Wednesday, September 7, 2016

End of Minor League Regular Season Q/A

To celebrate, or mourn, the end of the minor league regular season, we'll do a Q/A.  You can ask anything baseball related.  I'll do my best to answer and of course readers can chime in and give their own answers.  I will start it off with a question for you:  How would you rank these Giants OF prospects?

Austin Slater

Steven Duggar

Bryan Reynolds

Heath Quinn

Sandro Fabian

Explain your answer!


  1. Thanks for the nice starter to the MiL Offseason, Doc. Here's my answer:

    1. Bryan Reynolds
    2. Austin Slater
    3. Steven Duggar
    4. Heath Quinn
    5. Sandro Fabian

    Reynolds - Easily the highest pedigree of the candidates, coming in with the potential for a plus defensive tool. His showing in SK and Augusta took him a number of steps further, highlighting the potential for a plus bat with XB power in CF. I'm a believer in game-displayed accumen for kids with high ceilings.

    Slater - WOW. Came on so strong in the second half, hitting .341/.616/1.049 after the AS break, and cashing in 7 HR over his final 12 games. He also killed in Richmond, and his progression has been perfectly smooth from A-AAA. Now that slater has shown all of the hit tool, power and patience at the plate - and he's continued to improve the whole way - I'd say there's a real possibility he may step in the show and never step back down.

    Duggar - Absolutely demolished AA, from a hit-tool standpoint, in his first season after the promotion - and no a consistent night-to-night basis, too. No Slumps! Nearly took spot #2 from Slater, but neither the power nor the SB abilities (9/7 in SB/CS) have come through yet. He needs one of those two tools to be a true OFer at the next level.

    Heath Quinn - Love the bat, and love the potential! Will be a huge season in 2017 for the third Rd pick. Could easily surge towards to top-10 prospects if he continues to show what he did in SK. Nothin but praise, but he just needs more exposure!

    Fabian - Still only 18?! Wow. Just don't know the kid much yet, and I'm just not seeing the raw tools yet, despite an awesome slg% in the AZL. Mostly AVG driven, hitting .340 on the year. If the defense is plus or plus-plus, that'll go a long way! His showing in Augusta next year will be huge.

  2. guys who will be trade bait to get a legit closer in the off season
    no explanation neccessary

    1. There will be 3 elite closers available in free agency this year: Chapman, Melancon and Jensen(although Jensen has 6 Blown Saves this year, 1 less than Casilla). The Giants will potentially have a lot of $$$ coming off the books so they can easily afford to make aggressive offers. Expiring contracts include Peavy($15 M), Pagan($10 M), Blanco($4 M), Casilla($6 M), Romo($7 M). It all depends on which of those players, if any, they want to re-sign.

    2. While a little over 51 million is coming off the books with Peavy, Pagan, Romo, Casilla, Lopez, and Blanco hitting free agency ( Didn't count Gorky Hernandez's, Matt Reynold's contracts count to because they were minor league contracts. Don't know how that works, nor Conor Gillipsie's.). Roughly 33.6 million of that is already going to raises to Posey, Span, MadBum, Cueto, Moore and Shark. Thats not counting the 5 players, Kontos, Will Smith, Nunez, Gearin and Andrianza, entering Arbitration and receiving big raises. Thats with the Giants still needing to address the losses of a starting LF ( Williamson and a vet?), Closer, 8th inning reliever, left hitting specialist ( Okert?), backup corner INF ( Resign Gillipsie?), and a backup OF that can play center ( Resign Hernandez?). The Giants can buyout Cain's contract following the next season for 7.5 million instead of paying him $20.833,334.00, and Cueto might excercise his out option that frees up 21.8 million, but Crawford and Belt's contracts both together balloon up to cost the Giants 20.2 million more a season. Thats also with MadBum entering his option years and he is woefully underpaid at 12 million a year in 2018-19 which is half of what the Giants are going to pay to keep him. Also after next season Panik and Strickland hit Arbitration. So unless the Giants raise the team salary again they might not be able to afford one of the big 3 closers.

    3. In the last 4 years Casilla has had 18 BS and 90 saves. In the same four years Jensen has had 17 BS and 150 saves. Jensen is hovering a 90% success (150/167). Casilla is at 90/108 (83%).

