Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Dr B's 2014 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #48 Jonah Arenado #49 John Riley #50 Dylan Brooks

We'll wrap up the Top 50 profiles with 3 high ceiling HS draftees the Giants took in the later rounds of the draft.  Since the success rate of later round picks is so low, I see no downside at all to loading up on kids like this on those rounds if you can get them signed.  The Giants did a great job of that in the 2013 draft, hopefully we will see more of that in future drafts.

Jonah Arenado, 3B.  B-R, T-R.  6'4", 195 lbs.  DOB:  2/3/1995.

Rookie AZL:  .211/.286/.263, 38 AB.

Arenado is the brother of Colorado Rockies 3B, Nolan Arenado.  The Giants drafted him in the 16'th round and got him signed.  I don't have much of a scouting report.  On video, he's a big kid who was taking grounders at 1B.  I read one story where in Arizona after practice was done and everybody had gone home, a coach was jogging in the OF and heard someone hitting in the batting cage.  It was Arenado.  The coach asked him why he was still there.  The kid replied that he would rather be doing that than sitting around doing nothing at the hotel.  Gotta love the work ethic!  He's probably be kept in extended spring training and assigned to either the AZL or Salem-Keizer depending on how things go.

John Riley, C.  B-R, T-R.  6'0", 210 lbs.  DOB:  2/14/1994.

Rookie AZL:  .200/.321/.292, 2 2B, 2 3B, 65 AB.

Riley was ranked as the #150 draft prospect by BA and as high as #135 by other analysts.  He was drafted in round 31 by the Giants who then cobbled together enough savings on other draftees to give him a $450 K signing bonus plus another $175 K for a college fund.  Riley has a typical catcher's solid build.  In his stance at the plate, he looks like a less muscled up version of Dan Uggla.  He hit .337 in HS with 8 HR's which is a lot for HS.  I'm looking for him to be back in the AZL or S-K this spring after extended spring training.  He'll turn 20 in February, so he's a year older than most HS draftees.

Dylan Brooks, RHP.  6'7", 230 lbs.  DOB:  8/20 1995.

Rookie AZL:  0-0, 6.14, 7.1 IP, 11 BB, 8 K.

Brooks was drafted out of Canada in round 30.  He's a huge kid who possibly has not stopped growing yet.  On video, he has long arms and legs but otherwise looks well proportioned and athletic.  He's got a high, slow leg kick with good arm extension in back.  There is a small crossfire in his delivery and considerable recoil in his follow-through.  His FB reportedly hits  91 MPH and he has a 4 pitch mix with a slider, curve and change up.  I'm thinking with some tweaks to his delivery and maturity, he has at least 5-6 more MPH in the fastball.  Tall kids are tough to develop, but he is almost a year younger than the bulk of the HS draftees.  I think he will most likely return to the AZL after extended spring training.  He's a project, but definitely someone to dream on and a heckuva pick for round 30.


  1. Thanks for the top 50. It has been a very educational and informative exercise.

    Nothing precise, just going by my recollection, there are a lot of interesting, mystery or so-far-low-profile (to your average Giants fan, that is) young kids.(than usual, I mean) in this year's 40-50 spots.

    Look forward to the HM and Dandies, and spring training can't come fast enough....(spring weather is already here).

    1. Yeah, those last 4 spots are pretty darn exciting for me.

  2. Okay, time to give the good doctor some hell for not including Nick Vander Tuig. The guy throws 8 scoreless in the NCAA championship game and you put some scrubs ahead of him???

    That and Heath Hembree as your number 2? Okay that's all the dirt I got. Thank you for running this series, I hope you know I'm just trying to give you a hard time and that I hold your Giants' opinions in high regard.

    I will pose this question for you: Between now and next time this list comes around, which player will climb the most spots?

    1. NVT: He got shelled in the pros. Admittedly a SSS, but it wouldn't be the first time a pitchability college dude couldn't hack it in the pros. He has to prove he can get professional hitters out before I put him any higher than Honorable Mention.

      Hembree: He was actually #3, I believe. Dominating stuff with a high probability of making the 25 man roster out of ST. Trumps a bunch of SP's from the low minors with ceilings of #3 starters, but that's just me.

      Hey, aren't you the guy who thought Eric Surkamp shoulda been on the list too?

      Fastest riser? I'll say Keury Mella or maybe Fargas.

    2. If Eric Surkamp was still in the org, I suppose he'd fit somewhere between 30-40. He probably cracks the top 20 of the White Sox. Sabes gave him away.

    3. If you seriously think Eric Surkamp is top 20 in ANY organization, you don't know much about evaluating prospects.

      BTW, Pat Young is another name who could be a big mover in 2014.

    4. I don't desire to impugn Ryan's expertise as to Surkamp, pitchers, rankings, or the White Sox. But I'm not happy with the slant of the literally true statement, "Sabes gave him away."

      Whatever Surkamp's talent level vis-a-vis other players on DrB's list, he seemed to the Giants, who are excellent judges of pitching, to be what one might call an expired prospect. When a team decides that a player has no future with them, a decision that the Giants apparently made about Surkamp after looking at him closely over a few years, they can try to trade him, try to keep him as organizational filler, or let him go. As I recall, Surkamp had been around long enough that the Giants couldn't simply keep him as organizational filler, something they may have hoped to do, exposing him to waivers on the hunch that no other team would jump at the chance to take a flyer on a TJ-survivor with a quite undistinguished, brief MLB record. Cf. Heston, who is in their system after a similar procedure. If they doubt that another team wants the guy on waivers, they a fortiori doubt that they can trade him. (Maybe they tried.) What then could Sabean do but "give him away"? They didn't want him taking up space on the 40-man. What does Ryan think they feasibly could have done?

    5. Very astute analysis Mr. Campanari. I find it hard to disagree. Maybe he had a slow TJ recovery process. His numbers in AAA looked good. His SSS in MLB underwhelming. Certainly has the potential to be a 5th/6th starter somewhere although the odds aren't great. I don't recall Heston having TJ, just him getting hit hard. Both pitchers were Eastern League pitchers of the year while in AA. Goes to show what that is worth.

      Dr. B, I was just knocking the White Sox system. They're not known to have a strong system. BTW, John Sickels had Surkamp #12 in his preseason 2011. Dropped off into the mentionables in 2012 and with good recovery numbers in Fresno, 30-40 still sounds about right, whatever that means.

      Pat Young is NASTY ! as least you gave me that image ;-)

    6. Pat Young is nasty! At least to my eye. I'm no ballplayer, but I would be scared out of my wits if I had to face him standing in the RH batters box.

  3. I'm very interested to see how Riley performs this summer. He's the guy that nobody is talking about. I completely agree with you DrB that Brooks could add a few mph on his fastball. If he does, he could be a real arm to watch with that size. For two picks that late to offer such upside is pretty awesome stuff. Great list again, and can't wait until next year! (although I'm certainly ready to enjoy THIS year first).

    1. Back to Eric Surkamp. They have this Jose De Paula on the 40 man instead. I assume that happened because De Paula has options and Surkamp did not. Otherwise, what's the point?

    2. I think the point is, that the Giants see De Paula as being a possible lefty specialist alternative/successor to Affeldt/Lopez whereas Surkamp is more suited to starting where others had passed him on the depth chart.