Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Scouting the 2017 Draft: Mark Vientos

Mark Vientos, SS, HS(FL).  B-R, T-R.  6'4", 190 lbs.

Vientos is a tall, lean 5-tool SS prospect out of Florida.  He's only got slightly above average speed at 6.99 for the 60(84 percentile), but throws 91 MPH from the IF(99 percentile).  His hit tool should project as his Time to Impact is just .102 sec(94 percentile).  He already has plus power in his bat but has oodles of projectable power in a lean(not skinny) frame.  Bonus:  He will only be 17 yo on drafter day.  Some scouting sites rate him as the top prospect in the entire draft!  Manny Machado is the most common comp that gets mentioned.  Like Machado, he is awfully big for a SS, but athletic enough to stick there, at least early in his career.


Updated Draft Board:

1.  Jordan Adell, OF, HS.
2.  Mark Vientos, SS, HS.
3.  Hunter Greene, RHP, HS
4.  Tanner Houck, RHP, College(Missouri)
5.  Alex Scherfff, RHP, HS
6.  JB Bakauskas, RHP, College(North Carolina)
7.  Jeren Kendall, OF, College(Vanderbilt)
8.  JJ Schwarz, C, College(Florida)
9.  Alex Faedo, RHP, College(Florida)
10.  Conner Uselton, OF, HS
11.  Royce Lewis, SS/OF, HS
12.  Tristan Beck, RHP, College(Stanford)
13.  Brandon McKay, LHP, College(Louisville)
14.  Hagen Danner, RHP, HS
15.  Alejandro Toral, 1B, HS

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Hot Stove Update: Mets Re-Sign Cespedes

The Mets and Yoenis Cespedes agreed to a 4 year/$110 M contract today which will keep Cespedes in New York through his age 34 season.  Although the pricetag is hefty, I expected Cespedes to get more.  He was by far the best free agent on the market and he's still relatively young for a  FA.  MLBTR projected him to get 5 years/$125 M.  Personally, I'm surprised he did not get a 6 year deal.  Of course, every baseball contract is a risk and Cespedes could suffer a career ending injury on Day 1, but in the current MLB economy, this is a good deal for the Mets and about as low risk as you can get.


Another move caught my eye yesterday.  The Brewers signed FA Eric Thames, who is returning from a stint in the Korean league, to a 3 year/$15 M contract.  That is a surprisingly big contract for a player with a resume as thin as Thames'.  The other interesting part of this deal is the BrewCrew DFA'd Chris Carter, who hit 41 dingers last year.  That's right, 41!  That got me to thinking.  Those 41 dingers might look awfully nice coming from the Giants left fielder in 2017!  Now, Carter played mostly 1B for the BrewCrew last year and his defensive metrics in LF have always been awful.  On the other hand, his defense in LF is not significantly worse than Michael Morse's was, and that worked out pretty well for the Giants.

Then I got to looking at what Mac Williamson's numbers look like projected to 600 PA's and you get close to 30 dingers by several routes.  Take Carter's 41 dingers playing half his games in Milwaukee and put him in AT&T Park for half his games and you get….maybe 30 HR's?  Consider that Big Mac was actually a fairly strongly positive defender last year and I'll put my faith in Mac.  Maybe  Billy Beane would be interested in signing Chris Carter?  Hey!  Chris Carter and Khris Davis might hit 100 dingers between them!


Jerry DiPoto, the Mariners GM, is becoming somewhat of a hero of mine for doing exactly what I have always thought should be done more, trading prospects for prospects. In his latest move, he sent former #6 overall pick, Alex Jackson, to the Braves for a couple of minor league pitchers who don't have Jackson's ceiling, but who are both a lot closer to the major leagues.  I actually like this deal a bit more for the Braves.  They were dealing from a big surplus of pitching prospects and Jackson, while still not putting up numbers to write home about, started to look unpathetic last year in low A ball.  In a league which is approximately equivalent to the SAL in terms of being pitching friendly, Jackson went .243/.332/.408, 11 HR, 8.9 BB%, 27 K% at age 20.  While it is not particularly young for the level and not what you are hoping for from a former #6 overall draft pick, it's also not Mendoza Line stuff either. I still like Jackson's ceiling.

The two pitchers DiPoto got in return both have great chances to be serviceable #4, 5 SP's but that's their ceiling.  He needed pitching depth and he got it, while giving up on Jackson's ceiling.


DiPoto also made an interesting prospect-only trade earlier in the offseason when he picked up former first rounder Richie Shaffer from the Rays in a 5 prospect-only swap.  Shaffer is kind of a mirror image of Alex Jackson as formerly highly touted hitting prospect who has not exactly set minor league hitting records and stumbled in his first taste of MLB action.  On the other hand, he hit 30 HR's over 3 levels in 2015 and it is still probably too early to give up on his ceiling.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

DrB's 2017 Giants Top 50 Prospects

After several weeks of thought, I really don't have any major change to the list, so we'll make it final.  As always, don't get too hung up on the exact order.  The real value of this exercise is to get better acquainted with future Giants and other minor leaguers in the organization.

(From the original post):  So I've spend some time this Thanksgiving weekend jotting down Giants prospect names, kind of doodling it on on paper.  I start with names off the top of my head.  Once I've exhausted that, I look down stat pages for all the minor league teams and basically fill out the rest of the list by level.  I then look for names I might have forgotten and for names that might deserve to be higher when I am doing the stat page by level thing.

1.  Christian Arroyo, IF
2.  Tyler Beede, RHP
3.  Bryan Reynolds, OF
4.  Ty Blach, LHP
5.  Austin Slater, OF
6.  Steven Duggar, OF
7.  Andrew Suarez, LHP
8.  Chris Shaw, 1B
9.  Heath Quinn, OF
10.  Sandro Fabian, OF
11. Steven Okert, LHP
12.  Joan Gregorio, RHP
13.  Chris Stratton, RHP
14.  Dan Slania, RHP
15.  CJ Hinojosa, SS
16.  Ryder Jones, 3B/1B
17.  Dylan Davis, OF
18.  Sam Coonrod, RHP
19.  Aramis Garcia, C
20.  Miguel Gomez, 3B
21.  Jonah Arenado, 1B
22.  Clayton Blackburn, RHP
23.  Matt Gage, LHP
24.  Cory Taylor, RHP
25.  Jalen Miller, 2B
26.  Kelvin Beltre, 3B
27.  Gustavo Cabrera, OF
28.  Hunter Cole, OF
29.  Reyes Maronta, RHP
30.  Rodolfo Martinez, RHP
31.  Dillon Dobson, 3B/1B
32.  Heath Slatton, RHP
33.  Johneswhy Fargas, OF
34.  Manuel Geraldo, IF
35.  Gio Brusa, OF
36.  Jose Vizcaino Jr, 3B
37.  TJ Bennett, 2B
38.  Jean Angomas, OF
39.  Melvin Adon, RHP
40.  Kevin Rivera, 2B
41.  Raffi Vizcaino, RHP
42.  Matt Krook, LHP
43.  Mac Marshall, LHP
44.  Ryan Howard, SS
45.  Jacob Heyward, OF
46.  Malique Zeigler, OF
47.  Sandro Cabrera, LHP
48.  Chase Johnson, RHP
49.  Jordan Johnson, RHP
50. Nick Hill, 3B
Honorable Mention(no particular order):  Rando Moreno IF, Daniel Carbonell OF, Matt Lujan LHP, Ali Castillo IF, Orlando Calixte IF/OF, Tyler Horan OF, Matt Winn C, Kyle Crick RHP, Preston Claiborne RHP, Ray Black RHP, Carlos Alvarado RHP, Cristian Paulino OF, Ronnie Jebavy OF, Ty Ross C, Hengerber Medina RHP, Logan Webb RHP, Tyler Cyr RHP, Skyler Ewing 1B, Jake McCasland RHP, Michael Connolly RHP, Dominic Mazza LHP, Cesar Yanez RHP, Ashford Fulmer OF, Brandon Van Horn SS, John Riley C, Ryan Kirby 1B, Woody Edwards OF, Victor Concepcion RHP, Kendry Melo RHP, Rayan Hernandez RHP, Garrett Williams LHP, Patrick Ruotolo RHP, Conner Menez LHP, Chris Falwell LHP, Jose Layer OF, Jeffrey Parra C, Cody Brickhouse C, Michael Bernal 2B, Mikey Edie OF, Will Albertson C, CJ Myers RHP, Caleb Baragar LHP, Alex Bostic LHP, Reagan Bazar RHP, Luis Amaya LHP, Cameron Avila-Leeper LHP, Tyler Rogers RHP, Ian Gardeck RHP.

I don't have a Dominican Dandies list yet.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Scouting the 2017 Draft: Jordan Adell

Jordan Adell, OF, HS(Louisville, KY).  B-R, T-R.  6'3" 205 lbs.

"Who is Jordan Adell?" might someday be a Jeopardy question.  The Answer is, "what could Bo Jackson have been had he played only baseball?"  Jordan Adell is an athlete with 5 big tools!  The PG numbers tell the story:

Running:  6.2 60.
Throwing:  96 MPH off the mound, 97 MPH from the OF.
Catching:  Yeah, he can catch.
Hit:  Key number is time to impact= .106 sec.  Range- .100-.121.
Power:  Exit Velocity= 99 MPH.  Has hit a ball 450 ft with a wood bat.

The only criticism I can see is there might not be much projection left in the body, but my goodness!  How much body do you need?  It does not look like a body that is going to age badly.  I'm going to put him in front of Hunter Greene on my draft board because I think Greene is going to be drafted as a pitcher while Adell will be on OF, and a CF at that.


DrB's Draft Board Updated:

1.  Jordan Adell, OF, HS.
2.  Hunter Greene, RHP, HS.
3.  Tanner Houck, RHP, College(Missouri).
4.  Alex Scherff, RHP, HS.
5.  JB Bakauskas, RHP, College(North Carolina).
6.  Jeren Kendall, OF, College(Vanderbilt).
7.  JJ Schwarz, C, College(Florida).
8.  Alex Faedo, RHP, College(Florida).
9.  Conner Uselton, OF, HS.
10.  Royce Lewis, SS/OF, HS.
11.  Tristan Beck, RHP, College(Stanford).
12.  Brandon McKay, LHP, College(Louisville).
13.  Hagen Danner, RHP, HS.
14.  Alejandro Toral, 1B, HS.

I moved Uselton ahead of Lewis because of the Time to Impact metric which I have a feeling is strongly correlated with the hit tool.  Uselton's was a fantastic .101 sec. or 99+ percentile while Lewis was a relatively slow .120 sec.

Scouting the Draft: 2016 First Round Review

We've talked many times about how the Giants got first round talent when they drafted Bryan Reynolds in the second round and second round talent with Heath Quinn in the second round.  I thought it might be both interesting and educational to review the first round draft picks and a few selected supplemental first and second round picks to compare early pro performances.

1.  Phillies:  Mickey Moniak, OF, HS.  B-L, T-R.  6'2", 185 lbs.

Rookie:  .284/.340/.409, 11 2B, 4 3B, HR, 10 SB, 11 BB, 35 K, 176 AB.

Solid start at an appropriate level.


2.  Reds:  Nick Senzel, 3B, College(Tennessee).  B-R, T-R.  6'1", 205 lbs.

Low A:  .379/.415/.567, 23 2B, 3 3B, 7 HR, 15 SB, 32 BB, 49 K, 210 AB.

Senzel can hit, for sure.  The 15 SB's surprised me.  The rap on him is he's already a corner IF, but hey, if you can hit like this, who cares?


3.  Braves:  Ian Anderson, RHP, HS.  6'3", 170 lbs.

R(GCL):  1-0, 0.00, 18 IP, 4 BB, 18 K.
R+(Appy):  0-2, 3.74, 21.2 IP, 8 BB, 18 K's.

Mid-90's FB.  I read one scouting report in BA that seemed to be saying he tends to lose velocity and command at about 50-60 pitches.  That should improve as he fills out his frame as long as he trains properly.


4.  Rockies:  Riley Pint, RHP, HS.  6'4", 195 lbs.

R(Pioneer):  1-5, 5.35, 37 IP, 23 BB, 36 K's.

