Sunday, November 16, 2014

2015 Giants Depth Chart: Center Field

It's been a long time since the Giants developed a homegrown starting OF, let alone CF.  That may be about to change.  A few years ago, OF was the thinnest position in the organization.  Now, it might be the deepest, except for pitching.  Center Field has become the territory of leadoff hitter/speed types, but there may be a few true 5 tool guys finding their way into the system.  True 5 tool CF.  What a concept!

MLB Starter:  Angel Pagan- .300/.342/.389/3 HR, 16 SB, 6.1 BB%, 12.8 K%, 413 PA.  Pagan is one of the better leadoff hitters in the game and a guy who really makes the offense hum when he is in the lineup.  He has had trouble staying healthy the past 2 seasons.  Hopefully he is 100% after undergoing surgery to relieve a nerve impingement in his back.  He has 2 years left on a 4 year contract.  His D by UZR has been negative for 3 of the past 4 seasons.  Is it time to think about moving to LF?

MLB Reserves:  Gregor Blanco- .260/.333/.324, 5 HR, 16 SB, 9.2 BB%, 17.3 K%, 444 PA.  Blanco is probably a better defensive CF than Pagan at this point.  On offense, he doesn't hit for as high an average but walks more so his OBP is about the same.  They are similar baserunners.  Although Blanco will occasional jerk one out of the park to RF, he does not have the gap power that Pagan gives you.  Blanco has run up 3 consecutive seasons with a fWAR of 2.0 or above and is one of the best 4'th OF in baseball.  Whether he should be a starter is controversial.  I will say that if he is not one of the 3 starting OF's on Opening Day, he once again likely will be by the end of the season.

Juan Perez- .170/.224/.270, 1 HR, 4.6 BB%, 22.9 K%, 109 PA's.  After one of the worse offensive seasons I can remember from any Giant, Little Juan's bat came alive in the postseason just in time for him to start Game 7 of the World Series in which he made a possible game saving catch in LF.  Very nice defensive replacement OF, but his bat probable does not play in the long run.

AAA:  Gary Brown- .271/.329/.394, 10 HR, 36 SB, 6.0 BB%, 20.0 K%, 596 PA's.  Gary Brown is an enigma.  He's got terrific tools, but has never quite put it together.  He is a contact hitter who strikes out too much.  A base stealer who gets thrown out too much.  He's got some gap power, but not quite enough to overcome the aforementioned deficiencies.  He seems to be ensconced way in the back of the Giants doghouse as he did not get a chance to play when Bochy was basically holding open workouts for the OF.  He went 3 for 7 in a few cameo appearances in September, but was mostly there because his crewcut topped head made a nice bongo drum for Hunter Pence.  I've had some harsh things to say about Brownie in the past, but right now I'm driving the Free Gary Brown bandwagon.  He can't be a worse option for 5'th OF than Juan Perez!

AA:  Vacant.  Tyler Graham played this position most of last season.  He's a minor league FA again.

High A:  Daniel Carbonell- .344/.390/.538, 3 HR, 7 SB, 100 PA.  Carbonell is the 23 year old Cuban emigre' who signed around midseason.  He was assigned to San Jose after hitting over .300 in Arizona. Talk about 5 tools!  This guy is build like a football wide receiver.  It seems like the only question is whether he will hit.  He's done that so far.  He kind of struggled in the AFL, but I don't pay much attention to AFL stats.  The kids don't play every day there and it is an extremely small sample size.  Does he go back to San Jose, or does he start 2015 in Richmond?  I am cautiously optimistic that Carbonell could turn into a true 5 tool CF by the time Pagan's contract is up.

Jesus Galindo- .268/.334/.379, 2 HR, 31 SB, 7.0 BB%, 19.6 K%, 445 PA.  Galindo's gap power improved significantly as his IsoP went from .049 to .111.  Should move up to AA in 2015 which could be crowded with Williamson, Carbonell and Tyler Horan also needing PT in the OF, unless Carbonell goes back to SJ.

Low A:  Chris Lofton- .250/.320/.351, 2 HR, 17 SB, 9.1 BB%, 22.5 K%, 308 PA.  Lofton just can't seem to get any traction on his career and may be running out of time.

