Giants developing big league talent

Giants developing big league talent

SAN FRANCISCO -- If the abundance of former Triple-A Fresno players currently in the Giants clubhouse isn't a strong enough testament to the organization's recent commitment to stocking a talented farm system, Dan Giese is helping spread the word 3,000 miles away.

A right-hander who played 47 games for the Grizzlies and eight for the Giants in 2007, Giese was recently called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to help soothe the Yankees' pitching woes.

In three appearances for New York, Giese has continued to show the talent he did last year in the Bay Area. He's tossed eight innings and surrendered just one run and six hits for the Yankees in a role created to provide support for newly minted starter Joba Chamberlain. Now, because starter Chien-Ming Wang is out for at least six weeks with a right foot injury, Giese might be inserted into the regular rotation.

Giants closer Brian Wilson, who made 31 appearances last year in Fresno as Giese's teammate, thinks he'll thrive in any role the Yankees need filled. Giese is a pitcher, not just a thrower, Wilson said. He gets by with a slider, a good sinking fastball and a solid changeup.

Giese doesn't overpower opponents -- "he can't throw 95 [mph] or anything," Wilson said -- but he can locate all of his pitches with consistency.

"He deserves it; the Yankees wanted a guy who can get outs, and that's what he can do," Wilson said. "I like playing with guys who, whenever they go their own separate ways, they can make it."

Giese is one of many players from last year's Fresno squad that has "made it" to the big leagues this season. Along with Wilson, current Giants Brian Horwitz, Fred Lewis and Billy Sadler all spent time in Fresno in 2007.

It's no surprise the Grizzlies finished second in the Pacific Coast League with a 77-67 record -- the team's best record since its inaugural season in 1998 (81-62). It was the Grizzlies' first winning season since 1999.

"I think that says a lot about the talent in the Giants organization," Sadler said. "It says a lot for the people up top. Obviously, they know how to read good talent."

Because so many players on the team were capable Major Leaguers, there was a sense of friendly competition that motivated everyone on the roster. Now, the Giants, as well as the Yankees, are reaping the rewards.

"It's definitely more fun playing for a team with that kind of talent," Sadler said. "Day in, day out, we're all competing. That's how you have fun and get better in this game."

David Biderman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.