Thursday, December 17, 2015

Down on the Farm: Community Ranking

Hey team!  Help me out with some relative rankings here.  Please tell me how you would rank the following pitching prospects:

Chris Stratton
Chase Johnson
Jordan Johnson
Sam Coonrod
Andrew Suarez

Please add any comments or rationale for your rankings.


  1. My ranking based by ceiling would be:

    1. Andrew Suarez
    2. Chase Johnson
    3. Sam Coonrod
    4. Jordan Johnson
    5. Chris Stratton

    I contemplated putting Chase Johnson #1 but the way Andrew Suarez handled his pro debut was just amazing.

  2. The deal fell through with Iwakuma and the Doyers. Now Iwakuma is a Mariner signing for 1 year and vesting options for 17' and 18'. I don't know how to take this. Did the Dodgers let him go to come right back and make a huge trade like Fernandez or Sale? Or did the physical really come back bad. I still think it will be tough to beat our rotation without giving up Seager, Urias, Pederson, etc. I have a feeling they are plotting something but it actually could make them weaker long term. Leake? Chen? Either way I think we are in good shape. There has been some chatter that it would not be impossible for the Giants to still land a top LF such as Gordon, Upton or Cespedes. I don't see it happening but it would be nice to know that the FO is willing to do whatever to win.

  3. Leif -
    Conrad - pitchability...
    Chase Johnson - Potential Stuff
    Jordan Johnson - Potential Stuff
    Andrew Suraz - LHP w/Stuff (potentially)

    Chris Stratton - probably not a big leaguer

  4. I am a fan of "proximity" over "potential". Especially when the "potential" is relatively new-found, and the "proximity" was a "potential" guy at one time...

    1) Stratton
    2) Chase
    3) Jordan
    4) Suarez
    5) Coonrod

  5. San Jose staff will be really exciting to follow: S. Coonrod, A. Suarez, J. Johnson, maybe even M. Santos and P. Bickford if Giants are aggressive

    My rankings:

    1. Sam Coonrod (23) - seems like scouts love his stuff the most and he backed it up with a good season in Augusta. Has potential to be a #2/3 type starter.
    2. Andrew Suarez (23) - One of my dark-horse favorites. I think he can be one of those perennially underrated guys, like Doug Fister before last year
    3. Jordan Johnson (22) - Kind of between a poor man's Coonrod and rich man's Chase Johnson? Less of a track record than the other guys. But youth is a big plus for him, a year younger than Coonrod and Suarez so he has some time to catch up. Even just holding his own in San Jose will be a win I would think.
    4. Chase Johnson (24 during season) - Maybe like Coonrod lite? Not as buzzy as Coonrod. But might have just as good stuff. Even though almost an year older, he's also a year closer to the Majors. A good season at Richmond and he can vault himself onto the prospect scene.
    5. Chris Stratton - sad to say he seems destined to be no more than a long man if he makes the bigs. Hoping he can be a competent 5th starter or a solid back end reliever, ala Luke Hochevar.

    Stuff-wise, Coonrod and the 2 Johnsons seem awfully close. Suarez seems like one of those polished, intelligent, command-the-mound poise guys that are under-rated by prospect hounds.

    1. This is how I'd rank them right now. I want to like Chase Johnson more but his motion is kind of herky jerky. I'm sure the Giants are working on simplifying, that seems to be their MO with everybody. Jordan Johnson has a excellent curve, I think that gives him some separation from Chase. Suarez is a lefty so he gets a bump. And Coonrod having a big time fastball and getting control is what's getting him the hype from all the publications. That's a possible big time win, being able to mold the raw stuff into a complete package. Stratton... we are most likely looking at a Tim Alderson situation where the stuff just wasn't as big as everybody thought.

      Coonrod and Jordan Johnson are really exciting developments.

  6. 1. Chase Johnson
    2. Suarez
    3. Jordan Johnson
    4. Coonrod
    5. Stratton

    Stratton is kind of a non-prospect at this point. Coonrod and the Johnsons are risers. Suarez could be exactly what he was thought to be when drafted in the 2nd rd.

  7. I have the following overall rankings:
    #6: Sam Coonrod. I love the progress he made last season with his command.
    #9: Chase Johnson. Similar to Coonrod, might even have a slightly higher ceiling, but the rumblings about future closer concern me a bit.
    #12: Andrew Suarez. Polished starter, high floor/low ceiling type might move quickly, so I give him points for that potential.
    #13: Jordan Johnson. I honestly struggled to place him. Finally ended up with him here. As unknown said above, youth is on his side.
    #20: Chris Stratton. He's this high only because of the faint hope he could pull a Heston next season. And the team hates to give up too early on first round picks.

  8. Although he might be closest, the easiest part of the ranking was to put STRATTON at #5..Relative to his competition, he is just not that good and very hittable..

    The rest is pretty hard, I am usually one that puts a lot of weight on results as a Player moves up and not just the "potential"..but not all that much to go on here..all have done darn well in there minor league career....To me, the top three is between Coonrod, Chase Johnson and Suarez, but even though Suarez came from a major College program and had a great pro debut he's the crafty type that just might not be as good as he goes higher....I really, really like the stuff and what Chase Johnson did in San Jose and Coonrod in Augusta..Both had minor hiccups but came back strong....C. Johnson seems to be getting better and better as he pitches more after really not being used right in College...So...

