Sunday, February 1, 2015

DrB's 2015 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #39 Chuckie Jones

Chuckie Jones, OF.  DOB:  7/28/1992.  B-R, T-R.  6'3", 235 lbs.

2014 High A:  .256/.326/.404, 19 2B, 4 3B, 15 HR, 17 SB, 8.8 BB%, 27.4%, 547 PA.

2015 will be Chuckie Jones' 6'th season in the Giants organization after being drafted out of a tiny HS in Missouri in 2010, 7'th round.  He was a project from the beginning, and his progress through the minors has indeed been slow, painfully slow at times.  His overall numbers from last year do not look too exciting, but he did improve as the season progressed.  From June 1 through the end of the season, he hit .278 with 15 2B, 2 3B, 12 HR, 14 SB in 314 AB.  He's always been able to draw walks at a good clip, but his K rate remains cripplingly high indicating that he may need to be more aggressive earlier in the count.  The question for 2015 is where does he get assigned?  The Giants minor league OF picture is getting crowded.  One thing to keep in mind is despite being in the organization seemingly forever, Jones is still just 22 yo, the age for most college draftees' first full season of pro ball.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Scouting the 2015 Draft: Richie Martin

Richie Martin is the relatively rare college SS who is believed to have the tools to stay at the position.  He has 2 plus tools:  speed and arm.  His sophomore slash line was not terribly impressive at .265/.354/.337 with 18 SB's.  He had a breakout Cape Cod League with a .364 BA and 3 HR's.  He could move up the rankings with a big junior season.  BA currently has him at #30 while Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs has him at #37.

DrB's 2015 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #38 Blake Miller

Blake Miller, IF.  DOB:  4/25/1990.  B-R, T-R.  6'3", 195 lbs.

2013 Rookie AZL:  .211/.412/.237, 19.6 BB%, 23.5 K%, 51 PA.
2013 Short Season: .309/.373/.485, 8 2B, 3 HR, 8.2 BB%, 17.3 K%, 110 PA.
2013 AFL:              .193/.303/.211, 10.6 BB%, 16.7 K%, 66 PA.
2014 High A:         .299/.354/.453, 24 2B, 4 3B, 8 HR, 6.4 BB%, 19.6 K%, 409 PA.
2014 AA:               .304/.373/.402, 5 2B, 2 3B, 8.8 BB%, 20.6 K%, 102 PA.

To me, Blake Miller is an example of why the Giants farm system is better than what it is generally given credit for.  He does not get a sniff in any top prospect lists.  Yet, if you look at his numbers stretching back to college, he has done nothing but hit at every level.  He has ideal size, a well proportioned body, can play multiple IF positions, and he hits, and hits and hits some more!  I mean, what's not to like here?  He got a late start in the pros as he was drafted as a college senior, so age vs level may be a big factor in getting no respect, but now that he has had significant PA's at AA, it's less of a concern.  I just look at that AA line and think there is a ton of reason for optimism that the hit tool is for real.  You hit like that and there is a place for you in MLB somewhere!  It will be interesting to see if the Giants extend his time in AA to start 2015 or if he moves up to Sacramento.  What position he settles into will be interesting to watch too.  He played 2B, SS and 3B last year, but more 2B than the other two.  He might be best served continuing to play multiple positions to keep his options open.  He might even consider trying on an OF's glove and patrolling some in LF a la Travis Ishikawa!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Fantasy Focus: Early Mock Auction Draft

Yahoo fantasy baseball opened today so I jumped right in and joined a mock auction draft, 12 teams, 23 roster slots.  Here were my results:

C  Travis D'Arnaud  $1
1B  Anthony Rizzo $33
2B  Neil Walker $1
3B  Miguel Cabrera $46
SS  Alcides Escobar $3
OF  Bryce Harper $28
OF  Starling Marte $21
OF  Marcel Ozuna $8
UT  Jayson Werth $2
UT  Adam LaRoche $2
SP  Cole Hamels $26
SP  Zack Greinke $32
RP  Carlos Carrasco $3
RP  Matt Shoemaker $1
P    Jordan Zimmermann $25
P    Alex Cobb $15
P    Andrew Cashner $2
P    Yordano Ventura $3
BN Chris Archer $2
BN Justin Verlander $2
BN Jose Fernandez $1
BN Marcus Stroman $1
BN  Scott Kazmir $1

I had $1 left over.

The big one that got away was Evan Gattis who went for $3.  For some reason I thought had bid the $3.  I was wiling to go to $5 or $6 for him.  I like D'Arnaud, but I like Gattis better.  I also think I might like Gattis better than eiher Werth or LaRoche for a UT slot.

Guys undrafted included Pedro Alvarez, Steven Souza, James Paxton.  I think all 3 of those will be significantly better than replacement in most leagues.

I wanted to stash Kris Bryant, but he went for $7 and I just didn't have the $ resources to bid that up.

I am not sure I have enough HR's, especially in the OF.  I'm depending on 3 young players taking steps forward.  It was a small sample size, but Bryce Harper had a helluva NLDS against the Giants.  Marte had a huge second half last year and his peripherals suggest it was for real.  Ozuna projects for about 25 HR's but has contact issues.

