Thursday, May 23, 2013

Down on the Farm: 5/22/2013

AAA  Oklahoma City Redhawks defeated the Fresno Grizzlies 7-3:

Francisco Peguero(LF)- 0 for 2, 2 BB, SB(2).  BA= .355.
Carter Jurica(SS)- 3 for 4, 2B.  BA= .293.
Shane Loux(RHP)- 5 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 2 BB, 0 K's.  ERA= 4.75.
Brett Bochy(RHP)- 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 6.23.

2 walks in one game for Pegs?  Stop the presses!  If the Giants are currently evaluating potential replacements for Vogie, I'd say Loux failed his audition here.

AA  Richmond Flying Squirrels squeaked past the Trenton Thunder 5-4:

Joe Panik(2B)- 2 for 4, BB.  BA= .287.
Adam Duvall(3B)- 2 for 4, 3B, BB.  BA= .356.
Andrew Susac(C)- 1 for 3, 2B, BB.  BA= .250.
Brett Krill(RF)- 3 for 4, 2 2B.  BA= .265.
Fabio Castillo(RHP)- 4 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 7 K's.  ERA= 3.21.
Fred Lewis(RHP, Thunder)- 2.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 2.57.

Duvall comes back from the DL and keeps hitting, but makes 2 errors.  Very nice 4 innings from Castillo.  I really liked this minor league Rule 5 pickup.  I think it's great that they are stretching him out.  Very intriguing prospect.  No, not THAT Fred Lewis!  Had you going there for a minute, didn't I?

High A  High Desert Mavericks gored the San Jose Giants 11-6:

Angel Villalona(1B)- 2 for 4, 2B.  BA= .220.
Jeff Arnold(C)- 1 for 3, HR(8), BB.  BA= .268.

Low A  Augusta Greenjackets out hit the Rome Braves 12-6:

Andrew Cain(CF-LF)- 2 for 5, 2 HR(3), BB, SB(6).  BA= .234.
Matt Duffy(SS)- 3 for 5, 2B, SB(13).  BA= .299.
Mitch Delfino(DH)- 2 for 5.  BA= .253.
Trevor Brown(2B)- 1 for 3, HR(2), BB, SF.  BA= .234.
Eric Sim(C)- 2 for 4, 2B, BB, SB(2).  BA= .250.
Chuckie Jones(RF)- 2 for 5, 2B.  BA= .199.

Andrew Cain is hitting .367/.441/.733 over his last 10 games and .320/.404/.580 in the month of May.


  1. I think it's curious that Stratton and Agosta haven't been moved up into the San Jose rotation. They are moving them much slower than I would've thought.

    1. This is not much different from prior recent draftees. First of all, the Giants seem to like to allow the prospect, new to full season ball, to stay at one level, allowing him to aclimate, most of all, to life on the road, as a pro.

      Second of all, they generally want to see at least 2 months of good performance in a league before promoting a prospect to a higher level. It is still over another week to June still.

      Thirdly, neither pitcher is doing all that particularly well. While both have very good K/9 and good K/BB, they are not exactly doing anything extraordinarily well. Agosta is 12th in K/9, Stratton 53rd. In K/BB, Stratton is 51st, Agosta 52nd, though 11th and 12th for pitchers who are mostly or only starters. While nice, compare that to what Bumgarner did in his first season in Augusta, no comparison, really, AND he was much younger to boot, but he still didn't get promoted.

      I am actually very disappointed in Stratton's performance so far, I thought that he was much more advanced given the draft reports on him having four good pitches, and that he would be far and away the best starter in this league, I thought that he was going to start the season in San Jose. Agosta has been a nice surprise - had you shown me both pitching lines so far, I would have thought Agosta's numbers were Stratton's - but not enough that I would say that he is learning nothing staying down there. The Giants kept Dirty at Augusta at age 22 and his K/BB was far better and his K/9 was just as good too.

      Fourth, all the starters in San Jose have been doing well, so there is no hole in the rotation to fill at the moment, even with Crick out. And while Blach has done well, his K/9 rate is not all that dominating given the level and his age. Given how this was unexpected of him, the Giants will probably leave him in longer and see whether he regresses or not.

      So I don't view it as likely that the Giants are going to promote either of them at the moment, and probably for the full season. Agosta has the K-related numbers that might get him promoted mid-season, but my gut says no right now.

