Monday, January 22, 2018

Scouting the 2018 Draft: Tristan Casas; Alec Bohm; Tim Cate; Steele Walker

Tristan Casas 3B/1B, HS.  B-L, T-R.  6'4", 235 lbs.  Tristan Casas is a big fellow who is surprisingly athletic looking.  Might be the best pure power bat in this draft class.  His arm(91 MPH) is good enough to play 3B.  He has enough speed(7.15 60) to be passable in LF.  His bat is quick enough(Time to Impact .116) to make his power usable.  The perceived value of corner bats has dropped in recent years.  Casas is at least a mid-first round value who could drop into he second round where he would be a steal, IMO.

Alex Bohm 3B/1B, College(Wichita St).  B-R, T-R.  6'5", 240 lbs.  2016:  .303/.346/.489, 13 2B, 3B, 6 HR, 9 BB, 25 K, 178 PA.  2017:  .305/.385/.519, 13 2B, 2 3B, 11 HR, 29 BB, 31 K, 233 PA.  CCL:  .351, 5 HR.  Bohm is the RH half of Wichita St's version of the Bash Brothers with Greyson Jenista.  Bohm carries his size well and appears to be more athletic than you would imagine looking at the numbers.  He's played 3B in college though his size may make it difficult to stick there.  He's most likely a 1B in the pros, but is athletic and fast enough to be passable in LF.  The swing is kind of stiff looking but effective.  It looks like he's swinging a broom somewhat reminiscent of Keston Hiura.  Again, may be underrated in the draft due to his status as a corner player.

Tim Cate LHP, College(Connecticut).  6'0", 167 lbs.  2017:  4-3, 3.33, 75.2 IP, 31 BB, 102 K.  Small college lefty with a 3 pitch mix that gets lots of K's.  Could be a late first round value.

Steele Walker OF, College(Oklahoma).  B-L, T-L.  5'11", 190 lbs.  2017:  .333/.413/.541, 16 2B, 3 3B, 8 HR, 25 BB, 39 K, 222 AB.  2017 CCL:  .280/.333/.400.  2016 Northwoods League:  .406.  High floor college OF who has performed well in wood bat leagues.  Probably not a CF which may hurt his value.

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DrB's Updated 2018 Draft Board:

1.  Seth Beer OF/1B, College(Clemson).
2.  Nander De Sedas SS, HS.
3.  Kumar Rocker RHP, HS.
4.  Ethan Hankins RHP, HS.
5.  Jarred Kelenic OF, HS.
6.  Brady Singer RHP, College(Florida).
7.  Logan Gilbert RHP, College(Stetson).
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8.  Matthew Liberatore LHP, HS.
9.  Travis Swaggerty OF, College(Univ. of South Alabama).
10. Tristan Pompey OF, College(Kansas).
11.  Carter Stewart RHP, HS.
12.  Mike Vasil RHP, HS.
13.  Cole Wilcox RHP, HS.
14.  Mason Denaberg RHP, HS.
15.  Nolan Gorman 3B, HS.
16.  Greyson Jenista, OF/1B, College(Wichita St.).
17.  Casey Mize RHP, College(Auburn).
18.  Alec Bohm 3B/1B, College(Wichita St.).
19.  Tristan Casas 3B/1B, HS.
20.  Nick Madrigal 2B, College(Oregon St.).
21.  Ryan Weathers LHP, HS.
22.  Shane McClanahan LHP, College(Univ. of South Florida).
23.  Ryan Rolison LHP, College(Mississippi).
24.  Steele Walker OF, College(Oklahoma).
25.  Will Banfield C, HS.
26.  Griffin Conine OF, College(Duke).
27.  Brice Turang SS, HS.
28.  Tim Cate LHP, College(Connecticut)
29.  Jeremy Eierman SS, College(Missouri St).
30.  Joey Bart C, College(Georgia Tech).

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Some changes in the board:

-I still think Seth Beer is the best bat in the draft and the quickest to the majors, but that's assuming a rebound in BA in his junior season.

-Both Eric Longenhagen and Keith Law seem to love Nander De Sedas.  Jarred Kelenic not so much. I've been liking De Sedas more the more I've thought about it too.  He would make a terrific OF/IF prospect combo with Heliot Ramos if the Giants were to draft him at #2.