As always, I used my RP slots on pitchers with dual eligibility who will be starting.

DrB's 2015 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #37 Sam Coonrod

Sam Coonrod, RHP.  DOB:  9/22/1992.  6'2", 180 lbs.

2014 College:  2-6, 2.86, 84.2 IP, 4.98 BB/9, 8.15 K/9.
2014 Rookie AZL:  1-0, 3.86, 27.2 IP, 1.93 BB/9, 8.04 K/9.

The Giants drafted Sam Coonrod out of Southern Illinois in the 5'th round last summer.  His reputation was a hard thrower, 93-97 MPH but with shaky command.  He also throws a slider and changeup.  He used the slider more.  He was seen as a possible future closer/setup man with a chance to start if he harnessed his command and developed his secondary stuff.  As you can see, his walk rate improved dramatically in Arizona in his pro debut.  Did the Giants pitcher whisperer's find something to tweak, or is that all sample size/level of competition?  I found a BA report of Coonrod pitching at 94 MPH in fall instructional league.  I'll say we most likely see him as a starter for Augusta in 2015.  He's an interesting arm to watch develop.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Hot Stove Update: Late Deals That May Impact

There have been several largely under-the-radar moves in the last 3 weeks which may end up having a bigger impact than it appears at first.  Here is a rundown:

D'Backs sign Yoan Lopez:  Compared to the Tomas signing and the hype surrounding Yoan Moncada, the Lopez signing sure went down quietly.  Pitchers who can hit triple digits are getting more plentiful, but they still don't grow on trees.  Dave Stewart loves him some high velocity pitchers.  The D'Backs sprung for $8.25 M which comes with a 100% overage tax on their international bonus pool.  Not sure how close they were, but I'm sure it comes to an extra several $million.  The D'Backs will now be limited to $300 K for any one international prospect in the upcoming signing period.

Brewers trade RHP Yovani Gallardo to the Texas Rangers for SS Luis Sardinhas, RHP Cory Knebel and RHP Marcos Diplan.  Gallardo is a solid SP who seems to be starting on the downside of his career.  Brewers had a surplus of starters including RHP Jimmy Nelson who needed a rotation spot, so Gallardo was expendable.  They got 3 solid prospects in return.  Miller Park and Arlington Park are both very pitcher unfriendly, so park effects are a wash.

Cubs traded 3B Luis Valbuena and RHP Dan Straily to the Houston Astros for OF Dexter Fowler.  Fowler should start in CF for the Cubs, but what is most interesting about this trade is how quickly the Cubs cleared out Valbuena to make room for Kris Bryant.  Everybody expects the Cubs to keep Bryant down in AAA until they can get an extra pre-arbitration year out of him which would probably be sometime in May, although I think the rules changed on that in the last CBA.  Mike Olt would be the placeholder starter until Bryant is "ready", but make no mistake, Bryant is the guy as soon as the Cubs are ready to bring him up.  If the Cubs have any inkling of being competitive this year, they should start Bryant out of the gate in April

Marlns signed Ichiro Suzuki to a 1 year contract.  The Marlins have a solid starting OF in Stanton, Ozuna and Yelich.  Ichiro will serve as a 4'th OF and possibly DH in interleague games.

Rangers traded LHP Robbie Ross to the Red Sox for RHP Anthony Ranaudo.  Ross is a swingman/back of rotation SP while Ranaudo is a formerly highly regarded pitching prospect whose star has dimmed.

Orioles acquired OF Travis Snider from the Pirates for LHP Stephen Tarpley and a PTBNL.  Snider as upside as a hitter and does not hurt you in the OF.  Solid get for the Orioles.  Snider should thrive in their ballpark and should be more than a replacement for Nick Markakis.  The fantasy alert here is this move opens up RF in Pittsburgh for a full time Gregory Polanco gig.  An OF of Polanco, McCutchen and Marte should be a fun one to watch.

ChiSox signed Gordon Beckham and DFA Dayan Viciedo.  Beckham give the Sox some versatility as a utility IF.  The DFA of Viciedo seems to assure Avisail Garcia of a full-time gig in the OF.  Garcia could be a fantasy baseball sleeper.

DrB's 2015 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #36 Mitch Delfino

Mitch Delfino, 3B.  DOB:  1/31/1991.  B-R, T-R.  6'2", 210 lbs.

2014 High A:  .289/.333/.424, 28 2B, 4 3B, 12 HR, 6.0 BB%, 13.5 K%, 571 PA.

Delfino was drafted out of Cal in 2012.  He won some kind of team award in instructional league that fall, most impressive prospect in camp or something like that.  The Giants conservatively placed him in Augusta for 2013 where he put up good, though not eye-popping numbers.  He continued along that line in San Jose in 2014.  I would note his progressive improvement in K rate and SLG% over his 3 pro seasons.  He should move up to Richmond in 2015.  Based on his contact rates, I think he can hold his own there and keep moving up.  I see his ceiling as a Casey McGehee type 3B at he MLB level.