The buzz on Pint is velocity, 102 MPH in HS prior to the draft.  Sat easily in the upper 90's in his pro debut.  Command is a work in progress.


5.  Brewers:  Corey Ray, OF, College(Louisville).  B-L, T-L.  5'11", 185 lbs.

High A:  .247/.307/.385, 13 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR, 9 SB, 20 BB, 54 K, 231 AB.
Low A:  .083/.313/.083, 12 AB.

High A is a very aggressive placement for a new draftee.  He was demoted to low A, which is itself fairly aggressive.  Disappointing start to his pro career, but I would not write him off yet.  I think this may have more to with the Brewers not placing him appropriately.  Hopefully there is no lasting psychological damage.


6.  Athletics:  AJ Puk, LHP, College(Florida).  6'7", 220 lbs.

Short Season:  0-4, 3.03, 32.2 IP, 12 BB, 40 K's.

The K's and the BB's look good here.


7.  Marlins:  Braxton Garrett, LHP, HS.  Signed late.  Did not play.


8.  Padres:  Cal Quantrill, RHP, College(Stanford).  6'2", 165 lbs.

Rookie:  0-2, 5.27, 13.2 IP, 2 BB, 16 K.
Short Season:  0-2, 1.93, 18.2 IP, 2 BB, 28 K.
Low A:  0.1, 17.36, 4.2 IP, 4 BB, 2 K's.

First two stops looked great.  We'll write off the Low A numbers as SSS and fatigue.


9.  Tigers:  Matt Manning, RHP, HS.  6'6", 190 lbs.

Rookie:  0-2, 3.99, 29.1 IP, 7 BB, 46 K's.

Dominant secondary stats at an appropriate level.


10.  White Sox:  Zach Collins, C, College(Miami).  B-L, T-R.  6'3", 220 lbs.

High A:  .258/.418/.467, 7 2B, 6 HR, 33 BB, 39 K, 120 AB.

Some 3 true outcomes stuff going on here.  If enough of those outcomes are dingers, you can do worse from the catcher position.


11.  Mariners:  Kyle Lewis, OF, College(Mercer).  B-R, T-R.  6'4", 210 lbs.

Short Season:  .299/.385/.530, 8 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 3 SB, 16 BB, 22 K, 117 AB.

Nice mix of contact, plate discipline, BA and SLG% here.


12.  Red Sox:  Jason Groome, LHP, HS.  6'6", 220 lbs.

Rookie:  0-0, 2.25, 4 IP, 0 BB, 8 K.
Short Season:  0-0, 3.38, 2.2 IP, 4 BB, 2 K's.

Polarizing prospect.  Non-baseball issues may get in the way of his talent.  Many thought the Phils would take him #1 overall.  Very late to sign.  Tiny sample size here.  10 K's in 6.2 IP is a good start.


13.  Rays:  Josh Lowe, 3B, HS.  B-L, T-R.  6'4", 190 lbs.

Rookie:  .258/.386/.409, 6 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 20 BB, 27 K, 93 AB.
Short Season:  .238/.360/.400, 6 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 17 BB, 32 K, 80 AB.

Impressive for a HS draftee to get 80 AB in Short Season ball.  Gotta wonder about a kid who is already a corner IF out of HS.  3 true outcomes feel here.


14.  Indians:  Will Benson, OF, HS.  B-L, T-L.  6'5", 225 lbs.

Rookie:  .215/.326/.430, 10 2B, 3 3B, 6 HR, 10 SB, 22 BB, 60 K, 158 AB.

Speaking of 3 true outcomes, did Adam Dunn clone himself?


15.  Twins:  Alex Kiriloff, OF, HS.  B-L, T-L.  6'2", 195 lbs.

R+(Appy):  .306/.341/.454, 9 2B, 3B, 7 HR, 11 BB, 32 K, 216 AB.

Nice numbers for a pro debut.


16.  Angels:  Matt Thaiss, C, College(Virginia).  B-L, T-R.  6'0", 195 lbs.

R(Pioneer):  .338/.394/.569, 7 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 4 BB, 4 K, 65 AB.
Low A:  .276/.351/.427, 12 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR, 22 BB, 28 K, 199 AB.

Love the numbers here.  Could be a fast mover.  Angels will have to resist the urge to rush him as they desperately need production from the catcher position.


17.  Astros:  Forest Whitely, RHP, HS.  6'7", 240 lbs.

Rookie:  1-1, 7.36, 7.1 IP, 3 BB, 13 K.
R+:  0-1, 3.18, 11.1 IP, 3 BB, 13 K.

SSS. Nice ratios.


18.  Yankees:  Blake Rutherford, OF, HS.  B-L, T-R.  6'3", 195 lbs.
R:  .240/.333/.400, 25 AB.
R+:  .382/.440/.618, 7 2B, 4 3B, 2 HR, 9 BB, 24 K, 89 AB.

Another polarizing prospect.  Some see him falling to the Yankees at #18 as a sign the draft is manipulated.  20 yo in first full season is old for a HS draftee.


19.  Mets:  Justin Dunn, RHP, College(Boston College).  6'2", 195 lbs.

Short Season:  1-1, 1.50, 30 IP, 10 BB, 35 K.

About what you would expect for a #19 college pick in short season ball.


20.  Dodgers:  Gavin Lux, SS, HS.  B-L, T-R.  6'2", 190 lbs.

R:  .281/.365/.385, 10 2B, 5 3B, 25 BB, 43 K, 192 AB.
R+(Pioneer):  .387/.441/.484, 3 BB, 8 K, 31 AB.

About what you would expect from a HS draftee in rookie ball.  Pioneer League is an extreme hitter's league.


21.  Blue Jays:  Tim Zeuch, RHP, College(Pittsburgh).  6'7", 225 lbs.

Rookie:  0-0, 0.00, 3 IP, 0 BB, 2 K.
Short Season:  0-1, 3.52, 23 IP, 5 BB, 22 K.
Low A:  0-1, 9.00, 8 IP, 2 BB, 14 K.

Small sample. Ratios look good.


22.  Pirates:  Will Craig, 3B, College(Wake Forest).  B-R, T-R.  6'3", 212 lbs.

Short Season:  .280/.412/.362, 12 2B, 2 HR, 41 BB, 37 K, 218 AB.

Terrific plate discipline.  Might want to see more power out of a college corner IF draftee.


23.  Cardinals:  Delvin Perez, SS, HS(PR).  B-R, T-R.  6'3", 175 lbs.

Rookie:  .294/.352/.393, 8 2B, 4 3B, 12 SB, 12 BB, 28 K, 163 AB.

I think I remember really liking this kid's scouting report.  Love the early numbers.  Cards do a great job of drafting.


24.  Padres:  Hudson Potts, SS, HS.  B-R, T-R.  6'3", 205 lbs.

Rookie:  .295/.333/.399, 12 2B, 2 3B, HR, 8 SB, 9 BB, 34 K, 183 AB.
Short Season:  .233/.352/.267, 9 BB, 13 K, 60 AB.

Nice numbers at the appropriate level.  Big for a SS. Will he stick there?


25.  Padres:  Eric Lauer, LHP, College(Kent St).  6'3", 205 lbs.

Rookie:  0-1, 6.75, 4 IP, 1 BB, 7 K.
Short Season:  1-0, 1.44, 25 IP, 7 BB, 28 K.
Low A:  0-0, 0.00, 2 IP, 1 BB, 2 K.

Ratios look good.


26.  White Sox:  Zack Burdi, RHP, College(Louisville).  6'3", 205 lbs.

Rookie:  0-0, 0.00, 1 IP, 0 BB, 1 K.
High A:  0-0, 5.40, 5 IP, 0 BB, 4 K.
AA:  0-0, 3.94, 16 IP, 9 BB, 24 K.
AAA:  1-0, 2.25, 16 IP, 11 BB, 22 K.

Talk about fast-tracking!  Hard throwing college closer who could be pitching for the White Sox in 2017.


27.  Orioles:  Cody Sedlock, RHP, College(Illinois).  6'3", 190 lbs.

Short Season:  0-1, 3.00, 27 IP, 13 BB, 25 K.

OK numbers at an appropriate level.


28.  Nationals:  Carter Kieboom, SS, HS.  B-R, T-R.  6'2", 190 lbs.

Rookie:  .244/.323/.452, 8 2B, 4 3B, 4 HR, 12 BB, 43 K, 135 AB.

More 3 true outcomes stuff going on here.


29.  Nationals:  Dane Dunning, RHP, College(Florida).  6'4", 200 lbs.

Short Season:  3-2, 2.14, 33.2 IP, 7 BB, 29 K.

OK numbers at an appropriate level.


30.  Rangers:  Cole Ragans, LHP, HS.  6'4", 190 lbs.

Rookie:  0-0, 4.70, 7.2 IP, 6 BB, 9 K's.

Tiny sample size.


31.  Mets:  Anthony Kay, LHP, College(Connecticut).  Signed late.  DNP.


32.  Dodgers:  Will Smith, C, College(Louisville).  B-R, T-R.  6'0", 192 lbs.

R+(Pioneer):  .321/.394/.429, 28 AB.
Low A:  .256/.371/.305, 11 BB, 18 K, 82 AB.
High A:  .216/.330/.320, 14 BB, 31 K, 97 AB.

Lots of walks, lots of K's.


33.  Cardinals:  Dylan Carlson, OF, HS.  B-S, T-R.  6'3", 195 lbs.

Rookie:  .251/.313/.404, 13 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 16 BB, 52 K, 183 AB.

Did some good things, but lots of K's.


34.  Cardinals:  Dakota Hudson, RHP, College(Mississippi St.).  6'5", 215 lbs.

Rookie:  1-0, 0.00, 4 IP, 0 BB, 9 K.
Short Season:  1-1, 0.96, 9.1 IP, 7 BB, 10 K's.



Other notable draftees in 1S and 2'nd rounds:

35.  Reds:  Taylor Trammel, OF, HS.  B-L, T-L.  6'2", 195 lbs.

R+(Pioneer):  .303/.374/.421, 9 2B, 6 3B, 2 HR, 24 SB, 23 BB, 57 K, 228 AB.

Pioneer League, but still, nice numbers.


36.  Dodgers:  Jordan Sheffield, RHP, College(Vanderbilt).  6'0", 185 lbs.

Rookie:  0-0, 0.00, 1 IP, 0 BB, 0 K.
Low A:  0-1, 4.09, 11 IP, 6 BB, 13 K's.

Unimpressive results but a SSS.


37.  Athletics:  Daulton Jeffries, RHP, College(Cal).  6'0", 180 lbs.

Rookie:  0-0, 2.38, 11.1 IP, 2 BB, 17 K's.

Performing well at a low level is better than performing poorly.


38.  D'Backs:  Anfernee Grier, OF, Auburn.  B-R, T-R.  6'1", 180 lbs.

R+:  .214/.267/.500, 14 AB.
Short Season:  .240/.278/.307, 9 SB, 3 BB, 21 K, 75 AB.

Still early in his career, but those numbers are not what you are hoping to see from a pro debut.


46.  Brewers:  Lucas Erceg, 3B, JC(CA).  B-L, T-R.  6'3", 200 lbs.

R+:  .400/.452/.552, 8 2B, 2 HR, 8 BB, 16 K, 105 AB.
Low A:  .281/.328/.497, 9 2B, 3 3B, 7 HR, 12 BB, 38 K, 167 AB.

Erceg can hit. Nice get for the BrewCrew here.


53.  Ryan Boldt, OF, College(Nebraska).  B-L, T-R.  6'2", 210 lbs.

Short Season:  .210/.273/.263, 167 AB.

Disappointing numbers.



1.  If you are still wondering why lefty relievers are so valuable, note the number of B-L, T-R draftees here.

2.  Although most of the draftees got off to good starts, Reynolds in round 2 and Quinn in round 3 look awfully good for the Giants.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Black Friday Q/A

Black Friday. I am off work.  Not a shopper.  Great day for a Black Friday Q/A.  Keep those questions coming, Giants, Giants Prospects, Draft, Fantasy Baseball.  What's on your mind?