-Brice Turang continues to be top 10 on most boards.  Somebody seems to be trying to hide him for something as there is just no recent information about him on PG with no recent video and no data on speed, arm strength and swing.  What is available just doesn't look that impressive to me despite the rave scouting reports.

-College hitters are kind of thin, although I am sure we will find some interesting ones for rounds 2-10 as the college season gets underway.  College pitching might be even thinner with most of the top prospects having serious flaws.  Even Brady Singer, who is #1 overall on some boards might be the quickest to the majors but has a very unorthodox, violent delivery and may be a reliever in the pros.

-HS pitching is really, really deep.  I'll be looking for more who might be available in rounds 2 and 3.

-There is a long list of HS SS's who are potentially signable in rounds 2-10.  I'll be reviewing them in the near future.

-From now on, I won't necessarily be ranking reviewed prospects on my board if if I don't think they are worthy of top 50 consideration, but will try to flesh out the board to 50 if I find worthy prospects down the list.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

DrB's 2018 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #39 Malique Ziegler

Malique Ziegler, OF.  DOB:  9/8/1996.  B-R, T-R.  6'2", 170 lbs.  Drafted 2016 Round 22.

SS:  .240/.329/.324, 9 2B, 5 3B, 5 HR, 26 SB, 9.5 BB%, 22.5 K%, 296 PA.

Malique Ziegler had a chance to rank a whole lot higher than this.  Sometime around the middle of July, I had him easily top 20 and possibly top 10 in the Giants system.  Then, the wheels just completely fell off his season.  He hit .314 in the first half of the short season and just .149 in the second.  His monthly splits were .359 in June, .258 in July and .141 in August.  My theory is his lack of bulk just could not take the grind of playing professional baseball day in and day out, but that's just speculation on my part.  The final peripheral numbers still look pretty good, so it could be just a wild random SSS swing.  Maybe it was a nagging injury we don't know about.  2018 will be a critical year for one of the most tooled up players in the Giants system.  He's going to have to prove the second half of a short season in S-K was a fluke and not his norm, plus he's going to have to prove he can stand up to the grind of a full season.  The ceiling is spectacular, but so is the bust potential.

DrB's 2018 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #40 Rob Calabrese

Rob Calabrese, C.  DOB:  10/13/1995.  B-R, T-R.  6'1", 205 lbs.  Drafted 2017 Round 10.

2017 College:  .353/.425/.583, 23 2B, 8 HR, 20 BB, 26 K, 243 PA.
2017 SS:  .277/.369/.383, 5 2B, 3B, HR, 10.8 BB%, 27.9 K%, 111 PA.

Rob Calabrese led his University of Illinois-Chicago into the college playoffs with a breakout junior campaign capped by a 10'th round draft selection by the Giants.  He also performed well in 2 wood bat leagues hitting .269 in the New England Collegiate League in 2015 and .306 in the Northwoods League where he earned the nickname Robbie Big Fly despite hitting just 1 HR.  Calabrese was noted primarily for his defense prior to his offensive breakout in 2017. Videos show a short, quick, choppy swing which puts backspin on the ball.  He showed nice plate discipline in his pro debut with limited power in a SSS.  Could move up to San San Jose in 2018.  Sleeper Alert.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

DrB's 2018 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #41 Shane Matheny

Shane Matheny, 3B.  DOB: 6/5/1996.  B-L, T-R.  6'1", 205 lbs.  Drafted 2017 Round 23.

2017 College:  .309/.408/.471, 16 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 5 SB, 28 BB, 36 K, 226 AB.
2017 SS:  .284/.381/.333, 5 2B, 12.7 BB%, 16.9 K%, 118 PA.

Shane Matheny was  slick fielding, no-hit 3B for Washington St, but broke out at the plate in 2017.  In one article I found, Matheny credits an injury suffered in a summer league for his turnaround.  He said sitting on the bench and talking to older players and coaches helped get him in the right frame of mind at the plate and learn to trust his ability and not try too hard.  In his first pro experience, he produced impressive K and BB percentages, but little power in a small sample size.  Those peripheral numbers are enough for me to label him a deep sleeper.  His first full pro season will be key, whether it's in Augusta or San Jose.  If he can keep getting on base, the defense should help him achieve a MLB career at least as a reserve.

