Thursday, November 5, 2015

Giants 2015 Depth Charts: Centerfield

Everybody seems to think that the Giants decision to not pick up Nori Aoki's option means they are out to upgrade LF, and they may well be.  Don't discount the idea that they may actually see a bigger need in CF as they are faced with a rapidly aging Angel Pagan and a more slowly aging Gregor Blanco as the MLB options.  Unlike LF where they have both Jarrett Parker and Mac Williamson ready or near ready to help, they do not have any reasonably likely help for CF in the top 3 levels of the farm system. As always these rankings are my opinion.


Angel Pagan
Gregor Blanco
Kelby Tomlinson?

Pagan swung a decent bat when he finally appeared to be healthy in September, but he continued to be a liability on defense.  The beat writers have been speculating since around the first of September that the Giants may be looking for a way, any way, to dump Pagan  Baggs went so far as to suggest that Kelby Tomlinson's attempt to expand his skills by playing OF in Instructional League may be in preparation for him replacing Pagan.  Bobby Evans threw cold water on THAT idea at yesterday's announcement of the declined options.  At this point in his career, Gregor Blanco is a better LF than CF.


Daniel Carbonell
Darren Ford

Carbonell may not be a legitimate prospect, let alone ready to start in CF in the major leagues.  I would assume his current placement on the Sacramento roster is just a place to park him until spring assignments.  Ford is disaster insurance.


Engel Beltre
Jesus Galindo

Beltre is a reclamation project plucked out the Rangers' dumpster.  Fine athlete, but his bat faded in Richmond after a hot start.  Galindo is marginal bat and a terrible fielder who is playing more LF these days.


Seth Harrison

Started out 2015 OK but was in danger of sinking below the .200 BA level by the end of the season.


Johneshswy Fargas
Gustavo Cabrera

Fargas hit over .300 most of the season for Augusta, which is quite a feat in the extremely pitcher friendly environment.  He finished the season on the DL after taking a pitch off his face.  Assuming he recovers, he is a legitimate CF prospect, but still has several years of seasoning in front of him.  Cabrera has to be stashed on this roster.  He has had less than 10 AB's in the last 2 seasons due to injury with his only prior experience coming in the DSL.


Ronnie Jebavy

Nice combination of power, speed and defense from this 2015 5'th round draft pick.


Mikey Edie
Jean Angomas

Edie had a solid stateside debut.  I am quite high on him, but he has a lot of development in front of him.  I am starting to come around on Carmot's favorite sleeper, Angomas.


Jose Patino

Switch-hitting young speedster, may benefit from another year in the DSL.

As you can see, if the Giants want to upgrade CF, they are going to have to go outside the organization, so don't be surprised if this is where they concentrate their offseason efforts.


  1. At the time he was signed, Lucius Fox was talked about as a potential CF, and given the youth and excellence of the Giants' middle infielders, plus Tomlinson, Arroyo, et al. In waiting, maybe Fox will be channeled there. One would think that during this offseason, the team would shiver at making Pagan feel that they're actively thinking about his replacement.

    1. The Giants will need to replace Pagan long before Fox is ready for MLB.

  2. Giants were 2nd overall in MLB in team defense (behind the Royals - who lapped the field). CF? Dead last. Its a stat line, might not be completely accurate, but it feels accurate this time. Best 3 CFs were the Rays, Royals and Phillies. The Phils may have one of the best Rule 5 pickups in ages.

    Of note: The Mariners and A's made a lot of noise about defense a few years ago... They were both among the worst in the league. As were, more predictably, the Padres, who put up a -31.4 score. White Sox had the distinction of being dead last though.

    Some of this is grain of salt though: Giants catchers were dead last. Ahem. 1B were 1st. 2B were 11th, SS 3rd, 3B 4th (Red Sox dead last, ahem, with a horrid -20.8 score, more than double the 2nd worst), RF 5th (Maxwell had some solid contributions), LF 8th, overall OF 30th. Pitchers: 30th. So the scores appear to be held up by the middle infield play. (All stats from fangraphs team page for 2015)

    I'd like the Giants to get better defensively in the OF. But that infield is looking pretty silky smooth.

