Giuseppe Papaccio, shortstop, 6-1, 185
Drafted in the 18th round in 2013
Possible 2014 landing spot: Daytona
In the baseball draft, after about a dozen rounds, teams go about the task of filling out a roster for the short-season squads. These aren't the glamour picks that will routinely get praised or panned by scout-rating publications. These are nuts-and-bolts additions. As much discussion as guy like Albert Almora, Javier Baez, and Kris Bryant get, there are far more players in every system like Giuseppe Papaccio.
Papaccio was a third-team All-American last season, which is the type of player a team likes adding in the teenth rounds. For Kane County, he knocked a couple homers, and played second and third as well as his traditional shortstop position. I imagine he will be getting in some outfield fly shagging practice in during spring training in Mesa. The questions for today, though, are where will he get assigned? And why there?
In minor league ball, prospects get "starter minutes," and fringy guys don't. Right now, today, Papaccio is probably a better player (he turns 23 in June) than some of the system's higher-rated players. If it boiled to a three-game series being "must win", Papaccio might be a better option to trot out at short than Marco Hernandez or Carlos Penalver. However, Hernandez and Penalver are considered long-term options in the pipeline, so Hernandez (Daytona) and Penalver (Kane County) will start at short barring injury or a back-step.
Nonetheless, with 12-player offenses in A-Ball (Teams often carry 13 pitchers at lower levels, due to pitch count concerns), there will be at-bats for Papaccio, A manager has hopes of who he'd like to see have a good year, obviously. However, if Papaccio starts the season hitting well, usually, a spot can be found for him somewhere. Conversely, as much as fans want a viable prospect at every position, sometimes a manager has to make do with what he has.
Last season's Boise squad had only two players listed as third basemen on the final stat sheet. One was Kris Bryant. He won't play in Kane County this season. The other was Jacob Rogers, who is two years older than Papaccio. Whoever mans third at Kane County figures to be behind Bryant, Jeimer Candelario, Christian Villanueva, Mike Olt, and even Javier Baez in third base prospect status. In other words, not having a 'name player' at third won't be the preferred option, but it won't be something to worry about.
I won't declare Papaccio the favorite at third base in Kane County. There are other guys in the mix, and much will depend on post-season workouts, and who looks best there in Mesa. Either way, though, Papaccio will be the type that gets bounced from team to team in the system the next few years. As happens with teenth round selection infielders. Unless, of course, he hits like a prospect. In which case, he becomes a really nice teenth round pick. With an awesome-sounding name.
To anyone in Chicago for the Cubs Convention, enjoy.