Prospect Watch: Francisco Peguero
By: Jesse Beltran
Being considered a top-10 prospect for the San Francisco Giants the past three years can be a lot of pressure on a young outfielder like Francisco Peguero. After glancing at the 23-year-old’s numbers, one would notice it has not intimidated him.
Peguero’s journey through the farm system landed him in San Jose for 122 games in the 2010 season. He posted a .329 batting average while hitting 10 home runs and a league-leading 16 triples with 40 stolen bases, which led to his selection to the Post-Season California League All-Star team.
He wasn’t just an offense force; he did work with the glove as well, only committing four errors the entire season. After a phenomenal season, it was evident that high expectations were to follow. At the start of the 2011 season, Baseball America considered him the fourth-highest prospect in the Giants organization.
The two-time Major League Spring Training invitee didn’t miss a beat when the 2011 season rolled around, beginning the year in San Jose but only for 16 games due to his consistent numbers from the previous season.
Along came the promotion to the Double-A Flying Squirrels of Richmond, where he was limited to only 71 games due to arthroscopic knee surgery on his left knee. The knee injury did make a difference on the base paths. Peguero attained only eight stolen bases in Richmond and a total of 12 the entire year. His batting production continued with a consistent .309/.318/.446 line.
A player like Peguero who has an aggressive approach doesn’t draw much walks. Over his six-year career, he has batted 1,971 times and only drawn 80 walks. Due to his current approach, his slot in the lineup will be tough to figure out because he will give the team an edge from either the top or bottom part of the batting order.
A native of Nigua in the Dominican Republic, Peguero tends to go back home for the offseason for some rest and spend time with his family. However at the pace Peguero has been going through the Giants farm system, he took advantage of some extra reps during the offseason in the Dominican Winter League with the Gigantes del Cibao.
This short league of 24 games benefited Peguero to keep his legs in shape chasing balls down in the outfield. At the plate, he slightly improved his patience with five walks in 87 at bats while batting .264 throughout the league. This improvement in walks doesn’t seem like much, but at that rate of walks per-at-bat, this calculates into him reaching his career total in walks (80) within 1,392 at-bats, instead of the 1,971 it actually took him. The Winter League experience will be a great benefit for him as he makes his way through Fresno.
Francisco Peguero has continued to work hard to achieve his dream of playing in the Major Leagues, being listed in the Top 100 Prospects at the #98 spot by MLB.com is just another feat for the young player in his journey. Striving to be ready for his call up to San Francisco, Peguero is expected to be in a Grizzlies uniform to begin the 2012 season.