SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -The Giants promoted former major leaguer Fred Stanley on Friday to replace Jack Hiatt as the team's director of player development.
Hiatt, a former Giants catcher, stepped down after 16 years in the role. During his tenure, the farm system has produced eight All-Stars, two Rolaids Relief Award winners, a batting title winner and a 20-game winner.
``You're talking about a guy who didn't have very many thrills as a player,'' said Hiatt, who batted .251 in nine seasons in the majors. ``But I've had a lot of them from all the hard work put in to get these kids to the big leagues.''
The development of young pitchers Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum was one of the few highlights last season as the Giants finished in last place. But the organization has struggled in recent years developing position players.
``Hopefully we'll begin providing the big league club with position players like we've done pitching,'' Stanley said. ``How long that could take. I don't know. It could take one year, or it could take two years.''
The Giants got some contributions this season from outfielders Fred Lewis, Nate Schierholtz and Dan Ortmeier. They will be counted on even more next season with Barry Bonds gone.
One of the organization's most prized prospects is 17-year-old corner infielder Angel Villalona, who received a club-record $2.1 million signing bonus in August 2006. He was named the top prospect in the Arizona Rookie League this season, batting .285 with 12 doubles, three triples and five homers in 200 at-bats.
Stanley estimated that Villalona is probably three years away from contributing on the major league level.
``It's going to be a time-consuming thing,'' Stanley said. ``It's a fine line between pushing kids too fast and holding them back. I don't think it's going to be a quick fix with young players. The system will eventually have a bevy of players ready for the big leagues. We have players who are going to make it. It's just a matter of when.''
Stanley, who played 14 seasons in the majors, will be chiefly responsible for the assignment, development and evaluation of players throughout the farm system. He has been with the organization for eight years, spending the last three as coordinator of minor league instruction.
He previously served as assistant general manager in Milwaukee and has also worked as a major league coach and minor league manager.
Hiatt spent 25 years with the Giants as a player, coach and front office executive.
``He's certainly been a father figure to this organization forever,'' general manager Brian Sabean said. ``I know every kid who has come through this organization has certainly enjoyed his time with him. We'll miss him on a day-to-day basis.''

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