Tuesday, January 31, 2017

DrB's 2017 Giants Top 50 Prospects: Honorable Mention Part 8

Jeffry Parra C.  DOB:  1/24/1998.  B-R, T-R.  6'0", 195 lbs.  Drafted 2016 Round 24.

2016 R:  .275/.370/.375, 2B, HR, 6.5 BB%, 14.8 K%, 46 PA.

Nice start for later round HS draftee.  Tiny sample size, though.  Sleeper.


Cody Brickhouse C.  DOB:  12/23/1996.  B-R, T-R.  6'3", 210 lbs.  Drafted 2015 Round 15.

.271/.417/.292, 18.0 BB%, 14.8 K%, 61 PA.

In 129 pro PA's, Brickhouse has a BB% of 18.8.  He can take a walk.  No pop in the bat despite his jumbo size for a catcher.


Mike Bernal 2B.  DOB:  9/6/1992.  B-R, T-R.  5'11", 190 lbs.  Drafted 2016 Round 29.

2016 R:  .260/.337/.473, 11 2B, 4 3B, 4 HR, 6.4 BB%, 25.4 K%, 173 PA.

Nice pop in pro debut but rookie ball at age 23 is not where he wants to start.


Mikey Edie OF.  DOB:  7/3/1997.  B-R, T-R.  5'11", 175 lbs.  International FA

2016 R:  .217/.287/.280, 10 SB, 5.0 BB%, 27.5 K%.

Not ready to give up on Edie just yet, but man, 2016 was a rough season for him!


Will Albertson C.  DOB:  6/26/1994.  B-R, T-R.  5'11", 190 lbs.  Drafted 2016 Round 21.

2016 R:  .213/.245/.277, 2.0 BB%, 14.3 K%, 49 PA.

Put up video game numbers for a very small college program so we'll give him the benefit of the small sample size doubt here.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Thoughts on MLB Punishment of Cardinals

The sordid story of the hacking of the Houston Astros computer network by St Louis Cardinals employee, Chris Correa, appears to have come to the end, or maybe it hasn't.  The perpetrator, former Cardinals Scouting Director, Chris Correa, was long ago sentenced to 46 months in prison for his role, but that was only the criminal side of the case.  There were also damages to assess and today MLB gave the Cardinals their punishment:  $2 M and the Cardinals first 2 remaining draft picks for 2017, #'s 56 and 75 overall.

Many analysts feel the Cardinals got off light and the punishment should have included a first round draft pick.  First of all, I don't in any way condone the actions of Chris Correa.  I think his prison sentence is a bit long for the crime, but his lifetime ban from employment in MLB is not.  I have to say it is still not clear to me what Correa was looking for except he seems to have realized he was over his head and and he needed the opinions of his former colleagues to do his job, which was evaluate prospects.  If Correa used that information to, say, draft a prospect he knew the Astros wanted and thus "stole" that player from them, then there may have been tangible damages.  We don't know if that happened.

Picks #56 and 75 are not first rounders by any stretch, but the Giants landed Bryan Reynolds and Heath Quinn with similar level picks last draft and we are all quite happy they did.  Those picks not only give the Astros a bigger signing bonus pool, they give them access to two players who may well go on to be valuable MLB players.  So, the Astros made out well, IMO.

One thing I question is how fair is this to other teams not involved in the incident.  In particular the other teams in the AL West cannot be happy that the Astros, who have built a very strong core team, have access to even more talent.  I mean, how would you as a Giants fan feel if the Dodgers suddenly had 2 extra high round draft picks because someone from another organization hacked their computer?  For this reason, I believe the proper punishment/restitution would have been for the Cardinals to simply forfeit the draft picks and the Astros receive only money.  It would have to be more than $2 M, of course, but the money would be less damaging to the other teams in the AL and particularly the AL West.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

DrB's 2017 Giants Top 50 Prospects: Honorable Mention Part 7

Garrett Williams LHP.  DOB:  9/15/1994.  6'1", 205 lbs.  Drafted 2016 Round 7.

2016 R:  1-0, 2.57, 7 IP, 3.86 BB/9, 6.43 K/9.
2016 SS:  1-2, 5.68, 25.1 IP, 4.97 BB/9, 7.82 K/9.

It's almost like a broken record, or in today's vernacular a GIF.  Once highly touted prospect whose stocked dropped due to control problems.  The Giants LOVE these guys!  Williams has been on scouting radars since he dominated Little League World Series competition at the age of 12.  Scouts love his low-mid 90's FB and his wipeout curveball, but he struggled with control to the point where he pitched very little in college due to his wildness.  The Giants will definitely give him a chance to work that out.  Although his walk rates had room for improvement in his pro debut, they were not impossibly bad. I would say the relatively low K rate is almost more worrisome, but the Giants may have ordered him pitch to contact at all costs as they did with Tyler Beede.  A lot of analysts have him in the Giants top 20 but I want to see him actually pitch well before I jump on his bandwagon.


Patrick Ruotolo RHP.  DOB:  1/15/1992.  5'10", 218 lbs.  Drafted 2016 Round 27.

2016 R:  0-0, 0.00, 5 IP, 0.00 BB/9, 12.60 K/9.
2016 SS:  2-2, 1.42, 19 IP, 6.63 BB/9, 17.60 K/9, 4 Saves.

Ruotolo is kind of the opposite of Garrett Williams.  Low round draft pick who performed well, albeit in a small sample size and a high walk rate of his own.  Giants seem to have started him out on the Closer Track, not necessarily a good thing, IMO.


Conner Menez, LHP.  DOB:  5/29/1995.  6'3", 195 lbs.  Drafted 2016 Round 14.

2016 R:  2-0, 2.57, 21.0 IP, 1.71 BB/9, 11.14 K/9.
2016 SS:  0-1, 7.20, 5 IP, 1.80 BB/9, 7.20 K/9.
2016 A+:  2-0, 4.94, 27.1 IP, 3.62 BB/9, 6.59 K/9.

Good sized lefty held his own after a promotion all the way to San Jose.  Is that where he will start 2017?


Chris Falwell LHP.  DOB:  4/14/1995.  6'7", 210 lbs.  Drafted 2016 Round 16.

2016 R:  3-1, 2.73, 33 IP, 3.27 BB/9, 5.45 K/9.

Good results in rookie ball but with unimpressive K and BB rates.  Also a college draftee in rookie ball is by definition unimpressive.


Jose Layer OF.  DOB:  5/28/1997.  B-R, T-R.  6'1", 160 lbs.  Drafted 2016 Round 13.

2016 R:  .283/.356/.377, 5 2B, 8.2 BB%, 11.5 K%, 61 PA.

The Giants have drafted 2-3 Puerto Rican HS prospects every draft for several years now.  Most have not made it out of rookie ball.  Layer may be one of the exceptions as he hit well with impressive peripherals in his pro debut.  Toolsy kid who seems like he may have some skills to go with the tools.  Sleeper!

Hot Stove Update: Royals Sign Brandon Moss

Brandon Moss 1B/OF/DH.  DOB:  9/16/1983.  B-L, T-R.  6'1", 180 lbs.

2016 Cardinals:  .225/.300/.484, 19 2B, 2 3B, 28 HR, 8.4 BB%, 30.4 K%, 464 PA, fWAR 1.4.

We are entering the bargain basement phase of the Hot Stove League season.  The Royals may have scored a major bargain in Brandon Moss with a 2 year/$12 M contract.  Moss is reputed, possible unfairly, to be a fairly one-dimensional or 3-true-outcomes player who walks a lot, strikes out a lot, has a low BA, but hits a lot of dingers and is a liability on defense.  It may come as a surprise, then, that at least by UZR defensive metrics, he is actually a slightly above average corner OF and much better than Jorge Soler, the guy who is currently penciled in as the Royals starting RF.

