Monday, November 30, 2015

Down on the Farm: Community Giants Top Prospect Ranking

Hey team!  I've drawn up a very rough top tier of Giants prospects and would like some input on how YOU would rank them.  Here we go(I've listed them in alphabetical order of last name):

Christian Arroyo
Tyler Beede
Phil Bickford
Clayton Blackburn
Lucious Fox
Mac Williamson

Rank 'em best to worst in Comments.  Explanations are appreciated.  Would you add anyone to the list?  Take any out?

 Thanks everybody!


  1. Hello DrB! It's been a while. Here's my list from best to worst.

    Beede- Successful first season I'll say even though he got roughed up pretty bad in AA. Reason he's successful is that he's more of a groundball pitcher with his sinker and cutter and it flashed good life especially the cutter that I consider as a plus pitch moving forward. I still want to see improvements on his curveball and his overall sharpness in his command but the moxie is there for him to reach his top-mid starter ceiling. Praising his work ethic and his mentality too.

    Arroyo- Great bounce-back season after suffering a pretty injury-plagued 2014. His hit tool was as legit as ever putting up a really respectable BA in SJ as well as a really strong showing in the AFL where he flashed his sneaky defense also even though scouts said there's little athleticism in him but that's okay. His defensive positioning might be in 2B or in LF due to the stacked IF of the Giants but his bat will ultimately determine if he's a ML and I'm sure he is with his top-shelf intelligence and feel for the game.

    Bickford-Really dominant '15 debut in AZL. Stuff's good especially the fastball which is a plus pitch even though it's just low-90s due to the unreal tailing movement thanks to his whippy delivery. The slider shown signs of being a good secondary pitch for him but he needs to have a third pitch (a splitter maybe and I have seen him throw a CB in Instructs vid).

    Blackburn-Sneaky, sneaky ERA leader in the PCL which proves that he can pitch in a high offense environment pretty well and he should know the art of pitching and sequencing to make that ERA that low. He got good sinker curve combo as well as his slider and changeup but the way he spots his pitches is what impresses me that I am high on him in 2013 and 2014 (not as high this year). Chris Heston type pitcher but safer mechanics than Heston.

    Fox-He's here because of the ceiling alone. Watched his vids and I'm really impressed on his athleticism, his quick wrists and bat speed, his plus speed, some sneaky power and defensive potential. I'm not sure where he'll end up defensively but I hope it will on CF to best utilize his speed and his ceiling as a potential table-setter for the Giants in 2019 the earliest that I can predict. I want to see what numbers he'll put up before raising my expectations too much.

    Mac-Strong AFL showing. Good power and great recovery season after undergoing TJ. He might be old but I am sure he'll be back 100% in 2016. I'm not sure if he'll be better than what I peg him which is an everyday player but I think he'll have a couple of impressive seasons where he'll hit 20+ HRs on a year like what Justin Maxwell did.

    Notable Omission: Chris Shaw. Dude's got plus-plus power on the left side with a sound hitting mechanics to boot that I think will be an above-average bat that can hit close to .300 with 30 HRs if he reaches his ceiling offensively and defensively, he's stuck at 1B but I think he's going to be fine defensively in there. I think he will advance through the system fairly quickly and if either Belt will not re-sign or Buster will stay behind the plate or both, Chris Shaw will be a really nice option to have at 1B for the Giants in 2-3 years time.

    I hope you like my list.

    1. Yeah, I do like it, and welcome back, Wrenzie!

    2. Agree with your evaluation of Chris Shaw. He was the first name that came to mind for inclusion in the Top 5.

    3. Feels good to be pretty back after inactivity! Final exams are still coming up but I am reading baseball pretty heavily these days as well as NBA stuff but I have an article writing up and be done soon!

    4. I am not going to even try to reinvent the wheel because Wrenzie went above and beyond what I was going to write. Great job. I would just like to see Austin Slater on this list. The kid can hit and since he was a corner outfielder in college he has a little more versatility than Arroyo. He started off cold in the AZL but ended it on a high note.