Scouting the 2017 Draft: Royce Lewis

Royce Lewis, SS/OF.  B-R, T-R.  6'2", 190 lbs.  Junipero Serra HS, San Juan Capistrano, CA.

Royce Lewis is a 5 tool athlete.  Above average speed.  Plus arm hitting 98 MPH from the OF, 95 MPH on IF throws.  He's got present power in his swing with room to grow.  His defense at SS was suspect, but improved significantly over the past year.  He's got a lean body on a large frame that looks like it can easily carry another 15-20 lbs.  Long legs.  BA ranks him as their #2 HS draft prospect.


DrB's Updated 2017 Draft Board:

1.  Hunter Greene, RHP, HS.
2.  Tanner Houck, RHP, Missouri.
3. Alex Scherff, RHP, HS.
4.  JB Bakauskas, RHP, North Carolina.
5.  Jeren Kendall, OF, Vanderbilt.
6.  JJ Schwarz, C, Florida.
7.  Alex Faedo, RHP, Florida.
8.  Royce Lewis, SS/OF, HS.
9. Conner Uselton, OF, HS.
10.  Tristan Beck, RHP, Stanford.
11.  Brandon McKay, LHP, Louisville.
12.  Hagen Danner, RHP, HS.
13.  Alejandro Toral, 1B, HS.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Hot Stove Update: D'Backs and Mariners Swap 5 Players

The D'Backs and Mariners made a significant trade on the eve of Thanksgiving Day.  The most recognizable names were RHP Taijuan Walker going to the D'Backs and SS/2B Jean Segura moving to the Mariners.  The D'Backs also get SS Ketel Marte while the Mariners add OF Mitch Haniger and LHP Zac Curtis. Let's break it down:

Mariners Acquire:

Jean Segura, SS/2B, 27 yo.  B-R, T-R.  5'11", 160 lbs.  2016:  .319/.368/.499, 20 HR, 33 SB, 5.6 BB%, 14.6 K%.  Segura will move from 2B with the D'Backs to SS for the Mariners.  He had a great season in 2016 but not so good in 2014 and 2015 after a breakout season in 2013 with the BrewCrew.  There is a new sheriff in town in Phoenix(I guess in more ways than one) and new GM Mike Hazen apparently decided to not take a chance on Segura having turned the corner and sold high.  It's a bit of a risk for the Mariners, but Segura has the tools to keep it going.  He will be moving to a less hitter friendly environment.

Mitch Haniger, OF, 25 yo.  B-R, T-R.  6'2", 180 lbs.  AA:  .294/.407/.462, 5 HR, 4 SB, 12.7 BB%, 17.7 K%, 236 PA.  AAA:  .341/.428/.670, 20 HR, 8 SB, 12.5 BB%, 19.9 K%, 312 PA.  MLB:  .229/.309/.404, 5 HR, 9.8 BB%, 22 K%, 123 PA.  Haniger is a Cal Poly SLO alum who hit his way up the chain in the D'Backs organization.  Has a chance to earn a starting OF job in a very thin Mariners roster for OF's.  Good all around hitter with some power potential.

Zac Curtis, LHP, 24 yo.  5'9", 190 lbs.  A+:  1-0, 5.22, 10.1 IP, 4.35 BB/9, 19.16 K/9.  AA:  0-1, 3.20, 19.2 IP, 2.75 BB/9, 13.73 K/9.  MLB:  0-1, 6.75, 13.1 IP, 8.78 BB/9, 6.75 K/9.  Lefty specialist prospect.  Probably needs a bit more salt in the minors.

D'Backs Acquire:

Taijuan Walker, RHP, 24 yo. 6'4", 210 lbs.  8-11, 4.22, 134.1 IP, 2.48 BB/9, 7.97 K/9.  Hard throwing, high ceiling RHP who has not quite lived up to expectations, possibly due to nagging injuries.

Ketel Marte, SS, 24 yo.  B-S, T-R.  6'1", 180 lbs.  MLB:  .259/.287/.323, HR, 11 SB, 3.9 BB%, 18 K%, 466 PA.  High ceiling player who had a disappointing first full season in MLB.  D'Backs obviously think he will improve on last year's numbers.  D'Backs may move him to 2B.

This is kind of an interesting trade.  Mike Hazen comes in an unloads one of Dave Stewart's prized acquisitions, maybe the best acquisition Stew made in his tenure.  He bolsters the pitching staff in return with an immediate #3/4 SP with potential for at least a #2.  He is also betting on Marte reaching his very high ceiling and making D'Backs fans forget about Segura who might have been their best player in 2016.

The Mariners are betting the Segura's 2016 was not a fluke and this down years in 2014 and 2015 were due to a family tragedy.  They also needed help in the OF and Haniger may well be the guy to solidify LF for them.  Curtis seems to be a throw-in.  The loss of Walker leaves the Mariners thin at SP with a starting 5 of James Paxton, Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, Wade Miley and Nate Karns.  You have to wonder if they know something about Walker that is not obvious to everyone else.  Gotta admit, Walker has been a bit of an underachiever.

The best current player in the trade is Segura and if he continues to play like he did last year, this trade is a clear win for the Mariners.  You have to hope for a breakout from every other player in the trade.  If everybody reaches their ceiling, a big if, it's close to an even trade.

Scouting the Draft: Giants 2016 Draft Review Rounds 31-40

Round 31:  Adam Laskey, RHP, HS.  Did not sign.


Round 32:  John Timmins, RHP.  23 yo.  6'6", 215 lbs.  College- Bellevue(NE).  Highest Level- Short Season.

Rookie:  0-1, 4.50, 8 IP, 8 BB, 3 K, 3 Saves.
Short Season:  0-0, 8.16, 14.1 IP, 6 BB, 3 K's.

Like the height.  Appears to be a project.  Grade C-.


Round 33:  Jarrett Montgomery, RHP, JC(FL).  Did Not Sign.


Round 34:  CJ Gettman, RHP.  23 yo.  6'5", 215 lbs.  College- Central Washington.  Highest Level- Short Season.

Rookie:  0-0, 0.00, 1 IP, 0 BB, 1 K.
Short Season:  1-0, 2.78, 22.2 IP, 12 BB, 27 K.

Good number with S-K.  SSS.  Grade B.


Round 35:  Sidney Duprey, LHP.  20 yo.  6'3", 230 lbs.  JC(IL).  Highest Level- Short Season.

Rookie:  2-2, 1.61, 22.1 IP, 10 BB, 17 K.
Short Season:  0-0, 5.06, 5.1 IP, 0 BB, 5 K's.

Like the numbers and size.  Love that 2017 will be just his age 20 season.  Grade B+.


Round 36:  Ryan Matranga, C.  22 yo.  B-R, T-R.  5'10", 195 lbs.  College- San Francisco.  Highest Level- Rookie.

Rookie:  .333/.333/.556, 9 AB(2 of 3 hits were doubles.

Nice numbers in a tiny sample size at a low level.  Sleeper? Grade C.


Round 37:  Christoph Bono, OF.  24 yo.  B-L, T-R.  6'1", 185 lbs.  College- UCLA.  Highest Level- Rookie.

Rookie:  .194/.333/.258, 2 2B, 3B, 4 SB, 62 AB.

No bueno for a college senior draftee to be overmatched in rookie ball.  Grade D-.


Round 38:  David Lee, RHP, JC(FL).  Did Not Sign.


Round 39:  Andrew DiPiazza, RHP, JC(NJ).  Did Not Sign.


Round 40:  Nick Bennett, LHP, HS(OH).  Did Not Sign.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Scouting the 2017 Draft: Conner Uselton

Conner Uselton, OF, HS(OK).  B-R, T-R.  6'3", 185 lbs.  Conner Uselton is a potential 5-tool OF prospect out of Oklahoma.  To show what kind of an athlete he is, he was the starting QB on his HS football team as a freshman, then gave up football to concentrate on baseball.  He has close to the ideal baseball body, tall but not too tall.  Lean but strong.  Long arms and legs but not too long.  He has a frame which can easily support an additional 20 lbs as he fills out.  As for tools, he is an above average runner with a plus whippy arm that was clocked at 95 MPH on an OF throw.  He profiles as a future RF.  At the plate, he generates present power with tremendous bat head speed through the strike zone with a whippy swing.  It's a fairly simple swing but comes with some loading that may need to be shortened up a bit to handle high velocity pitching.  Definitely a prospect to dream on with some risk in the bat.  The comp that came to my mind seeing him on video is Jack Clark.


Updated Draft Board:

1.  Hunter Greene, RHP, HS.
2.  Tanner Houck, RHP, Missouri
3.  Alex Scherff, RHP, HS.
4.  JB Bakauskas, RHP, North Carolina.
5.  Jeren Kendall, OF, Vanderbilt.
6.  JJ Schwarz, C, Florida.
7.  Alex Faedo, RHP, Florida
8.  Conner Uselton, OF, HS.
9.  Tristan Beck, RHP, Stanford.
10.  Brendan McKay, LHP, Louisville.
11.  Hagen Danner, RHP, HS.
12.  Alejandro Toral, 1B, HS.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Scouting the Draft: Giants 2016 Draft Review Rounds 21-30

Round 21:  Will Alberston, C.  22 yo.  B-R, T-R.  5'11", 190 lbs.  College- Catawba(NC).  Highest Level- Rookie.

Rookie:  .213/.245/.277, 47 AB.

Rough introduction to pro ball for Albertson who abused his small college opposition with a .400+ BA.    SSS.  Grade D.


Round 22:  Malique Zeigler, OF.  20 yo.  B-R, T-R.  6'2", 170 lbs.  JC(Iowa).  Highest Level- Rookie.

Rookie:  .290/.384/.419, 62 AB.

Love the pick.  I think Zeigler has a very intriguing upside.  Good showing in rookie ball, not age inappropriate.  Grade B.


Round 23:  Jake Greenwalt, RHP.  19 yo.  6'1", 170 lbs.  HS(CO).  Highest Level- Rookie.

Rookie:  0-1, 5.79, 18.2 IP, 10 BB, 13 K.

Got his toe in the water in rookie ball.  Grade C.


Round 24:  Jeffrey Parra, C.  19 yo.  B-R, T-R.  6'0", 195 lbs.  HS(NY).  Highest Level- Rookie.

Rookie:  .275/.370/.375, HR, 40 AB.

Held his own in his pro debut at an age appropriate level.  SSS.

Grade B.


Round 25:  Mike Rescigno, RHP.  Did Not Sign.


Round 26:  Nick Hill, OF.  22 yo.  B-R, T-R.  6'4", 190 lbs.  College- Eckard(FL).  Highest Level- Short Season.

Rookie:  .263/.330/.343, 8 2B, 3 3B, 17 SB, 175 AB.
Short Season:  .231/.231/.308, 13 AB.

Showed some athleticism and speed, but needs to prove it at a higher level.  Moved to 3B for his pro debut.  Grade B.


Round 27:  Patrick Ruotolo, RHP.  22 yo.  5'10", 218 lbs.  College- Connecticut.  Highest Level- Short Season.

Rookie:  0-0, 0-00, 5 IP, 0 BB, 7 K's.
Short Season:  2-2, 1.42, 19 IP, 14 BB, 35 K, 4 Saves.

Ruotolo seems to have early dibs on the Closer Track.  A bit on the wild side, but gotta love the K's.  Grade B+.


Round 28:  Jayden O'Dell, RHP.  Did Not Sign.


Round 29:  Mike Bernal, SS.  24 yo.  B-R, T-R.  5'11", 190 lbs.  College- Arkansas.  Highest Level- Rookie.

Rookie:  .260/.337/.473, 11 2B, 4 3B, 4 HR, 146 AB.

Showed some pop but very old for level and old for a draftee.  Grade C+.


Round 30:  Nick Deeg, LHP.  21 yo.  6'5", 225 lbs.  College- Central Michigan.  Highest Level- Rookie.

Rookie:  1-1, 4.12, 19.2 IP, 7 BB, 19 K.

