Monday, October 14, 2019

Giants Depth Charts: Third Base

When the Giants traded for Evan Longoria, they set the top of their 3B depth chart through 2022.  That's the bad news.  The not so bad news is they got the Rays to pick up enough of his contract that they only have to pay him $13 M per season.  In more not so bad news, since he accumulated 2.0 fWAR last year, he was worth a bit more than the $13 M the Giants paid him.  Whether he can continue that production for the next 3 seasons remains to be seen, but unlike some other high priced Giants, he at least earned his keep last year.

MLB(40 Man Roster):

Evan Longoria
Zach Green(60 Day IL)

See above re. Longoria.  He probably has some trade value so if Farhan wants to reduce his future payroll commitments, we could see Longo moved this winter.  The problem is who would replace him.  Pablo Sandoval is a free agent and probably can't play everyday anymore. He's likely to miss the first half of the season due to TJ surgery to boot.  Zach Green is not a lock to be added back to the 40 Man Roster when he comes off the IL.  A replacement for Evan Longoria would likely have to come via trade or free agency.

AAA:

None.

Zach Houchins is a free agent.

AA:

Ryder Jones

I didn't know Ryder Jones was still in the organization, but his name is on the Flying Squirrels roster.   It was a rough season for him as he got just 37 AB with 4 different teams within the organization hitting just .189.

A+:

David Villar

Villar is a legitimate prospect.  I read somewhere he was named the top defensive 3B in the Cal League in 2019.  Hits for power, but struggles to make contact.

A:

Sean Roby
Jacob Gonzalez

Roby has serious power potential.  He only hit 5 HR in 226 AB's in 2019, but represented the S-K Volcanoes in a HR derby and absolutely crushed one.  Raked to a .338 BA for S-K, struggled to a .187 BA after promotion to Augusta, but with an SLG of .400.  I suspect Jacob Gonzalez is a candidate to be released over the winter.

Short Season:

Luis Toribio
Yorlis Rodriguez
Abdiel Layer
Tyler Wyatt

Toribio is another serious prospect with a plus bat with exceptional plate discipline.  YRod is another kid with a great hit tool, but power still needs to develop.  Layer is a lottery ticket and Wyatt is probably roster filler.

Rookie AZL:

Jean Pena

Pena won't be going anywhere until he brings down a 50% K rate.

DSL:  There are no players listed as 3B on the current DSL roster.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Giants 2019 Draft Review: Rounds 21-30

Again, grades are for fun and for current performance only.  They are not a projection of future success.

Round 21 #626.  Bryce Fehmel  RHP, College(Oregon St).  DOB:  12/16/1996.  6'2", 205 lbs.

Rookie AZL:  0-1, 1.29, 14 IP, 0 BB, 13 K's.
Short Season:  0-0, 9.00, 2 IP, 1 BB, 2 K's.

College senior.  Level too low/SSS.  Grade C.  I'm kind of bullish on him.

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Round 22 #656.  Javeyon Williams OF, College(Southern A&M).  DOB:  6/27/1997.  B-L, T-L.  5'9", 160 lbs.

Rookie AZL:  .286/.369/.333, 7 2B, 18 SB, 8.8 BB%, 23.1 K%.

Another college senior.  Nothing wrong with those numbers except too low a level.  Grade C.

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Round 23 #686.  Taylor Rashi RHP, College(UCI).  DOB:  1/16/1996.  6'4", 220 lbs.

Rookie AZL:  2-0, 1.32, 13.2 IP, 4 BB, 20 K.
Short Season:  0-0, 0.00, 2 IP, 2 BB, 2 K.

5'th year college senior.  Giants were very conservative with placement for most of their 2019 draftees.  Too low level/SSS.  Grade C.

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Round 24 #716.  Evan Lumbert RHP, College(Florida Gulf Coast).  DOB:  5/10/1996.  6'0", 175 lbs.

Rookie AZL:  3-0, 1.50, 12 IP, 8 BB, 7 K's.

SSS/Low level.  Grade C.

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Round 25 #746.  Richard Rodriguez 2B, HS.  DOB:  7/10/2000.  B-R, T-R.  6'0", 165 lbs.

