?

Roger Kieschnick: Oh yeah. We went to a lot of those games. Bobby Knight packed the house. Not just basketball though, I would go to volleyball, soccer, and every football game. It was a great environment.

Stamati: You hit a grand slam in your first game at college. What was that like?

Roger Kieschnick: Yeah it was my first game as a freshman so it was pretty sweet. It feels good to contribute every day.

Stamati: You’ve played on the US College National Team and have spent a few years in the minors now. What have those experiences taught you?

Roger Kieschnick: It’s been a good experience. You can always learn more anytime you can play with other players who have a lot of talent. I’ve been fortunate in that way. Whether it’s just from getting advice or watching other guys working hard just going about their business. It’s helpful.

Stamati: What drives you to succeed in high pressure situations?

Roger Kieschnick: The thrill of knowing that you have the opportunity to do something special. It’s the great thing about this game. There are highs and lows. It’s a lot of fun.

Stamati: What does it feel like when you’re in the zone?

Roger Kieschnick: It’s great. You’re seeing the ball well and swinging at good pitches. The stars are lined up for you.

Stamati: Since college, you’ve spent time tinkering with a changing your swing. How hard is that to do?

Roger Kieschnick: It’s a long process about trying to feel comfortable at the plate while also being consistent. It’s something I’ve worked on for a long time and it’s gradually gotten to where it is now. You always have to work on your swing.

Stamati: What advice would you give to youngsters out there who hope to play ball one day?

Roger Kieschnick: Keep going. You have to work hard and play as much as you can. It’ll help.
~Stamati Horiates
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Down on the Farm: Giants Top 10 Prospect of 2013

Posted on January 31st, 2013 by admin in Down On The Farm

 

RHP Kyle Crick - Courtesy of MiLB.com

RHP Kyle Crick – Courtesy of MiLB.com

For those of you that love to hear about up and coming players in the San Francisco Giants farm system. This is the perfect post to read! Baseball America has released their Giants Top 10 Prospects list.

Four out of the top ten prospects are position players. Which means, arms are still the focus for the Giants farm system. You can never go wrong with having some decent arms waiting in the wings.

However, I’m sure you were thinking outfielder Gary Brown would be listed as the teams number one prospect. Brown is expected to be the Giants future center fielder, but he’s currently holding down the fourth spot on this list. You probably have guessed it by now, the number one prospect in the organization is a pitcher!

The Following players below are the top ten prospects in the Giants organization, courtesy of Baseball America.

Giants Top 10 Prospects, 2013

Kyle Crick – RHP

Joe Panik – SS

Chris Stratton – RHP

Gary Brown – OF

Mike Kickham – LHP

Clayton Blackburn – RHP

Heath Hembree – RHP

Francisco Peguero – OF

Roger Kieschnick – OF

Adalberto Mejia – LHP

Keep checking back for insights and updates on these prospects!

Don’t forget to go to the SF Giants Rumors Facebook page to share your thoughts on the top ten prospects with over 3,000 other Giants fans!

~King of Cali (Steven Robles)

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San Francisco Giants Prospects: Gary Brown 2013 Projection

Posted on January 28th, 2013 by admin in Down On The Farm

 

Gary Brown of the San Jose Giants.

Gary Brown of the San Jose Giants.

Drafted 24th overall by the San Francisco Giants in the 2010 Major League Baseball Player Draft, 24-year old center fielder Gary Brown is making a strong case to open the 2013 season in Triple-A Fresno. Currently rated as the Giants top minor league prospect, Brown projects as a quality major league center fielder with plus defensive skills and good speed at the top of the order.

In his first full season of minor league ball with the San Jose Giants in 2011 in which he batted leadoff every game, Brown tore up the competition. On his way to swiping 53 bases that year, Brown also set the San Jose Giants hits record with 188 in just 131 games played. At the end of 2011, Brown was rated as the Giants best minor league hitter for average, fastest base runner, best athlete, and best defensive player by Baseball America.

In 2012, Gary Brown spent the entire season with the Giants Double-A affiliate, Richmond Flying Squirrels. Although his numbers were not as impressive in Richmond as they were in San Jose, there was a lot of talk within the Giants organization of promoting Brown to the majors in 2012. In 134 total games in Double-A, Brown finished the ’12 season hitting .279 with 33 stolen bases.

While Brown has shown the ability to set the base paths on fire, he has also shown a troubling propensity to get caught stealing. Thrown out 19 times in ’11 and 18 times in ’12, Brown’s success rate has been rather pedestrian. While his speed has never been the issue, Brown’s problems have been contributed to hesitation and bouts of poor decision making, an area he has focused on while working to correct a hitch in his slide.

 

Another area of concern for Brown last season was his struggle to consistently hit right-handed pitching. Although finishing the season with a .264 against righties was not tragic for the up and comer, Brown must improve to bring his game to the next level.

The resigning of 31 year old Angel Pagan to a new 4-year contract means youngster Brown has some time to develop and his work cut out for him. With his sights set on cracking the Giants major league roster, the 2013 season could prove to be a big one for Brown who undoubtedly wants to show that he has made the necessary adjustments from his 2012 campaign and that his breakout 2011 season was no fluke.

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~Stamati Horiates

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