Big lefty with a middling pro debut at a low level.  Grade C-.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Scouting the 2017 Draft: Brendan McKay

Brendan McKay is a true 2-way player for Univ. of Louisville where he is a LHP and 1B/DH who also bats LH.  Most analysts believe he will be drafted and developed as a pitcher in the pros.  He is a sturdy LHP at 6'2", 215 lbs.  His calling card is "incredible" FB command although 1 scouting report said he would not "overpower anyone."  On video, he has an upright delivery with a tightly circled over-the-top release point.  He has a bit of a crossover which helps him hide the ball from the batter.  Here are his pitching stats for his first 2 seasons at Louisville:

2015:  9-3, 1.77, 96.2 IP, 34 BB, 117 K.
2016:  12-4, 2.30, 109.2 IP, 42 BB, 128 K.

His batting line from last year:

.333/.414/.513, 19 2B, 6 HR, 228 AB.

I am not a huge fan of pitchability college LHP's nor am I a big fan of 2-way players, but we may be seeing a trend toward managers finding unique ways to use pitchers who can also hit and/or field a position.  I could see McKay finding a Travis Wood role where he is a lefty specialist on he mound and shuttles between a position and the mound depending on who the opposing hitter is.

One scouting comp I saw was Mark Buerhle, which does not inspire a ton of enthusiasm on my part.


Updated Draft Board:

1.  Hunter Greene, RHP, HS.
2.  Tanner Houck, RHP, Missouri
3.  Alex Scherff, RHP, HS.
4.  JB Bakauskas, RHP, North Carolina.
5.  Jeren Kendall, OF, Vanderbilt
6.  JJ Schwarz, C, Florida.
7.  Alex Faedo, RHP, Florida.
8.  Tristan Beck, RHP, Stanford
9.  Brendan McKay, LHP, Louisville.
10.  Hagen Danner, RHP, HS.
11.  Alejandro Toral, 1B, HS.

Scouting the Draft: 2016 Giants Draft Review Rounds 11-20

Round 11:  Jason Delay, C, Vanderbilt.  Did not sign.


Round 12:  Ryan Kirby, 1B.  22 yo.  B-L, T-R.  6'2", 180 lbs.  College- San Diego.  Highest Level- SS.

Rookie:  .375/.333/.375, 8 AB.
Short Season:  .260/.345/.398, 16 2B, 3 HR, 22 BB, 49 K, 196 AB.

Pretty good plate discipline.  May be underpowered for a 1B.  Grade B-


Round 13:  Jose Layer, OF.  20 yo.  B-R, T-R.  6'0", 160 lbs.  HS PR.  Highest Level- Rookie.

Rookie:  .283/.356/.377, 5 2B, 5 BB, 7 K, 53 AB.

Giants love to take fliers on PR HS kids in the early teen rounds.  No exception here.  Love the upside. Very nice little pro debut.  Hit .324 over his last 10 games(out of 13 total).  Grade B


Round 14:  Conner Menez, LHP.  22 yo.  6'3", 195 lbs.  College- The Masters(Santa Clarita, CA).  Highest Level- High A.

Rookie:  2-0, 2.57, 21 IP, 4 BB, 26 K.
Short Season:  0-1, 7.20, 5 IP, 1 BB, 4 K.
High A:  2-0, 4.94, 27.1 IP, 11 BB, 20 K.

Pitched 6.2 shutout innings in his final start 9/2 against Visalia.  Grade B


Round 15:  DJ Myers, RHP.  22 yo.  6'5", 255 lbs.  College- UNLV.  Highest Level- AAA.

Rookie:  3-2, 1.70, 58.1 IP, 5 BB, 52 K, GO/AO= 1.50.
AAA:  0-0. 0.00, 1 IP, 0 BB, 1 K.

Big body RHP.  Not sure why he pitched so many innings in rookie ball.  Pitched 1 shutout inning for Sacramento.  Does that get him ticketed to SJ?  AA?  AAA?  Giants sometimes do unexpected things with their placements.  Grade B


Round 16:  Chris Falwell, LHP.  22 yo.  6'7", 210 lbs.  College- Texas A&M, Corpus Christi.  Highest Level- Short Season.

Rookie:  3-1, 2.73, 33 IP, 12 BB, 20 K, GO/AO= 1.17.
Short Season:  0-0, 5.40, 1.2 IP, 0 BB, 2 K.

All appearances were in relief.  Giants like their tall pitchers.  They like their tall LHP's even better.  Falwell is probably a future lefty specialist.  Grade C


Round 17:  Reagan Bazar, RHP.  22 yo.  6'7", 250 lbs.  College- Louisiana-Lafayette.  Highest Level- Rookie.

Rookie:  2-2, 4.91, 18.1 IP, 13 BB, 15 K, GO/AO= 2.00.

Big!  Hard Thrower!  Wild hair up his nose!  Project with a high ceiling and a high risk.  Why not?  Grade D


Round 18:  Jacob Heyward, OF.  21 yo.  B-R, T-R.  6'3", 210 lbs.  College- Auburn.  Highest Level- Short Season.

Rookie:  .337/.488/.579, 10 2B, 5 3B, HR, 24 BB, 30 K, 95 AB.
Short Season:  .286/.444/.429, 2 2B, 3 BB, 3 K, 14 AB.

Jason Heyward's lil' bro.  Not sure how he lasted until round 18.  Love the pick!  Spent too much time in rookie ball.  Went 3 for 3 with a BB in his final game for Salem-Keizer.  Grade B


Round 19:  Brandon Van Horn, SS.  23 yo.  B-R, T-R.  6'2", 175 lbs.  College- The Masters(Santa Clarita, CA).  Highest Level- Short Season.

Rookie:  .231/.328/.300, 7 2B, 2 3B, 24 BB, 47 K, 160 AB.
Short Season:  .286/.375/.714, HR, BB, K, 7 AB.

Slick fielding college SS.  Bat is a project.  Grade C


Round 20:  Justin Alleman, RHP.  23 yo.  6'1", 220 lbs.  College- Lee(TN).  Highest Level- Rookie.

0-0, 11.81, 5.1 IP, 1 BB, 4 K.

Sturdy RHP.  Obviously a project.  Grade D-

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Hot Stove Update: Cardinals Sign Brett Cecil

The Cardinals bolstered the left side of their bullpen by signing Lefty Brett Cecil to a 4 year/$30.5 M contract, a figure that some analysts find just a bit startling.  Cecil has been a solid, if unspectacular reliever over the course of his career, but he's not a closer and was used more as a lefty specialist last season by the  Toronto Blue Jays.  He is coming off a season in which he missed the better part of 2 months with a torn oblique muscle.  His final line from 2016:  1-7, 3.93, 36.2 IP, 1.96 BB/9, 11.05 K/9.  The 20% HR/FB should improve in St Louis, but that is still a lot of dingers to give up.  It also took him 54 appearances to accumulate the 36.2 IP, so he averaged right at 2 outs per appearance.

I don't know if there is any such thing as an overpay in MLB anymore, but if there is, this contract would fit the description.  More importantly, it likely sets an absolute floor for any reliever with closing on his resume.   I mean, there might even be hope for Santiago Casilla to get more than the $6.5 M he got from the Giants last year!  Just think of what the elite guys, including Mark Melancon, are going to get!  The Giants might want to start exploring the trade market for the closer they need for next year.

Hot Stove Update: Giants Add Minor League Free Agents

We already talked about Orlando Calixte who the Giants added to the 40 man MLB roster days after signing him to a minor league contract.  They also signed 3 other notable minor league deals in the past week:

Wynton Bernard, OF, 26 yo, B-R, T-R.  6'2", 195 lbs.  .279/.344/.396, 13 2B, 5 3B, 7 HR, 23 SB in 376 AB(AA/AAA).  Bernard was drafted by the Padres in 2012 but played last year in the Detroit Tigers organization.  He is fast and plays mostly CF.

Juniel Querecuto, IF, 24 yo, B-S, T-R.  5'9", 155 lbs.  .241/.298/.341, 19 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 340 AB(AAA).  Querecuto comes out of the Rays organization.  He went 1 for 11 with a triple with the MLB club last year.  He played mostly SS.

Michael Roth, LHP, 27 yo.  6'1", 210 lbs.  11-5, 2.97, 145.1 IP, 42 BB, 94 K, GO/AO= 1.31(AAA).  Roth is a well known name in prospect watching circles.  Classic polished college lefty drafted out of South Carolina in 2012.  Has always pitched well in the minors but has gotten bombed in several MLB trials.  He probably just does not have the stuff to get MLB hitters out.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Hot Stove Update: Giants Add 5 Players To 40 Man Roster

The Giants were the last team to report their 40 man roster additions today.  Added were Reyes Maronta, Chase Johnson, Dan Slania, Miguel Gomez and a surprise, Orlando Calixte who was recently signed as a minor league FA.  The first 4 are not surprising, although I thought the Giants might protect Tyler Rogers over Chase Johnson.  Calixte is a SS prospect out of the Royals organization.  He will be 25 yo in 2017 and put up some interesting numbers last year:  .274/.324/.420, 26 2B, 5 3B, 11 HR, 19 SB 37 BB, 99 K in 471 AB splitting time between AA and AAA.

This leaves RHP Tyler Rogers as the most likely target of other organizations in the upcoming Rule 5 Draft.

Down on the Farm: Arizona Fall League Summary

The Arizona Fall League wrapped up yesterday, well, except for the championship game tomorrow, but the Scottsdale Scorpions are not playing in that one, so all of the Giants prospects who participated are done.  The two Giants prospects who probably helped themselves the most in this year's AFL were Ryder Jones and Chris Stratton who both had solid fall campaigns.  Here is a complete list of Giants prospect stat lines for the AFL with some comments:

Ryder Jones- .302/.380/.429, 2 2B, 2 HR, 7 BB, 16 K, 63 AB.  Jones just keeps working his way up the ladder.  Very nice effort in the AFL coming on the heels of a 15 HR season in Richmond.  Will it be enough to get him to Sacramento to start 2017?

Hunter Cole- .235/.316/.338, 2B, 2 HR, 8 BB, 17 K, 68 AB.  Cole started off hot, but cooled off in later in the fall campaign.

Aramis Garcia- .191/.304/.277, 2B, HR, 5 BB, 17 K, 47 AB.  Not a good line, but Garcia needed AB's and reps behind the plate after missing a big chunk of 2016 with fractured facial bones suffered in a face vs knee collision on a slide into 2B.

Chris Stratton- 2-2, 3.12, 26 IP, 5 BB, 21 K.  Stratton gave up 5 of a total of 9 ER in his 3'rd start over 3 IP.  In his other 5 starts, he allowed just 4 ER in 23 IP.  He pitched 5 shutout innings in his final start. He'll probably start the season back in Sacramento, but should be in the mix for a callup if needed.  Or, he could have hit another team's radar as a trade target?

Tyler Mizenko- 1-1, 7.20, 10 IP, 5 BB, 6 K's.  Mizenko is a sinkerballer who lives and dies by the groundball.  The desert is not kind to groundball pitchers!

Tyler Rogers- 0-1, 6.23, 9.1 IP, 2 BB, 9 K, GO/AO= 2.00.  The submarining Rogers had a 0.00 ERA in 7.1 IP, until his last two appearances in which he gave up 7 R, 6 ER in 2 IP.  He did not get anyone out in his final appearance.  Fatigue?

Rodolfo Martinez- 0-0, 27.00, 3 IP, 6 BB, 2 K's.  Eyewitness reports have Rodolfo's FB velocity way down.  Gotta wonder if he's hiding an injury?

Scouting the Draft: Giants 2016 Draft Review, Rounds 1-10

We'll review the Giants 2016 draft and take a look at how the kids did in their MLB debuts.  Just for fun, we'll put a letter grade on their performance.  Just remember the letter grade is for performance only and not necessarily a judgement on the quality of the pick or the player's future as a prospect.  Listed ages are their 2017 season age.

Round 1:  No pick.  The Giants lost this pick when they signed RHP Jeff Samardzija to a FA contract.  Grade B.


Round 2:  Bryan Reynolds, OF, 22 yo, B-S, T-R, 6'3", 200 lbs.  College- Vanderbilt.  Highest Level- High A.