Moss' market was probably depressed by a late season collapse last year in which he hit just .099 in September/October.  Were it not for that terrible slump, he likely would have put up an fWAR of over 2.0.  His overall stat line was very close to career averages for him as he has averaged 28 HR's per 600 PA's and his career slash line is .241/.319/.455 so I would not put a lot of stock in last year's September slump.  In fact, I have thought that Moss might have made a nice addition for LF for the Giants next season!

With Alex Gordon manning LF and Eric Hosmer at 1B, Moss will likely either play RF with Soler DH'ing or DH with Soler playing RF.  By UZR, Moss is actually the better defensive RF and it's not that close.  The Royals could also platoon Moss and Soler and sign another slugger like Chris Carter to DH.

Very nice bargain pickup for the KC Royals.

DrB's 2017 Giants Top 50 Prospects: Honorable Mention Part 6

The Hot Stove has quieted down again so we'll keep plodding along with our prospect profiles.


Ryan Kirby 1B.  DOB:  1/25/1995.  B-L, T-R.  6'2", 180 lbs.  Drafted 2016 Round 12.

2016 SS:  .260/.345/.398, 16 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 9.9 BB%, 23.0 K%, 223 PA.

Strong walk rate which tends to bring higher K rates.  Doubles power may not be enough for a 1B prospect.


Woody Edwards OF.  DOB:  4/2/1995.  B- R, T-R.  5'10", 155 lbs.  Drafted 2015 Round 40.

2016 R:  .294/.360/.324, 8 SB, 6.7 BB%, 14.7 K%, 75 PA.
2016 SS:  .269/.387/.269, 2 SB, 16.1 BB%, 22.6 K%, 31 PA.

AKA Roger Edwards.  Slap and dash scrapper with no pop.  Hanging around for 2 seasons after being drafted in the 40'th round is an accomplishment in itself.


Victor Concepcion, RHP.  DOB:  DOB:  11/23/1996.  6'0", 170 lbs.  International FA.

2016 SS:  4-7, 6.40, 57.2 IP, 3.75 BB/9, 7.18 K/9.

Salem-Keizer was an aggressive assignment after 2 seasons in the DSL, but the numbers are still disappointing.


Kendry Melo, RHP.  DOB:  1/7/1994.  6'3", 210 lbs.  International FA.

2016 SS:  4-1, 4.99, 39.2 IP, 5.45 BB/9, 9.98 K/9.

Another international pitcher who was older at the time of signing.  Melo has size and strikeout stuff.  Needs to get his walk rates down.  Sleeper.


Rayan Hernandez RHP.  DOB:  9/24/1995.  6'4", 230 lbs.  Drafted 2013 Round 34.

2016 SS:  0-3, 2.78, 35.2 IP, 4.04 BB/9, 7.57 K/9

Has pitched well in very small samples since being drafted out of Puerto Rican HS.  Weak peripherals may be holding him back.  Needs to move up to full season ball and do well to not stall out.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

DrB's 2017 Giants Top 50 Prospects: Honorable Mention Part 5

Dominic Mazza LHP.  DOB:  7/29/1994.  6'1", 195 lbs.  Drafted 2015 Round 22.

2016 A:  8-3, 3.93, 84.2 IP, 1.70 BB/9, 8.40 K/9.

Polished college lefty with nice K/BB but a bit too hittable in a pitcher's league.


Cesar Yanez RHP.  DOB:  9/30/1994.  6'5", 175 lbs.  International FA.

2016 SS:  1-0, 0.60, 15 IP, 4.20 BB/9, 9.60 K/9.
2016 A:  0-0, 4.05, 13.1 IP, 5.40 BB/9, 11.83 K/9.

Intriguing size and K/9 with apparent oodles  of room to fill out.  Needs to get the walks under control. One of my big sleepers in the system.


Ashford Fulmer OF.  DOB:  6/29/1993.  B-R, T-R.  6'0", 190 lbs.  Drafted 2015 Round 28.

2016 SS:  .292/.396/.396, 12 2B, 3 3B, HR, 12 SB, 11.2 BB/9, 17.8 K/9, 241 PA.
2016 A:  .077/.186/.115, 8.5 BB%, 35.6 K%, 59 PA.

Late round college draftee joins a fairly long list of hitting prospects who washed out of Augusta to hit much better in Salem-Keizer.  Most of those prospects have gone on to do well at higher levels, so while it is not an ideal path, it is not the end of the line either.


Brandon Van Horn SS.  DOB:  12/18/1993.  B-R, T-R.  6'2", 175 lbs.  Drafted 2016 Round 19.

2016 R:  .231/.328/.310, 7 2B, 2 3B, 5 SB, 12.7 BB%, 24.9 K%, 189 PA.
2016 SS:  .286/.375/.714, HR, 12.5 BB%, 12.5 K%, 8 PA.

Reputation as a slick fielding SS.  Looks like he has some plate discipline.  Nice size for a real SS.  Could be a sleeper.


John Riley C.  DOB:  2/14/1994.  B-R, T-R.  6'0", 210 lbs.  Drafted 2013 Round 31.

2016 SS:  .274/.369/.404, 10 2B, 3 HR, 8.9 BB%, 30.4 K%, 168 PA.

Drafted as a HS catcher and signed with a bonus out of proportion to his draft position, Riley has developed slowly.  Moved back to catcher for 2016 he hit well for S-K but still K'd a whole lot.  Light tower power, but will it ever be usable?

Friday, January 27, 2017

Dr B's 2017 Giants Top 50 Prospects: Honorable Mention Part 4

Logan Webb RHP.  DOB:  11/18/1996.  6'2", 195 lbs.  Drafted in 2014 Round 4.

2016 A:  2-3, 6.21, 42 IP, 2.57 BB/9, 6.93 K/9.

Webb got knocked around pretty good early in the season then we found out why when he went under the TJ knife.  Still young enough to overcome the lost development time.


Tyler Cyr RHP.  DOB:  5/5/1993.  6'3", 205 lbs.  Drafted 2015 Round 10.

2016 A:  3-3, 2.31, 50.2 IP, 2.84 BB/9, 11.55 K/9.
2016 A+:  2-1, 2.35, 23.0 IP, 3.52 BB/9, 9.39 K/9.

Love the size. Love the K's.  Love the K/BB.  Cyr would not have been out of place in the Top 50.

FB reached 97 while in JC ball.


Skyler Ewing 1B.  DOB:  8/22/1992.  B-R, T-R.  6'1", 220 lbs.  Drafted  2014 Round 6.

2016 A:  .241/.331/.410, 10 2B, 2 3B, 10 HR, 9.3 BB%, 22.8 K%,

An improvement on his disastrous 2015 campaign, but real old for the level.


Jake McCasland RHP.  DOB:  9/3/1991.  6'2", 220 lbs.  Drafted 2013 Round 26.

2016 A:  8-5, 1.65, 109.1 IP, 1.98 BB/9, 8.81 K/9.

A late breakout by the guy the Giants drafted twice.  Old, but if he can maintain those numbers in San Jose, he may still be a prospect.


Michael Connolly RHP.  DOB:  10/31/1991.  6'0", 190 lbs.  Drafted 2013  Round 27.

2016 A:  11-7, 3.05, 135.2 IP, 2.06 BB/9, 7.10 K/9.

Very similar story as McCasland above, except for the drafted twice part.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

DrB's 2017 Giants Top 50 Prospects: Honorable Mention Part 3

Carlos Alvarado, RHP.  DOB:  10/22/1989.  6'4", 175 lbs.  Minor League FA.

2016 A:  0-0, 0.00, 9.2 IP, 0.93 BB/9, 10.24 K/9, 7 Saves.
2016 AA:  1-0, 2.79, 19.1 IP, 0.00 BB/9, 11.17 K/9, 16 Saves.

Alvarado has kicked around the lower levels of the Giants minor league system for several years and has always put up interesting numbers while being old for the level.  Closer at AA is not that far from MLB.


Cristian Paulino, 2B/OF.  DOB:  9/4/1991.  B-R, T-R.  5'10", 170 lbs.  International FA.

2016 A+:  .259/.281/.374, 17 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 29 SB, 2.7 BB%, 23.1 K%, 299 PA.

Paulino has tools.  They just aren't developing all that fast.