Did not sign.

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Round 26 #776.  Nick Avila RHP, College(Long Beach St.).  DOB:  7/25/1997.  6'4", 195 lbs.

Rookie AZL:  0-2, 1.11, 24.1 IP, 6 BB, 11 K.
Short Season:  0-0, 0.00, 4 IP, 2 BB, 3 K's.

K/BB not great.  Low level/SSS.  Grade C.

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Round 27 #806.  Connor Beichler SS, HS.  Did not sign.

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Round 28 #836.  Reese Sharp RHP, HS.  Did not sign.

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Round 29 #866.  Brooks Crawford RHP.  College(Clemson).  DOB:  8/19/1996.  6'4", 215 lbs.

Rookie AZL:  0-1, 6.14, 14.2 IP, 7 BB, 14 K, 3 Saves.

Low level.  Grade C.

*********************************************************************************

Round 30 #896.  Justin Crump RHP, College(UNC Wilmington).  DOB:  12/1/1995.  6'3", 215 lbs.

Signed but did not play.  Grade Incomplete

As you can see, Giants were already punting picks on HS players who weren't going to sign by Round 25.  Strong argument for drastically shortening the draft.  I say absolutely no more than 20 rounds.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Hot Stove Update: Giants Sign Drew Robinson

Well folks, the MLB postseason is still going strong, but I see the players wearing extra layers, so it's not too early to fire up the Hot Stove, and for more than interviewing manager and GM candidates.  The Giants made their first minor league free agent signing which frankly has become so commonplace, I can't keep up or come close to writing up a profile on each signing.

Before I start, I have to give credit to Bryan Murphy of mccoveychronicles.com for making me take a second look at Drew Robinson.  The Next Max Muncy has become something of a holy grail for Giants fans since Farhan Zaidi became the GM or whatever his title is.  Up to this point, I think we can all agree that Mike Yastrzemski is the closest we've come, and we don't have anything to apologize for with him.  If you are still looking for another Next Max Muncy, Drew Robinson seems like as good a candidate as any.

Robinson was drafted in 2010 Round 4 by the Rangers.  He has 5 decent tools with power possibly being his best.  He's played every position in the minor leagues except pitcher and catcher.  Here's the capsule profile:

DOB:  4/20/1992.  B-L, T-R.  6'1", 185 lbs.

Minors(career):  .253/362/.449, 13.91 BB%, 27.34 K%.  He has produced 28 2B, 8 3B, 18 HR per 600 PA's in the minors.  His first full season in AAA was 2016 with a line very close to his minor league career average:  .257/.350/.480, 24 2B, 10 3B, 20 HR, 12.24 BB%, 27.46 K%.  He's split time in AAA and MLB since.  His best MLB season was 2017 with a line of .224/.314/.439, 5 2B, 6 HR, 11.57 BB%, 34.71 K%, 121 PA.  He struggled to a .183/.288/.294 line in 2018 and was traded to the Cardinals organization. He got just 7 MBP PA's in 2019 and was released in August.

Here's what got my attention in Bryan Murphy's MCC article, though:  The videos!  Ooooh!  That is one sweet swing he has there!  Once that got my attention, here's what stands out to me about Drew Robinson:

1.  Extreme 3-true outcomes hitter.  Double digit BB's, about 30% K's and power.  It's not purely HR power.  It's XBH power with a mix of 2B, 3B, HR.  Oh, and he steals an occasional base.

2. The triples and occasional SB tell you there is some athleticism and speed.

3.  Versatile defensively

4.  Sweet swing!

Here are some comments John Sickels made about Drew Robinson in 2017:

....swing is smooth to the eye....

....very selective hitter and draws a lot of walks to the point that scouts think he is TOO selective and could benefit from swinging at hittable pitches early in he count rather than waiting for the perfect pitch.

....very skilled at second base and third base and has looked comfortable at all three outfield spots as well.

...if I were another team, I'd be looking to pick this guy up.

Oh, and be sure to look up the videos and check out that swing!

