Friday, December 23, 2016

DrB's 2017 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #14 Dan Slania

Dan Slania, RHP.  DOB:  12/24/1992.  6'5", 275 lbs.  Drafted in 2013 Round 5 out of Notre Dame.

2016(3 levels):  11-8, 2.93, 119.2 IP, 35 BB, 111 K.

Dan Slania was a college closer at Notre Dame, but I've always thought he had a repertoire suited to starting.  The Giants used him exclusively as a reliever until 5/26/2016 when they abruptly switched him into the Richmond rotation replacing Chase Johnson, who went to the bullpen.  Slania put up a line of 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K's in that game and started the rest of the season, mostly with AA Richmond but a few with San Jose and Sacramento.  His final start of the season was for Sacramento on 9/2 with a line of 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 9 K's.  

Slania throws a low 90's FB with good command backed by a sharp slider and a pretty good changeup which allows him to be effective against LH batters.  I saw him pitch 2 innings for SJ a couple of years ago and was impressed by his command of the FB and his ability to keep hitters off balance with his secondary stuff.  He has a funky delivery with almost no backswing on his arm.  He just brings the ball up to his ear and fires, kind of like dart throwing.

It looks like the Giants will have a logjam in their Sacramento rotation, so it remains to be seen where Slania starts the 2017 season, but he could be an option for the rotation or long relief as the season progresses.


  1. The MLB Top 100 prospect ranking represents the sum (sort of) of course-skill ratings (by whom?) of a bunch of players (maybe all?).
    The Giants top 2 have a rating of "55" along with every prospect in the Top 100 from #13 to #100 -- 88 players in all. They all rate a 55!
    If 55 is the guiding factor -- it falls between average (50) and above average (60), there must be a way of distinguishing between the other 87 players with 55's.
    If you want a power guy, you'd like the 55 with the highest power rating? Similarly with "hit" or "field" and maybe "arm"?
    Could you say that Arroyo and Beede are actually tied for #12?
    Aside from the absurdity of this coarse and raw ranking, is there no one in the entire cast of MiLB who rates 70-80, "well above average"?
    Arroyo and Beede aren't just the only Giants in the Top 100, they are the only players in SF's system who rate above "average" -- over 50.
    You've said before that the Giants don't have the prospects to get certain players (Eaton? Davis?), and this system bears that out: Giants have only 2 @ 55 and none above 55. Two players above "average"!
    You have MLB's top Giants (#79 & #98) as your top 2. I think many agree on those being the best SF prospects although there are several guys who are older and more ready for MLB, who are already "up" but their potential is not, I guess, as high.
    Here's my real question: would you put a line between Arroyo/Beede and the rest, beginning with Reynolds, between "above average" and "average"?
    And would you put another line somewhere, maybe between, say Gregorio and Stratton? Are there gaps in your rating, where you don't think so-an-so could be any lower and another couldn't be any higher?
    Do YOU think the Giants system is as bad as it is "rated" (by someone)?
    Or do the Giants have a lot of "average" players who might catch lightning and find the end of the rainbow (pot of gold)?

    1. Lots of questions! I will try to address some of them.

      Yes, I would put Arroyo and Beede in a a top tier, although not be a huge margin. Second tier would go down to Sandro Fabian at #10.

      I agree with John Sickels that the Giants farm system is better than it looks on paper. I do think they have an unusually high number of "sleeper" or potential "breakout" prospects in the system.

      IMO, the 20-80 rating tool/skill rating system is a useless precisely because it makes almost all prospects look the same. For practical purposes, it's a scale of 50-70 because the analysts who use that system are afraid to give any 80's and any score below 50 makes the player a non-prospect.

      One last thought about rankings. As I always say, the narrative in the profile is much more important than the ranking. Don't get too hung up on rankings. They really don't mean a whole lot. Instead, read the narratives and get to know the players a little.(not to imply you are not doing that, just speaking in general about rankings).

    2. No only is arbitrary (how can you tell one 55 from another) but it's arbitrary by clubs. In 2015 we traded a prospect (Keury Mella) to the Reds. He was our 5th ranked prospect. He was not Top-100. And, in fact, we had just two Top-100 prospects (Arroyo & Beede).

      When he became a Cincinnati Reds prospect he was elevated into the mid-90s as a prospect while becoming their #5 prospect.

      There's an obvious disconnect. If he was 5th on both teams and the Top-5 Reds prospects were Top-100 worthy so were the Giants Top-5 when included Mella... So, yes, it's arbitrary to a great extent, even if they are sincere in their rankings.

  2. Slania is the reason I found this blog. This season should give us a better sense of what he will become. Right now I think his ceiling is a good #3. This guy is big. Looks like a 4-3 Defensive End.

  3. John Sickels may be right that the Giants system may be better in reality than it looks on paper and may have a number of sleepers. the problem comes when you want to make a serious trade that involves bona fide prospects, or how MLB GMs perceive prospects. the Giants can't match many teams, as they are called sleepers for a reason!

    thanks for the rankings and hot stove updates. great stuff as always.

    1. The Giants were able to make 3 solid midseason additions with a total of 7 additional years of contract control and still end up with a solid and deep farm system going into next season, so I would not say their farm system ranking has hindered them in acquiring talent by trade.