SAN JOSE -- The San Jose Giants open their home season Thursday night with a roster that includes several of the top pitching prospects in the San Francisco organization. But the most familiar name is Angel Villalona.

The first-base prospect is back with the club after a three-year exile stemming from murder charges in the Dominican Republic. The charges were dropped.

Villalona was originally signed in 2006 as a 16-year-old to a then-club record $2.1 million bonus. He hit 17 home runs for low-Class A Augusta in 2008, then hit .267 with nine home runs for San Jose in 2009 before being arrested.

Villalona sat out the 2010 and 2011 seasons. He returned to play for the Giants team in the Dominican Summer League in 2012, where he hit .303 with seven home runs in 155 at-bats.

"We're all interested to see how he comes along," San Jose manager Andy Skeels said. "He has legitimate power, good feet, a lot of things that are hard to find. He's had a long, difficult journey. Now he has to rededicate himself to baseball and work hard to be a good teammate."

Villalona, listed at 6-foot-3 and 257 pounds, is off to a rough start, batting only .034 (1 for 29) with 13 strikeouts.

San Jose's home schedule also will include the California-Carolina League All-Star Game on July 18, a first for the club.

There's a chance the all-star roster could be dotted with Giants. Three of the organization's top 10 prospects, as chosen by Baseball America, are on the San Jose roster -- right-handers Kyle Crick (No. 1) and Clayton Blackburn (No. 6) and left-hander Adalberto Mejia (No. 10).

"This group reminds me of 2009 when we had Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford," Skeels said. "A lot of kids with very high ceilings. This pitching staff is a collection of some of the finest arms I've seen in a long time."

Crick, a supplemental first-round draft choice in 2011 out of high school in Sherman, Texas, struck out 128 and walked 67 in 1111/3 innings at Augusta in 2012.

Blackburn, a 16th-round pick in 2011 out of Edmond, Okla., struck out 143 and walked only 18 in 131 innings at Augusta last season.

"This is a fun staff to work with," said pitching coach Mike Couchee, who pitched at Los Gatos High and San Jose City College.

Position players the Giants are high on include outfielders Mac Williamson and Shawn Payne and middle infielders Kelby Tomlinson and Bobby Haney.

Ryan Cavan, who played high school baseball at Menlo School, will be the starting third baseman. Cavan hit .270 with 90 RBIs for San Jose in 2011. His average dropped to .228 at Double-A Richmond in 2012, but he won a Gold Glove for his play at second base.