Giants Top 50: #20 - Clay Timpner

Giants Top 50: #20 - Clay Timpner

Too many players for three positions is a nice problem to have. In Fresno and in Connecticut it is not immediately clear who will play where, and not just in terms of which positions and what level. Clay Timpner is in the middle of an outfield quandary for the advanced teams in the Giants' system. He has the tools to stand out and claim a spot but inconsistency could cost him.

#20 - Clay Timpner
Date of Birth: 05/13/1983 Position: CF Height: 6'2" Weight: 197 Bats: L Throws: L
Acquired: Drafted in the 4th Round (#130 Overall) of the 2004 Draft
2006 Stats
Team-Level AVG OBP SLG OPS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS
Connecticut - AA .222 .260 .314 .574 261 26 58 11 2 3 13 13 31 11 6
Fresno - AAA .286 .315 .382 .697 238 33 68 8 3 3 19 10 31 5 7

Since ballpark architecture switched from cookie cutter all-purpose stadiums to nuanced fields, outfield defense took on new importance. The San Francisco Giants need skilled defenders in their outfield and centerfield is a demanding assignment for an outfielder.

Clay Timpner is made to patrol center at AT&T park with the speed and defensive abilities present since he played college ball at the University of Central Florida. Baseball America named him the best defensive player in the Giants' organization

His big year in 2005 with San Jose got everyone excited; 85 runs scored, 160 hits, 22 doubles, 39 runs batted in. He led the California League in steals with 34 and hit twelve triples, another league best.

By comparison his 2006 season is a letdown. Timpner spent the year between Connecticut and Fresno and did not come close to the numbers he posted in 2005. The most telling numbers of his game, on-base percentage and steals, were down from .334 and 34 last season to .286 and sixteen in 2006.

A positive to Timpner's off year is what he did in Fresno. He hit significantly better in AAA than in AA Connecticut. With the Grizzlies Timpner hit low in the lineup at seventh and eighth and hit 58 points higher than when he hit primarily leadoff with the Defenders. His on-base percentage improved in Fresno as well at .315. His mark in Connecticut was .260.

He came into the draft with a lot of promise. The Giants picked Timpner in the fourth round after an excellent year at UCF. Under the guidance of Derek Wolfe, he was named an All-American that year after hitting .371 with six home runs and 43 stolen bases.

Timpner's tools keep him on the radar and make for high expectations. He needs to work on his on-base percentage to utilize his great baserunning abilities and he has shown limited power potential. He was not chosen for his bat but improvements to his hitting would put him a step above the also-rans looking for a spot in the outfield in Fresno and Connecticut. His final months at AAA to end the 2006 season point to something better for him. Now is the time for his production to match his prediction.



Have any questions about these prospects, or perhaps some we haven't named? SFDugout.com will be answering your questions throughout this series! Send your questions to sfdugout@yahoo.com!

Check out the other prospects at the Top 50 Prospects Index!



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Chris has been a Giants fan since her days in utero. She loves baseball and writes about whatever she can get her hands on…even the Athletics. She's a Bay Area gal through and through. This is her 24th season of fandom. Love/hate mail can be sent to seasond_salt@yahoo.com, where the love mail gets top priority and the hate mail gets used for kindling.

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