Ronnie Jebavy, OF.  DOB:  5/17/1994.  B-R, T-R.  6'2", 190 lbs.  Drafted 2015 Round 5.

2016 A+:  .247/.305/.385, 28 2B, 5 3B, 12 HR, 24 SB, 5.8 BB%, 26.1 K%, 586 PA.

Toolsy prospect from a small college program.  Jebavy showed extra base pop and SB speed, but the hit tool is the most important and his has a ways to go.


Ty Ross, C.  DOB:  1/17/1992.  B-R, T-R.  6'2", 210 lbs.  Drafted 2013 Round 12.

2016 A+:  .224/.289/.340, 18 2B, 4 HR, 8.0 BB%, 17.0 K%, 288 PA.

Defensive catcher who may never hit enough.


Hengerber Medina, RHP.  DOB:  10/12/1994.  5'11", 160 lbs.  International FA.

2016 SS:  2-3, 4.43, 44.2 IP, 3.63 BB/9, 7.46 K/9.
2016 A+:  1-0, 3.86, 9.1 IP, 4.82 BB/9, 16.39 K/9.

My favorite name in the organization!  Medina lost 3 years of development as a pitcher trying to be a SS in the DSL.  Reached San Jose at the end of last season.  Just turned 22, he still has some time to develop further.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

DrB's 2017 Giants Top 50 Prospects: Honorable Mention Part 2

Tyler Horan, OF.  DOB: 12/2/1990.  B-L, T-R.  6'2", 230 lbs.  Drafted 2013 Round 8.

2016 AA:  .265/.337/.460, 12 2B, 4 3B, 12 HR, 4 SB, 9.6 BB%, 24.5 K%, 323 PA.

Much better season in 2016, but is getting lost in the crowd of Giants OF prospects.  If he has potential for a MLB career, it will likely be in another organization.


Matt Winn, C.  DOB:  8/5/1992.  B-R, T-R.  6'1", 200 lbs.  Drafted in 2015 Round 14.

2016 A:  .230/.325/.393, 13 2B, 3B, 13 HR, 11.5 BB%, 28.6 K%, 384 PA.
2016 AA:  .250/.288/.411, 3 2B, 2 HR, 5.1 BB%, 20.3 K%, 59 PA.

Winn gets high marks for leadership.  Has some pop in the bat.  Kind of a 3-true-outcomes type hitter, which is not all bad in a catcher.  Ceiling is backup MLB catcher, but more likely AAAA.  Future manager?


Kyle Crick, RHP.  DOB:  11/30/1992.  6'4", 200 lbs.  Drafted in Round 1S 2011.

2016 AA:  4-11, 5.04, 109 IP, 5.53 BB/9, 7.10 K/9.

Crick stayed in the Richmond rotation all season.  He improved his walk rated from unbelievably terrible to merely very bad.  He did that by pitching to contact so his K rate dropped too.  He's gotta show more improvement in 2017.


Preston Claiborne, RHP.  DOB:  1/21/1988.  6'2", 225 lbs.  Minor League FA.

2016 AA:  2-1, 2.38, 45.1 IP, 2.58 BB/9, 9.73 K/9, 3 Saves.

Came up in the Yankees organization.  Solid numbers after missing 2015 with an injury.  Has a chance to be a useful bullpen arm at the MLB level.


Ray Black, RHP.  DOB:  6/26/1990.  6'5", 225 lbs.  Drafted in 2011 Round 7.

2016 AA:  1-4, 4.88, 31.1 IP, 9.19 BB/9, 15.22 K/9, 6 Saves.

Ray Black, he of the triple digit fastballs, looked like he was on the cusp of the major leagues last year at this time.  Instead, he got a wild hair up his nose and his ERA and BB/9 ballooned.  He allowed just 1 run over his last 15 appearances, but still has 14 BB's in 14 IP over that span.  The oft injured Black last pitched on 8/5/2016.  The Giants put him on the 60 day DL in September to create 40 man roster space.  What to expect in 2017 is anybody's guess, but it's looking more like Black will end up being a minor league legend.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Hot Stove Update: Giants Sign Nick Hundley

Nick Hundley, C.   DOB:  9/8/1983.  B-R, T-R.  6'1", 210 lbs.

2016(Rockies):  .260/.320/.439, 20 2B, 3B, 10 HR, 7.9 BB%, 20.5 K%, 317 PA.

Whoa!  Can't say I saw this one coming.  The Giants signed FA C Nick Hundley to a 1 yr/$2 M contract.  This is obviously bad news for Trevor Brown because the Giants did not add $1 M to their Luxury Tax to give Brown competition in spring training.  Nick Hundley is going to be the backup catcher and Brownie is going to AAA if he isn't traded somewhere.  This signing also makes the minor league contracts for Tim Fedorowicz and Josmil Pinto, well, minor league contracts.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Hot Stove Update: Giants Sign Jae-Gyun Hwang; Dodgers Trade for Forsythe

The Giants had been rumored to be interested in Korean League 3B Jae-Gyun Hwang, which usually means they actually aren't interested, but this time they got the deal done.  Here's the numbers:

Jae-Gyun Hwang, 3B.  DOB:  7/28/1987.  B-R, T-R.  6'0", 185 lbs.

2016 Lotte Giants:  .335/.394/.570, 27 HR, 25 SB, 522 PA.

There are several videos of Hwang out there.  I really like the looks of this guy.  Well proportioned, athletic body.  Plays with some flair(routinely epic bat flips) and generally looks like he could more than hold his own against MLB competition.  Although the KBO is well known to be an extreme hitter-friendly league, several Korean players have done well in MLB.  I mean, let's say his numbers take a hit and he "only" hits .280 with 18 HR.  Those are still pretty good numbers.  Even better, the deal is risk free in that it is a minor league deal with $1.5 M contingent upon him making the Opening Day roster.  There is another $1.6 M available in incentives.

I really like this signing by the Giants, which opens up all sorts of possibilities including potential trades.


The Dodgers finally traded for a 2B, but it wasn't Brian Dozier.  Instead, Andrew Friedman went back to the Tampa Bay well for Logan Forsythe and got him for just Jose Deleon in a 1 for 1 trade.  Numbers:

Logan Forsythe 2B.  DOB:  1/14/1987.  B-R, T-R.  6'1", 205 lbs.

2016(Rays):  .264/.333/.444, 24 2B, 4 3B, 20 HR, 6 SB, 567 PA.

Forsythe is not quite as scary as Brian Dozier, but he's a solid player who will upgrade the 2B position for the Dodgers.  The Dodgers lose another pitching prospect, but hang onto Julio Urias and 1B prospect Cody Bellinger.

The Cubs signed LHP Brett Anderson. The deal is for $3.5 M if he passes his physical with incentives up to a total of $10 M.  Anderson only pitched 11.1 IP last season and has had trouble staying healthy with only has 2 seasons out of 8 in which he has made more than 19 starts.

DrB's 2017 Giants Top 50 Prospects: Honorable Mention, Part 1

No particular order to these.  Definite tier break after #50.


Rando Moreno, IF.  DOB:  6/6/1992.  B- R, T-R.  5'11", 164 lbs.  International FA.

2016 A+:  .248/.317/.288, 141 PA.
2016 AA:  .215/.261/.271, 189 PA.
2016 AAA:  .299/.325/ .381, 156 PA.

Moved around wherever he was needed in 2016 which tells you he is probably an "organizational" player.  Nice BA in AAA, but not so much elsewhere.  No pop.


Daniel Carbonell, OF.  DOB:  3/29/1991.  B-R, T-R.  6'3", 196 lbs.  Cuban FA.

2016 AA:  .284/.348/.384, 3 HR, 11 SB, 235 PA.
2016 MPL:  .261/.281/.413.

The guy who is built like a football wideout.  Not a lot of pop for a guy that big. 2016 was in improvement, but running out of time.


Matt Lujan, LHP.  DOB:  8/23/1988.  6'1", 200 lb.