      Chapman is 139/152 (91%)*
      Melancon is 139/153 (91%)*

      *(It's rounding. One rounds up, the other rounds down.)

      I'd be happy with any of the three.

    4. I wouldn't mind the Giants moving from a hard "closer" title to a more flexible, match-up based system.

    5. To do that, you need better pieces that the Giants have been seeing this season!

      If you've got vintage 2012 Affeldt/Romo/Lopez/Casilla, sure. With this class of guys who've been struggling STRONGLY in high leverage situations - nah, I'll take one guy who's revved up and looking forward to the heightened tension of the 9th.

      Also, thanks Erik for that informative little blurb about the actual salary reality. However, I wonder if you're accounting for the fact that Cueto got the equivalence of 2017 salary in a signing bonus? Shouldn't be a large jump there - but I don't want to do the math right now.....I'm ready to leave work already!

    6. If you are going to have a matchup based 9'th inning scheme, you need a lefty who is good enough to be a closer to go with a traditional RH closer. Not sure there is roster room for that. While using your best reliever in high leverage situations and having a flexible closer situation always seems to look good on paper, I have yet to see it work in real life.

    7. What might be more important than how much salary is coming off the books is how much the Luxury Tax threshold rises with the new CBA.

    8. Casilla has just blown another save within the last few minutes as I write, giving up a home run to Arenado to bring the Rockies within one run and then putting the tying run on base. (I admit to wishing that Bochy had put Nathan in, before Nathan gave up the final, fatal hit--Santiago redux!). Of course even if Casilla had blown no saves since the A-S break, the Giants would be only four games or so better off than they are. The team's embarrassing ineptitude would be just slightly less distressing and humiliating if Chapman rather than Casilla were our closer. Nonetheless, having the game flip from W to L at the last minute has an especially painful effect. I myself would like to see more of the flexibility that Bryce advocates and to see the Giants let Casilla go somewhere, anywhere, else for 2017, whether or not they angle for one of the big free-agent closers.

    9. This matchup notion suddenly being thrown around has the feel of a buzzword with no meaning to me. Again, when has a matchup system instead of set closer ever actually worked? Jon Miller and Krukow had no sooner pointed out Casilla's history of success against Arenado(in other words, it was the matchup Bochy would have wanted anyway) than Arenado unloaded his bomb.

  3. Austin Slater - Impressive and I'm hoping he gets a call-up though I'm not sure if that's possible without kicking someone off the 40-man.

    He's hit for average everywhere, including Richmond where it's been difficult. He's also improved his swing or, perhaps, grown into some power. In 2014 + 2015 he hit a total of 5HRs. In 2016 he hit 5 at Richmond and 15 in the PCL. He's also transitioned to the OF (successfully by all reports and projects to be an above average defender) from 2B and we're going to need some CF/OF help sooner rather than later as Pagan and Blanco are FAs and (I'm guessing) likely gone next year while Pence is getting injury prone and Span is running out the age-clock in CF.

    Steven Duggar - Second behind Slater for current/near future needs. He's clearly an improving player but is probably at least a year away. He has great tools (++speed and a +arm) kind of guy. Looks more like an outstanding defensive CF with a good bat than a power-hitting corner OFer since he hit .321 at Richmond and .302 in A/AA for the year but only managed 11 dingers (in about 800 ABs) in the last two years. And while he's got a good BA, I've read he still has a way to go as a hitter as he's weak against breaking balls and his swing gets overly complicated at times.

    Honestly, and in many respects hate to say this, he looks like what Gary Brown was supposed to be. A guy who hits for average, has some pop to his bat but shouldn't try to be a power guy and his greatest asset is speed and range. None of which Brown ever managed to harness.

    Bryan Reynolds - The first of 'way too early to get excited over.' But at least he's started of strong instead of weak and it's a better way to start your climb in the organization ladder than failing and having to repeat.

    Heath Quinn - The second of 'way too early to get excited over.' But, like Reynolds, he's started of strong instead of weak which is a good thing.

    Sandro Fabian - The last of the 'way too early to get excited over.' But with his impressive rookie league debut as an 18-year-old he's someone to pay attention too as opposed to 'just another name.'