    1. Chase Johnson
    2. Sam Coonrod
    3. Andrew Suarez
    4. J. Johnson
    5. C. Stratton


  9. Hey DrB. I love that you're taking some community feedback in the rankings this year. I've had a rough top 50 put together for a while, but I'm not sure I'll get time to post profiles or anything like that. Maybe more like a list with brief comments as we get closer to spring training (I think a trade could still be in the works).

    Caveat: I truly believe all 5 of these guys are MLB arms in their own right. All come with considerable risk though. SP depth in the organization is quite enviable all of a sudden.

    If we're going by ceiling alone, I'd probably give Jordan Johnson the nod for #1. Those who have seen him are absolutely blown away by his stuff. Considering his pop-up status and his injury history, he's probably the biggest boom-or-bust name on your list. His 2016 could be highly entertaining.

    Considering ceiling, floor, proximity to MLB and risk, here's how I currently rank them.

    1. Chase Johnson - Holding mid-90's into the late innings is awesome. He came in with a good changeup, but I was very impressed by the break on his curve last year. I think he's a legitimate SP prospect at this point, and could quickly be one of the Giants most highly-coveted trade assets.

    2. Sam Coonrod - Scouts/coaches raved about him, which makes me wonder if I'm missing the boat. He was consistent all year in Augusta, but I didn't see anything that blew me away. He was 96-99 coming out of college, but absolutely wild. I really don't know if he's got enough of an arsenal to start at the MLB level. Maybe a high octane reliever if he really has solved his command issues?

    3. Andrew Suarez - I watched one of his final starts for Miami. He's pretty polished, as he showed by advancing quickly to San Jose last year. When I saw him, it was consistent 91-94. That's pretty impressive from a lefty. Problem is, his injury history is also quite significant. Unlike J. Johnson though, he was a nationally recognized pitcher in college.

    4. Jordan Johnson - If he had just a tad more of a resume, I'd have no problem putting him among the top 5 prospects in the system. It's kind of like Ray Black for me at the moment. The injury history and lack of experience keeps me cautiously optimistic. He could stand to add a few pounds to his frame, but the raw stuff is through the roof. A major, major name to follow.

    5. Chris Stratton - Funny thing about Stratton is he's the safest bet at this point for me to be a healthy, contributing member of a MLB pitching staff. Does that mean I've got him in the wrong spot? His slider is still highly rated by most reports I've seen. I just don't think his stuff is enough to be more than a middle-innings guy or a long reliever. He could see the majors in that role as early as next season IMO.

    Hope this helps!

    Cove Chatter

    1. Yes, pitching depth really is an exciting development, both SP and RP. I think Giants beat the league in jumping on raw stuff relievers in the draft. Remember when draftniks were wondering why Giants drafted so many relievers in the early rounds? Now a good reliever costs $7-8 mil. If you have an entire bullpen of cheap, cost-controlled arms, that means enough money to sign a Bryce Harper. And mostly our pitchers have gone under the radar in terms of national exposure so hopefully 2016 can be coming out party for many of them. And prove to the industry once again that the Giants know what they're doing in terms of the draft.


      Madison Bumgarner (L)
      Johnny Cueto
      Jeff Samardzija
      Jake Peavy
      Matt Cain
      Chris Heston


      Clayton Blackburn
      Ty Blach (L)
      Chris Stratton


      Tyler Beede
      Adalberto Mejia (L)
      Chase Johnson


      Sam Coonrod
      Andrew Suarez (L)
      Jordan Johnson


      Phil Bickford
      Mac Marshall (L)
      Michael Santos


      Steven Okert (L)
      Cody Hall
      Derek Law
      Ray Black
      Dan Slania
      Jake Smith
      Tyler Rogers

      And this not including a bunch of Dominican pitchers and other intriguing arms

    2. LOL at myself, Giants so deep in reliever depth that I forgot about our once #1 prospect Kyle Crick. I knew I had forgotten someone prominent. Maybe this was subconsciously intentional.

  10. Hello DrB. It's Christmas break and time to put on the baggy pants. Here's my ranking on the 5 based on my personal take on their scouting, analytics, and some biases.

    Coonrod- I wondered first why a lot of scouts are on the high side on him early on while I'm not impressed, he's just like a solid pitcher with solid stuff but when he turned on the jets on the postseason for the SJ Giants, it left a mark on me that I can't just put aside. He got mid-90s cheese and a sharp slider. His command has improved once he used a faster tempo on his delivery in the A+ playoffs. He got a chance to stay on the rotation as he's holding his stuff deep. A changeup as a complementary pitch would be perfect for him. Tommy Hanson-esque (RIP).

    Suarez- Impressed by his poise and the veteran-like presence on the mound, built for the Major Leagues. His okay stuff looks average across the board but once he couples that with his plus intelligence, command and sequencing, some of his pitches standout especially his slider to complement his 87-92 MPH fastball. He's got the injury history but if he gets healthy, I'm not going to be surprised if he reaches the Majors in 2016.

