SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — It's happened this way for years in the Giants organization.

Rich Aurilia had to caddy for not one but three different shortstops — Royce Clayton, Shawon Dunston and Jose Vizcaino — before he finally got a crack at the job.

Pedro Feliz spent six years in the major leagues before finally getting his own everyday position and place in the lineup.

If you're a Giants position prospect, you take a number and wait your turn. Then you wait some more.

The organizational philosophy doesn't appear ready to change under GM Brian Sabean, but it might be willing to bend a little more — especially once Barry Bonds has left the scene.

A new wave of hitting prospects is on the way, finally balancing out a system known for producing arms to use as trade chips.

"We have some guys here who are ready to play," Giants manager Felipe Alou said. "Theyare taking advantage of the opportunity."

Kevin Frandsen has earned the nickname "Cactus League Cal" for appearing in every game this spring. He is batting .348 and is heir apparent to Ray Durham at second base.

Nate Schierholtz, a Danville native, displayed major league power — and then some — when he hit a ball in batting practice that sailed over an 80-foot net and smashed a window in the neighboring apartment complex. Schierholtz also has transformed himself into a solid defensive right fielder.

Eddy Martinez-Esteve, Travis Ishikawa, Clay Timpner, Marcus Sanders and Dan Ortmeier are other names to file away.

The position players got more time this spring because four starters — shortstop Omar Vizquel, third baseman Pedro Feliz and outfielders Moises Alou and Randy Winn — were off playing in the World Baseball Classic.

The Giants still ranked third in the majors with a .313 average in Cactus League games, mostly because the kids have been hitting.

It's often mentioned that Feliz is the Giants' only drafted and developed position player to break in as an everyday player since Bill Mueller, who was drafted 13 years ago.

But the Giants will have homegrown players at both corners on opening day. Lance Niekro will start at first base after splitting time with J.T. Snow last year. Niekro has been crushing the ball this spring, and if he brings power and production to the Giants lineup, he might usher in a new trend — and a healthy one at that.

While Sabean still prefers known commodities, last year's losing ways forced the organization to start incorporating young players. Sabean admitted the performance of some of those young players might have changed his thinking when it comes to challenging the kids.