Randy Ortiz- .259/.326/.290, 8 SB, 7.2 BB%, 23.9 K%, 180 PA.  No power with a high K rate is not going to get you very far in pro baseball.

Short Season:   Johneshwy Fargas- .240/.373/.329, 3 HR, 15 SB, 11.5 BB%, 13.0 K%, 208 PA.  Love, love, love this kid!  Speedy leadoff type hitter.  Just look at those K and BB rates!  Has a body that can fill out and add power.

Seth Harrison- .266/.298/.354, 11 SB, 4.6 BB%, 24.3 K%, 173 PA.  Not sure if Fargas was injured but it was annoying to see Harrison get PT instead at S-K.  Gotta either walk more or strike out less!

Rookie AZL:  Richard Amion- .267/.379/.385, 2 HR, 8 SB, 13.5 BB%, 22.1 K%, 163 PA.  Speedy OF from a small college program.  So-so start to his pro career.

Luis Lacen- .250/.321/.271, 3 SB, 9.4 BB%, 37.3 K%, 53 PA.  One of two kids the Giants drafted out of Puerto Rico.  Terrific size at 6'3", 180 lbs as well as athleticism.  Obviously a project, but the upside is there.

DSL:  Mikey Edie- .298/.424/.383, 2 HR, 14 SB, 9.5 BB%, 12.9 K%, 232 PA.  A bit on the smallish side, but has 5 tools.  Has been playing organized baseball since he was a kid, so is more advanced than some Latin American signees.  Can't wait to see what he does in the states.  My guess we see him in Arizona when rookie ball starts in June.

Wild Card:  Gustavo Cabrera- Great news that Gustavo participated in fall instructional league after recovering from a potentially career ending laceration of his right wrist.  If he has full function of his hand back, it is almost miraculous.  He is the complete package if healthy.  Again, I would think we will see him in Arizona in June.

49 comments:

  1. Gary Brown can certainly be a worse 5th outfielder than Juan Perez. Perez at Fresno in 177 AB: 316/.372/508 with 7 HR vs Gary Brown's .271/.329/.394 10 HR in 536 AB. Perez is at least as good an outfielder and has shown as much in the big leagues. One of the hardest things to do in baseball is to hit when you only get a few AB per week. There's nothing in Gary Brown's history to indicate that he can do the job as a 5th outfielder at all much less better than Perez. Let them compete in spring training. My bet is on Juan Perez after a huge boost in confidence from his World Series experience.

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    1. I disagree. Perez has failed to show he can be an effective major leaguer. Time to give someone else a shot. The Giants have a lot invested in Brown. Time to see if he can contribute something.

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    2. 200 at bats isn't much at all, Brett Pill got more than that. Perez has outhit Brown at AA and AAA, and has been nothing but a great teammate by all accounts.
      The investment in Brown and his draft status is a moot point now. As far as I'm concerned until he can show hitting ability above A ball he can be the 6th OF in Fresno. I'm won't say he won't be better than Perez eventually, I'm just saying he has minor league options, and he has yet to hit master minor league pitching.

      Perez has nothing to prove in AAA and doesn't need developing so he can sit on the bench for 150 AB's. Brown has things he can work on, and he's not going to get it in the bigs.

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    3. Perez may not have anything to prove in the minors but he's proven he pretty much useless as a hitter in the majors.

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    4. you are a fucking idiot drb for arguing brown over perez. A little education and some people can become dangerous. What patients and hospitals are you destroying right now fucking off here?

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  2. Some things:

    Blanco: I used to really not like Blanco. But over-time I've come to see him as a quality #4 guy who, while not a starter, doesn't drop you off terribly either in his spot-starts. But I don't see him as a full-time starter.

    Perez: Perez, in a limited sample, hit .258 in the MLB during 2013. He's also, by far, the defensive outfielder we have. And, as pointed out, he was better in AAA than Brown (though he shares some of Browns' flaws). So slamming the door on him without at least a training camp seem a bit premature. At least to me.