  4. 1. Austin Slater. I think is the real deal. He is hitting for more power ( Strengthening program or swinging different, or maybe just filling out with age?), hits good on the road, hits good with runners in scoring position and has good numbers in clutch situations. He also seems to favor lefthanded pitching. Has been playing LF and probably will stay there. Should hit for good average and a good on base percentage with more than just line drive pop. I wouldn't be suprised if he hit more than 20 HRs a couple of times. Next year should start at AAA, and get his first taste of the Majors next season. I think the Giants will bring in a vet to split with Williamson.
    2. Steven Duggar. I think Duggar has more upside than Slater. He seems to be a much better ballplayer now that he isn't in school anymore ( Academics or partying?). I think he should be able to stick in centerfield for the Giants, even though triples alley will be a test. For a lefthanded hitter he isn't bad versus lefthanded pitching. Not bad with runners in scoring position, but needs to improve as a base stealer in the worst way. I don't think he will have as much pop as Slater, but is faster and more athletic. Will be exciting to see what he does next season, almost a lock for AAA by the end of next season.
    3. Bryan Reynolds. He seems to have the tools and scouts like him. He is hitting in the low levels like he should, so thats a good sign and is playing CF. Its just to small of a sample size for me. Next year will tell us more, especially if he makes it to and prospers in San Jose.
    4. Heath Quinn. Power. I hate to admit it, but I am more excited about Quinn than Reynolds at this point. Same small sample size as Reynolds, but there is something about his bat that screams power that translates very well to the Majors with a good batting average. Is it fools gold or the real deal? But I think he will start where he left off in San Jose next season.
    5. Sandro Fabian. Is excelling at 18 in a league where the average age is about twenty, so that bodes well. He should get stonger in the coming seasons. Hits lefties good so far, and with runners in scoring position. Small sample size, but I know this is one of your boys and his upside is very promising.
    6. Dylan Davis. I am excited to see that Dylan Davis has made good strides in striking out less, hitting for higher average, has a very respectable OBP, while being promoted to San Jose without diminishing his power. He actually hit more HRs after being promoted. Aside from Eric Shaw, he probably has the best power in the farm system. I also think he will be promoted to Richmond next season. Maybe a Jay Bruce type. I think its now just starting to click with him, and he may struggle at first at richmond, but most do anyway.

  5. I really like reading all the comments. It's funny my order was the order they were in. But not everyone was that way.

    I weigh quite heavily to minor-league status (for up-and-coming prospects) and less on 'projected ceiling' than most people. Consequently since they're all performing well, they're all up-and-coming and Slater come the farthest, being in AAA...

    If Slater was is AA and Dugger in AAA... The order would be reversed.

    And there you have it.

  6. Do you see the Giants resigning one of Casilla, Romo, or Lopez?

    1. After tonight? No! But let's break it down: Although Bochy has doggedly stuck with Casilla, I think even he has his limits and is going to demand an upgrade from the front office for next year. The Giants are not going to wan to re-sign Casilla at the $6 M he's making now and Casilla is going to consider it an insult to take less. Romo is making $7 M this year and he's been hurt most of the season and still hasn't quite solved LH batters. Gotta think this might be his last season as a Giant too, sad as that thought is. Lopez will be, what, 39 years old next year? He's not the same guy he was in his heyday with the Giants. I don't think they are going to want to re-up him at $4 M or so.

      On the other hand, the Giants always seem to take care of their guys. It could come down to how the rest of the season turns out. They make another big run and the Giants just might feel forced to reward the guys. If they continue to slide into oblivion, the front office may decide to clean house.

    2. Boch pulled Casilla in a save situation last night. Maybe he is learning. I was at the 13 inning game Sunday and I have to admit, it felt like a loss when Casilla came in.

  7. I just read this:

    Richmond Flying Squirrels' right-hander Tyler Beede was named the Eastern League's Pitcher of the Week for the period of Aug. 29-Sept. 5, an award that comes after Beede won the league's ERA title (2.81).

    Beede, 23 and a former first-round draft choice of the San Francisco Giants, started a pair of games for the Flying Squirrels in the season's last week. He went 2-0 with 13 strikeouts in 15 innings, and posted a 0.60 ERA.