SS:  .312/.368/.500, 12 2B, 5 HR, 5 HR, 11 BB, 41 K, 154 AB.
Low A:  .317/.348/.444, 5 2B, 1 HR, 3 BB, 20 K, 63 AB.
High A:  4 for 12, HR(3 games, Cal League Playoffs).

Reynolds was ranked in the first round by many analysts and he performed like a first round talent in his pro debut.  We'll dock him a half grade for all the K's.  A-.


Round 3:  Heath Quinn, OF, 22 yo, B-R, T-R, 6'2", 190 lbs.  College- Samford.  Highest Level- High A.

Rookie:  .600/.778/.800, 5 AB.
SS:  .337/.423/.571, 19 2B, 9 HR, 26 BB, 50 K, 205 AB.
High A:  .353/.421/.412, 17 AB.

I had him as a potential 2'nd rounder.  Terrific pro debut showing the RH power the Giants were hoping they got with a reasonable K rate.  Grade A.


Round 4:  Matt Krook, LHP, 22 yo, 6'4", 195 lbs.  College- Oregon.  Highest Level- Short Season.

Rookie:  0-1, 1.59, 5.2 IP, 2 BB, 2 K, GO/AO= 4.33.
SS:  1-3, 6.17, 35 IP, 33 BB, 39 K, GO/AO= 3.77.

There are some things to like here.  The K rate is dominant as is the groundball tendency.  Obviously has a long way to go to overcome the control issues that emerged in college.  Grade D(Still like the pick in round 4).


Round 5:  Ryan Howard, SS, 22 yo, B-R, T-R.  6'2", 180 lbs.  College- Missouri.  Highest Level- Short Season.

Rookie:  .250/.400/.250, 8 AB.
SS:  .272/.313/.371, 4 HR, 13 BB, 24 K, 224 AB(.317 over his last 10 games).

Solid, if unspectacular pro debut for the college SS.  Grade B.


Round 6:  Gio Brusa, OF, 23 yo, B-S, T-R.  6'3", 220 lbs.  College- Pacific.  Highest Level- High A.

SS:  .264/.298/.495, 15 2B, 3 3B, 10 HR, 11 BB, 69 K, 220 AB(.325 last 9 games).
High A:  0 for 2, BB(1 game).

Enigmatic player who ran hot and cold in college and that trend continued in his pro debut.  Switch-hitter had a pretty severe platoon split hitting just .219 from the right side  and .286 from the left.  K's and defense are also question marks.  Power showed up, though!  Grade C.


Round 7:  Garrett Williams, LHP, 22 yo, 6'1", 205 lbs.  College- Oklahoma St.  Highest Level- Short Season.

Rookie:  1-0, 2.57, 7 IP, 3 BB, 5 K's, GO/AO= 2.75.
SS:  1-2, 5.68, 25.1 IP, 14 BB, 22 K, GO/AO= 1.60.

Similar profile to Matt Krook.  Touted HS prospect who struggled with control in college.  That continued in his pro debut.  Grade D(nothing wrong with taking a flyer on the upside in Round 7).


Round 8:  Stephen Woods, RHP, 22 yo, 6'2", 200 lbs.  College- Albany.  Highest Level- Short Season.

Rookie:  0-2, 2.67, 27 IP, 17 BB, 25 K, GO/AO= 1.59.
SS:  1-0, 5.63, 8 IP, 5 BB, 12 K's, GO/AO= 1.00.

More control issues.  Grade D+.


Round 9:  Caleb Baragar, LHP, 23 yo.  6'3", 210 lbs.  College- Indiana.  Highest Level- High A.

Rookie:  5-2, 2.51, 61 IP, 21 BB, 53 K, GO/AO= 0.88.
High A:  0-1, 4.76, 5.2 IP, 5 BB, 3 K, GO/AO= 0.56.

Pretty good numbers but at a low level for a top 10 round college draftee.  Grade C.


Alex Bostic, LHP, 22 yo, 6'3", 195 lbs.  College- Clemson.  Highest Level- High A.

Rookie:  2-4, 5.59, 46.2 IP, 27 BB, 39 K, GO/AO= 0.89.
High A:  0-1, 6.35, 5.2 IP, 4 BB, 7 K, GO/AO= 0.13.

More control issues and at a low level.  Jumps of Baragar and Bostic from Arizona to SJ late a bit curious.  Grade D+


Overall, the hitters drafted in the first 10 rounds had terrific pro debuts.  The pitchers, wow!  No bueno!  Let's hope the mythical Giants pitcher whisperers can fix one or two of these guys!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Hot Stove Update: 'Stros Add Lefty Bats

The Houston Astros, coming off a disappointing season, had a strong rightward tilt to the lineup as their main young guns, George Springer, Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman as well as Evan Gattis all hit RH.  They addressed that issue with 2 big moves today:  1.  They traded a couple of young fireballing RHP's to the Yankees for what is left of Brian McCann.  2.  They signed OF Josh Reddick to a FA contract worth 4 yrs/$52 M.

McCann lost his starting catcher job with the Yankees.  He has 2 years and $34 M left on his contract with a vesting option for 2019.  The Yankees will reportedly send a total of $11 M to the Astros to help pay McCann's salary.  McCann is still probably worth 20 HR/season, but he is clearly on the downside of his career and he is a below-average defensive catcher.

Reddick is a good all around player when he's healthy, but has exactly 1 season with more than 600 PA's.  His defense, once stellar, has slipped into negative territory, possibly due to an accumulation of injuries.  He also is basically a platoon player who struggles against LHP's.

The Astros needed some LH pop to balance their lineup and they needed "veteran presence" for a very young core.  McCann and Reddick give them that at a reasonable price, but with risks.

The Yankees come out smelling like a rose as they not only get to dump about 2/3's of McCann's remaining contract, they get a couple of pitching prospects who can hit the upper 90's and even triple digits on radar guns to deepen a rapidly strengthening Yankees farm system.

Hot Stove Update: Giants Rule 5 Eligibles

A bit of a lull here while I research a longer post.  Covechatter posted a list of Giants Rule 5 Draft eligible players on his site, linked to the left.  They are:

Reyes Maronta, RHP
Dan Slania, RHP
Chase Johnson, RHP
Miguel Gomez, 3B
DJ Snelton, LHP
Gustavo Cabrera, OF
Tyler Rogers, RHP
Tyler Horan, OF
Brandon Bednar, IF
Pat Young, RHP
Dusten Knight, RHP
Christian Jones, LHP
Jake McCasland, RHP.

I'll guess the Giants protect Maronta, Slania, Gomez and Rogers.  Gustavo will be a tough decision, but I highly doubt another organization would keep him on their 25 man roster.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

DrB's 2017 Draft Board

To help organize the draft prospects we review into a draft ranking or draft board, I'm going to rank the prospects I've already reviewed and will start adding as we go along.  Here is what we have so far:

1.  Hunter Greene, RHP, HS
2.  Tanner Houck, RHP, College
3.  Alex Scherff, RHP, HS
4.  JB Bakauskas, RHP, College
5.  Jeren Kendall, OF, College
6.  JJ Schwarz, C, College
7.  Alex Faedo, RHP, College
8.  Tristan Beck, RHP, HS
9.  Hagan Danner, RHP, HS
10. Alejandro Toral, 1B, HS

This is my ranking of the 2017 draft prospects I have reviewed so far.  You can look up my summaries in the Archives listed to the left.

Scouting the 2017 Draft: Alex Scherff

Alex Scherff, RHP, HS, Texas.  6'4", 205 lbs.  PG's bio page lists him at 6'4", but he's listed 6'2"- 6'5" depending on what showcase even is covered.  Everybody seems to agree he has a sinking FB that sits 93-95 MPH and gets up to 96.  He backs that up with a plus changeup that is repeatedly referred to as the best in the draft.  The breaking ball is a slurve with some bite that probably needs refinement and could become a true slider.

What stands out in the video I saw is the easy 3/4 motion and how the ball jumps out of his hand with seemingly little effort.  I would guesstimate that he is a pick 10-15 draft prospect right now with potential to go higher.  He is an excellent student committed to Texas A&M.  I would say he is singable if he goes anywhere in the first round.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Giants 2017 Depth Charts: Relievers

The universe of possible future relievers for the Giants is vast and includes several names we have already listed in the SP depth charts.   Instead of an exhaustive listing of all of the organizations relief pitchers, I will highlight a few who for whatever reason are on my radar as relievers to watch.  First, let's sort out who will be contending for an Opening Day assignment in the Giants bullpen.  We'll assume they are going outside the organization for the closer and we will assume none of their current FA's, Casilla, Lopez or Romo are going to be re-signed.

Locks:  Will Smith LHP, Derek Law RHP, Hunter Strickland RHP, George Kontos.

Likely:  Cory Gearrin RHP.

Contenders(for 1 spots):  Ty Blach LHP(if he's not the 5'th starter), Steven Okert LHP, Josh Osich LHP, Albert Suarez RHP.

Of course, if they sign/trade for more than 1 reliever, it could bump everybody down a notch or two.

Now, let's take a look at a few key relief pitcher prospects in the minors(not including potential converted starters such as Joan Gregorio, Chris Stratton, Sam Coonrod, Dan Slania and others.


Tyler Rogers RHP, 26 yo- 2-2, 3.27, 24, BB, 46 K, GO/AO= 4.69!(2 levels).  ERA ballooned to 6.10 in Sacramento, but his peripherals stayed about the same.  He is doing much better in the hitter friendly Arizona Fall League, 0-1, 2.08, 8.2 IP, 2 BB, 9 K, GO/AO= 2.00.  He's a submariner whose release point millimeters from the dirt has garnered some inneresting images from the AFL.


Rodolfo Martinez, RHP, 23 yo- 1-4, 3.35, 53.2 IP, 25 BB, 50 K, GO/AO= 1.18(2 levels).  The hard throwing Martinez dominated the Cal League in the first half, but got crushed after a promotion to AA. Continued to struggle in the AFL where his velocity was reported to be down raising injury concerns.

Chase Johnson, RHP, 25 yo- 1-4, 3.77, 52.1 IP, 18 BB, 37 K, GO/AO= 1.69.  Abruptly moved to the bullpen midseason and later the DL.  Not sure of his current health status.  He was closing games for the Flying Squirrels when he hit the DL.

Carlos Alvarado, RHP, 27 yo- 1-0, 1.72, 31.1 IP, 1 BB, 37 K's(3 levels).  I've always like Alvarado despite his advanced age for level at every step.  He's listed at 6'4", 175 lbs. and has always put up interesting numbers not the least of which is the 1 BB in 31.1 IP for 2016.


Reyes Maronta, RHP, 24 yo- 0-3, 2.59, 59 IP, 20 BB, 93 K.  Doesn't throw quite as hard as Rodolfo Martinez did in San Jose, but still sits in the mid-upper 90's.  Was Martinez' setup man in the first half then took over the Closer role in SJ when Rodolfo moved up.  Listed at 6'0", 175 lbs.  He's at least 50 lbs heavier than that.  Physically a strong resemblance to Jean Machi.


Cesar Yanez, RHP, 22 yo- 1-0, 2.22, 28.1 IP, 15 BB, 35 K(2 levels).  I don't really have any reason to believe Yanez has a huge upside except a gut feeling.  I like his listed size at 6'5", 175 lbs, and his numbers.


Patrick Ruotolo RHP, 22 yo- 2-2, 1.13, 24 IP, 14 BB, 42 K's(2 levels).  Most of those numbers were put up in Arizona which is too low a level for a college draftee.  On the other hand, his peripherals were the best of a weak crop of pitching draftees.


Jesus Reyes RHP, 20 yo- 4-1, 1.51, 35.2 IP, 17 BB, 46 K, GO/AO= 2.00.  Giants pitching representative to the DSL All Star Game.  Expect to see him in Arizona next summer. 6'4", 175 lbs.

Jasier Herrera RHP, 19 yo- 3-1, 3.27, 22 IP, 7 BB, 21 K, GO/AO=1.28.  Like his size at 6'5", 175 lbs. second season in the DSL.  Was this enough to get him to Arizona?

