Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Down on the Farm: Rookie Arizona League 2014 Giants Season Review

Rookie League is the lowest professional level in the U.S.  The Dominican Summer League would be a bit lower due to the younger ages of the players.  Historically, the Arizona League is a place for players drafted out of high school to get their first pro experience and for DSL graduates to get their first U.S. experience.  In recent years, the AZL has become a Grand Central Station of sorts where college draftees get evaluated for a few games before flying off to a more permanent assignment.  Quite a few players spend some time in the Arizona League while rehabbing injuries.   This review will be limited to players who spend all or most of the short season on the Arizona Giants roster.

2014 High School Draftees:

Byron Murray(OF)- .279/.347/.412, 68 AB.  Murray was drafted late.  I did not realize he had signed until I saw his name turn up in boxscores.  Very nice start.  I think this guy has a high ceiling with excellent power potential.

Kevin Rivera(2B)- .228/.281/.296, 162 AB.  14'th round draft pick out of Puerto Rico.  Hit .333 over his last 10 games.

Luis Lacen(OF)- .250/.321/.271.  48 AB.  Lacen started out hot, then cooled off considerably.  Played only sparingly in the second half.  Possible had a nagging injury of some sort.  Has nice size and athleticism.  As always, the question is whether he will hit.

Stetson Woods(RHP)- 5-1, 2.25, 16 IP, 4 BB, 20 K's.  9'th round draft pick out of Madera, CA.  Big kid at 6'8", 200 lbs.  Oodles of room to fill out.  Got rocked in the championship game, but Giants pitchers gave up a total of 15 run in that one.  Things like that can happen in Arizona.  I'm very high on this kid's future, but it will take time.

Logan Webb(RHP)- 0-0, 2.25, 4 IP, 3 BB, 5 K's.  Giants 4'th round pick out of Rocklin, CA.  dOnly made 3 appearances, none after 8/3/2014.  Not sure what was up with that.

2014  College Draftees:

Chase Compton(1B)- .282/.391/.342, 117 AB.  College guys who stay in the AZL usually do not have much of a future.

Richard Amion(OF)- .267/.379/.385, 135 AB, 22 BB, 36 K's.  Amion started out red hot then cooled off.  Again, college guy in rookie ball.

Matthew Gage(LHP)- 2-0, 1.89, 33.1 IP, 8 BB, 32 K's.  College pitchers should dominate Rookie ball, but it's better than not dominating.

Greg Brody(RHP)- 1-1, 0.63, 14.1 IP, 3 BB, 27 K's.  College Closer.  Pitched in relief in Arizona.

Mark Reyes(LHP)- 1-1, 3.00, 12 IP, 3 BB, 14 K's.  Don't know much about him.

DSL Graduates:

Michael Santos(RHP)- 4-3, 2.56, 59.2 IP, 13 BB, 50 K's.  Legitimate pitching prospect.  Logged the most innings of any AZL Giants pitcher this year.


Hector Mercedes(SS)- .296/.330/.469.  98 AB.  Big kid for a SS, but I don't think he's a true SS.  This was his 3'rd rodeo in Arizona.

Jonah Arenado(3B)- .250/.340/.304.  184 AB.  Arenado led the AZL Giants in AB's.  Strong walk rate.  Modestly encouraging performance for a low round 2013 draft pick who barely appeared at all in 2013.  He's a project, but I like his ceiling.

Dylan Brooks(RHP)- 2-1, 3.18, 34 IP, 15 BB, 45 K's.  Late, late round draft pick in 2013.  Another tall drink of water at 6'9".  Struggled last year in a few appearances, but looked great in 2014.  Very encouraging season!

Rayan Hernandez(RHP)- 0-3, 1.53, 29.1 IP, 9 BB, 25 K's.  Another 2013 HS draftee.  Big body who likes to pitch to contact and keep the ball on the ground.  Did that and did it well this year.  Significant progress!

Reyes Maronta(RHP)- 0-1, 4.66, 19.1 IP, 11 BB, 30 K's.  Actually dropped back from a 2013 S-K gig.  Injury rehab?


Brennan Metzger(OF)- .354/.460/.500, 16 BB, 8 K's, 82 AB.  Drafted out of Long Beach St. in 2012.  Missed all of 2013 due to an illness.  We'll see if this earned him another look at a higher level next year.


  1. I will be rooting for Brenna Metzger. Missed all of 2013 with ulcerative colitis. Very sad way to start a pro career.

    I see good things from Stetson Woods, Michael Santos, Dylan Brooks and Rayan Hernandez. Good to see we have restocked at the lower levels.

    1. Metzger is a tough cookie. I saw him play in S-K last year, and he's all out when chasing down fly balls. Reminded me of Darren Erstad back in the early 2000's.

      In one particular game, a fly ball headed towards the LF line, to an area that looked very playable but would have taken some real effort. A very gangly Volcano OF'r (who shall remain nameless) let it drop for a hit, then casually trotted over to pick it up. The crowd responded almost immediately, yelling all kinds of things. The growing chorus of shouts that stood out to me were something to the effect of, "HEY _____, YOU WANT METZGER TO SHOW YOU HOW TO CATCH THOSE??!"

      Metzger had definitely made an impression with the fans.