    Brown: I admit, a couple of years ago, I was really excited about him and his 'five tools.' Now, not so much. He's a guy that can't put together good hitting numbers in the PCL and that, to me, is a major red flag. Especially his 20% strike-out numbers that should be in the 10% to 11% range. To me he should be batting at least .300 with 11% SO while playing outstanding defense to be a 'MLB starter' kind of prospect.

    Carbonell: He's my new 'Brown.' And if Brown gets the 5th spot, I wouldn't be terribly surprised to see him fly through/past AA to AAA. Hopefully he doesn't fail to progress and turns into a disappointment.


    After that... While I used to follow everyone I could, at this point in my life I generally only look at the AA/AAA guys and the odd 'media splash' signing like Carbonell.

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    1. The guys I am actually most excited about here are Carbonell, Fargas, Edie and Cabrera(just pray that his hand function is fully recovered). Brown vs Perez is a sideshow.

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    2. That would be my view as well.

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  3. Trade for Jarrod Dyson. Dude is a vacuum in center. If he could only learn to hit and get on base, he'd be a total stud.

    Brown can get after it in center, but his hitting mechanics are still janky. And he's got that troubling issue of not being able to use his speed on the bases all that well.

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    1. What makes you think the Royals would trade Dyson?

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    2. First year arb eligible, Cain the centerfielder, Dyson a D sub/pinch runner for most part.

      Wouldn't hurt for teams that are impressed with his skill set to check in, would it Doc?

      Is he available? I don't know. No rumors to suggest he is. Saying "trade for that guy" may just be an emphatic way of saying:I like that guy's potential. Hope that's okay with you and Mr. C.

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    3. I don't know what rumor site you follow but I have not seen one shred of a suggestion that Dyson might be trade bait. With Aoki almost certainly leaving via FA, I would say Dyson is almost certainly not going anywhere. Cain can move over to RF.

      If pulling random names out of the hat is your thing, then be my guest, but it would help if you provided some rationale for why you think they might be available and for whom.

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    4. drb sucks cock then gets cranky when they don't jizz on him. I would not get overly concerned Ryan

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  4. Saw enough of Dyson in the series, too much of a project and not much upgrade in terms of what we have already. Both Perez and Brown are vacuum's as well and if they could learn to hit and get on base, they'd be studs too. IMO Carbonell is the guy we have to find out more on and see if he can't be the answer before we look outside of the organization.

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  5. I keep wishing that when posters suggest trading for someone, they would as a matter of course also suggest whom they would give up for that someone. Like everything else in life, trades are a matter of cost-benefit analysis, what you gain as a surplus over what you lose. Since not only Giants' management but their trading partners too, would make a cost-benefit analysis, shouldn't we do the same? Whom would the Royals desire to make them think they gain more than they lose by shipping Dyson to us?

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    1. Pitching. But thanks for the dissertation titled "Trades- a two way street".

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    2. I just wish they would suggest names of players who actually might be available.

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    3. +1, DrB. Available from Team X and available, by name, from the Giants, rather than the nose-pressed-against-the-candy-store-window approach.

      Ryan, you're welcome.

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    4. That fits you to a T, C.

      But man, a guy that moves Lorenzo Cain off center. They'll probably try him in center full time next year with Cain in right now that Aoki will depart.

      Trades usually only occur from depth, right C?

      How about Yoenis Cespedes? Might be available but the Gs don't have any Shelby Miller caliber chips to trade.

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    5. Cespedes is an interesting name, but does not fit the profile of what the Giants are looking for in a trade either on the field or the clubhouse.

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  6. I said a little bit ago that the Giants should go after Jason Heyward...and he was traded today to the Cards.

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    1. Yes, and he cost the Cards a 24 y.o. starting pitcher with a lifetime 3.3 ERA who finished third in rookie of the year voting in 2013, and who has more years under team control. Whom would we have sent the Braves of similar immediate as well as longer term value?

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    2. Tim Lincecum?

      Ooh oh wait, I know this! Brandon Belt?

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    3. I believe I had Crick, Susac, and G. Brown. No one wanted to include Susac in the trade if I remember correctly. T. Jenkins was the arm that the Braves are excited about. Miller might be broken.