Friday, October 11, 2019

Giants Dept Charts: Second Base

Joe Panik, who had been a fixture at 2B since 2014 is gone.  Although things could easily change dramatically between now and Opening Day, Mauricio Dubon is the new starting 2B until proven otherwise.  Second base his not a particularly strong position in the Giants minor league system, it should be fairly easy for Farhan Zaidi to find opportunities on the waiver wire to enter The Churn.

MLB 40 Man Roster:

Mauricio Dubon
Cristhian Adames
Abiatal Avelino
Austin Slater?

After the trade and call up, Dubon demonstrated 5 tools on the field.  As always, the hit tool is the most suspect.  UZR is not in love with his defense, but he has the athleticism to improve with experience and showed a high baseball IQ on multiple plays.  The question is does Farhan have enough faith to had him the starting position or does he bring in a vet and make him compete for the job?  Sabes/Evans would definitely be bringing in a vet.  Adames and Avelino provide decent depth. Slater is unlikely to play more than occasionally as a deep backup.

AAA:

Jalen Miller
Ryan Howard

Miller and Howard both had disappointing seasons between AA and AAA.  They are both Rule 5 Draft eligible, but probably no need to add them to the 40 man roster.

AA:

None.

A+:

Shane Matheny
Kyle McPherson

Neither player has impressed much in 3 seasons in the organization.

A:

Anyesber Sivira
Simon Whiteman

19 yo Sivira has flashed some tools but the bat is inconsistent.  Whiteman was drafted as a SS but generally moved to 2B to make room for fellow 2019 draftee Tyler Fitzgerald.

Short Season:

Carter Aldrete
Jeff Houghtby
Yorlis Rodriguez

Aldrete and Houghtby are low-ceiling college draftees.  Yorlis Rodriguez played some 2B to escape the logjam at 3B.  He has shown superior contact skills at times but faded badly in the second half for Salem-Keizer.

Rookie AZL:

Ghordy Santos
Andrew Caraballo
Nolan Dempsey

Santos has been a SS but moved to 2B in the second half of 2019.  He is probably the top prospect out of these 3 names.

DSL:

Jose Peralta
Diego Verbel
Yeiver Torrealba

Peralta sported a .290 BA in the DSL.  Verbel held his own at age 16.

This is not an inspiring group, but MLB 2B are most often converted SS prospects who don't quite have the arm for the throw from the deep hole.  They should be fairly plentiful on the waiver wires which fits right in with Farhan's game plan.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Postseason Update: Dave Roberts Shows Why Bruce Bochy Is Going To the Hall of Fame

By now, I am sure you all know about the Dodgers meltdown in Game 5 of the NLDS, you know, the elimination winner-take-all game if you didn't watch it.  Dave Roberts has made questionable postseason decisions in the past, but tonight might have been his worst and a perfect illustration of why we were so lucky to have Bruce Bochy managing the Giants postseason runs of 2010, 2013 and 2014 and why he is going to the Hall of Fame.

The postgame commentators on TBS were critical of Roberts for letting Clayton Kershaw pitch the 8'th inning after striking out Adam Eaton on 3 pitches to end the 7'th.  Even though Bochy used Madison Bumgarner to close out Game 7 of the WS in 2014, I'm not sure he would be using his ace SP's in relief game after game like managers are doing this year.  Nevertheless, I didn't think it was so bad for Roberts to try to let Kershaw get the game to Kenley Jansen for the 9'th.  What I don't understand is why on Earth, in a tie game at home, an elimination game, no less, Roberts would not bring Jansen in after Joe Kelly walked Eaton to lead off the 10'th inning.  The home closer cannot get a Save in extra innings, so you use him in the 9'th and/or 10'th innings trying to give your team a chance for a walkoff.  Now, the Nationals didn't seem to be seeing Kelly well in the 9'th, so I can understand Roberts wanting to get another inning out of him, but my gosh, after he walked the leadoff batter, I'm thinking, Bruce Bochy would be walking to the mound right about now.  Jansen was already warmed up!

So several narratives continued to play out tonight:  1.  Dodgers futility in the postseason.  2.  Clayton Kershaw's postseason struggles continue(I actually felt sorry for him tonight, but not enough to wish the Dodgers had won the game).  3.  Dave Roberts continues to lose postseason games with his decisionmaking, the type of decisions opposing managers made repeatedly but Bruce Bochy did not make during the Giants 3 postseason runs.