    1. When I discuss defense in depth like this, I think it's necessary to look at least at the two main advanced metrics, UZR as well as DRS. DRS per has the Giants tied for 3rd for C in NL with 11 just behind tie for 1st with 12. Tied for 5th in MLB, leader in AL had 14, then 13. So they are among the best in the majors per DRS for Catchers.

      Total Zone, the other stat they publish, has the Giants tied for 11th, far behind the leaders, basically average defensively. Which is what you get if you average UZR and DRS.

      Use BP to break the tie?

      Buster is among the leaders in calls gained by framing pitches, 6th in that category. In passed balls, ironic since that was the big deficiency when he was first drafted, he's third there. Between the two, he added 16.3 runs or roughly almost 2 Wins via his catching, no wonder the Giants don't want to lose that behind the plate. Together, that looks like good for 4th overall, just barely behind 3rd, just barely ahead of 5th.

      Unfortunately, BP does not publish any defensive metrics of note, I wonder what happened to FRA? It's still in the player profiles (despite the goodness above, Posey's FRA was slightly below average; in fact, he's been considered below average for much of his career, only positive in 2014, so maybe that's why they hide it, it's not very good if it labels Posey as poor defensively), so they still use it, but it's nowhere to be found among the free stats.

  3. So, Pavs mentioned yesterday in his article (not his twitter feed) that the Thomlinson experiment may not have been all that successful. Apparently Evans said something along the lines of "OF is not his best position." Now, whether that's a failure or he's just much, much better at 2B is open interpretation. Also, Thomlinson may play OF in winter ball in Mexico. So it's an unsettled thing right now.

    Pagan needs replacing and unfortunately the FA options closer to band-aid guys than permanent fixes. But there are at least options. (Mostly because virtually every CF FA played better than Pagan. For some it's been multiple years.)

  4. Free agency has begun!

    MLBTraderumors predicts the Giants will sign Mike Leake and Jeff Samardzija.

    That sounds fine but I would hate to give up draft pick compensation for Samardzija. Signing a guy like Greinke or Zimmermann you would expect it but a pitcher who had a down year like Jeff is kind of ridiculous. I would almost like to see Leake and trade for an impact arm such as Carrasco (just an example) instead of giving up the first rounder.

    1. I'm still not keen on Jordan Zimmermann just because if/when he tears his UCL again, his chances of recovery are significantly less than someone who goes through it the first time.

      I agree. I would be OK with losing the draft pick if it's for Greinke, but not so much for a 2'nd or 3'rd tier dude. Other guys besides Leake who would not cost a draft pick: Price, Cueto, Kazmir, Happ, Fister.

      I looked through all the trade possibilities a couple of weeks ago and Carrasco or Danny Salazar from Cleveland were the only ones who struck me as legitimate possibilities.

  5. With the emergence of Arroyo I think we do have a nice trade chip to start a discussion with just about anybody including Carrasco. Arroyo's value is extremely high right now. Put him together with Beede and we could make a nice package for Salazar or Carrasco. Salazar is controlled until 2021 and Carrasco until 2019. I like Carrasco's K/BB and also that his is under contract so you know exactly what he will be worth going forward. Salazar has yet to go through arbitration so he could become very expensive.

    I like Arroyo but if it gets us a nice cost controlled arm then I think it is worth it. Staying under the cap will be very tough going forward. I really want the Giants to bring in another ace but we also have other wholes to fill such as LF and another SP. They can only spend so much money before they go over.

    1. See my addended post above. I'm not sure the Luxury Tax threshold is as big a problem going forward as some of us have thought.

  6. angomas is the nephew of Edwin Encarnacion, Great guy to be around i guess.. haha!!, him and Jonah Arenado are in a very similar situation. Mario R.

    1. Thanks for the tip. One of our commenters and fellow blogger, Carmot, absolutely loves Jean Angomas and I have to say I'm starting to really like what I see in his stat lines too.