2016 AAA:  0-5, 4.04, 49 IP, 4.22 BB/9, 8.27 K/9.

Lujan has worked his way up the Giants organizational ladder one level at a time.  Still an outside chance to be a lefty reliever in MLB, but getting awfully old to be a prospect.


Ali Castillo, IF.  DOB:  6/19/1989.  B-R, T-R.  5'10", 165 lbs.  Minor league FA 2016.

2016 AA:  .317/.359/.392, 9 2B, 3 3B, 6 SB, 5.5 BB%, 10.9 K%, 220 PA.
2016 AAA:  .309/.342/.354, 6 2B, 3B, 4 SB, 4.2 BB%, 10.5 K%, 191 PA.

Reputed to be a defensive wizard.  Hit for average in 2016, but with no pop.  Outside chance to be a reserve IF for some team some day.


Orlando Calixte, IF.  DOB:  2/3/1992.  B-R, T-R.  5'11", 160 lbs. Minor League FA 2017.

2016 AA(Royals):  .295/ .333/.403, 9 SB, 2 HR, 14 SB, 5.9 BB%, 20.4 K%, 152 PA.
2016 AAA(Royals):  .265/.320/.428, 17 2B, 5 3B, 9 HR, 5 SB, 7.6 BB%, 18.5 K%, 367 PA.

Versatile IF who has played a bit of OF.  Has hit for average with some power and speed.  Giants added him to the 40 man roster after signing him to a minor league deal.  Will compete with Ehire Adrianza and Kelby Tomlinson for a reserve IF spot in 2017.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

DrB's 2017 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #50 Nick Hill

Nick Hill,  3B.  DOB:  8/2/1994.  B-R, T-R, 6'4", 190 lbs.  Drafted in 2016 Round 26 from Eckard College.

2016 R:  .263/.330/.343, 8 2B, 3 3B, 0 HR, 17 SB, 4.6 BB%, 24.2 K%, 9 HBP, 196 PA.
2016 SS:  .231/.231/.308, 2B, SB, 0.0 BB%, 15.4 K%, 13 PA.

Nick Hill is another guy who I think was a savvy draft pick by the Giants.  Has a lot of speed for a guy that big.  Lots of room to fill out his frame.  Drafted as an OF, but moved to 3B in his pro debut.  Giants usually use late season promos to send prospects to their probable assignment for the following season so expect Nick Hill to stay behind in camp and show up in S-K's lineup on opening day of the NWL.  Lots of room for growth in this prospect.

Fantasy Focus: Impact Rookies- Dansby Swanson

Dansby Swanson, SS, Braves.  DOB:  2.11/1994.  B-R, T-R.  6'1", 190 lbs.  Drafted in 2015 Round 1, Pick 1 out of Vanderbilt by the D'Backs.

2016 A+:  .333/.441/.526, 12 2B, 1 HR, 7 SB, 16.1 BB%, 14.0 K%, 93 PA.
2016 AA:  .261/.342/.402, 13 2B, 5 3B, 8 HR, 6 SB, 9.3 BB%, 18.8 K%, 377 PA.
2016 MLB:  .302/.361/.447, 7 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 3 SB, 9.0 BB%, 23.4 K%, 145 PA(129 AB).

If Dansby Swanson had just 2 more MLB AB's, he would no longer be officially a prospect, at least by BA criteria.  As it stands, he is officially a rookie in 2017 and will almost certainly be the Braves starting SS.  The power and speed might have been a big disappointing in 2016, but the hit tool is definitely there and he looks like he can play SS.  He's probably not one of the elite SS's in the league, but he'll put up solid numbers and won't tank any single category for you.

DrB's 2017 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #49 Jordan Johnson

Jordan Johnson, RHP.  DOB:  9/15/1993.  6'2", 175 lbs.  Drafted in 2014 Round 13 out of Cal State Northridge.

2016 A+:  8-9, 5.33, 120 IP, 2.93 BB/9, 8.33 K/9, 24 HR.

Jordan Johnson came into the 2106 season riding a wave of excitement over his 2015 performance.  After a 32/1 K/BB in the AZL, he was promoted all the way to San Jose and put up a K/9 of 9.48 against a BB/9 of 2.87 in 31.1 IP.  Those number slipped a bit over a full A+ season in 2016 but what blew up his ERA was a severe case of goferitis.  Yes, it was the Cal League, home to several well known launching pads, but the home park in SJ is actually quite pitcher-friendly and 17 of Jordan's 24 dingers allowed came in his home ballpark.  Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs reports that Johnson's velocity was down from 93-96 to the 91-93 MPH range which may be part of the problem, but yet the K/BB remained fairly strong despite the velocity drop.

2017 looms as a critical season for Jordan Johnson.  He has to get the dingers under control to progress toward a MLB career.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Fantasy Focus: Impact Rookies- Jharel Cotton

Jharel Cotton, RHP, A's.  DOB:  1/19/1992.  5'11", 195 lbs.  Drafted by the Dodgers in 2012 Round 20.  Acquired by the A's midseason from the Dodgers in the Rich Hill trade.

2016 AAA(Dodgers):  8-5, 4.90, 97.1 IP, 2.96 BB/9, 11.00 K/9.
2016 AAA(A's):  3-1, 2.82, 38.1 IP, 1.64 BB/9, 8.45 K/9.
2016 MLB(A's):  2-0, 2.15, 29.1 IP, 1.23 BB/9, 7.06 K/9.

We often read or hear about a pitcher's "stuff."  What is "stuff", anyway?  We know it is not the same as performance.  Often the term is used to describe a pitcher whose pitches look great but somehow are not getting batters out.  Often it it used as a synonym for velocity.  Eno Sarris and Alex Chamberlain, who write for Fangraphs, have made an interesting attempt at quantifying "stuff."  Roughly, the method looks at outcomes for individual pitch types such as groundballs, pop ups, swinging strikes, etc, gives them weights based on percentage of usage by the pitcher and impact of each parameter in getting outs and comes up with a single score they have dubbed Weighted Arsenal Score.

It speaks well of the method that the names at the top of the list include well recognized aces such as Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw and Noah Syndergaard.  Jharel Cotton ranked #13 on that list.  Of course his numbers are based on a 29 inning sample size, but still, Jharel Cotton has "stuff."  What Cotton has is 3 plus pitches, FB, cutter and changeup, all of which he has plus command over.  It appears from Fangraphs metrics that the FB is actually split about 2/3 and 1/3 between a 4-seam and 2-seam grip so some analysts would say he has 4 pitches, but the WAS score did not differentiate between the 2 fastballs.

Jharel Cotton was on my final fantasy team roster.  Our commissioner is starting a keeper system which allows us to keep 2 position players and 2 pitchers from last year.  I am seriously considering making Jharel Cotton one of my 2 pitcher keepers.

Hot Stove Update: Bautista and Trumbo Off the Market; An Interesting Trade

Jose Bautista and Mark Trumbo resigned with the the Blue Jays and Orioles respectively.  Bautista got a little more than if he had accepted his QO with a 1 year/$18 M contract with an option for 2018 with a buyout of $1M.  This deal make sense for the Blue Jays but has to be a big disappointment for Bautista who made some rather exorbitant demands last year for a contract extension.  Trumbo's deal is for 3 years/$37 M and is a good fit for both the Orioles and Trumbo who is a 1 dimensional player who should continue to thrive playing in dinger friendly Camden Yards.


The Reds traded SP Dan Straily to the Marlins for 3 prospects including Luis Castillo, a former Giants farmhand who reportedly was hitting triple digits last year in the Marlins minor league system.  The Reds also got RHP Austin Brice and OF Isaiah White in the deal.  This trade is a nice flip for the rebuilding Reds who picked him up off waivers last year and got a solid season out of him which rebuilt his value.  Straily has had an up and down career and would seem likely to regress again in 2017, but Marlins Park may be a boon to his flyball style.