I actually had a terrible thought after this game:  I wonder if the Dodgers might fire Dave Roberts and hire Bruce Bochy to manage them in 2020?

*********************************************************************************

Speaking of terrible thoughts:  Joey Bart was hit on the hand with a pitch in last night's Arizona Fall League game and suffered a non-displaced fracture of his thumb.  It should be all healed in about 6 weeks and he should be ready for spring training, but a second hand fracture from a HBP in one season is just a bit disconcerting.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Giants 2019 Draft Review: Rounds 11-20

As before, grades are for fun and present performance, not projected future value.

Round 11, #326.  Trevor McDonald  RHP, HS.  DOB:  2/26/2001.  6'2", 180 lbs.

Rookie AZL:  0-0, 2.25, 4 IP, 2 BB, 8 K.

Big overslot bonus.  Miniscule sample size.  Very projectable frame with solid present stuff.  Grade C(due to sample size).

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Round 12, #356.  Chris Wright  LHP.  College(Bryant).  DOB:  10/14/1998.  6'1", 205 lbs.

Rookie AZL:  0-0, 2.03, 13.1 IP, 8 BB, 8 K.  Low level of competition.  ERA OK, but K and BB's not encouraging.  Grade C.

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Round 13, #386.  Harrison Freed  OF.  College(Butler).  DOB:  5/13/1998.  B-R, T-R.  5'11", 205 lbs.

Rookie AZL:  .440/.500/.680, 3 2B, HR, 30 PA.
Short Season:  .263/.325/.453, 15 2B, 7 HR, 6.7 BB%, 29.6 K%, 179 PA.

Profiles as a bad body corner OF type with some pop in his bat.  Grade C+.

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Round 14, #416.  Nick Morreale  RHP.  College(Georgetown).  DOB:  7/27/1997.  6'5", 220 lbs.

Rookie AZL:  0-0, 1.52, 23.2 IP, 8 BB, 24 K.

Big, hard throwing RHP.  Ranked #193 by MLB Pipeline.  Rap is he couldn't hold velocity past first few innings, so may profile as a reliever.  Nice project for the Driveline crew.  Grade C(level too low).

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Round 15, #446.  Carter Aldrete  IF.  College(ASU).  DOB:  10/12/1997.  B-R, T-R.  6'2", 205 lbs.

Rookie AZL:  .258/.378/.348, 3 2B, HR, 15.9 BB%, 17.1 K%, 82 PA.
Short Season:  .257/.347/.416, 5 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 11.9 BB%, 24.6 K%, 118 PA.

MLB bloodlines.  Kind of average low ceiling college draftee with average numbers in pro debut. Grade C.

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Round 16, #476.  Brandon Martorano  C.  College(UNC).  DOB:  1/6/1998.  B-R, T-R.  6'2", 198 lbs.

Rookie AZL:  .238/.238/.524, 2B, 3B, HR, 0.0 BB%, 47.6 K%, 21 PA.
Short Season:  .260/.365/.385, 3 2B, 3 HR, 14.7 BB%, 31 K%, 116 PA.

Kind of a roster-filler, low ceiling college pick.  Grade C.

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Round 17, #506.  Connor Cannon  1B.  College(UC Riverside).  DOB:  5/16/1998.  B-R, T-R.  6'5", 240 lbs.

Rookie AZL:  .326/.399/.689, 7 2B, 3B, 13 HR, 7.4 BB$, 25 K%, 148 PA.
Short Season:  .286/.286/.286, 7 PA.

Huge power.  Needs to show it at higher levels.  Grade C+(level too low).

*********************************************************************************

Round 18, #536.  Cole Waites  RHP.  College(West Alabama).  DOB:  6/10/1998.  6'3", 180 lbs.

Rookie AZL:  1-1, 6.23, 17.1 IP, 13 BB, 28 K's.

Lot of K's, lots of walks, level too low.  SSS.  Grade D(the K's are intriguing, though).

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Round 19, #566.  Kanoa Pagan  RHP.  JC(CA).  DOB:  9/29/1998.  6'2", 190 lbs.

