Sunday, December 8, 2013

Fantasy Focus: Impact Rookies- Kolten Wong

This will warm LG's heart.  It's a good thing the Cardinals drafted Kolten Wong 7 spots in front of where the Giants drafted Joe Panik, or I would be really mad at Sabes, et al for not taking Wong instead, or maybe they would have if Wong has still been there.  We'll never know.  The Cardinals pushed Wong hard assigning him to low A ball in his draft year and then jumping him to AA in 2012.

He put up a line of .303/.369/.466 with 8 3B, 10 HR and 20 SB's against 1 CS in 412 AB's.  He was promoted to the MLB club late in the season where he was used mainly as a defensive replacement in 32 games.  He had just 59 AB and did not do much at the plate hitting just .153.

The Cardinals seem undeterred by his lack of hitting.  Their GM has stated that the reason they were able to trade David Freese for Bourjos was because they plan to start Wong at 2B and slide Matt Carpenter over to 3B.

2B is not a deep fantasy position.  I played in a 10 team league last year and had trouble finding an adequate 2B.  Wong may be an option late in the draft or a FA pickup in-season.  Steamer projects him at .269/.322/.388 with 8 HR, 16 SB.  Oliver projection is .265/.318/.378, 9 HR, 19 SB.


  1. Should they be deterred by his cup of coffee? They still have Descalso. Would you say the American Conference of the PCL is a little more fair? Nice contact rates and RC+ for a young 2B in AAA.

    I'd also like to take a brief moment to apologize for any dampened outlook on prospects or the Lincecum contract or Brian Sabean. I think I'm coming down with some winteritis and a little Giants fatigue. It's 365 for the fan these days. The wise fan can step back, take a break, get some perspective and get ready for spring.

    Cheers. Thanks for doing what you do here.

    One more question: what would you say the official radar readings on Edwin Escobar are? He's the prospect (along with Crick) that I am most optimistic about, given his peripherals in A+ and AA.

    a dude

    1. It doesn't help when it seems like every other team in the league is making moves to improve in the last week and Sabes is sitting on his hands double talking about having plenty of money to spend yet no real options! Let's see if anything happens in the winter meetings and then shortly after that. He does have until the seasons starts to get everything figured out so one should be patient and reserve judgement until the offseason is complete. If he still hasn't made any significant moves by the time the season starts it will be time to get extremely worried!

    2. More like time to be pissed, but then move on with life. "Extremely worried" is a phrase I'm not sure should have any place in baseball musings. LOL

      I'm right there with disappointment at having to wait another year for the ring, but I'll reserve my worrying for much more critical aspects of the world. :)

      Either way (improvement over Blanco's 2.8 WAR but mediocre bat not withstanding), this offseason's musings on our young pitching core is more than enough to keep a guy excited. Thanks to everyone for great insider insight, good links, and Dr. B for organizing and creating the medium through which we can all connect on this HIGHLY enjoyable level.


    3. Au contraire, Pato! I see Sabes sitting back and watching a lot of other teams make poor decisions that lock them into longterm contracts that will reduce future payroll flexibility.

      I wish Sabes and the Giants had taken a bit of risk to try to upgrade on Vogey, but I'm not complaining about the 1 year deal. Sabes went into the offseason with several stated goals. He's made good on most of them. You might point to LF as one that is still out there, but if you recall, LF was something a reporter kind of put in his mouth rather than Sabes ever actually stating it himself. He has always cautioned that it will be harder to upgrade on Blanco than it looks due to his defensive value.

      Ryan, re. Escobar and Crick: I expect Escobar to start the season in Fresno and if he pitches well, be available for a callup, if needed, by midseason. We could see him as a lefty reliever if that is where the need arises. Crick should start at AA Richmond where I expect to see him dominate. It may be a longshot but I don't think it is out of the question for him to hit the majors later in the season, again, possibly as a reliever.

    4. One more thought at Ryan. Not need to apologize. Alternative points of view are always welcome as long as they are presnted in a thoughtful manner. What I don't want is for the comments section here to become a forum for people to go on a daily rant about what a horrible GM Brian Sabean is. Sabes is not perfect. No GM is. If you can make a thoughtful critique of something he does or does not do without it becoming an indictment of everything he does, I have no problem with it.

      BTW, to anyone out there who may be disgruntled with Brian Sabean or the Giants ownership, just look up some of the stuff coming out about the Seattle Mariners management and count your blessings. You don't know how good you have it!