Castillo is 24 yo and has not pitched above AA.  He is most likely a future MLB bullpen arm.  Brice is your average RP prospect with middling numbers in the minors.  White is a sleeper who hit just .214 last year, but has plus-plus speed and a plus defender in CF.  He is just 20 yo, so has time to develop.


The Phillies signed OF Michael Saunders to a 1 year/$9 M contract with a team option for 2018 with a $1 M buyout.  Saunders had a great first half last year but was terrible in the second half.  His 140 Games last year was his most since 2013 as he has had recurrent injuries and has a bum knee.  This is a bridge signing for the Phils who are rebuilding.  It's a bit of a head scratcher what the Phils are thinking here as they might be better off in the long run to play Aaron Alther and/or Roman Quinn and give them MLB experience.


Oft-injured RHP Josh Johnson announced his retirement from baseball after signing a minor league contract with the Giants earlier in the offseason.  You have to think his rehab from his 3'rd Tommy John surgery was not going well.


The Gregor Blanco era is apparently over in San Francisco as the White Shark signed a minor league deal with the D'Backs.  From 2012-2015, Blanco accumulated a total fWAR of 9.3 as the Best 4'th OF in Baseball.  He played the game with enthusiasm and never complained about starting jobs being handed to others who were not as good all-around players.  His two signature moments were a stunning catch to save Matt Cain's perfect game and as the first leg of a relay throw that nailed Prince Fielder at the plate in the 2012 World Series.  Blanco's defense started to slip the last two seasons which robbed him of a big part of his value.  He also struggled at the plate in 2016 putting his fWAR into negative territory.  While Blanco was one of the best values in baseball for the Giants, he also did quite well for himself financially earning a total of $12.8 M in his 5 seasons in San Francisco.  He should get a lot of very loud cheers at future Giants championship team reunions for the rest of his life.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

DrB's 2017 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #48 Chase Johnson

Chase Johnson, RHP.  DOB:  1/9/1992.  6'3", 185 lbs.  Drafted in 2013 Round 3 out of Cal Poly SLO.

2016:  1-4, 3.27, 52.1 IP, 3.10 BB/9, 6.36 K/9.

What a difference a day makes!  One day, Chase Johnson was one of the more promising SP prospects in the Giants system in AA.  The next, he was pitching out of the bullpen for the Richmond Flying Squirrels.  Not sure exactly why, but the Giants suddenly flipped Dan Slania and Chase Johnson with Big Dan moving into the rotation and Chase moving to the bullpen.  Johnson did eventually move into the closer role for Richmond and ended up with 5 Saves, but it may be ominous that he was shut down on August 7 but the Giants did add him to the 40 man roster for 2017.  Where does he get placed in 2017?

DrB's 2017 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #47 Sandro Cabrera

Sandro Cabrera, LHP.  DOB:  6/22/1995.  6'2", 175 lbs.  International FA.

2015 DSL:  6-2, 2.32, 77.2 IP, 3.01 BB/9, 9.97 K/9.
2016 R:  2-2, 2.81, 41.2 IP, 3.02 BB/9, 8.21 K/9.
2016 A:  0-0, 0.00, 1 IP, 0.00 BB/9, 27.00 K/9.

June birthdays tend to suppress a player's prospect ranking, especially with those obsessed with age vs level.  Cabrera's birthdate meant that even though he had just barely turned 19 yo when signed by the Giants, he did not see game action until his age 20 season which is ancient for the DSL.  You probably need to look at Cabrera in terms of pro experience and he's done everything you would hope for so far. Striking out the side in his 1 inning of A ball work put a nice cap on a successful stateside debut.  I would expect to see him start 2017 in Augusta for his age 22 season, although he will be 21 yo on opening day.

Cabrera is a lefty with an awkward looking delivery.  I don't have a detailed scouting report, but from videos, it looks like he has a low 90's FB with a sharp slider and a changeup.  Likely ceiling is back of the rotation starter or more likely a lefty relief specialist.

Fantasy Focus: Impact Rookies- Andrew Benintendi

Andrew Benintendi, OF, Red Sox.  DOB:  7/6/1994.  B-L, T-L.  5'10", 170 lbs.  Drafted in 2015 Round 1(#7).

2016 A+:  .341/.413/.563, 13 2B, 7 3B, HR, 8 SB, 9.7 BB%, 5.8 K%, 155 PA.
2016 AA:  .295/.357/.515, 18 2B, 5 3B, 8 HR, 8 SB, 9.1 BB%, 11.4 K%, 263 PA.
2016 MLB:  .295/.359/.476, 11 2B, 3B, 2 HR, SB, 8.5 BB%, 21.2 K%, 118 PA.

Well, that didn't take long!  Andrew Benintendi was an early favorite of Covechatter to be the Giants first round draft pick in 2015 only to rocket up draft boards all the way to a top 10 overall pick by the Red Sox, as if they need more talent on that team!  He's now rocketed up their farm system and is now projected to be their starting LF in 2017 and possibly bat second in their lineup where he will have opportunities for RBI's and R to go with double digit HR's and SB's with a .290+ BA.  If you are in OBP leagues, he'll give you that too!  Comp is Adam Eaton, although his defense will be mostly wasted in the shallow LF of Fenway Park.  You don't care about defense in most fantasy baseball leagues, though.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

DrB's 2017 Giants Top 50 Draft Picks: #46 Malique Zeigler

Malique Zeigler, OF.  DOB:  9/8/1996.  B-R, T-R.  6'2", 170 lbs.  Drafted in 2016 Round 22 out of North Iowa CC.

2016 JC:  .395/.490/.726, 16 2B, 22 HR, 31 SB, 35 BB, 43 K, 300 PA.
2016 R:  .290/.384/.419, 4 2B, 2 3B, 4 SB, 13.7 BB%, 20.5 K%, 73 PA.

There are a lot of the Giants 2016 draft picks I really like, but none more than Malique Zeigler.  Do those JC numbers remind you of anyone?  I'll say Juan Carlos Perez, and before you let out a groan, Zeigler is 3 inches taller than Lil Juan P.  Zeigler is a wiry strong 5 tool athlete who looks like he should fill out his frame.  Like a lot of Giants drafted hitters these days, Zeigler has quick, short stroke to the ball. He has shown the plate discipline to draw more than 10% walks while keeping his K's in manageable range.  He's shown speed and power.  Love this kid!

With a glut of OF's in the lower minors and being young enough to not rush him, I expect Zeigler to stay in camp until short season ball starts and then play the summer in Salem-Keizer.

Fantasy Focus: Impact Rookies- Dan Vogelbach

Dan Vogelbach, 1B, Mariners.  DOB:  B-L, T-R.  6'0", 250 lbs.

2016 AAA(Cubs):  .318/.425/.548, 18 2B, 2 3B, 16 HR, 15.1 BB%, 18.4 K%, 365 PA.
2016 AAA(Mariners):  .240/.404/.422, 7 2B, 7 HR, 21.2 BB%, 17.2 K%, 198 PA.
2016 MLB(Mariners):  .083/.154/.083, 7.7 BB%, 46.2 K%, 13 PA.

If you are in a fantasy baseball league that uses OBP as an offensive category, you might want to think about targeting Dan Vogelbach in your draft.  Vogey2, as we will call him, is likely to be at least the left-handed half of the Mariners 1B platoon and he is an OBP machine.  You may remember him as the rotund HS draft pick of the Cubs a few years ago.  John Kruk, Prince Fielder, Pablo Sandoval….there are rotund guys who just know how to hit and Vogelbach seems to fit in that category.  Obvious comp is Joey Votto.

DrB's 2017 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #45 Jacob Heyward

Note:  For those keeping track, I dropped Nick Hill from #45 to #50 and moved #'s 46-50 up a notch which brings us to Jacob Heyward.

Jacob Heyward, OF.  DOB:  8/1/1995.  B-R, T-R.  6'2", 205 lbs.  Drafted in 2016 Round 18 out of Univ. of Miami.