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    4. At least Heyward was a reasonable candidate to be traded as he has just one year left on his contract and is apparently aiming to hit the FA market.

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    5. Miller might be broken? I would say his 1.89 ERA in September would tend to argue that he is not broken.

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  7. Crazy level of hotstove activity today, eh? Miller-Heyward trade, Stanton signs for something around $325M, and Russell Martin returns home to Toronto. Speaking of which, doesn't this mean that the Giants pick is now #20?

    From MLBTR: "Because Martin rejected the Bucs’ qualifying offer, Pittsburgh gets a bonus pick between the first and second rounds of the 2015 draft. The Blue Jays, meanwhile, will surrender their first-rounder (17th overall)."

    NWGiantsFan
    DtF!!!

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    1. Moving on up !

      until the Giants sign Francisco Liriano !

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    2. Yep, Giants now have the #20 pick in the draft. Oh, and they are not going to sign Francisco Liriano!

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    3. "San Francisco Liriano" has a ring to it.

      As did "San Francisco" Peguero. Oh well.

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    4. It does sing, doesn't it...thanks for the confirmation on pick #20 gents!

      Here's to some more positive movemnet up the charts as the rest of the SABR darlings follow the Jays suite!

      NWGiantsFan
      DtF!!!

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  8. Pagan goes down and so does the Giants regular season offense. The Giants lack of OF depth, in combination with lack of leadoff hitter depth, nearly killed the Giants regular season chances this past year.

    Pagan - still the Giants best bet in CF and leading off. When he goes down, the Giants regular season offense bogs down. He is the only real leadoff hitter and an offensive catalyst for the team when he plays. He has only played in 71 and 92 games the last two years, so it is almost guaranteed he will miss a half-season in the next two years - better have a back backup!

    Blanco - love my white namesake, but he has NOT stepped up when Pagan goes down in the regular season. This is a major issue that almost derailed the team's playoff chances. Blanco's overall season stats read just fine, but it's his failure to step in for Pagan as a leadoff hitter that has stalled the Giants offense. He has hit much better in the 7th/8th place in the lineup. His OF D is superb and certainly matched KC's Cain in CF in the WS. Blanco is a very valuable 4th OF when he plays within his skill set - CF Defense, Base running, hitting 7th/8th and post season gold.

    Perez - maybe he becomes something with his WS booster shoot, probably not.

    Brown - toast

    Would love to see the farm cough up a 5-tool'er for when Pagan's contract ends in two years.

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    1. MS: So you say Blanco did not step up when Pagan went down? You do realize that he hit .296 after the All-Star Break which almost exactly coincides with the bulk of the time Pagan was out, right? You also realize that Blanco has averaged 3.1 fWAR/600 PA's over the past 3 seasons too? Please give me a name, just one name, of an OF who the Giants might reasonably acquire who is likely to do better than a 3.1 fWAR as a starting OF.

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    2. Or, for another point of comparison, Blanco in 2014 was about as productive as Pablo Sandoval, with a 107 wRC+ to Sandoval's 111.

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    3. Pagan had an OPB of .324. Blanco was .311 In the 300ABs Blanco took over for Pagan, that was 4 on bases difference. So it wasn't that different. And, like it or not, Blanco had a slightly higher WAR than Pagan on just 30ish more at bats.

      Like I said in an earlier post, at first I didn't like Blanco that much, but he's grown on me.

      But I what I didn't explain, is I'm kind of harsh. My feeling is if you're not in the Top-Half at your position, you're not a starter, you're just a guy that needs replacing/upgrading. SO while I don't think he's a full-time starter, I don't think half the outfielders in MLB are full-time starters. either. And as the #4 guy/spot stater, I'm actually happy to have him.


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    4. Why do you always notice your typos AFTER you post...

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    5. At any given time, there are 90 starting OF's in MLB. Last year, Blanco ranked #49 by fWAR. If you project his PA's to 650, which is reasonable for a full-time starter, he gets up to about 2.8 fWAR which would rank him #34. So, depending on how you want to look at it, Blanco is anywhere from a median starting OF to upper middle third making him easily a #2 OF for an average MLB team.