Monday, November 14, 2016

Hot Stove Update: Walker and Hellickson Accept QO's

A very thin FA class just got thinner today when Neil Walker and Jeremy Hellickson accepted their QO's from the Mets and Phillies respectively.  These are probably good deals for both sides as the players like will get a significantly higher single season salary than they would from a multiyear deal on the open market while the teams probably will pay a bit more for equal talent in a single season, but avoids the risk of a multi-year commitment.  Of course, there is risk to the players that a severe injury could cause their future value to evaporate, but chances are that a series of single season contracts will outperform a single multi-season contract of the same length.  I actually do not understand why more players don't take the single season QO.

Among players declining QO's and becoming FA's are Kenley Jansen, Mark Trumbo, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista, Justin Turner, Ian Desmond and Dexter Fowler.  Sought after relievers Aroldis Chapman and Mark Melancon are exempt from QO's having been traded to their current teams within season.

Scouting the 2017 Draft: Alejandro Toral

Alejandro Toral is a HS prospect from Florida who is a B-L, T-L first base only prospect.  He's a big kid, 6'2", 220 lbs with big power.  He's got an average arm and average speed with enough athleticism that he can probably be a plus on D at first base.  There is some brave talk that he might be able to play LF, but from the videos, he's a first baseman, which means he's going to have to hit bigly.  The first comp that pops into my head when I see videos is Adrian Gonzalez which is great if he can hit like Adrian Gonzalez.  He's not the type of player the Giants look at in the first round.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Hot Stove Update: Mariners Acquire Danny Valencia

The Mariners have acquired Danny Valencia from the Oakland A's for pitching prospect Paul Blackburn.  Valencia has been much traveled over the past few seasons playing for multiple teams.  Valencia, who bats RH, can hit, no doubt about that!  He is known as a lefty killer hitting .318 against them in 2016, but is no exactly helpless against RHP's with a .275 BA.  He will team up with Nelson Cruz to form the RH half of a 4 man R-L gauntlet in the middle of the Mariners batting order with Kyle Seager and Robinson Cano forming the LH half.

Valencia has become a defensive liability at 3B and the Mariners anticipate he will play mostly 1B, RF and DH for them.  He may split time at 1B with lefty Dan Vogelbach.  The other issue with Valencia is what type of a guy he is or isn't in the clubhouse.  He was involved in a physical altercation with Billy Butler during the season which put Butler on the DL after which the A's shipped Butler out to the Yankees.  We don't know whose fault the altercation was or if Valencia's clubhouse personality had anything to do with his bouncing from team-to-team over the past few seasons.  The Mariners are likely not his last stop as he is FA eligible after the 2017 season.

Not much word on what the A's are getting in Blackburn.  He seems to be your average sinker-slider pitching prospect whose FB tops out at 93 MPH.  The A's seem set to go with Ryon Healy at 3B in 2017.

Giants 2017 Depth Charts: Starting Pitching(Lower Minors)


Cory Taylor, RHP, 23 yo- 11-6, 2.72, 119 IP, 34 BB, 121 K, GO/AO= 1.69(2 levels).  First full pro season.  Results would be more impressive at a higher level.  Got a few late starts in San Jose with mixed results.

Michael Connolly, RHP, 25 yo- 11-7, 3.05, 135.2 IP, 31 BB, 107 K, GO/AO= 1.35.  Veteran minor leaguer trying to find some traction.  This may get him to the next level.

Jake McCasland, RHP, 25 yo- 8-5, 1.65, 109.1 IP, 24 BB, 107 K, GO/AO= 1.18.  Another veteran trying to find traction.

Dominic Mazza, LHP, 22 yo- 8-3, 3.93, 84.2 IP, 16 BB, 79 K, GO/AO= 1.21.  Lefty out of UCSB, first full pro season.

Heath Slatton, RHP, 23 yo- 2-4, 2.37, 49.1 IP, 23 BB, 44 K, GO/AO= 1.15.  Reliever most of the season with a few Saves.  Got 5 starts at the end of the season allowing just 1 ER in 20.1 IP with 8 BB's and 17 K's.  Breakout candidate for 2017.

Matt Solter, RHP, 24 yo- 4-6, 6.45, 68.1 IP, 30 BB, 60 K, GO/AO= 1.20.  Minor league FA signing.  Got knocked around pretty good.  Will he be back?

Grant Watson, LHP, 23 yo- 3-7, 4.62, 78 IP, 18 BB, 68 K.  Definition of a polished lefty.  Peripherals better than his ERA.

Logan Webb, RHP, 20 yo- 2-3, 6.21, 42 IP, 12 BB, 30 K's, GO/AO= 1.49.  Last pitched 5/31.  TJ?  Age gives him plenty of time to recover.


Melvin Adon, RHP, 23 yo- 5-5, 5.48, 67 IP, 34 BB, 55 K, GO/AO= 1.52.  Adon is getting plenty of national buzz for his mid-high 90's FB.  He's going to have to get that bad boy under control and move fast to be a legit prospect.

Victor Concepcion, RHP, 20 yo- 4-7, 6.40, 57.2 IP, 24 BB, 46 K.  Skipped Arizona after 2 seasons in the DSL and paid the price.

Mac Marshall, LHP, 21 yo- 1-6, 4.73, 51.1 IP, 48 BB, 54 K.  Name is well known in prospect watching circles.  Has a wild hair up his nose that needs to be tamed.

Raffi Vizcaino, RHP, 21 yo- 0-4, 4.60, 47 IP, 23 BB, 43 K.  Got a late promo to Augusta and was noted to have a FB up to 96 MPH.

Matt Krook, LHP, 22 yo- 1-3, 6.16, 35 IP, 33 BB, 39 K, GO/AO= 3.77.  Highest drafted pitcher by the Giants in 2016 draft.  Another lefty with a serious wild hair up his nose. Can it be tamed?

Garrett Williams, LHP, 22 yo- 1-2, 5.68, 25.1 IP, 14 BB, 22 K, GO/AO= 1.60.  Another well known name in prospect watching circles.  Another lefty with a wild hair up his nose.  Giants seem to have a thing for them.

Hengerber Medina, RHP, 23 yo- 2-3, 4.43, 44.2, 18 BB, 37 K.  Converted SS trying to get some traction as a pitcher.  Held his own as a starter.  Struck out 17 batters in 9.1 IP in  late callup to SJ.


DJ Myers, RHP, 22 yo- 3-2, 1.70, 58.1 IP, 5 BB, 52 K, GO/AO= 1.50.  Pitched 1 scoreless inning for Sacramento late.  Jumbo body. Top performing pitching draftee, but at a low level.

Caleb Baragar, LHP, 23 yo- 5-2, 2.28, 55.1 IP, 16 BB, 50 K.  College lefty.  Nice numbers but at a low level. Allowed 3 ER in 6.2 IP in 2 late appearances for SJ.

Alex Bostic, LHP, 22 yo- 2-4, 5.59, 46.2 IP, 27 BB, 39 K.  Another college lefty with a bit of a wild hair.  Gave up 4 ER in 5.2 IP, in 2 late appearances with SJ.

Sandro Cabrera, LHP, 21 yo- 2-2, 2.81, 41.2 IP, 14 BB, 38 K.  Pitched mostly in relief, but I think the Giants will try to develop him as a SP.  Pitched 1 inning for Augusta late and struck out the side.

Stephen Woods, RHP, 22 yo- 0-2, 2.67, 27 IP, 17 BB, 25 K, GO/AO= 1.59.  Got a couple of late starts with S-K.  Allowed 5 ER, 5 BB and struck out 12 in 8 IP.


Johan Herrera, RHP, 18 yo- 4-4, 2.09, 77.2 IP, 18 BB, 50 K, GO/AO= 1.59.  Smallish righty with nice results but low K rate.

Norwith Gudino, RHP, 21 yo- 3-3, 2.84, 50.2 IP, 13 BB, 40 K.  Very old for the league and 2016 was a repeat of the level.

Miguel Figueroa, RHP, 19 yo- 5-0, 3.02, 47.2 IP, 14 BB, 28 K's.  Very low K rate.

Aneudy Acosta, RHP, 21 yo- 3-3, 3.99, 47.1 IP, 19 BB, 46 K, GO/AO= 1.27.  Old for the level.

Orleny Quiroz, LHP, 23 yo- 2-5, 2.18, 45.1 IP, 22 BB, 50 K, GO/AO= 2.18.  Very old for the level, but first pro experience and nice size for a lefty.

Jerson Severin, RHP, 18 yo- 0-4, 3.15, 34.1 IP, 13 BB, 13 K's.  Very low K rate.

Jose Marte, RHP, 21 yo- 1-1, 1.89, 19 IP, 10 BB, 18 K, GO/AO= 2.36.  Marte is apparently in Arizona for instructional league and caught the eye of Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Giants 2017 Depth Charts: Starting Pitching(High Minors)


Chris Stratton, RHP, 26 yo- 12-6, 3.87, 125.2 IP, 39 BB, 103 K.  Posted a 3.60 ERA in 10 IP at the MLB level.  I see him ending up as a long/middle relief arm in the majors where he could have a fairly long career.

Clayton Blackburn, RHP, 24 yo- 7-10, 4.36, 136.1 IP, 35 BB, 101 K, GO/AO= 1.19.  Posted a 3.22 ERA over his last 8 starts after the All-Star break, but overall took a step back from his spectacular 2015 finish.  Will need to come out strong in 2017 to get back into the mix for a MLB callup.

Joan Gregorio, RHP, 25 yo- 6-10, 4.69, 134.1 IP, 49 BB, 152 K(2 levels).  The K's tell you he has the highest ceiling of the 3 AAA prospects.  Has had trouble staying completely healthy and maintaining consistency in his command.  Ceiling ranges from #2,3 SP to bust.  Most likely a middle reliever/setup man in the majors where he could produce some dominant numbers.


Tyler Beede, RHP, 24 yo- 8-7, 2.81, 147.1 IP, 53 BB, 135 K.  The Giants top pitching prospect.  Looked like he was going to fade again in July, but then put up a 1.60 ERA in 5 August starts and allowed just 1 ER in 6 IP, in his final start of the season on 9/2.  Had 66 K's in 61 IP over his last 10 starts of the season. Should move up to Sacramento and be ready for a callup midseason.

Andrew Suarez, LHP, 24 yo- 9-8, 3.63, 143.2 IP, 29 BB, 124 K, GO/AO= 1.20(2 levels).  2015 draftee who rocketed up the system.  Had a brief stumble as he started AA but finished 5-1 with a 2.33 ERA over his last 10 starts for Richmond.  Not a hard thrower, but the Giants like his command of a 3 pitch mix.  Should move up to Sacramento and be ready for a MLB callup about midseason or at least by September. I might rate him a tick behind Blach due to Blach's MLB experience.  Those 2 will likely be the 2'nd and 3'rd highest rated pitching prospects behind Beede on my list.

Matt Gage, LHP, 24 yo- 9-7, 3.38, 136 IP, 34 BB, 106 K, GO/AO= 1.60.  Gage consolidated his position in AA. Went 5-2 with a 2.92 ERA over his last 10 starts.  Also ready to move up to Sacramento, but is there room up there?

Dan Slania, RHP, 25 yo- 11-8, 2.93, 119.2 IP, 35 BB, 111 K(3 levels)- Slania started the season in the bullpen in Richmond, but then was suddenly switched into the rotation with Chase Johnson moving into the bullpen, a move that may have been designed to protect Johnson's arm.  Big Dan pitched well in his starting role, but kind of got shuttled around with short stints in San Jose and Sacramento.  In his final start of the season for Sacramento he went 6 IP, 2 ER, 9 K's.  A nice sleeper in the system.  His future may still be in the bullpen, but the starting experience will help him in that role.

Sam Coonrod, RHP, 24 yo- 9-6, 2.55, 141 IP, 60 BB, 94 K's(2 levels).  Coonrod was effective with poor secondary numbers.  Hard throwers with those kinds of numbers generally end up in the bullpen.

Kyle Crick, RHP, 24 yo- 4-11, 5.04, 109 IP, 67 BB, 86 K's.  Time may be running out on Kyle Crick. He just can't seem to get command of his stuff.  2017 may be his last chance.