2016 College:  .242/.403/.372, 10 2B, 6 HR, 7 SB, 48 BB, 52 K, 215 PA.
2016 R:  .327/.488/.579, 10 2B, 5 3B, HR, 10 SB, 19.2 BB%, 24.0 K%, 125 PA.
2016 SS:  .286/.444/.429, 2 2B, SB, 16.7 BB%, 16.7 K%, 18 PA.

As I am sure you all know by now, Jacob Heyward is the younger brother of Jason Heyward.  I loved Jason Heyward before the 2007 draft and am I ever happy to have a Heyward in the Giants organization!  Unlike his older bro who was drafted and signed out of HS, Jacob went the college route where he had an up and down career.  After hitting .327 his sophomore campaign, his BA slumped his junior year which is why he was still there in round 18.  He kind of cuts across the grain of a typical Giants hitter in that he draws a ton of walks, which come with a lot of K's.  Just looking at his stat lines, I'm pretty sure the Giants coaches are urging him to be more aggressive early in the count to stay out of 2-strike counts.

On video, the striking thing about Jacob is his massive shoulders and upper chest.  He is otherwise a well proportioned athlete with 6.80 60 speed.  His arm is below average which means he is probably stuck to either LF or 1B.

Jacob put up terrific numbers in Arizona Rookie League, but a good player from a major college program should dominate rookie ball.  The sample size in Salem-Keizer at the end of the season is too small to judge.  One thing he has going for him is his birthdate which makes 2017 his age 21 season.  I'll guess we seem him start the season in Augusta.  It's hard to call him a sleeper because of the name, but so far the name has not gotten him a ton of respect.  He probably does not have much more physical projection, but he has plenty of muscle on that frame now and just needs to polish his approach at the plate to hit and hit for power at high levels.  A full season in Augusta should tell us a lot about how for real he is.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Fantasy Focus: Impact Rookies- Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy, C, Rockies.

2016 AAA:  .327/.361/.647, 26 2B, 7 3B, 19 HR, 5.0 BB%, 24.3 K%, 321 PA.
2016 MLB:  .273/.347/.659, 5 HR, 8.2 BB%, 38.8 K%, 49 PA.

I already listed OF David Dahl on my all-breakout team.  As if they needed even more firepower in their lineup, the Rockies also have an impact rookie at the catcher position.  Tom Murphy has averaged 33 HR/600 PA in the minor leagues and has hit 8 dingers in 88 PA's as a major leaguer.  The strikeouts may be a problem, and he's not a great defensive catcher.  He also has to win the starting job from the lighter hitting Tony Wolters, but oh my!  You see that kind of power from a guy who is going to play half their games in Coor's Field and as a fantasy baseball owner, you want to jump on it!  The Rockies are probably still short in their rotation and still have problems in their bullpen, but they will definitely score some runs in 2017!

DrB's 2017 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #44 Ryan Howard

Ryan Howard, SS.  DOB:  7/25/1994.  B-R, T-R.  6'1", 190 lbs.  Drafted in 2016 Round 5 out of Univ. of Missouri.

2016 College:  .295/.381/.433, 13 2B, 3B, 5 HR, 10 SB, 29 BB, 33 K, 254 PA.
2016 SS:  .272/.313/.371, 10 2B, 4 HR, 2 SB, 5.3 BB%, 9.8 K%, 246 PA.

The Giants drafted Ryan Howard twice.  The first time was 2015 when he was a draft eligible sophomore in Round 31.  He decided to play for the collegiate Team USA that summer and return to school in the fall.  Then the Giants took him in Round 5 in 2016.  As Giants Scouting Director John Barr put it, "I think we liked him better than any of the other teams."

Howard fits a mold of recent Giants draft picks.  College SS who might be able to stick at the position but could move to other positions with a quick bat that avoids strikeouts like the plague.  Like Joe Panik, Matt Duffy, Kelby Tomlinson, Christian Arroyo and others, Howard has multiple tools, but no single outstanding one.  His arm is considered better than his range at SS.  On video, he has a very short, quick swing on a level plane which looks like it produces more line drives and ground balls than flyballs.  The swing is tailored to a high BA and avoiding K's but probably won't produce a lot of dingers.

I'll guess that Howard gets assigned to San Jose to start 2017 with Brandon Van Horn, another SS prospect drafted later going to Augusta.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

DrB's 2017 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #43 Mac Marshall

Mac Marshall, LHP.  DOB:  1/27/1996.  6'0", 180 lbs.  Drafted in 2015, Round 4 out of Chipola JC.

2016 A:  0-0, 4.60, 15.2 IP, 9.77 BB/9, 8.04 K/9.
2016 SS:  1-6, 4.73, 51.1 IP, 8.42 BB/9, 9.47 K/9.

Marshall is another formerly highly ranked HS prospect whose stock dropped.  Marshall's path to professional baseball took some inneresting turns.  He scared off many teams in the 2014 draft with high bonus demands.  The Astros had the #1 overall pick and thus a big bonus pool to play with and took him on Round 21.  Marshall had a $1.5 M bonus deal in place, but that blew up when first rounder Brady Aiken failed to sign and the Astros lost their first round bonus pool money.  Marshall then enrolled at LSU where he would not be draft eligible again until 2017.  He decided he did not want to wait that long, so withdrew from LSU and enrolled at Chipola JC.  The Giants then drafted him in Round 4 in 2015 and signed him for a bonus of $750 K.

Marshall looks like he should be a great command pitcher with a compact build and a fairly simple over -the-top delivery, but has struggled with extremely high walk rates.  His FB runs up to 94 MPH and he has a curveball and changeup that have gotten solid reviews.  He'll have to iron out whatever is causing all the walks. If he can, he could end up as a #3 SP in MLB.

Fantasy Focus: 2017 All-Breakout Team

We've scaled back our fantasy baseball coverage a bit here at When the Giants Come to Town.  I don't think anyone really wants to see one more list of positional rankings.  Lots of people, not just fantasy baseball players, are interested in what players may "break out" next year.  The rules for this are it has to be a player not yet widely recognized as a star and who has "graduated" by BA's standards of at least 130 AB's or 50 IP in MLB.

CATCHER:  Wilson Contreras., Cubs.

2016 AAA:  .353/.442/.593, 16 2B, 3 3B, 9 HR, 11.1 BB%, 13.3 K%, 240 PA.
2016 MLB:  .282/.357/.488, 14 2B, 3B, 12 HR, 9.2 BB%, 23.7 K%, 283 PA.

We all know Wilson Contreras from the Cubs World Series run.  As if the Cubbies need another young star in their lineup!  You see that K/BB from AAA?  That's right about his minor league average. You can expect his MLB numbers to migrate in that direction as he gains experience.  Barring injury, he is going to be a big, big star in MLB for a long time!

FIRST BASE:  Ryon Healy, A's.

2016 AA:  .338/.469/.628, 12 2B, 3 3B, 8 HR, 11.0 BB%, 21.3 K%, 164 PA.
2016 AAA:  .318/.362/.505, 16 2B, 3B, 6 HR, 6.2 BB%, 19 K%, 210 PA.
2016 MLB:  .305/.337/.524, 20 2B, 13 HR, 4.2 BB%, 21.2 K%, 283 PA.

I still remember how a guy named John Klima who ran a scouting website loved Ryon Healy.  Healy had a pretty good college career at Oregon and got off to a slow pro start in his draft year of 2013, but has done nothing but hit the ball and hit it hard since.  I mean, just look at the numbers he put up over 3 levels last year!

SECOND BASE:  Kolton Wong, Cardinals.

2016 MLB:  .240/.327/.355, 7 2B, 7 3B, 5 HR, 7 SB, 9.4 BB%, 14.4 K%, 361 PA.  

2B was the hardest position to find a potential breakout player.  Wong was plagued by a shoulder injury and a .268 BABIP.  Both should improve in 2017 and the result could be a big breakout.  

THIRD BASE:  Alex Bregman, Astros.