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    6. Did you project everyone in front, and behind him, too? Of course you didn't. Because if you did something like that on a Steamer 600, he'd come about 90th of all outfielders. If you go to people who put in starting time at CF, he's 40th in a league of 30 starters.

      Now, the Steamer may be 'unfair' to Blanco because it takes in his career averages and the last three years (post wrist surgery) he's been better at a (more-or-less) plateau. But, in the end, all those other players have to drag their crappy, injury-filled/rookie/slumping/adjusting seasons around too (like Carlos Gomez who has to drag 2007-2011 around). And since I"m not going to massage the data by cherry picking, Blanco, like everyone else, has to live with his struggles.

      So, I stand by what I say. In a normalized population, or just regular MLB stats, Blanco is decent replacement/spot starter who isn't going to drag you down much, but he's nor a starting caliber player. And he's definitely not in the top-half of any outfield position or outfielders when the playing field is normalized.

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    7. Moses, Moses Moses! Just forget about projections! If you just took what he actually did, he's STILL a #2 OF for many MLB teams and easily a #3 for most.

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  9. Pressing my nose against the chain link fence at the used car lot,

    what do Dr. B and that cognoscente campanari think of JA Happ?

    Available? Probably not. Cost of trade? Prohibitive?

    Anyone else is free to chime in as well. Thanks.

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    1. Innings eater whose ERA is probably inflated by playing in Toronto the the AL Least. Jays picked up his $6.9 M option and he would cost a prospect or two in trade. I would keep looking, but not a terrible idea.

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    2. I'm rather hoping, like Shankbone, for Justin Masterson, a free agent (no prospects lost) with a 55-60% ground ball rate, perfect for the Giants' excellent IF. Obviously my hopes depend on the Giants' medical evaluation of Masterson. If his problems appear to have been resolved, a 2/25 offer might be in order. That would take us one year past the loss of Hudson and, unless he's reborn, Lincecum; and perhaps into a period when the team can draw on the talents of Crick, Beede, Blackburn, and Blach to supplement Bumgarner and Cain.

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    3. MLBTR is reporting that the Giants are one of the teams that has asked for medical records on Justin Masterson.

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  10. 3 in 5 years. Yeah wow! Blanco sucks as a starter. Oh yeah he was our starter in game 7. Agreed we have an holes of outfield question marks. I know at least 17 teams that wish they had our problems. I think time should be spent looking at realistic plans to change and not bashing. Sheesh as a Giant fan for 54 of my 63 years; the last 5 years are amazing. Personally I am more worried about having an Arias as a significant role player at 3rd if Panda moves. I think I like the idea of possibly moving Crawford to 3rd. He has exceptional range. And oh yeah; please release Gary Brown or give him the 4th or 5th outfield op in spring.
    Richard in Jetsvilles Winnipeg

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    1. Here's an interesting comparison of 2014 stat lines:

      Jason Heyward: .271/.351/.384, 11 HR, 20 SB, .329 wOBA(#42 among MLB OF's), .110 wRC+(#41 among MLB OF's). 649 PA's. 5.2 fWAR.
      Gregor Blanco: .260/.333/.374, 5 HR, 16 SB, .317 wOBA(#54 among MLB OF's), .107 wRC+(#48 among MLB OF's). 444 PA's. 2.0 fWAR.

      If you project Blanco's fWAR to 649 PA's you get close to 3.0. The rest of the difference is mostly due to Heyward having a much higher UZR than Blanco which does not completely pass the smell test.

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    2. cards needed an of with great d and they got that in heyward

      maybe he does better at the plate then he did with the atl....he will have less pressure and more grinders around him

      bacci

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    3. Heyward did hit 27 dingers 3 years ago. He does that again and he might be an 8+ fWAR player. His offensive numbers have declined 2 consecutive seasons though.

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  11. I'd like to see Ethier revive his career with the Giants. Give the Dodgers Cordier and Brown.

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    1. No thanks on Ethier. He's strictly a platoon OF because he is helpless against LHP's, his D is marginal at best. He always seems to start the season hot then get progressively worse as it goes along.

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