Five players to watch at Giants Spring Training
Fans have been itching to see Gary Brown get his big league shot for the last couple of seasons. Brown's numbers have dropped off since being promoted to Double-A in 2012, batting .279 with 43 RBI in 134 games with the Richmond Flying Squirrels. Because the Giants outfield is currently stocked with Gregor Blanco, Angel Pagan and Hunter Pence all coming back, Brown probably won't make the 25-man roster out of Spring Training, but could be used as a backup if the injury bug bites.
The Giants signed second baseman Kensuke Tanaka to a minor league contract back in January. Tanaka, a former teammate of Yu Darvish, hit .300 with 32 RBI last season with the Nippon-Ham Fighters of Japan's Pacific league. The Giants recently gave postseason hero Marco Scutaro a three-year deal, but Tanaka could provide infield depth if he makes the 25-man roster out of spring training.
Kyle Crick is still far away from being a major league mainstay, but he could be next in the Giants line of home grown stars on the mound. Selected in the first round of the 2011 draft, (49th overall) Crick had a 7-6 record and a 2.51 ERA in 2012 with the Giants Class-A affiliate Augusta Greenjackets
Francisco Peguero made his major league debut in 2012 when he was called up to add some outfield depth after Melky Cabrera's 50-game suspension for PED use. Peguero hit .188 in 17 games for the Giants last season as well as providing some speed on the basepaths and could be filling that backup outfielder's spot again in 2013.
Angel Villalona will be in big-league camp in Scottsdale after sorting out visa issues. In 2009, Villalona was considered one of the Giants' best power-hitting prospects after signing with San Francisco as a 16-year-old in 2006. Since then his baseball career has taken a back-seat to a Dominican Republic murder charge that was since dropped. Villalona is currently on MLB's restricted list, but the Giants will eventually petition the commissioner's office to remove him when he arrives in the United States.