Rookie AZL:  0-1, 6.14, 14.2 IP, 11 BB, 21 K.

Walks obviously an issue, but SSS.  Grade D.

*********************************************************************************

Round 20, #596.  Najee Gaskins OF.  College(St Cloud St).  DOB:  9/7/1997.  B-R, T-R.  6'0", 185 lbs.

Rookie AZL:  .340/.474/.453, 8 2B, 2 3B, 19 SB, 14.9 BB%, 14.2 K%, 134 PA.

Speedy CF profile.  Can he hit for enough power to make pitchers respect him at higher levels?  Grade C+(Level too low).

Giants Depth Charts: First Base

If you are my age or older, you cut your teeth on a Giants lineup that included Hall of Famer Willie McCovey absolutely terrorizing opposing pitchers.  If you are about 20 years younger, you grew up with a near HOF'er, Will Clark, and his sweet swing putting up MVP numbers from the position.  First base is supposed to be the easiest position to find offense,  but since Will Clark, Giants fans have had to watch the likes of Paul Goldschmidt, Adrian Gonzalez, Freddie Freeman, Anthony Rizzo and Pete Alonso play for other teams.  Yeah, I know, the Belt Wars.  Don't tell me Brandon Belt is anywhere close to the same tier as Goldy, let alone Will Clark or Willie McCovey.  Brandon Belt was supposed to be that guy, and he's been very good at times, but has never quite gotten there much to the frustration of many Giants fans.  He's now coming off the worst season and appears to be about done barring some serious conditioning and/or retooling of his swing and approach.  Giants fans longing for the days of Will Clark and Willie Mac will not be happy with the current depth chart, at all!

MLB 40 Man Roster:

Brandon Belt
Austin Slater
Chris Shaw
Zach Green
Buster Posey
Aramis Garcia


Belt is Belt.  He has two years and about $30 M left on his contract.  The Giants have 3 choices with him:  1.  Keep running him out there and hope for better results.  2.  Trade him and eat a big part of his contract or else take a bad contract for another position, say pitcher, back.  3.  Just release him and eat the contract.  The biggest problem with #2 and #3 is none of the other 40 man options are appealing to take his place.  Maybe create a platoon out of Slater and Shaw?  To significantly improve on the meager production Belt gives, they would have to pay retail prices in free agency or trade prospects for an upgrade in addition to eating all or most of Belt's contract.

AAA:

None.

Brock Stassi is listed on the River Cats roster, but I'm pretty sure he is a free agent and not really a depth option anyway.

AA:

Gio Brusa

The Mayor of San Jose finally gave up the keys to the city and moved to Richmond.  He's strictly an organizational player at this point.

A+:

None.

David Villar played some 1B but was rated the best defensive 3B in the Cal League(I think I read that somewhere) and is being developed as a 3B.

A:

Logan Wyatt
Frankie Tostado
Jacob Gonzalez

Wyatt was the Giants second round draft pick this year.  His power is questionable for the position.  Frankie Tostado showed nice power.  Listed as an OF on the roster.  Jacob Gonzalez is probably more likely to be released than promoted for 2020.

Short Season:

Connor Cannon
Beicker Mendoza

Cannon is a late round draftee who was injured a lot in college.  He showed "light-tower" power in the AZL but now needs to show it at higher levels.   Mendoza has been playing in the Giants system for 5 years.  He carries a .281 career BA but with just a .398 SLG%.

Rookie AZL:

Garrett Frechette
Francisco Medina
Ismael Alcantara
Victor Bericoto

Frechette has a sweet swing and got an above-slot bonus in the draft so he's someone to watch going forward.  Medina showed intriguing power in the DSL way back in 2015, but not a lot since.  Alcantara was signed for $300 K back in 2016 but hasn't found traction in 3 rookie league seasons.  Victor Bericoto is a 17 yo who raked in the DSL and got a rare late season promotion to Arizona.

DSL:

Samuel Jorge
Ronaldo Flores
Rayner Santana

Samuel Jorge has not found traction in 3 DSL seasons.  Flores split time between catcher and 1B. Santana played 1 game at 1B.