High A:

Mark Reyes, LHP, 24 yo- 9-9, 4.74, 127.1 IP, 60 BB, 80 K, GO/AO= 1.43.  A finesse lefty who struggled with command.  Not a good look!

Jordan Johnson, RHP, 23 yo- 8-9, 5.33, 120 IP, 39 BB, 111 K.  Peripherals better than ERA, but he gave up dingers by the bushel.

Jason Forjet, RHP, 27 yo- 10-7, 4.84, 102.1 IP, 20 BB, 87 K.  Ran hot and cold with a lot of QS and even dominant starts but with disaster starts sprinkled in which blew up his ERA.

Jose Reyes, RHP, 26 yo- 4-6, 5.38, 100.1 IP, 33 BB, 64 K.  Disappointing season for the hard throwing righty.

DJ Snelton, LHP, 25 yo- 4-7, 4.11, 96.1 IP, 32 BB, 82 K, GO/AO= 2.69.  Anther guy who just can't seem to find traction.

Conner Menez, LHP, 22 yo- 4-1, 4.22, 53.1 IP, 16 BB, 50 K's(3 levels).  2016 draftee who made it to High A in his first pro season and held his own.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Hot Stove Update: The Stove Fires Up!

The Hot Stove got warm in a hurry today as there were 4 significant deals made.

1.  Blue Jays sign Kendrys Morales to a 3 year/$33 M FA contract.  Kendrys Morales hits dingers, lots of them, but not a lot else.  He might be the slowest player in all of baseball and can't really play any position.  Fortunately, the Jays play in a DH league which is what Morales will be.  He is affordable insurance against them losing both Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion via free agency, both of whom figure to be much more expensive than Morales.  Morales will play his age 34 season in 2017.  He has a long injury history but has been healthy enough to DH full-time the last 2 seasons for the Royals.  He's a switch-hitter.

2016 Royals:  .263/.327/.468, 30 HR, 618 PA.

KC is a tough park to hit dingers in while Toronto and most of the AL East parks are dinger friendly, so I could see him parking 40 or more per season…if he stays in one piece.  For the upside, it's nice value for the Blue Jays and it leaves them with money to spend elsewhere on the roster.

2.  Dodgers trade Howie Kendrick to the Phillies for Darin Ruf.  Howie Kendrick has always hit for average, albeit a fairly empty average, which is just fine for a middle infielder.  He doesn't play 2B much anymore and he didn't even hit for much of an average last year.  Ruf has intriguing RH power but can't really play any position well.  He started off poorly at the plate last year and got shipped out to AAA where he raked as he always has at AAA.  He is probably no more than a RH platoon bat or bat off the bench in the majors.

Kendrick is entering his age 33 season and has 1 year left on a  contract that will pay him about $10 M for 2017. Ruf is arbitration eligible for the first time this season and probably will get a contract for under $1M if the Dodgers even tender him a contract.  Let's face it.  This was mostly a salary dump and roster-clearing move by the Dodgers.  The curious part is how Kendrick fits into the Phillies rebuild.  They were reportedly looking for a "veteran presence."  He will give them that.

3.  Angels sign RHP Jesse Chavez for 1 year/$5.75 M.  Chavez is entering his age 33 season.  He pitched exclusively in relief last year for two teams.  The Angels say they will give him a chance to start.  Most likely ends up in a swingman/long-middle relief role.

4. The Braves signed 44 yo RHP Bartolo Colon to a 1 yr/$12.5 M deal.  He'll pair up with RA Dickey who they signed yesterday to give the Braves a pair of veteran innings eaters to support young aces Julio Tehran and Mike Foltynewicz.

Colon 2016:  15-8, 3.43, 191.2 IP, 1.5 BB/9, 6.01 K/9.
Dickey 2016:  10-15, 4.46, 169.2 IP, 3.34 BB/9, 6.68 K/9.

Dickey should be helped by moving out of Toronto and the AL East.

These are a couple of solid signings by the Braves to make them more competitive in their rebuild years.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Giants 2017 Depth Charts: Starting Pitching(MLB)

The starting pitching depth chart for the entire organization is such a massive undertaking, I decided to divide it up.  We'll divide it up into 3 parts here:  MLB, High Minors, Low Minors.  The Giants have a solid situation for their 2017 rotation with 4 SP's who are capable of pitching like an ace on any given day and 3 candidates for the 5'th spot in the rotation.

Madison Bumgarner, LHP, 27 yo.- 15-9, 2.74, 226.2 IP, 2.14 BB/9, 9.97 K/9.  Bumgarner is still probably the ace of the staff, although Johnny Cueto is at least a co-ace statistically.

Johnny Cueto, RHP, 31 yo- 18-5, 2.79, 219.2 IP, 1.84 BB/9, 8.11 K/9.  Great season for Cueto.  If he repeats it in 2017, he will almost certainly opt out of the rest of his contract.  If he does, the Giants should thank him for his 2 great seasons and let him go.

Jeff Samardzija, RHP, 32 yo- 12-11, 3.81, 203.1 IP, 2.39 BB/9, 7.39 K/9.  Wow!  Samardzija is 32 yo but seems like he's about 28, still learning to pitch and just coming into his own.  Had a great first 2 months of the season then a terrible middle two months.  To his credit, he almost completely rebuilt his repertoire on the fly and had a sub-3 ERA over the last 2 months of the season.  Can he carry that rebuild into and through 2017?

Matt Moore, LHP, 28 yo- 6-5, 4.08, 68.1 IP, 4.21 BB/9, 9.09 K/9.  These numbers, compiled after his trade to the Giants do not really do justice to what kind of a pitcher he was or can be in 2017.  He had a couple of disaster starts in September that blew up his ERA, but he also had several dominant starts including a gut check 8 innings agains the Dodgers on the final weekend.  Then, he had Game 4 of the NLDS won before the bullpen disintegrated in the 9'th inning.  I am expecting big things from Matt Moore in 2017!

Matt Cain, RHP, 32 yo- 4-8, 5.64, 89.1 IP, 3.22 BB/9, 7.25 K/9.  Bumgarner and Cueto are the aces, but Matt Cain is the dean of the Giants pitching staff.  That and $20 M says he gets the first shot at the 5'th starter gig entering 2017.  He will be on a fairly short leash though.

Ty Blach, LHP, 26 yo- 1-0, 1.06, 17 IP, 2.65 BB/9, 5.79 K/9.  Blach was mighty impressive, especially in that start against the Dodgers on the final weekend.  Some people might think a BABIP of .152 is not sustainable, though.  Still, first in line behind Matt Cain for the 5'th SP job.

Albert Suarez, RHP, 27 yo- 3-5, 4.29, 84 IP, 2.79 BB/9, 5.79 K/9.  Suarez was a life saver for the Giants through the rough patches, but never pitched quite well enough to trust in any type of must-win situation.  That is probably OK for a sixth-starter/swingman role, but the Giants will be looking to upgrade.

Christ Heston, RHP, 29 yo- Heston missed almost the entire season with injury.  He's still on the 40 man roster.  He could be in the mix if he is fully healthy and nothing else is clicking for the #5 SP.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Fantasy Focus: Relievers

The commissioner in my league is adding K/9 to the categories next season for the express purpose of adding value to non-closer relievers.  So, let's take a look at relievers with high K/9's and add in their Save totals:

1.  Dellin Betances, Yankees- 15.53, 12 Saves.
2.  Edwin Diaz, Mariners- 15.33, 18 Saves.
3.  Andrew Miller, Indians- 14.89, 12 Saves.
4.  Craig Kimbrel, Red Sox- 14.09, 31 Saves.
5.  Kyle Barraclough, Marlins- 14.00, 0 Saves.
6.  Ken Giles, Astros- 13.98, 15 Saves.
7.  Aroldis Chapman, Cubs- 13.97, 36 Saves.
8.  Kenley Jansen, Dodgers- 13.63, 47 Saves.
9.  Michael Feliz, Astros- 13/15, 0 Saves.
10.  Shawn Kelley, Nationals- 12.41, 7 Saves.
11.  Jason Grilli, Blue Jays- 12.36, 4 Saves.
12.  Juan Nicasio, Pirates- 12.13, 0 Saves.
13. Tyler Thornburg, Brewers- 12.09, 13 Saves.
14. David Phelps, Marlins- 11.84, 4 Saves.
15. Seung Hwan Oh, Cardinals- 11.64, 19 Saves.
16. Mychal Givens, Orioles- 11.57, 0 Saves.
17. Cody Allen, Indians- 11.51, 32 Saves.
18. Hector Neris, Phillies- 11.43, 2 Saves.
19.  Alex Colome, Rays- 11.28, 37 Saves.
20.  Brad Hand, Padres- 11.18, 1 Save.
21.  Ryan Buchter, Padres- 11.14, 1 Save.
22.  Justin Grimm, Cubs- 11.11, 0 Saves.
23.  David Robertson, White Sox- 10.83, 37 Saves.
24.  Felipe Rivero, Pirates- 10.75, 1 Save.
25.  Kelvin Herrera, Royals- 10.75, 12 Saves.
26.  Steve Cishek, Mariners- 10.69, 25 Saves.
27.  Addison Reed, Mets- 10.55, 1 Save.
28.  Brad Brach, - 10.48, 2 Saves.
29.  Luke Gregorson, Astros- 10.46, 15 Saves.
30.  Tyler Clippard, Yankees- 10.29, 3 Saves.

So, a reasonable strategy here in a league like mine where you can roster as many as 5 relievers would be to overpay for a couple of high K/9 full time Closers and then try to get 2-3 non-closer relievers with high K/9's.

Scouting the 2017 Draft: JJ Schwarz

Whoa!  Didn't get much sleep last night.  Still in shock and processing the results of the election.  Fortunately, there is still baseball to enjoy thinking and writing about.

JJ Schwarz is an offensive minded college catcher from Florida with big time power potential.  He's 6'1", 205 lbs.  B-R, T-R.  He burst onto the scene as a freshman in 2015 with a line of .332/.398/.629 with 18 HR's.  He also had a solid 28 BB's against 46 K's in 256 AB.  His slash line took a hit in 2016 with a .292/.404/.451, 6 HR, but he improved his BB's and K's with 44 and 49 respectively in 233 AB's.  Most observers believe the bat will rebound strongly in 2017.  If it does, he could easily move up the boards and become the #1 overall pick.

The rap is on D where his body does not project particularly well and his throwing arm is suspect.  Scouts think that with a lot of work he can become a passable MLB catcher, but more likely he ends up at 1B or DH like a Mike Napoli.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Giants 2017 Depth Charts: Corner Outfield

Corner OF is a bit thin at the top for the Giants as Hunter Pence is coming off his second injury limited season and the only other corner OF's on the roster are trying to gain a foothold in the major leagues.  In the minors, the depth is bolstered by several players who could wind up either as CF's or at a corner.


Hunter Pence, 34 yo- .289/.357/.451, 395 AB.  Pence has 2 years left on his contract.  Can he avoid the injuries that have plagued him the last 2 seasons?

Mac Williamson, 26 yo- .223/.315/.411, 6 HR, 112 AB.  Could win the LF job outright or end up in a platoon with Jarrett Parker or be left out by a FA signing or trade.  If you project the dingers to 600 PA's it's somewhere in the high 20's.

Jarrett Parker, 28 yo- .236/.358/.394, 5 HR, 127 AB.  See Mac Williamson above.  Parker has tremendous raw power, but struggles to use it effectively with a high K rate.  Might want to cut back on the caffeine before stepping into the batter's box.


Austin Slater, 24 yo- .305/.393/.500, 18 HR, 390 AB(2 teams).  Slater is the main reason I think it is safe for the Giants to not acquire a veteran corner OF this offseason.  If Mac and Jarrett can't get it done, it's time to give Slater a shot.  If that does not work, they can still make a deadline trade.  He should hit for a higher BA than either Mac or Jarrett, but may come up short on power.


Steven Duggar, 23 yo- .302/.388/.448, 10 HR, 507 AB(2 teams).  Impressively hit .321 for Richmond after his promotion, but the HR's disappeared in a small sample size.  Probably has enough speed to play CF.  Definitely has the arm for RF.

