Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Foppert is back

The Giants signed Jesse Foppert to minor league deal yesterday. If you don't remember, Foppert was originally drafted by the Giants in the second round in the 2001 draft as a Shortstop. The Giants converted him to a starter due in part to his ability to hit the high 90's on the radar gun.

Foppert worked his way up through the Giants system as a starter and in 2002 was a Texas league allstar. That season he was considered the Giants minor league player of the year. Entering the 2003 season, Foppert was Baseball America's #5 prospect overall and #1 pitching prospect. Foppert had won a spot in the Giants rotation by the spring of 2004.

2004 proved to be Foppert's only full season in the majors. He had 21 starts and went 8-9 in 111 innings with 101 K's. He ended up with a WHIP-1.55, an ERA-5.03, and K/9-8.19. The next 2 seasons Foppert bounced between the majors and minors as he nursed injuries and recovered from Tommy John surgery.

Foppert was traded to Seattle with Yorvit Torrealba in 2005 and pitched in their minors for 2 seasons before being released. Foppert signed back with the Giants in early 2007 and spent last seasons at AAA Fresno where he struggled mightly with his control and had an ERA-7.63 and WHIP-2.13.

While Foppert still looks like he has a long way to go to get back to the promising young kid the Giants drafted 8+ years ago and is most likely a long shot at this point, at 29, he is a low risk/high reward type that is good to see in the system. The Giants want to see him succeed as much as he does and have invested alot over the years in his development. At the least, Foppert will fail in his comeback and the Giants are out minor league money. At the best, Foppert could regain his form and become a quality set up man for the likes of Brian Wilson.

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