      Duffy and Panik have been requested in a few trades this off-season. I think Duffy should be untouchable at this point because we have no clear replacement. Panik on the otherhand has a decent backup in Tomlinson. Arroyo and Slater are not too far away and both can play 2B. If the goal is to return a solid #2 or #3 SP with several years of control I think Panik could be dealt. One pitcher they were asking about was Shelby Miller. I myself was not too hot on Miller. It is hard to get excited about a guy who lost 16 decisions in a row. But how on Earth he was able to keep a 3.02 ERA is amazing! I did some more research and in 22 out of his 33 starts he had a line of at least 6 innings with 3ER or less. 12 of those starts he pitched a minimum of 7 innings with 2ER or less. So, now I know why the Giants are interested. In most of those losses he kept the Braves in the game very late but they obviously could not manufacturer any runs. He did have his blemishes here and there but to end the season with that ERA the kid is pretty consistent.

  2. Beede- good potential/proximity combo. There's a reason he was drafted in the first round twice. Seems like Giants are working on something with him and it may all just click in the future.

    Arroyo- hit tool plus fringy SS. Kind of a Giants-esque Seager.

    Blackburn- ERA leader at PCL at 22 is impressive. Looks like he could move into the rotation right now and be a 3/4. Maybe he doesn't have enough gas, but he just performs everywhere he goes.

    Bickford- concerns of him becoming a RP are real. If he can get it together to be a starter though...

    I'd take Mac over Fox because of proximity. Fox has tons of potential, but he's a long ways away. Mac looks like he could be a solid regular right now. I'd like to see him do everything at once though. The power is there, but he doesn't always use it.

  3. What should we make of Parker's outlandish year-end performance? A biological sport, or did he maybe turn some kind of a corner? Is it fair not to give it at least some weight? Is there enough so that, with what Williamson has shown, the Giants should not make a major outside commitment to a left fielder? Can they at least wait until spring figure it out what's real? Why not go with another year of Aoki? Can Parker really play center field?

    1. I would be happy if the Giants put Parker in LF to start the season with Big Mac waiting in the wings if he turns back into a pumpkin.

    2. Parker had made adjustments and performed at every level. He seems like someone who could make enough contact to utilize some power and speed. .260/.340/.440 is a decent outfielder.

  4. I think that Arroyo/Beede/Bickford are the clear top 3. Any order can be defended. Personally, I have them listed as I wrote them, but I am probably MOST excited about Bickford.

    I personally do not have Fox in my top 10. He is just too young and has yet to step on a pro field. He is top 10 HM only for me.

    Mac and Blackburn are practically graduated already, so you gotta list them high. I currently have them at 4 and 5, respectively.

    1. For the record, my current top 10 is...


  5. 1. Beede - Has the stuff, glimmers of polish, size and proximity to be a #2-#3 on a winning team and his floor has been rising too.
    2. Arroyo - Handling the bat has been an undervalued commodity, but the Giants rode: Freddy Sanchez, Marco Scutaro and Joe Panik at second base in the 2 hole to 3 WS Championships. If this were 6 years ago, I would have said a weak hitting Arroyo was lower than this, but now, can't sleep on this type of player any longer.
    3. Bickford - Stuff Stuff Stuff. Bust potential, sure, but he's got that cocky demeanor on the mound like Lincecum used to have early on. Like the potential.
    4. Fox - I think if he can handle the bat a bit, we might have a Jose Reyes type on our hands. These bottom 3 are a toss up for me, so it doesn't matter much the order.
    5. Williamson - LIke the size and power, but not sure where he fits. I can see him breaking out and staying on the roster, or I could see a AAAA guy that just can't stick.
    6. Blackburn - Not sure what to make of Blackburn. Numbers and results always seem to work out well, but for some reason my gut just doesn't trust him as a MLB arm. Luckily, time will tell us, so I hope he gets the chance to prove me wrong

    Andy, No longer in San Diego

  6. I like the list well enough as is, but in terms of help in '16 ... it should be Blackburn, Williamson and maybe Beede...if they bring him for bullpen help initially. They're certainly the most ready, if not the best prospects. Personally, I like Bickford better than Beede. Parker should get a full shot in ST.