Scouting the 2018 Draft: Carter Stewart; Mike Vasil, Cole Wilcox

Here are 3 HS RHP's who are very similar and in a tier just below Hankins/Rocker and LHP Matthew Liberatore:

Carter Stewart stands 6'6" 200 lbs with arms and legs that are long for his body.  He has a whip arm which he fully extends behind him and brings over the top in a "tall and fall" delivery which give full utilization of his height.  The delivery is free and easy.  His present FB velocity is 89-93 MPH with plenty of projection to the upper 90's.  What has gotten scouts excited is the highest curveball spin rate in the draft.  He also has an advanced feel for the changeup making him already a 3-pitch pitcher.  Lots to dream on here.  Only question is if the velocity will increase as expected with physical maturity.

Mike Vasil is listed at 6'4", 210 lbs.  Very similar pitcher to Stewart except his frame is a bit larger, but still with room to fill out.  He also has more present velocity with the FB topping out at 96 MPH.

Cole Wilcox is the most filled out of the 3 at 6'5", 220 lbs, but even he has some projectability in the body.  He also gets good extension at the beginning of his delivery, but to my eye, he then pulls the arm in and down and kind of pushes the ball out.  Evan so, the FB tops out at 97 MPH.

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DrB's Updated 2018 Draft Board:

1.  Seth Beer OF/1B, College(Clemson).
2.  Jarred Kelenic OF, HS.
3.  Nander De Sedas SS, HS.
4.  Ethan Hankins RHP, HS.
5.  Kumar Rocker RHP, HS.
6.  Brady Singer RHP, College(Florida).
7.  Logan Gilbert RHP, College(Stetson).
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8.  Matthew Liberatore LHP, HS.
9.  Carter Stewart RHP, HS.
10.  Mike Vasil RHP, HS.
11.  Cole Wilcox RHP, HS.
12.  Travis Swaggerty OF, College(Univ of South Alabama).
13.  Tristan Pompey OF, College(Kentucky).
14.  Mason Denaberg RHP, HS.
15.  Nolan Gorman 3B, HS.
16.  Greyson Jenista OF/1B, College(Wichita St.).
17.  Casey Mize RHP, College(Auburn).
18.  Nick Madrigal 2B, College(Oregon St).
19.  Ryan Weathers LHP, HS.
20.  Shane McClanahan LHP, College(Univ. of South Florida).
21.  Jackson Kowar RHP, College(Florida).
22.  Ryan Rolison LHP, College(Mississippi St.).
23.  Will Banfield C, HS.
24.  Griffin Conine OF, College(Duke).
25.  Brice Turang SS, HS.
26.  Jeremy Eierman SS, College(Missouri St.).
27.  Joey Bart C, College(Georgia).

DrB's 2018 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #42 Logan Baldwin

Logan Baldwin, OF.  DOB:  4/9/1996.  B-L, T-R.  6'0", 170 lbs.  Drafted 2017 Round 21.

2017 College:  .308/.370/.444, 13 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 13 SB, 16 BB, 50 K, 205 PA.
2017 SS:  .342/.395/.473, 11 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 17 SB, 6.3 BB%, 20.3 K%, 207 PA.

Baldwin was drafted out of Georgia Southern.  Available videos focus on highlight reel catches in CF.  He played mostly RF for Salem-Keizer and had a terrific pro debut at the plate.  His K and BB numbers were about the same as Bryce Johnson's but with a bit more power.  I would think SJ is a possibility for next season.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Hot Stove Update: Cards Trade Randal Grichuk

The Cardinals traded OF Randal Grichuk to the Toronto Blue Jays for RHP Dominic Leone and RHP prospect Conner Greene.  Grichuk's once promising career had plateaued in St Louis.  He hits for power and is not a defensive liability but that comes with a sub-.300 OBP and a 30% K rate.  2018 would have found him buried down in the Cardinals depth chart.  The BJ's have a crowded OF situation of their own and it's a bit difficult to see how they have upgraded it with this trade.

Leone is a quality RP who averages 95 MPH with the FB and pitched to a 2.56 ERA over 70 IP in 2017.  He will strengthen the Cardinals bullpen and could even close for them as it is hard to imagine them going with Luke Gregorson in the 9'th inning all season.

Conner Greene is a lottery ticket who throws hard(Fangraphs rates his FB a 70) but struggled with an ERA north of 5 with poor peripherals at AA last season.

I see this trade as a clear win for the Cardinals who took a player they had no use for and turned him into a valuable bullpen piece which was their area of biggest need.