2016 AA:  .297/.415/.559, 16 2B, 2 3B, 14 HR, 5 SB, 14.7 BB%, 9.1 K%, 285 PA.
2016 AAA:  .333/.373/.641, 6 2B, 6 HR, 2 SB, 6.0 BB%, 14.5 K%, 83 PA.
2016 MLB:  .264/.313/.478/.13 2B, 3 3B, 8 HR, 6.9 BB%, 24.0 K%, 217 PA.

Long a fave of Shankbone who sometimes comments here and has his own blog, Bregman's MILB numbers were so stupendous, everyone just assumed he would hit the ground running in the majors.  He got off to a slow start and some people stopped paying attention.  He then went on a tear in September hitting .323.  This guy is not going to look back.  He's just too good of a hitter!

SHORTSTOP:  Addison Russell, Cubs.

2016 MLB:  .238/.321/.417, 25 2B, 3 3B, 21 HR, 9.2 BB%, 22.6 K%, 598 PA.  

It almost seems like Russell broke out last year as 21 HR's out of the SS position is pretty darn impressive for any player.  Unfortunately for the rest of the league, Russell probably only scratched the surface of his talent while BABIP'ing .277.  This kid is going to be an absolute monster at the position!

CENTERFIELD:  Byron Buxton, Twins.

2016 AAA:  .305/.359/.568, 11 2B, 3 3B, 11 HR, 7 SB, 6.7 BB%, 27.8 K%, 209 PA.
2016 MLB:  .225/.284/.430, 19 2B, 6 3B, 10 HR, 10 SB, 6.9 BB%, 35.6 K%, 331 PA.

The Twins have had such huge problems getting their prospects graduated to the majors over the years, you have to be wary of Buxton, especially with those K numbers.  He's just too good of an athlete and he did hit .287 in September.  Look for 2017 to be the year he finally breaks through.

LEFTFIELD:  David Dahl, Rockies.

2016 AA:  .278/.367/.500, 21 2B, 2 3B, 13 HR, 16 SB, 11.7 BB%, 25.6 K%, 332 PA.
2016 AAA:  .484/.529/.887, 6 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR, 1 SB, 8.8 BB%, 16.2 K%, 68 PA.
2016 MLB:  .315/.359/.500, 12 2B, 4 3B, 7 HR, 5 SB, 6.3 BB%, 24.9 K%, 237 PA.

Size, power, speed.  Dahl does it all and he has Coor's Field to help him.  Watch out for the Rockies next year despite their curious decision to sign Ian Desmond to a big contract.

RIGHTFIELD:  Domingo Santana, Brewers.

2016:  .256/.345/.447, 14 2B, 11 HR, 11.4 BB%, 32.4 K%, 281 PA.  

At 6'5", 220 lbs, Santana is a huge physical force.  He needs to cut down on his K's or he'll become a Chris Carter/Mark Trumbo type hitter, albeit a better fielder than either.


Matt Moore, Giants.

2016:  13-12, 4.08, 198.1 IP, 3.27 BB/9, 8.08 K/9.  Average FB velocity 92.8.

This may be cheating a bit as Moore put up an all-star level season in 2013 before going down with a UCL tear.  He's been inconsistent since, and you may not see much in his line from last year to be that optimistic about and his splits do not show a second half surge.  His overall second half numbers were hurt by 2 Disaster Starts in September, but 6 of his last 8 starts were Dominant Starts and he had the Cubs beat in Game 4 of the NLDS before the bullpen melted down in the 9'th inning.  There may still be the occasional disaster start, but I think he's going to dominate in 2017.

Kevin Gausman, Orioles.

2016:  9-17, 3.61, 179.2 IP, 2.35 BB/9, 8.72 K/9. Average FB Velocity 94.7.

I predicted a breakout for Gausman last year too and was disappointed.  He's still go premium stuff, though, and I think the breakout is still coming.  He's up against the bashers and bandboxes in the AL East though.

Jon Gray, Rockies.

2016:  10-10, 4.61, 168.0 IP, 3.16 B%, 9.91 K%.  Average FB Velocity 95.0.

It's probably foolish to think any Rockies pitcher will have fantasy value, but Gray is the type of pitcher who I think might flourish in the Coor's Field environment.

Mike Foltynewicz, Braves.

2016:  9-5, 4.31, 123.1 IP, 2.55 BB/9, 8.10 K/9.  Average FB Velocity 95.2.

Folty was inconsistent last year, but when he was on, he was unhittable.  Just ask the Giants!  He's maturing as a pitcher and has the stuff to be an ace.  Will 2017 be the year he finally does it?

Blake Snell, Rays.

2016:  6-8, 3.54, 89 IP, 5.16 BB/9, 9.91 K/9.  Average FB Velocity 93.5.

Snell's walk rates in the minors tended to be high too.  This one might be a bit of a reach, but he has the stuff to breakout.

CLOSER:  Bruce Rondon, Tigers.

2016:  5-2, 2.97, 36.1 IP, 2.97 BB/9, 11.15 K/9.  Average FB Velocity 97.2.

Big things have been predicted for Rondon, seemingly forever.  Last year, he started showing what he is capable of.  He needs to stay healthy.

HONORABLE MENTION:  Trea Turner, SS, Nationals.

2016 AAA:  .302/.370/.471, 22 2B, 8 3B, 6 HR, 25 SB, 10.0 BB%, 19.4 K%, 371 PA.
2016 MLB:  .342/.370/.567, 14 2B, 8 3B, 13 HR, 33 SB, 4.3 BB%, 18.2 K%, 324 PA.

Turner's MLB debut last year was so stupendous it's hard to say he didn't already break out, but it was only for a half a season, so we'll put him as an HM.  Maybe I will do a post on the worst trades of the last 5 years.  Who did the Padres get in that deal again?

BREAKOUT SLEEPER:  Mac Williamson, OF, Giants.

2016 AAA:  .269/.314/.495, 14 2B, 11 HR, 5.3 BB%, 23.5 K%, 226 PA.
2016 MLB:  .223/.315/.411, 3 2B, 6 HR, 10.2 BB%, 27.6 K%, 127 PA.

Memo to rest of MLB:  Don't sleep on Mac Williamson!  Those numbers may not look too impressive, but Mac was just looking comfortable at the plate when he suffered a shoulder strain that essentially ended his season.  In those 127 PA's, though, he had 6 of the 12 bardest hit balls by exit velocity on the Giants roster including the top 3.  Those 6 HR's project to 29 in 600 PA's.  Please Giants!  Just put Mac in LF and leave him there.  If he stays healthy, he'll be a breakout star of 2017!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

DrB's 2017 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #42 Matt Krook

Matt Krook, LHP.  DOB:  10/21/1994.  6'4", 210 lbs.  Drafted in 2016 Round 4 out of Univ. of Oregon.

2014 College:  2-1, 1.79, 45.1 IP, 19 BB, 60 K.
2015 Cape Cod League:  0-1, 6.35, 11.1 IP, 8 BB, 15 K.
2016 College:  4-3, 5.03, 53.2 IP, 49 BB, 68 K.
2016 R:  0-1, 1.59, 5.2 IP, 3.18 BB/9, 3.18 K/9.
2016 SS:  1-3, 6.17, 35 IP, 8.49 BB/9, 10.03 K/9.

The Giants love to draft prospects who at some point were highly ranked but dropped for some reason. Matt Krook was a first round draft pick(Supplemental First Round, #35 overall) by Miami out of HS in 2013.  Miami lowballed their offer after "discovering" a shoulder problem during his physical.  Krook opted to go to college at Oregon and had a terrific freshman season.  He missed the 2015 college season with TJ surgery.  Since then, he has had severe inconsistency and high walk rates to the point where he lost his starting role with Oregon prior to the draft.  The Giants grabbed him in round 4.  Those problems continued into his first pro season.

Krook is a big lefty with premium stuff:  A FB that goes mid-high 90's when he's on, a power curveball that is rated plus-plus at times.  He also can throw a slider and changeup.  His windup and delivery are upright and over-the-top.  Physically and mechanically, he looks a lot like Josh Osich.  I might also invoke Cole Hamels as a physical comp.

