Wednesday, January 9, 2013

DrB's 2013 Giants Top 50 Prospects #22: Cody Hall

Cody Hall, RHP.  DOB: 1/6/1988.  6'4", 220 lbs.  B-R, T-R.

Low A:  3-0, 1.60, 39.1 IP, 12 BB, 54 K, 20 Saves.

High A:  1-1, 3.24, 8.1 IP, 4 BB, 10 K's, 1 Save.

The Giants drafted several hard throwing relief arms in the 2011 draft.  Athough he was far from the highest selected(19'th round out of Southern U), Hall has been the fastest mover arriving in high A San Jose late in 2012 after dominating the SAL as Augusta's closer.

I can't say I know all that much about Hall except that he's obviously a big, strong kid.  I've read he can hit the mid-90's with the fastball, and Fred Stanley described him as a "flamethrower" in his interview.  I found a hometown newspaper article from when he was drafted that said he also throws a slider, curve and changeup.  That article said the Giants drafted him as a reliever, but suggested he has the stuff and staminal to be a starter.  At this point, it appears the Giants have him on the closer track.

I was not able to find any video of him pitching, but some still photos suggest a low 3/4, almost sidearm, delivery.

I think it is likely that he will open the 2013 season as the closer for the San Jose Giants in high A ball.  He has a high probability of having a significant career as a MLB reliever.  His ceiling is MLB closer.


  1. Hall is already 25 years old, and if he were to make the majors, it will most likely be his 26 or 27 year. I know studies show that age relative to league is an important indicator for star (starting?) pitchers and position players. Is it as important for relievers? The Giants evidently thinks not. I think Romo and Wilson came up during their 23/24 years. I can't think off hand how age vs league correlates to being a successful reliever.

    1. I would say age vs level is not a factor in projecting relievers. To me, the key for Hall is his size, velocity and the numbers he's put up so far.

    2. giants sign Kensuke Tanaka to a minor league contract

      wants to be utility, so looks like the end of giants career for riot

      very good low risk pickup...hit 300 last season


    3. Yup, I like it. Maybe if he does good it will help Sabes get over the Shinjo experience.

    4. .300 where? Japan or here (and which league)?

    5. Good points, DrB. I would also note that the Giants are not shy about moving up good performers quickly up the system, Dirty, Runzler, even Lincecum, have been promoted aggressively up the farm system ladder, as warranted.

      I would note for those not aware, that Hall is 25 YO for the purposes of the 2013 season, since he just turned 25, so last season was his 24 YO season. That, as noted astutely, is old for both Sally and Cal leagues. It would be old for a good pitching prospect in AAA.

      But as DrB astutely notes, age does not matter as much for relievers. What matters is getting it done, and Hall did that in Augusta, very well. At 24 YO, that's really old for Sally, where average pitcher/hitter is 21.7 YO and on the older side, but really in the middle for Cal, where average hitters is 22.5 and pitcher is 23.2. Average age is 24.7 in AA Eastern, so ideally he dominates in San Jose and gets promoted to AA mid-season, but if he waits to 2014 for AA, that's not a disaster either as, again, age does not matter as much. Skill is really what matters (really, for any pitcher), and with mid-90's heat, that's a good start. So if he makes the majors for good by 27 in 2015 season, that's not bad. Kontos, who was great for us in 2012, had his first full MLB season at age 27 for 2012, having pitched a little for NYY in 2011.

      Tim Worrell had a nice career as a good reliever, including for us, starting at age 28. But he didn't really hit his stride until 32, which is probably around the time he finally accepted that he was going to be a reliever, he noted in an interview before that he didn't have real good success as a reliever until he accepted that he was never going to be a starter. He had a good six year stretch as a reliever at the end of his career before petering out.

      So age don't really matter as much.

    6. Here is more info on Tanaka:

      Tanaka, 31, is a career .286 hitter with a .356 on-base percentage and batted .303 with three homers and 32 RBIs in 114 games for the Nippon Ham Fighters, his season shortened by an elbow injury.

      Anyone know why we wouldn't pursue Theriot? It was not like he got that much last season, and he did well for us when healthy and rested. Of course, his fielding was not up to snuff, if I recall, and Tanaka was a gold glover in Japan, where fielding appears to be better overall than in MLB, as fundamentals are emphasized. Arias wasn't that great either defensively, if I recall right, though maybe that was SS.

      It does not seem to me that Sabean had been scared away by Shinjo. From what I recall, we hired someone about 5-6 years ago, around time AnVil was signed, to help us expand in Latin America and in Japan/Asian. So while we might not have had many pickups in that period, I assumed we were interested parties during that time, but just didn't find anyone interesting enough to sign (I recall that the Giants were rumored to be looking a number of Japanese players during that period, just that we never got anywhere close to signing anyone). Is my impression/memory wrong?

      Personally, I thought Shinjo was a good player, just mis-used as a lead-off hitter by Baker, who appears to like to pigeon-hole players and positions. He was experienced hitting in the 6/7 spots in Japan, and those were the spots in the lineup where he did the best when he was in the majors. Batting him 1st and 8th just screwed him up.

      Plus, I still marvel today at Shinjo's amazing play of a ball bouncing in right-center, it was the RF play, and he missed, Shinjo came in afterward, grabbed the ball and spun, threw a bullet to homeplate to catch the runner out at home. Most... Amazing... Play... I have ever seen in my life, better than Mays as 1) it was not his play, 2) he played it off the wall, if I remember right, 3) his direction was totally off from home plate, not like Mays running straight back. Oh and 4, with all that, he had to plant quickly and throw accurately to home, which he did. Just amazing! Wish I could find it on YouTube.

      That is up there among great plays made by Giants in recent past. Blanco had some nice catches, like in no-hitter and playoffs. I still love the two runs scored by Pablo, I think in his first season in MLB or maybe first full season, but he was coming in and in the first case, slid to the right and tapped the plate with his left hand, putting to shame anybody with a better physique (hear that Cousins?), scoring and missing the tag, and in the second, the tag came in and he somehow jumped over the tag and scored on a corner of home plate. Not everybody think of smashing the catcher to score (though, to be thorough, I would note that he was still a catcher then and maybe was sympathetic in some ways).

    7. I would note also that many a .300 hitter from Japan come here and don't hit for much.

  2. This past year, he topped out at 101 MPH. That's where the flamethrower comment comes from. His slider is his second best pitch (due to a 100 mph + fastball) as it comes in around 81-86 mph. His change up is the third pitch in his arsenal but needs improvemt as he is just learning how to throw it. He has also developed a cuter which can be devastating because of his strong arm if he gets it down. This kid is impressive. Huge powerful body. Has control issues every now and then but that's expected with anyone throwing around 100 mph. The sky could be the limit for them prospect.