    2. I disagree with ogc here and would ask him to point to a first round college pitcher draftee who the Giants have started this low in the past for their first full season of pro ball. I think starting Stratton and Agosta in low A ball is surprising and their poor performance so far is disappointing. You could say that this was the appropriate level given their performance, but that then calls into question whether they were the best players available at their draft positions.

    3. Agosta is 2nd in the league in K's, Stratton is 8th. I have been impressed with Agosta and expect a bit more out of Stratton. But they are doing quite well with comparison to the Sally. Who are we going to comp Stratton to? Michael Wacha, who I did not favor but was drafted ahead of Stratton, is in AA, one of the most agressive assignments. I know Richie Shaffer is underperforming Mac Williamson. Direct comps are hard sometimes. I think Agosta has been doing quite well compared to the guys drafted around him. I'll check it further when I'm home.

    4. Agosta's BB/9 leaves a lot to be desired and Stratton's performance, while good, does not stand out to me. Low A is very low for first and second round college pitchers to be assigned for their first full professional seasons. I would expect their performances to be at near MadBum levels which they are not. I'm guessing it has something to do with Stratton's concussion as the Giants are generally very cautious with players coming off injury. The also had a raft of pitchers who did well in Augusta last year who deserved promotion. The fact the Ty Blach got assigned to SJ while Agosta and Stratton got sent to Augusta has to tell you something, thought.

    5. BB/9 isn't great, but his H/9 is good. Agosta actually has the highest K/9 in the draft class for starting pitchers. Don't know if you saw this today:

      In direct comps, you have the Cards and Braves bracketing Los Gigantes in 2012. The Braves had two very nice pitchers selected, prep Lucas Sims and college lefty Alex Wood. Both are doing well so far. Gotta say, those hitters in the 20s are really scrappin'... Roache, Brinson, Shaffer, Marrero; Trahan isn't even playing. If there is any lesson to be learned from 2012, I'd say lets go grab a pitcher in the first round! Then again, my guy Ty Hensley had hip surgery...

      I can't see anybody I really wanted emerging, nor can I see anybody outperforming our guys yet. The best guys in the class so far are Gausman (surprising nobody, get to your roto add stat!) and Michael Roth. I think this years soft tossing success is going to be 10 times better than Roth - Nick Petree, and I hope the Giants give him a look in the 2nd. Wacha has impressed, and I liked Stratton much more.

      But if you have a sec, go look up the hitters from the 2012 draft. Its not pretty for the most part.

    6. I still think when you look at historical comparisons of where Giants draftees have been assigned and performed, Stratton and Agosta don't really measure up. Remember these are college players drafted in the first 4-5 rounds. Comps for first full season:

      David Aardsma(first round)- High A
      Kevin Correia(4'th round)- AA
      Timmy(high first round)- AAA
      Gary Brown(first round)- High A
      Joe Panik(First round)- High A
      Ty Blach(5'th round)- High A

      The closest comp to Stratton from the 2012 draft is Wacha, who was taken 1 slot ahead by the Cards. He's pitching at AA level!

      I maintain that Stratton and to a lesser extent Agosta are pitching at a lower level than you would expect for D1 college pitchers drafted in the top 5 rounds and their performance there should be more dominant that what we are seeing. That is not to say they are busts, but the early returns are disappointing.

    7. DrB, I don't know where what I said is being contradicted by you. I noted that I had expected Stratton to start higher, in San Jose, and that I was "very disappointed" by his performance so far. I even brought up the comparison with Bumgarner, how they don't even compare to him.

      I agree with your assessment that this brings to question their selection, that is something I did not address. I also agree that they are not busts yet, that there is a lot more to see before we go there, but they have some playing to make up for going forward. I would also note that what makes it even more disappointing is that both were doing better early on, then hit this bad patch.

      Not that this is true, this is speculation on my part, but sometimes prospects, being very young men still, are disappointed with where they are placed in the minors, no matter how well the team explains how the higher level has no space for them, and pitch down to the competition. Again, don't know if this is the case for them, but something to watch for.

      About Shankbone's point that no one else is performing that well either, that just suggests that the talent of that draft was not that great, as Stratton's performance is disappointing, irrespective of comparison with his draft. And while a top K/9 is nice for Agosta, to DrB's point, he's expected to do that, so I'm not sure what we can say about him regarding that, and his BB/9 is so high, which is not a good sign, given his experience and age. H/9 being good is also nice, but randomness drives that around a lot, so there is not much conclusions you can make about that given that it takes 7 full seasons worth of data of a starting pitcher before one can say whether a pitcher's BABIP is statistically significantly below the MLB mean of .300 (not bringing up BABIP for minor leaguers here, just discussing the data sample issue).

