Monday, January 4, 2016

DrB's 2016 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #12 Sam Coonrod

Sam Coonrod, RHP.  DOB:  9/22/1992.  6'2", 225 lbs.

Low A:  7-5, 3.14, 111.2 IP, 9.19 K/9, 2.74 BB/9, GO/AO= 1.22.

Coonrod is another hard throwing RHP who sits in the mid-90's with the FB and hits up to 98 MPH.  He had a reputation for having poor command in college, but walks have not been a problem so far in the pros.  Wouldn't be the first time the Giants tweaked something out of the gate and solved a big command problem, although I don't know that it happened that way.  Coonrod's numbers were a whole lot better than the excellent line he shows above until he seemed to hit a wall in August.  The Giants backed him off and used him for just 1 inning out of the bullpen over a 2 week period.  He came back strong in 3 final starts throwing 17 innings while allowing 5 ER with 20 K's against just 4 BB's.  He then got a call to help out San Jose in the Cal League playoffs where he started 2 games and allowed 3 ER in 9.2 IP with 9 K's and 3 BB's.

Whereas Chase Johnson is tall and lanky, Coonrod is much stockier, but his weight is well proportions with a ton of strength in his butt, hips and thighs.  This makes for stiffer, tighter arm action, but he still generates tremendous rotational arm speed with moderate  high effort.

He's another guy who, if he repeats what he did in 2015 at a higher level, could be leading the pack of Giants pitching prospects by next year.  Ceiling is probably #2 SP in MLB.  He could also end up in a MLB bullpen and could be a future closer.  ETA is probably 2018.


  1. Coonrod on Doc's Top 50:

    2015: 37th
    2016: 12th

  2. My brother-in-law (Mike Couchee) is the pitching coach for the SJ Giants. Obviously, he has been having a great time working with all the spectacular arms the organization has been running through San Jose over the past few years. For what it's worth, he regularly comments on how the guys the Giants have sent to San Jose are good guys, not just great arms. If the organization can continue to find and develop arms like Coonrod and Chase Johnson, McCovey Cove is going to remain a very popular hangout. Thanks Doc for all your great work on the blog.

    Now, let's sign an outfielder who can play CF (I really like Parra), if needed, and the off season will be complete

    1. Parra's defense has really declined over the last few years across the board. The Giants value themselves on good defense. I think Parra would be a mistake on anything over 2 years. I would be okay with a 1-2 year contract.

      2013: 4.0
      2014: -0.8
      2015: -1.5

      2013: 42.3
      2014: 27.4
      2015: -15.0

      2013: 1.1
      2014: 3.2
      2015: -4.4

    2. My enthusiasm for Parra was dampened by an article in Fangraphs about it--August Fagerstrom, Nov 24 of last year. The article gives reasons for believing that Parra's great defensive job in 2013 was anomalous, and that in addition, his physical powers are in decline. Fagerstrom thinks that Parra will be pretty average as a corner OF but subpar in CF.

      If the Giants could get Parra inexpensively for a year, so that other options (Williamson, for example) could be explored, and so that they would have a back-up along with Blanco for Pagan in CF, maybe signing him would make sense. Otherwise, I don't see how it does.

    3. All that being said, it's hard to know with Parra. He's 28 and hasn't yet started the age-related athletic slide that diminishes range and power. Yet he's gotten worse in defense over the past two years when he should be peaking. To the point that if he continues this trend, he's likely to be considerably worse (defensively) than Pagan who is really starting to suffer the slings and arrows of athletic diminishment.

      At this point, I'd rather start Blanco in CF and use Pagan in LF where his range diminishment won't be as impactful than sign Parra.

      But free agency isn't over and there's a lot of talent out there. Cespedes. Gordon. Upton. And some others (Denard Span coming off injury) that could be worth it. (In fact, the more I think about it, the more I'd love a 2-year deal with Span if we couldn't get one of the Top-Flight guys.)

    4. Fowler is the name that Baggarly has been beating the drums for since late in the 2015 season. Span, Jackson, and Parra are the other names that are brought up with the Giants.

      The Giants are going to go with Pagan in CF first. He's been having knee issues and they probably want to see what he can do first defensively. They are always respectful of veterans, and willing to give them a chance first, but I expect that if he is hurting the team defensively in CF, Bochy will move him off CF, either to LF or the bench, like they did with Rowand repeatedly in his final years.

      Span's UZR and DRS were really bad the last two seasons, and in CF, truly bad in 2015, talking costing more than 1 win in a season. Appears that the injury is the cause of that.

      Jackson's UZR and DRS both suggest that he's been average defensively in CF over the past two seasons.

      Parra is hard to tell, he was very good for years, but then was average in 2014, but in 2015, he was truly bad, talking 1-2 wins being costed by his poor defense.

      Fowler has been truly bad per DRS, for a number of years now, in CF, but per UZR, one year he's slightly below average, in other years, horribly bad, so the overall picture I'm getting there is that he's not that good defensively in CF.

      Based on the above, assuming the Giants are focused more on CF defense, Jackson would be the best of the bunch right now, with Parra next, if they feel that they know how to utilize him to best defensive results. Span and Fowler look to be no better than Pagan now in CF, so there is no reason to pick up either unless the Giants think they can make them better defensively somehow. Or if they think Span's injury was the key to his poor defense, and that they can improve on his mediocre 2014 defensive output. But he was very good previously, so maybe getting his hip fixed will enable him to return to goodness again. But based on numbers, he looks like a bad choice right now.

    5. I personally do not want any part of Parra, Fowler, Span or Jackson, especially if the deal is for longer than 1 season. If Pagan is done and can't hack it in CF anymore, I'd rather move Blanco to CF and run through the Parker/Blanks/Williamson progression in LF. If THAT does not pan out, then make a midseason trade.

      If the Giants are going to go for an OF upgrade, then I want them to go all in for either Cespedes or Upton. My preference is Cespedes.

  3. Great input on Parra. Thanks for the comments. I was not aware that his defense had fallen off so much. On another note, Dexter Fowler attended the Dubs game last night. Buster Olney's column this morning is surely encouraging.