  2. The moves other teams are making might not be smart but they are with the intent of improving. Some of the trades have looked good and you can't tell me that the onfield product in Seattle won't be improved with Cano (doesn't mean the signing was good but hard to argue that he won't make them better!). Hard to argue as well that by doing nothing Sabes is "improving" the onfield product. I'm more concerned about the onfield product next season than overspending, losing a draft pick this year, or getting a guy who has other issues like PED use. Overspending is the least important of those downsides and the draft pick wouldn't contribute for several years and no guarentee he will ever make it. As for PED use, if a classy organization like the Cardinals is willing to overspend to sign Peralta to fill a need than I'm not sure why we shouldn't be doing the same with a certain player I have mentioned too many times to bring his name up again!!!

    1. OMG, Pato! The irony that you would bring up Cano and Seattle just as the doo-doo hits the fan and big time up there! Please go a bit of googling and look up the stories coming out of Seattle about the dysfunction of their management before you hold them up as an example of anything you want for the GIants!

      Sabes has most certainly not done nothing! He has actually done a whole heckuva lot.

      1. Signed Hunter Pence, the best OF on the FA market by far, to a very large longterm contract.

      2. Bought out the final option year of Barry Zito's contract and paying him $7 M to go away.

      3. Signed Tim Lincecum to a 2 year contract, overpaying in yearly salary by a significant margin, but keeping the number of years low so as to not block the next wave of pitching prospects who will be ready buy 2016.

      4. Signed Tim Hudson to a 2 year contract at a very reasonable yearly rate, yet keeping the number of years below 3.

      5. Signed Ryan Vogelsong to a 1 year contract that is curiously not much different than what he would have had if he had simply picked up his option to begin with.

      The only one of those moves I have a problem with is Vogey, but since it is only a 1 year contract and the Giants have reasonable backup options already in house, I'm not going to throw myself down the stairs over it.

      As for the remaining OF slot,

      1. The Winter Meetings have not even started yet, let alone the offseason not being near over.

      2. Your characterization of Gregor Blanco as being totally inadequate is way off base. Finding an upgrade over him in today's market is simply not as easy as you make it out to be.

      3. Brian Sabean said at the beginning of the offseason he was not going to sacrifice the draft pick. I agree with him on that stance and admire him for holding firm on it.

      4. Sabes has said that while there is room in the 2014 budget for more upgrades, the Giants are not prepared to take on another large longterm contract that might jeopardize future payroll flexibility. Again, I agree with that philosophy.

      5. Even if he does not make any further significant moves this offseason, there is still the trade deadline which may yield better opportunities than currently present themselves.

      Now, I have said I will not allow this blog to become a forum for people to just come on and rant and rail about how terrible they think Brian Sabean is. I am going to ask you politely to find other topics to discuss and contribute with. We have discussed this one long enough and thoroughly enough that there is nothing constructive to add to the discussion.

    2. Be glad we're not fans of the Mets???

      That's a team that's been having a hard time putting it together. They sign Granderson, now they are publicly saying they don't have the money to sign a SS like Drew. They must be hoping Harvey comes back strong in 2015, Wheeler profiles as a 1/2, and Snydergaard arrives as well for a powerful 1-2-3. But by then, how much will Wright have left in the tank?

      Giants are positioned pretty well. Sabean has his good days and bad days and all in all he's still the longest tenured GM in the bigs. We SF fans got a little spoiled by '10 & '12.

      What are your thoughts on Mike Morse, Dr. B or anybody else?

    3. I'm of the opinion that, if we're going to fill the spot, then the player has to be a good and Long-Term fix for the position. Mike Morse, Markakis, Ruggiano...these are not improvements to the long term! Further, it's an extension of an ideal of mediocrity within our clubhouse, and that's not the way to build a winner.

      I'm of the opinion that for the right player, Gregorio, Blackburn and Mejia as well as Williamson are all very good prospects who can be let go. It's easy to shoot proposals down, but for instance: Caleb Gindi on the Brewers is a guy I'd build a package for including 2 or 3 of the above. Justin Maxwell is another guy I like (Royals), who wouldn't take the Farm to acquire; good blend of hit tool, power and defense - I'd part with Mejia and Panik to nab him.

      Point: These HAVE to be guys that have the potential to fill the OF void for the foreseeable future. Otherwise, stay pat. However, like you've said Dr. B - Voglesong was a vanilla move, and pretty much necessitates the acquisition of a superior outfielder. Any other strategy on his part is a bad job GM'ing. Period.

    4. I don't agree that the Vogey signing has requires anything in the OF. The two are unrelated.

      As far as the pitching goes, I don't have a huge problem with any of the individual signings and the whole thing may work out just fine in the end, but when you stand back and look at the rotation as a whole, you have to hope for significant bouncebacks from at least 2 out of Cain/Lincecum/Vogey plus a full recovery of effectiveness for Huddy. That's a lot to hope for!

