Sunday, November 1, 2015

Giants Depth Charts: Third Base

Before the 2015 season started, third base looked like a yawning gaping black hole for the foreseeable future, a position that would almost certainly have to be filled from outside the organization.  Matt Duffy changed all that!  Now, the depth behind Matt Duffy is a bit suspect as it is not clear that anyone on the current roster could fill in if The Duffman were to get injured, but as long as Duffy is healthy, he is likely to play all but a handful of innings at the position for the next 5 seasons or so.  While there is not much MLB ready depth, the organization is surprisingly strong at the position, particularly in the lower minors.


Matt Duffy!


There are not third basemen listed on the Sacramento roster.  I suppose Carlos Triunfel might be more of a 3B than SS, but he's listed as a SS.


Mitch Delfino.

A lot of Giants fans and others are writing off Mitch Delfino.  I believe that is a mistake.  Although is .256 BA with little power is not impressive, his 8.3 BB% is quite good and his 14.6 K% is stellar.  Delfino is someone who I think could blossom with a promotion to Sacramento.

High A

Ryder Jones
Jonah Arenado
Brandon Bednar

Ryder Jones stats don't jump out at you and he doesn't look like much of an athlete.  I saw him play twice in 2015 and he squared the ball up at least 6 out of 8 AB's in those two games.  I think the bat will develop if he can play the position at the higher level.  The Giants gave a clue as to who will be the starting 3B for SJ with the promotion of Jonah Arenado for the postseason.  The promo to High A could be a challenge, but he more than held his own in Augusta.  Bednar seems to be a potential utility IF.

Low A

Will Callaway.

Jonah Arenado played the position most of the season.  Callaway seems like more of an organizational player at this point.

Short Season

Jose Vizcaino, Jr
Miguel Gomez

With Arenado already on the SJ roster, it looks like Viz and Gomez may have to fight it out for playing time in Augusta.  Gomez is also a catcher so may split time between the positions again.

Rookie AZL

Nathanael Javier
Mark Weist

Javier can't seem to stay on the field and Weist had a disappointing pro debut.


Francisco Medina

Medina is listed as a SS but played most of his games at 3B for the DSL Giants.  He showed prodigious power for the DSL,  but had trouble sustaining contact rates.  I'm thinking the Giants may keep him in the DSL to prevent him from getting overwhelmed while working on making more consistent contact.


Matt Duffy seems to have a lock on the position as long as he can stay healthy. MLB ready depth is thin, but the organization has depth at the position in the lower minors.


  1. Arroyo has been mentioned by a number of draftniks, prospect raters, etc., as a conversion to 3B or 2B as many don't think he has the quick-first-step/range to be an MLB short-stop. In the minors he's had all of one-out played at 3B and didn't have a single fielding chance.

    I'm not too worried about Defino's hitting at this point. I would have liked to have seen better, but .256 isn't chopped liver in the Eastern League (he actually finished 26th in the League for 'qualified' batters). I'm not saying it's great, btw, or am I trying to minimize it. It's just the jump to AA is the toughest jump in the minors and it's not uncommon for prospects to struggle and appear to regress.

    In fact looking at our current roster's youngest players relatively fresh from AA, you can see they were all over the place.

    Kelby Thomlinson is a great example of the early struggle and refining the hitting process. In 2013 he hit just .198 in his 33 AA games. In 2014 he hit .268. In 2015 he hit .324 in AA, moved up to Sacramento where he hit .316 in the PCL and was promoted to the MLB late in the year where he hit.303 for the Giants.

    Joe Panik only hit .257 and was promoted to AAA the very next year. Before (and since) he hit .300 (or very close to it) everywhere else. Go figure.

    Matt Duffy just tore it up and hit (off the top of my head) somewhere around .330.

    Obviously not everyone can do it and more fail than succeed. But .256 is not necessarily the end of his career as a Giant's prospect and while I would rather have seen him take AA by storm (like Matt Duffy), I fully recognize that not even one full year at AA can accurately pigeon hole a prospect. Give you hints, yes. Be the be-all and end-all of the prospect's likely development... No way.

    1. Great point about Panik struggling in AA. He's been so hot for the past couple seasons, it's easy to forget he was a sub-.260 hitter in Richmond. Heck, Brandon Crawford had a rough time in AA himself. You just never know.

      Cove Chatter

  2. Ryder Jones was an interesting pick at the time. 2nd oldest HS player in the draft! The Stanford commit scared a lot of scouts and most the publications away from him. Will they continue to send Arroyo and Jones to the same joint? I find it slightly amusing that even a BA article about Arroyo turns into a Clint Frazier stat line... Guess what? Arroyo AND Mac Williamson have Frazier covered, without all the strikeouts to boot!

    So I noticed some commentary on fangraphs. Any posts about the Royals in the next couple of days? Defense, team speed, team chemistry... don't say it... don't say it... CLUTCH! High contact leads to mistakes. Deep bullpen. This sounds pretty familiar, can't quite place it yet...

  3. Mitch Delfino had a downer year compared to the previous season at San Jose. However, his K/BB was really nice but his BA and power dropped quite a bit. He is about the same age as Duffy so there is still time for him to turn it around. The Giants infield looks like it will stay intact for a couple years but with Panik's back being a problem last year you never know. Crawford and Belt edge closer to Free Agency and we have yet to hear if they will receive long term deals. Delfino has a chance to be in this infield in a few years if he can start producing like in High A.

  4. Nice rundown. What do you think of Tomlinson or Adrianza as backup 3B? Adrianza has the arm and range, but not the bat (so far), while Tomlinson has the bat, at least it seems, but can he handle 3B? He struggled mightily at 2B, but to his credit got much better by the end of the season (Duffy did similarly at 3B himself).