Exciting prospects

  • San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey before an exhibition spring training baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday, March 8, 2013 in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

PHOENIX, Ariz. — When Chris Heston took the mound for his first bullpen session this spring, he looked down to the plate and saw Buster Posey waiting to catch him. General manager Brian Sabean stood behind a chain-link fence, and manager Bruce Bochy and pitching coach Dave Righetti planted themselves alongside the right-hander, watching closely.

"You try to block stuff out, but it was impossible not to notice that," Heston said afterward. "That guy down there that's catching you is the MVP."

Posey wasn't on hand during a "B" game at the Arizona Diamondbacks facility Sunday, but Heston and fellow prospect Mike Kickham again drew an influential crowd, despite the early start time. Bochy and Righetti were on the bench for the game, and Sabean watched with a handful of his lieutenants.

The implication was clear: Heston and Kickham will be counted on, possibly sooner rather than later.

"You need depth in your rotation, and these are two guys we think a lot of," Bochy said. "If needed at some point, they'll be ready. Both of them, I thought, did a real nice job."

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