    8. Looking into both players game by game stats, it gets interesting.

      Looking at the starts, Agosta's stats got bumped high/worse because of his one bad start in his last start. Prior to that 12.5 K/9, 3.6 BB/9, 3.5 K/BB, 2.17 ERA, .317 BABIP. Not as great a pitching line as Bumgarner, but if you'll recall, Madison started off his A-ball really bad and then just dominated.

      Agosta has had a number of good starts, almost every start has been a DOM except for the two DIS start, that works out to 75% DOM, 25% DIS, which is generally very good. What's more amazing is that he's doing this mostly handcuffed by being taken out before he finishes the 6th inning. PQS awards one point for pitching 6 innings, so if the pitcher never pitches 6 innings, the max he can get is 4 PQS, and that is the minimum for a DOM start (4-5 PQS is a DOM start), which means that he has DOMed all the other categories where he can get points.

      So Agosta has pitched pretty well. Of course, to DrB's point, he should pitch well given that he appears to be placed lower than other highly drafted prospects (I would note here that Correia was considered an outlier, very unusual). Still, his current stat line does not represent well what he has done so far this season, that start could have just been his one hiccup, at which point we happen to discuss his stats. He should get the benefit of the doubt for a few more starts, I think.

      Stratton had a nice first 3 starts, but once they started stretching him out to 6 innings, his performances started to go downward at some point, particularly once he was stretched to 7 innings and he nearly pitched 8 innings. That suggests that his conditioning probably needs to be worked on, so that he can properly recover between starts when he pitches more innings (recall that Cain had a decline in performance after his no-hitter) and the thing is he's getting 6-7 days between starts too, he would get less in the majors.

      Still, overall, he has not pitched as well as one would have thought given the comments made at draft time. Looking at his PQS, he has actually pitched well too, just didn't get the results, 63% DOM, 13% DIS, both good but not superlative, which is what I was more expecting from him in A-ball given the talk of his four pitches. Plus, given that the Sally is a pitchers league, PQS is probably not as appplicable (but nice simple tool to use just to get an idea; I can see that K/9 is elevated in the Sally, that could knock a start or more for both pitchers into the non-DOM category). It would also be interesting to find out if the Giants are trying to change anything with him, that is what drove Bumgarner's poor start, until they let him go back to his original pitching mechanics.

    9. Check out this article titled "Greenjackets Martin Agosta not Satisfied with Progress". Its a good read..

      The Sally league might be the right level for Agosta where he can work on developing a changeup.


  2. BA has picked up on Ty Blach, throwing a rare complement to the Giants prowess with the pitchers, and even delving into the trade history. You can always sell off pitchers, another reason to go a tad heavy on them in the draft.

    Nice to have Duvall back. Hope he can stay healthy for the rest of the year. Check out this guy as a nice sleeper in the draft:
    Hitting .398!

    1. This fits into what I've been saying about pitchers for a long time: they are very flexible in usage (in biz-consultant speak: they enable a very agile organization) making rebuilding easier if you focus more of your resources on them.

      Good starters push out worse starters, the cream rises to the top, or they could be utilized in the bullpen, whether they failed as starters or was just not good enough to make your rotation. They could fit into a lot of different slots in the pitching staff of any team.

      However, if you have, say, a good firstbaseman, you are mostly limited to teams needing firstbasemen in their minors, and if that team already has an all-star 1Bman, they are probably not a good team to work out a trade with, as your supply does not meet with their needs.

      Meanwhile, most teams can always use more and better pitching.

  3. Nice to see AnVil break out of his mini-slump that lasted a little more than a week (8 games), with a few good games.

    When any hitter is striking out that many times, though, he's going to have a lot of ups and downs relative to BA and BABIP, but as long as the power is there, that is where players can make the majors even though they strike out a lot and don't walk particularly a lot either.

    Seems like when he's making contact around 80% of the time, he's hitting well. He can be a valuable hitter like Dunn, who strikes out a lot but hits a lot of homers.

    The "RHP" was the give away on Fred Lewis (also, wasn't he usually referred to as Freddie?). Funny how you don't see all the people crying over Fred Lewis at other sites anymore. They fiercely felt that they were right and the Giants were wrong, but ultimately they were wrong, wrong, wrong, yet they still think they know baseball players better than the Giants do.