Brandon Belt's stock has taken off like a rocket.
At the start of the season after coming in as a 5th round pick he wasn't considered good enough to be included in the top 10 for the Giants prospects but after a full season that spanned 3 levels where all he did was hit many consider him not only one of the Giants top prospects but also one of the best 1B prospects in the game.
Belt hit .352/ .455/ .620 with 23 homers and 112 RBIs in his combined minor league season and has continued that so far in the Arizona Fall League playing against the other top prospects in the game where he is putting up a .365/.414/.571 line.
His ability to hit at every level has convinced many prospect watchers that he is a real deal. John Sickles from minorleagueball.com just returned from the AFL with rave reviews of Belt.
I think he's completely legitimate...he's surprisingly fast and agile for a big player, and his swing is totally reworked since he was in college. Likely getting a Grade A- for me, and possibly the best first base prospect not named Hosmer.
His swing is completely different than what I saw at the University of Texas a couple of years ago. It is shorter now and he no longer gets tied up inside. He's also fast for a big guy, has a long stride, and he plays hard. I'm very impressed.The way that Belt is playing may force the Giants hand on him. Brian Sabean has said that he will likely start the season in AAA but if he keeps this up in spring training he may force himself on the big club.
This is a pleasant surprise and a nice problem to have. Belt is primarily a first baseman but he is athletic enough that he can play a corner outfield spot as well which gives the Giants more flexibility and if he comes up gives him more chances to get his bat in the order like Buster Posey last season who split his early time at first base and catcher.
It is encouraging to see some position players come up through the farm system after such a long drought in developing anyone of any merit.
If your on Twitter you should definitely follow the The Crazy Crabbers. If you're not you should really consider joining, lots of good stuff going on there.