    C. Johnson- While there are similarities between Chase and Jordan's stuff, I like Chase's track record and closer proximity. Mid-90s stuff, a good looking curveball will definitely have a spot on the Majors, either it's in the pen or in the rotation. He's an interesting trade chip as well for he got little opportunity to play in the rotation.

    J. Johnson- I'm intrigued by his future potential. He just went TJ and his stuff looks better IMO if ever his stuff is this good before. His three pitch mix warrants a spot on the ML rotation if he ever pans out but there's still tons of ?s to be answered like how he's gonna play up with the 100+ innings of the full season, how will he respond to in-season fatigue and of course, his elbow. The ceiling for him is on par with Coonrod, he just needs to be more consistent and miss more bats with that kind of fastball-curve-change mix.

    Stratton- I'll make it short. Closest of the 5 to the ML, 2nd best probability he'll reach the Majors (Suarez is 1st), slider's still really nice and will miss plenty of bats, but I feel he's more long-man reliever role or specialist now than a starter that the Giants pegged him in the draft.

    I hope this is a just list.

  11. Doc, or anyone, where does MLB get their prospect list? Certainly not from the teams themselves, but what do they use that is different from you and the really smart guys who post here?
    MLB has (among Giant prospects) 5. Coonrod, 14. Stratton, 15. Suarez, 27. CJ, 28. JJ
    That doesn't relate to anyone who posts here, where most think that Stratton is just hanging on. Does MLB sum the "20-80" scores, and where do those scores come from?
    I noted that on the Dodgers-Whitesox-Reds trade, MLB instantly placed the traded guys numerically into their new teams, in order. So is there some master list that rates all prospects from 1 to 1000? Or lists?
    Does anyone take this seriously? Certainly the guys who post on this blog have much different views, and I expect that the Giants and all teams have their own, which are SUPER SECRET, but in the end you can tell by who gets brought up, but that doesn't seem to be in any order.
    These are dumb questions for most of you who post here regularly who all seem pretty incredible to me, but maybe there are others like me who just wonder about this stuff. Thanks.

    1. Good question! I could be wrong, but I think the MLB list is just Mayo and Callis doing basically what I and other reporters and bloggers do except they have access to scouts and coaches that we don't have. I believe there is a lot of subjectivity involved and everybody has their biases, such as tools vs skills and proximity vs ceiling. I respect their opinions, but they are still opinions. Also, remember they are covering all of MLB so they probably know a lot more about the Cleveland Indians farm system than we do, but it is likely that we know much more about the Giants farm system than they. Just the sheer size of what they have to cover makes it likely that there is going to be at least some groupthink that creeps into their analysis as I doubt they personally scout every player in every system. Stay tuned for a post on this subject coming up.

    2. DR.B Brings up biases. Everyone has biases and they're always there. It's generally ok as long as they're consistent and, overall, make sort of sense when it comes to predictive value.

      But there are other biases. I think one of the most amusing (and annoying) biases comes with the relative strength of farm teams. When we traded Keury Mella for Mike Leake, he was (if I remember right) the #5 Giants prospect with Beede, Arroyo, Bickford & Fox ahead of him. At that time we did not have a single player in the Top-100.

      He became the Reds #5 prospect, just like with the Giants, and one of 5 Reds prospects in the Top-100, coming in at #94. This begs the question -- why wasn't he in the Top-100 as a Giant AND why aren't the 4 Giants mentioned above ahead of him and in the Top-100? If he was #5 with the Giants and #5 with Reds AND he's good enough to be in the Top-100 along with the 4 Reds ahead of him, then our 4 guys are also good enough to be in the Top-100.

      And yet they aren't. One could argue breakout. BUt there's nothing in his statistics, subsequent to the trade, that indicates any substantial improvement from his time in the Giants' organization. And yet simply going to the Reds he became worthy of a Top-100 inclusion.

  12. My list would be:

    Chase Johnson
    Jordan Johnson

    I went to a lot of San Jose games last year and saw most of these guys. I know everyone says Chase and Jordan are very similar, but to me Chase is clearly better at the moment. His threw harder more consistently, I even saw him up to 98. And his fastball is very downhill with hard sink. He had a low 2 ERA on the year, and a 0.94 on the second half. In a hitters league. I'm very excited about this kid. I loved Suarez too, very good pitchability and stuff. Coonrod looked good in playoffs but it was a small sample size. Good velocity but he kinda short arms it. Jordan definitely has good stuff but he needs to prove he can handle 100+ innings. And with his stuff, I hope he can lower that ERA some, next year will be big for him

  13. I see Coonrod, J Johnson & C Johnson as 1, 2 & 3 when you're looking at projecting them into an MLB rotation slot. Suarez is #4, but may have the best chance to make the club because he's more pitcher than the men ahead of him.

    Stratton is, at this point, is a distant fifth. Maybe he puts on the best show since Achilles slew Hector and he gets called up. But so far he's earned a lot of 'fringe' comments when I read things about him. Fringy fastball. Fringy pitches. Fringy command.