Hunter Cole, 24 yo- .271/.319/.420, 13 HR, 469 AB.  Strong numbers considering they were all from Richmond. and the EL.  Getting more AB's in the AFL.

Tyler Horan, 26 yo- .265/.337/.460, 12 HR, 287 AB.  Has been moving up the ladder despite some poor numbers.  Seemed to get some traction at the plate late in the season.


Dylan Davis, 23 yo- .283/.356/.521, 26 HR, 484 AB(2 levels).  Big time power and has been steadily lowering his K rate.  Big time throwing arm that could play on the mound.  Nice sleeper in the system who could eventually turn into a Mike Napoli/Mark Trumbo type hitter.


Jean Angomas, 22 yo- .272/.308/.365, 16 SB, 378 AB(2 levels).  Slow mover in the lower levels.  Finally seemed to get some traction this year.  Can he take it to the next level?


Heath Quinn, 22 yo- .344/.434/.564, 9 HR, 277 AB(3 levels).  Tremendous offensive start to his pro career.  Can he hang at higher levels on D?

Gio Brusa, 23 yo- .264/.298/.495, 10 HR, 220 AB.  A bit of an enigma.  Starred twice in the CCL.  Giants reportedly told him he needs to step it up on D.

Gustavo Cabrera, 21 yo- .241/.288/.393, 4 HR, 4 SB, 191 AB.  Managed to stay on the field a bit more this season.  Obvious athleticism.  Will the hand hold him back at higher levels?

Julio Pena, 24 yo- .222/.242/.397, 2 HR, 63 AB.  Fringy prospect with some pop in his bat but not a lot else to recommend him.


Jacob Heyward, 21 yo- .330/.483/.560, 11 SB, 109 AB(2 teams).  Most of his AB's came in Rookie ball where he would be expected to dominate as a draftee from a major college program.  Still, it's better to do well at a low level than not well.

Sandro Fabian, 19 yo- .340/.364/.527, 159 AB.  One of the few age appropriate Giants prospects to dominate rookie ball in a long time.  Nice scouting reports.  Detractors point to a lack of projectabilty in the body.


Ismael Munguia, 18 yo- .274/.359/.363, .237 AB.  Got off to a hot start in the DSL.  Cooled off some in the second half.  Is it enough to get him to Arizona?

Franklin Labour, 19 yo- .242/.333/.304, 194 AB.

Diego Rincones, 18 yo- .244/.346/.343, 201 AB.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Hot Stove Update: Dodgers Unload Carlos Ruiz

The Dodgers picked up Carlos Ruiz from the Phillies for the stretch run.  They have now flipped him for a valuable left-handed arm(and my, the Dodgers do seem to love their left-handed arms, don't they?).  Ruiz goes to the Mariners for LHP Vidal Nuno.  Ruiz is still a decent catcher option as he hit .264/.365/.348 and threw out 42% of baserunners.  He has an option for $4.5 M next season which the Mariners will pick up.

Nuno made 55 appearances with 58.2 IP, 1 start, last year for the Mariners.  His ERA was a respectable 3.69 and came with 7.82 K/9 and an excellent 1.69 BB/9.  He is arbitration eligible with a MLBTR projected salary of $1.1 M.

This is probably a good trade for both sides as Ruiz gives the Mariners some protection in case Mike Zunino's bat turns to swiss cheese again.  The Dodgers get a small amount of salary relief and a valuable pitcher who can relieve or start.  Austin Barnes is on tap to step into the backup catcher role for the Dodgers.

Fantasy Focus: 2016 SP Rankings

The commissioner of my league announced that he is going to a 6X6 format next season and will replace the Wins category with QS and K/9.  I am going to assume that ERA and WHIP correlate fairly well with QS, although there may be exceptions.  For instance, a pitcher who throws 8 QS but gets blown out in 2 disaster starts may have an inflated ERA relative to his QS's.  What QS's will do is give credit to the pitcher who has a good start, but fails to get a W because of low run support or a Blown Save.  QS may be less of a crapshoot than W's, but using Dominant Starts or some sort of Game Score metric would probably do a better job or rewarding very good starts and penalizing bad ones.  Here is a list of all 2016 SP's with 100+ IP in order of K/9 with their ERA.  If you can find a correlation between K/9 and ERA, you have a better eye for pattern recognition that I.

1.  Jose Fernandez(RIP), Marlins- 12.49, 2.86.
2.  Yu Darvish, Rangers- 11.84, 3.41.
3.  Robbie Ray, D'Backs- 11.25, 4.90.
4.  Max Scherzer, Nationals- 11.19, 2.96.
5.  Stephen Strasburg, Nationals- 11.15, 3.60.
6.  Noah Syndergaard, Mets- 10.64, 2.61.
7.  Michael Pineda, Yankees- 10.61, 4.82.
8.  Danny Salazar, Indians- 10.55, 3.87.
9.  Rich Hill, Dodgers- 10.52, 2.12.
10.  Vince Velazquez, Phillies- 10.44, 4.12.
11.  Chris Archer, Rays- 10.42, 4.02.
12.  Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers- 10.39, 1.69.
13.  Justin Verlander, Tigers- 10.04, 3.04.
14.  Madison Bumgarner, Giants- 9.97, 2.74.
15.  Jonathan Gray, Rockies- 9.91, 4.61.
16.  Aaron Nola, Phillies- 9.81, 4.78.
17.  Drew Pomeranz,  Red Sox- 9.78, 3.35.
18.  Corey Kluber, Indians- 9.50, 3.14.
19.  Danny Duffy, Royals- 9.30, 3.56.
20.  Chris Sale, White Sox- 9.25, 3.34.
21.  Carlos Carrasco, Indians- 9.23, 3.32.
22.  Francisco Liriano, Blue Jays- 9.22, 4.64.
23.  Kenta Maeda, Dodgers- 9.17, 3.48.
24.  Carlos Rodon, White Sox- 9.16, 4.04.
25.  Archie Bradley, D'Backs- 9.08, 5.02.

26.  Cole Hamels, Rangers- 8.97, 3.32.
27.  David Price, Red Sox- 8.92, 3.99.
28.  Scott Kazmir, Dodgers- 8.85, 4.56.
29.  Steven Matz, Mets- 8.77, 3.40.
30.  Jon Lester, Cubs- 8.75, 2.44.
31.  Kevin Gausman, Orioles- 8.72, 3.61.
32.  James Paxton, Mariners- 8.70, 3.79.
33.  Jake deGrom, Mets- 8.70, 3.04.
34.  Gio Gonzalez, Nationals- 8.68, 4.51.
35.  Jake Arrieta, Cubs- 8.67, 3.10.
36.  Colin McHugh, Astros- 8.63, 4.34.
37.  John Lackey, Cubs- 8.60, 3.35.
38.  Drew Smyly, Rays- 8.51, 4.88.
39.  Ian Kennedy, Royals- 8.46, 3.68.
40.  Marco Estrada, Blue Jays- 8.44, 3.48.
41.  Eduardo Rodriguez, Red Sox- 8.41, 4.71.
42.  Adam Conley, Marlins- 8.37, 3.55.
43.  Johnny Cueto, Giants- 8.11, 2.79.
44.  Mike Foltynewicz, Braves- 8.10, 4.31.
45.  AJ Griffin, Rangers- 8.09, 5.07.
46.  Kyle Hendricks, Cubs- 8.09, 2.15.
47.  Matt Moore, Giants- 8.08, 4.08.
48.  Anibel Sanchez, Tigers- 8.05, 6.04.
49.  Matt Shoemaker, Angels- 8.64, 3.88.
50.  Carlos Martinez, Cardinals- 8.02, 3.04.

Like I said, if you can see a pattern here, you are much better at pattern recognition than I.  So, what drafting strategy will I employ in my league's new 6X6 format?  I believe that WHIP correlates better with ERA than K/9.  I also believe WHIP is more stable over time than ERA.  So, if I continue to load up my bench with SP's who have a low WHIP and rotate them into the starting rotation with daily lineup resets, I can rack up QS's and K's while still winning a majority of WHIP's and ERA's.  In a 6X6 League, you can better afford to punt one category, so fill RP slots with relievers with high K/9 regardless of Saves.  The other strategy would be to punt W's and K's, spend all your allotted pitching dollars on a few ace SP's and then load up on relievers which would give you K/9, ERA, WHIP and Saves.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Scouting the 2017 Draft: Hagen Danner

Hagen Danner is a 6'2", 185 lbs. RHP out of Huntington Beach, CA.  Hit and pitched for a team that won the Little League World Series when he was 12 years old.  He's a 2-way player for Huntington Beach HS piching and catching, but most scouting reports emphasize his pitching.  He has a conventional windup and delivery with a high 3/4 release point.  The FB gets up to 94 MPH and he has a nice curveball and a developing changeup to go with it.  He is listed as a top 10 2017 draft talent on most early boards, but is committed to UCLA.  Honestly, if I didn't know he was listed that high, I would say he should go to school.  I know you can't turn down top 10 money, but he just looks like a college pitcher to me, someone who might be a top 10 pick in 3 years if he gains some strength and velocity and polishes his game.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Giants 2017 Depth Charts: Centerfield

It was not too long ago that outfield was the thinnest position if the Organization.  That is not the case anymore as the Giants are loaded with legitimate OF prospects from top to bottom.  The lines between LF, CF and RF get a bit blurry, but we'll try to at least differentiate between OF's capable of playing CF and those who are destined to be Corner OF's.  We'll start with CF:


Denard Span, 33 yo- .266/.331/.381.  Span looked worn out by the first of September and he got just 3 hits in the first 14 days of the month.  He seemed to benefit from getting some days off in a platoon  with Gorkys Hernandez and hit .325 from 9/15 on.  That may be a model for keeping him healthy and productive all season as he enters his mid-30's.

Gorkys Hernandez, 29 yo- .259/.298/.463.  It was a small sample and Hernandez has a long history of struggles to hit. On the other hand, he hit well all season for Sacramento before his callup, so maybe he's turned a corner?  The upgrade of defense was quite noticeable.  I'm rooting for a Gorkys/Span R-L platoon all season for 2017!


Austin Slater, 24 yo- .305/.393/.500, 18 HR(AA/AAA).  Slater may ultimately be a corner OF, but he did play 48 games in the middle between Richmond and Sacramento.  Love the bat!


Steven Duggar, 23 yo- .302/.388/.448, 10 HR(High A/AA).  Tremendous season for Duggar and remember, it was his first full pro season!  The power may have sagged a bit in Richmond, but hitting .321 there in his first full pro season is impressive, at leas to me!  He also may be more of a corner OF, but he played 59 games in CF, mostly after his promotion to AA.


Ronnie Jebavy, 23 yo- .247/.305/.385.  The fact that he got the not to play CF in San Jose over Duggar likely tells you something about his defensive chops, but will he ever hit enough?  Double digits in HR's and SB's is intriguing.


Johneshwy Fargas, 22 yo- .275/.340/.354, 32 SB.  Fargas started the season playing LF for San Jose and was completely overmatched.  Will he do better when he gets another chance?


Bryan Reynolds, 22 yo- .313/.363/.484.  Reynolds is the presumptive Giants CF of the Future until proven otherwise.  5 Tools, but is any single tool outstanding?  Scouts divided on whether he can play CF in the majors.  If he can, he's an exciting player to dream on.

Ashford Fulmer, 23 yo- .245/.355/.339, 15 SB.  Hit .298 for Salem-Keizer.  Fulmer is a late round draftee from 2015 who is a project, but seems to have some tools, particularly speed.


Woody Edwards, 22 yo- .287/.368/.319, 10 SB, 94 AB.  Final pick of the 2015 draft.  Another project.

Malique Zeigler, 20 yo- .290/.384/.419.  Zeigler kind of got lost in the scrum of OF's the Giants drafted in 2016 and he's a project, but I love his size and apparent athleticism.  A bit old for rookie ball, but those are nice numbers.


Jose Patino, 19 yo- .278/.365/.327.  Second season in the DSL.  Is it enough to get him to Arizona?