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  1. #1
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    How the Giants stole Brandon Belt

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/dodg...edium=referral


    How the Giants stole Brandon Belt

    April 4, 2011 | 12:03 pm

    Dodgers fans across the land are sighing -– last year, Buster Posey from the right side, and this year, Brandon Belt from the left. The first look at Belt over the weekend at Dodger Stadium showed us everything we need to know about why the Giants think their rookie first baseman is here to stay.

    But less than two years ago Major League Baseball as a whole loved 146 guys more than Belt. The Giants drafted him in the fifth round with the 147th overall pick out of the University of Texas. How did a fifth-rounder beat the first four guys in his draft class to the big leagues and take over at a power production position for a defending World Series title team?

    Belt is a case study of the value of institutional knowledge in amateur scouting, the value of why scouts need to like what players do best, need to pay close attention to where each player is along the developmental path, and why consensus thinking is the worst thing that can happen to any team.

    It’s also an example of why the Giants are producing young impact hitters right now and the Dodgers are not.

    Belt was drafted in the 11th round out of high school as a pitcher and went to junior college to focus on hitting. By the time he was draft eligible again, in 2009, Belt had fewer at-bats than many other college players and flashed only modest home run power in games.

    But for veteran Giants cross-checker Doug Mapson, it was enough. Mapson had compiled a lengthy scouting history on Belt, spending enough hours early in the ballpark and watching enough batting practice before anyone else arrived to decide there was more power than what the stat sheet showed. Not every scout in America was convinced that Belt could climb so quickly. Many teams didn’t like his offensive set-up and approach. Some thought he had a hitch in his swing.

    But instead of looking for what not to like, Mapson looked for what he could like: quick hands, hard contact and power to all fields. He believed that what scared off some teams about Belt’s swing could be fixed without compromising the crisp gunshot sounds off a wooden bat, an indicator of hand strength and torque. He also liked Belt's arm strength, but felt the bat was the more valuable tool.

    “I think he’s an emerging hitter,” Mapson told the Baseball Beginnings website in 2009. “We saw him hit for power to all fields even though he doesn’t have a tremendous amount of home runs. Here’s a guy who is 6-5, 220, left-handed, who is a good athlete and a good fielder, has a good arm, he’s just learning to hit and he’s had moderate success. I think all the upside is in front of this guy.”

    Belt’s home run to straight-away center field Friday night against Chad Billingsley -- his first big league home run -- flashed the ability to start his hands and produce above-average bat speed and bat control.

    Belt loves to gear himself to pull and to get extension like he did against Billingsley, but he’s also smart enough to make adjustments at a young age. He hung in against Clayton Kershaw’s good stuff. His at-bats against Ted Lilly were decidedly poised for a strong young man facing a veteran junk ball-throwing lefty, though he’ll need a few times through the National League to sell everyone that he’s comfortable lefty vs. lefty. He also showed rookie pauses against premier right-handed stuff from Hiroki Kuroda. He showed discipline against bullpen slop, drawing a bases-loaded walk on Sunday.

    How, then, did a fifth-round pick less than two years ago turn out to be virtually major league ready out of college and still fall to the Giants?

    The simplest explanation is that Mapson did a better job than many scouts at looking at what Belt did best and where it would fit. A scout can only get the players his organization lets him get, but only the player can make the scout look smart. As Mapson’s old mentor and former Hollywood Stars second baseman Gene Handley liked to say, “We’re not any smarter than the next guy. We just hope to be.”

    -- John Klima

  2. #2
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    good read

  3. #3
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    great read! thx

    Yes this is my own tat i got the main tat in 2007 or 2008 i added the 3 trophies nov 2010

    Props to SFGiants4life for hosting

  4. #4
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    nice find, thanks for posting.



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  5. #5
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    Good read, I'm glad that it was from the LA Times too....shows that he's getting recognized and maybe our organization is as well. Plus the LA Times is a pretty legit news source and they do their homework I'm sure, so this has some credibility.
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  6. #6
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    i like it

  7. #7
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    Doug Mapson
    "We earned this ****ing burn. It doesn’t matter how you get from A to B. Our goal at the beginning of this ****ing season is to win a ****ing World Series, and guess what, boys, we’re going to the ****ing dance." - The Reverend Hunter Pence


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  8. #8
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    For as much grief the organization received about their scouting and development in the late 90's/early 00's with the Bonds teams, they need to be praised for the work they've done over the past decade. Since 2002, I think you could def. argue the Giants have been the best team in terms of scouting and development through the draft.


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  9. #9
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    Very nice read, I love building through the farm. I used to work as a groundskeeper for the local minor league team the Bakersfield Blaze and got to meet the Panda and Posey when they played for the San Jose Giants.

  10. #10
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    nice score by the giants but not sure why all the dodger comparisons. not like our depleted whored out system has created any stars for a long time.
    boing.

  11. #11
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    He talked bout the Dodgers because he writes for the LA Times.
    "We earned this ****ing burn. It doesn’t matter how you get from A to B. Our goal at the beginning of this ****ing season is to win a ****ing World Series, and guess what, boys, we’re going to the ****ing dance." - The Reverend Hunter Pence


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    "[He's] a really complete player... There's not really any weaknesses to his game." - Bill Belichick on Andrew Luck

  12. #12
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    yeah i get that part. but my point was its not like our once vaunted farm system actually produced much the last ten years. thats the sad truth. unless of course you are a giant fan.
    boing.

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