      I believe ogc did the calculations and the offense as it currently stands should score an average of 4.66 RPG. That is plenty enough. As I have already said several times, this team will succeed or fail on it's starting pitching, not on whether they acquire another OF.

    5. Mike Morse has had a very up and down career beset by numerous injuries, plus he's a terrible fielder, not just bad, but terrible! Quite honestly, I think he would hurt on defense just as much or more than he would help on offense and you can't count on him to stay healthy. Pass.

    6. Don't know much about Gindl or if he's available. I like Maxwell and he does not seem to be part of the projected starting OF for KC. I wouldn't give up Mejia and Panik for him, though.

    7. You have to give something to receive in return, and Panik nor Mejia are critical parts of the future core - I consider those to be Crick, Escobar, and any 7 of the 10 or so great pitching prospects we have. They're all good, but there's absolutely no sense in keeping them all while other positions remain weaknesses in the fabric of the team.

      Furthermore, when you fail to upgrade one position, there's far greater urgency to upgrade another. That's roster mathematics 101 to me. However, upgrading LF from Blanco is far more difficult than upgrading from Voggie (or Lincecum), given last season's outlook on both. That's where Sabes put the team in a hole...

    8. I would not trade Mejia and Panik for Maxwell.

    9. Where are/were available upgrades on Lincecum and Vogey? personally I'm not seeing it.

      Also, I don't necessarily see Blanco as a guy who requires an upgrade nor is an upgrade going to be a difference maker if the pitching come up short.

    10. Hmm, I'm certainly interested to hear how much you value Panik at this point in his development, and you're sense of his projection - both ceiling and floor. I loved the kid when he was drafted - Excellent line drive swing, bat stays level through the zone a long time. Good "makeup", up-the-middle player with soft hands. Nothing not to like. However, his ISO barely topped .100 in A+, and his hit tool is looking suspect early in the career..

    11. If it was Panik straight up for Maxwell, I might consider it, but I bet the Giants would not. No way would I trade both Mejia and Panik for Maxwell.

      I would think 1 or 2 of those bullpen arms might be more what the Giants might give up for Maxwell. I mean, the guy is not even projected to be a starter for KC!

  3. Hey Dr. B longtime reader first time posting. Anyways I was wondering what you thought about the Giants possibly acquiring Ichiro Suzuki? I forgot where I saw it but it was linking the Giants to be interested in acquiring him from the Yankees.

    1. I saw that and hope to God it does not happen. IMO, Ichiro is on the last legs of his career and would be a significant downgrade from Blanco/Perez/whoever.

  4. I would take Morse personally. He has a good chance of not working out but low risk and potential for high reward much like another LF we got back in 2010 who had a frying pan for a glove but the bat we needed to balance out the lineup. If Blanco was OK in LF in 2012, how come nobody acknowledges how awful Pat the Bat was defensively and realize that having that stick in the lineup for 7 innings made all the difference? Defense needs to take a backseat when the offense is literally hanging by a thread right now. I don't know where OGC got his projection but he might be a little overly optimistic on that 4.66 runs per game. We have 2 bats on our team that are legitimate offensive weapons and the rest are a crap shoot. Pagan may or may not return to his 2012 self, Scutaro is a year older, Panda is a huge question mark, Belt is a huge question mark, Crawford and Blanco are going to make it extremely difficult to produce anything at the bottom of the lineup! Time will tell but if after a month into the season that is the lineup we are marching out we are in trouble.

    1. I guess if the Giants can get Morse for the same price as Pat the Bat, then I'd be OK with giving it a try. When they paid The Machine $1 M the next year, it did not work out so well, huh?

    2. I do not agree with your characterization of the lineup. Pagan is a proven veteran who came back strong in September following his hammy surgery. There is no reason to think he won't be as good as 2012 and 2013 when healthy. Belt is not a huge question mark! He is coming off leading the team in OPS and in on an upward career trajectory. Panda is at worse average at 3B, and there is reason to believe he will be better in 2014. Blanco and Crawford are actually one of the stronger 7,8 combination hitters in the NL. It is a solid lineup that could be quite good.

      Again, this team will succeed or fail on its starting pitching. It remains to be seen if at least 2 out of Matt Cain, Tim LIncecum and Ryan Vogelsong can bounce back with Huddy returning to full health. That is a lot to hope for.

    3. The offense should be fine and if during the summer the Giants need to trade for another starter they should be able to flip a prospect or two and get a good starter to help them down the stretch