  7. My Top-10 are:

    1a. Arroyo (hit tool without a permanent IF position).
    1b. Beede (still has delivery/control issues, but great stuff when on).
    1c. Bickford (has to prove he can work a lot of innings and not lose his FB velocity).

    That's alphabetical. Putting one ahead of another is pretty tough. If they moved Arroyo to 3B, assuming performed well there, he'd be my clear #1.

    4. Lucius Fox, I'm figuring in the Giants dropped $6 million on this 18-year-old kid, he's got to have some serious talent.

    5. Clayton Blackburn. Seems that he's stepped his pitching game. 2.85 ERA in the PCL is practically a miracle and it was second best PCL ERA performance in the last four of five years.

    6. Mac Williamson. Reported to have better athleticism in the OF than most corner-OF-power-hitters plus a very good arm (was a HS pitcher and recruited to be a college pitcher).

    Someone you didn't mention and I'd make sure was in the Top-10 would be Mejia. He gets over-looked a lot, but he's got great control and a fastball that ranges between 91 & 95 with an easy delivery.

  8. Man, I love this time of year...

    1. Christian Arroyo - Hands down #1 in the system for me. MLB camp at 19, excelling in the AFL at 20. He has to be a top 75 prospect in baseball at this point, though I'm sure he'll be underrated again.

    2. Mac - He's this year's Matt Duffy spring surprise to me, and I like his upside more than any of the pitchers in the system right now. Athletic, strong, and a talented defender. Giants LF of the future...

    3 Bickford /4 Beede - Coin flip here for me. I think both could very well be reliable MLB starters, but I'm a tad higher on Bickford's upside right now. And, I want to see how Beede does in AA again this year.

    5/6 Blackburn/Mejia - Another coin flip. Similar age, Mejia gets more love from scouts (very positive reviews out of AFL), but Blackburn has performed better at every level. Do you prefer lefties or righties?

    Personally, I like Aramis Garcia & Chris Shaw as possible 5-10 range prospects in the system. Depending on how you value Ray Black, I think he's top 10 in the system too. Chase Johnson, Sam Coonrod, Jordan Johnson are all in this range for me too.

    Lucious Fox - Tough to peg him yet, but the upside is definitely there. I don't think I can put him up there with the others until he suits up.

    Cove Chatter

  9. Arroyo, Beede, Bickford, Fox, Blackburn, Williamson

  10. Weird how there is no love for Austin Slater here. He is basically Joe Panik 2.0. He has hit well at every level including AA which he hit .296 in about 200AB. He is not a prospect that will turn a bunch of heads but he could be a consistent hitter with gap power.

    1. Slater is at the back of my top 20, and I feel like that's a pretty reasonable spot for him right now. He definitely has the ability to put the ball in play. Unlike Panik though, he hasn't found a true defensive home yet (spent time in OF & INF), and his BB/K rate wasn't very good. I'm not saying it's the be-all, end-all for a hitter, but Panik will likely have elite BB/K ratios during the prime years of his career, where Slater struggled to take walks in A and AA ball. He also K'd 22% of the time in Richmond... not terrible, but not great either.

      I like both Slater and Hunter Cole as prospects, but I don't see them as top10 candidates in the organization.

      Cove Chatter

    2. I agree with Cove Chatter on the placement of Cole and Slater. I'm glad we have them, but they're definitely in my 2nd group of 10.

    3. I started to do a Top-10, then decided to just rank Dr. B's. But I forgot to go back and edit the list or take Mejia's blurb out of it.

      However, when I was thinking about my Top-10, not only would I include Megia, but Slater was pushing for inclusion as he's someone I rate higher than most. I'm not sure he'd make the Top-10 once I balanced it all out in my head as there are some others that have show very good production (along with the necessary athletic differential in one or more areas) in the minors that I would also consider. Hunter Cole is one, as are Shaw, Blackburn and Black.

      So, yes, some of us do regard Slater quite highly. But the exercise was 'rank these 6.'