Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Dr B's 2014 Giants Top 50 Prospects: Honorable Mention Part VII

Note:  After researching Leonardo Fuentes a bit more, I decided to drop him from the HM list.  3'rd tour through the AZL and still striking out close to 50% of the time isn't going to get it done.

Cristian Paulino, OF.  B-R, T-R.  5'10", 168 lbs.  DOB 9/4/1991.
AZL:  .307/.358/.475, 2 HR, 13 SB, 101 AB.  Can he finally break out of the AZL on the strength of this performance?

Craig Massoni, 1B.  B-R, T-R.  6'2", 215 lbs.  DOB: 10/29/1991.
AZL:  .272/.401/.384, 2 HR, 19 BB, 29 K, 125 AB.  Great numbers from a small college program.  OK here.  Will have to battle for a spot on the Augusta roster.

Dusten Knight, RHP.  6'0", 185 lbs.  DOB:  9/7/1990.
AZL:  5-1, 1.13, 32 IP, 11 BB, 43 K, 2 Saves, GO/AO= 2.00.  Older reliever.  Good numbers.

Carlos Alvarado, RHP.  6'4", 175 lbs.  DOB:  10/22/1989.
AZL:  2-0, 2.20, 28.2 IP, 6 BB, 37 K, 5 Saves.  Older international guy who was previously in the Detroit organization.  Identitygate?  We'll see if he can move up to a higher level in 2014.

Eury Sanchez, RHP.  5'10", 170 lbs. DOB:  11/8/1992.
AZL:  1-0, 1.13, 16 IP, 4 BB, 26 K, 7 Saves.  The Giants like their big pitchers, but will take them in any size and shape.  Sanchez was a lockdown closer for the Rookie Giants

Nick Gonzalez, LHP.  6'4", 220 lbs.  DOB:  6/26/1992.
2-1, 1.04, 17.1 IP, 3 BB, 17 K, 1 Save.  Love the size.  Needs to get ahead of the logjam an pitch at a higher level.

Nick Vander Tuig, RHP:  6'3", 190 lbs. 12/9/1991.
AZL:  0-0, 0.00, 1 IP, 0 BB, 2 K.  High A:  0-0, 11.57, 2.1 IP, 2 BB, 3 K.  Short Season:  0-0, 13.50, 6.2 IP, 2 BB, 5 K.  Friday starter for elite college program.  Rough start to pro career most likely due to grueling college playoff and World Series schedule, but he wouldn't be the first college pitchability guy to fall flat on his face in the pros.  One of the more intriguing story lines for the 2014 season. Where does he get assigned and how does he perform?

That wraps the Honorable Mention section of the Top 50 Prospects rundown.  We'll try to get the Dominican Dandies done before the first exhibition game.


  1. Just wanted to say thanks for doing a great job on the top 50 & blog in general. I've been reading this blog for a couple years and this is one of the few where I actually read the comment section because they are always good. Do you have any recommendations (reading/video) for a new baseball fan who would like to learn more about the sport?

    Also, how would you compare Sanchez to Susac in terms of ceiling/strengths or weaknesses, what they offer, and your best guess on what the future holds for them and Posey?

    1. Thanks Anon! We work hard at keeping the comments from running off into the ditch here. As a result of that plus great commenters, it is a major strength of the blog.

      Recommendations for increasing general knowledge about baseball? 1. Read Fangraphs(www.fangraphs.com) every day. I don't always agree with them, but their stuff is very educational. 2. Watch the Giants TV broadcasts as often as possible. Kruk and Kuip absolutely put on a clinic every single game. Watching a game with them commenting is like sitting in a classroom listening to the greatest teachers on Earth, every single game! 3. Get the video set of the Ken Burns/PBS series on Baseball. I think a summary of is is also available in book form. It's a primer on the history of the game from its inception until the present day.

      Buster Posey is currently the best all-around catcher in the game and one of the best all-around players. Brian Sabean has said he is the starting catcher for the foreseeable future. As long as he doesn't get beat up too much by the position, he certainly offers the most value to the organization by continuing to play catcher. On the other hand, 8 years is a long career for a catcher and IMO the Giants may want to think about protecting their long term investment in him by moving him to a less physically demanding position, especially if they have a reasonable replacement available.

      Sanchez is still very young. This will be his age 24 season, I believe. He's not quite there yet, but I believe he will a starting catcher in the major leagues, possibly an All-Star before his career is over. Whether that is with the Giants or with some other team remains to be seen. Posey is the starter ahead of him for now, as he should be. Andrew Susac is looking better and better as a prospect seemingly by the day. I expect him to have a huge season for Fresno this year and be challenging for a MLB job by next spring. We'll just have to see how it all plays out. Obvioiusly someone is going to have to change positions or get traded to make room for everybody. That's a great problem to have!

    2. Awesome that you mentioned Kruk and Kuip + the Ken Burns series. I didn't even play high school ball (played tennis), but I feel that I do have quite a bit of knowledge about the game for someone who didn't even play at that level. Most of that, I learned from Kruk and Kuip... as well as a few of my closest buddies, who were all either Legion or (some form of) college players.

      I bought the Burns series a couple of summers ago, and would watch it every night after work and Little League practice (coached a juniors team, called them the Dirtbags). At the completion of the series, I felt I could have been a tour guide for the MLB Hall of Fame! Great series, and great advice!

    3. I highly recommend "Pure Baseball" by Keith Hernandez - it's like a master's thesis on the "inside game" of baseball. It's the only book that captures the deepest aspects of the game. IMO. The structure of the book consists of Hernandez breaking down two baseball games pitch by pitch, with particular attention on the between pitch adjustments and the tells/false tells being revealed with each adjustment iteration. And at appropriate points in the "action," Keith embellishes with tangential in depth information about various topics such as the hit-and-run play (for like 8 pages). Imagine yourself as a rookie on the bench with Keith Hernandez beside you explaining everything that is going on.


  2. Are there more honorable mentions this year than before? It seems the talent pool is wider and deeper.

    1. It's a bit longer, but not by too much. The biggest thing to me is the high quality of prospect throughout the Top 50 and into the HM section.

  3. Thanks, Doc! Your in depth analysis is greatly appreciated! It does seem like the talent is deeper than in the recent past, especially for pitching prospects. With the upcoming draft so strong in pitching I am expecting the Giants to add to their pitching pipeline. As much as I would like to see an infusion of offense into the system the reality is that this draft class seems a bit light on impact hitters, and a team is usually wise to go with best players available when their turn comes around. I just hope the front office will not load up on arms to the extent that they will lose some quality pitching prospects already in the system solely due to the inability to devote enough attention and resources to their development. At the very least I hope the FO will anticipate any overcrowding issues and try to trade some pitching for hitting, even if it means packaging multiple pitching prospects for hitters.

    1. Bochy already said over the weekend that some starter prospects might have to go into or think about going into the pen.

      But even with that, one can still never have enough pitching.

    2. This draft is certainly deeper in pitching than hitting, but there are excellent hitting prospects out there. I think the Giants gotta go best player available, whoever that is in their estimation.