Krook is becoming one of the more polarizing prospects in the Giants system.  Most analysts have him ranked much higher.  Eric Longenhagen has him at #10 while John Sickels gave him a grade C, outside his top 20.  Krook has the potential to be the best prospect in the entire Giants organization, and I mean the best.  Nobody else in the system has his combination of size and swing and miss stuff including Tyler Beede.  On the other hand, if he doesn't get those bad boys under control, he's at extreme risk of being a complete bust.  2016 was his first post-TJ season and we often see control/command issues in the first year after TJ, so there is definitely hope.  His assignment for 2017 will probably depend on whether how that control/command looks in spring training.  If he's gotten that corrected, he could have a huge breakout and move quickly.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Hot Stove Update: Giants Avoid Arbitration

The Giants today wrapped up contracts for the last 3 of their arbitration eligible players who were tendered contracts.  Eduardo Nunez, George Kontos and Will Smith agreed to terms today.  Conor Gillaspie, Cory Gearrin and Ehire Adrianza had signed earlier.  I could not recall when the Giants last went to an arbitration hearing with a player, but Grant Brisbee of MCC reminded me it was AJ Pierzynski.  They got close with Tim Lincecum and Brandon Belt, but agreed to terms with both within hours, and in Timmy's case, minutes before the scheduled arbitration hearings.  What's interesting about the contracts agreed to with their 6 arbitration eligible players, is how close the numbers are to MLB Traderumors projected arbitration values.  Here is the list of players with their contracts and MLBTR's projection in parentheses:

Conor Gillaspie- $1.4 M($900K).
Cory Gearrin- $1.05 M($1.1 M).
Eduardo Nunez- $4.2 M($4.4 M).
Ehire Adrianza- $600 K($508K).
George Kontos- $1.75 M($1.7 M).
Will Smith- $2.5 M($2.3 M).

I have to say, there does not seem to be much rhyme or reason to which players got more and which got less than their MLBTR projections.  I can see the Giants wanting to reward Conor Gillaspie for his postseason heroics, but the others are a bit of a mystery.  I am glad they are all signed, sealed and delivered and presumably happy to be Giants for another season.

Dr B's 2017 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #41 Raffi Vizcaino

Raffi Vizcaino, RHP.  DOB:  12/2/1995.  6'1", 195 lbs.  International FA.

2015 DSL:  8-0, 2.50, 72 IP, 2.00 BB/9, 9.13 K/9.
2016 SS:  0-4, 4.60, 47 IP, 4.40 BB/9, 8.23 K/9.
2016 A:  1-1, 3.27, 11 IP, 0.82 BB/9, 9.00 K/9.

Raffi Vizcaino is another reason to not despair over the state of pitching in the Giants farm system.  An international signee out of the Dominican Republic, it took him 3 years to get out of the DSL, but after missing most of the 2014 season, he put together a solid line in 2015.  The Giants gave him an aggressive placement in Salem-Keizer where his pitching lines were not much to write home about.  It was not until a late season promotion to Augusta that he started to get some buzz.  In his first start against the Rome Braves, he went 7 IP allowing 2 ER with 0 BB's and 8 K's.  He also sat in the mid-90's with his FB and that's what got him some national ink.

Viz is solidly built with a big lower half.  Physically he looks a lot like Johnny Cueto with similar mannerisms on the mound.  In one extended video, he shows the FB and an effective slider, both with a steep downward plane out of an over-the-top delivery.  The changeup looks like more of a work in progress.

I would expect an assignment to Augusta's starting rotation for 2017 although his future may be in the bullpen.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

DrB's 2017 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #40 Kevin Rivera

Kevin Rivera, 2B.  DOB:  6/12/1996.  B-S, T-R.  5'11", 170 lbs.  Drafted in 2014 Round 14, HS, Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy, PR.

2016 SS:  .320/.352/.435, 14 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 4 SB, 4.1 BB%, 17.5 K%, 268 PA.

Here's another nice sleeper in the Giants system.  Rivera struggled in his pro debut in rookie ball out of the draft.  He improved to hit .298 for the Arizona League Giants in 2015.  The Giants were cautious and kept him in instructionals then short season Salem-Keizer in 2016.  Rivera had a tremendous summer in the Northwest.  He's got fairly average tools across the board and limited projection in the body, but he's got a short, quick bat to the ball and doesn't hurt you in any aspect of his game.  There is some pre-draft video of him on Perfect Game.

I'd like to see Rivera in Augusta next spring where I think he may surprise with how well he performs.

DrB's 2017 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #39 Melvin Adon

Melvin Adon, RHP.  DOB:  6/9/1994.  6'3", 195 lbs.  International FA.

2016 SS:  5-5, 5.48, 67.1 IP, 4.54 BB/9, 7.35 K/9, GO/AO= 1.52.

Melvin Adon is a bit of an anomaly in that he did not sign as an international FA until age 20, 4 years later than most international FA's.  He pitched well in his pro debut for the DSL Giants, but he was a 20 year old pitching against 17 year olds.  The Giants gave him an aggressive assignment for 2016, skipping Arizona and sending him to Salem-Keizer.  The results on the field were mixed, but he drew national attention with a high-90's FB.

Adon is a solidly-built RHP who does not appear quite as tall as his listed height in videos, but otherwise has almost a perfect pitcher's frame.  On video, it looks like he short-arms just a bit with some pushiness to his low 3/4 delivery.  Note that he hit triple digits 3 times in an fall instructional league game attended by a BA writer and told the writer through interpreter Ydwin Villegas that he was specifically working on strengthening his shoulder and rotator cuff muscles which should help him extend and raise his arm a bit.

I probably could have ranked him higher on the list based on scouting, but the K-rate is a bit low for a guy who throws that hard and the walk rate needs to come down.  I'll guess he gets placed in Augusta where he'll still be a bit old for the level, but where a big breakout is certainly possible.  If not, his future may be in the bullpen.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Hot Stove Update: Trader Jerry

While almost every other GM has practically gone into hibernation for the winter, Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto had become almost frantic in his trading of lower level players.  The latest flurry started with a trade of OF Seth Smith to the Orioles for RHP Yovani Gallardo.  Smith is still a good platoon hitter against RHP's but is slow afoot and not a good fielder.  He can DH a lot for Baltimore.  The M's are hoping a move to a more pitcher friendly environment will revive Gallardo's career.  The next move was to send RHP Nate Karns to the KC Royals for OF Jarrod Dyson, who doesn't hit so well, but is very fleet afoot and an excellent defensive OF.  It appears the Mariners are going all in for OF defense with holdover Leonys Martin in CF flanked by Dyson and Mitch Haniger.

The following day after those two deals, Trader Jerry swung back into action and gave up a couple of pitching prospects to the Braves for OF Mallex Smith and RHP Shae Simmons.  Just as analysts were figuring out how Smith would fit in some sort of OF platoon, Dipoto shipped him out to the Rays for LHP Drew Smyly.  That leaves the Mariners with a projected starting rotation of Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, James Paxton, Gallardo and Smyly.  The Rays were trading from a surplus of pitching and added Smith to their surplus of OF's.  I'll just say I love Mallex Smith's potential and think the Rays may have ended up with the best player out to all these deals.


The Giants avoided arbitration with Conor Gillaspie, agreeing to a 1 year/$1.4 M contract.  Gillaspie was projected to get about $800 K in arbitration by MLBTR, so despite being above the luxury tax cap, the Giants continued their tradition of rewarding postseason heroes.  Gillaspie is as close to a lock for a roster spot as any reserve player on the team.


Santiago Casilla came full circle to sign with the team he started his career with, the Oakland A's.  The deal is for 2 years/$11 M with an additional $3 M in incentives mostly involving number of game finished.  For a team not known for spending a lot of money on payroll, this seems like an awfully generous deal on the A's part.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

DrB's 2017 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #38 Jean Angomas

Jean Angomas, OF.  DOB:  6/5/1995.  B-L, T-R.  6'0", 170 lbs.  International FA.

2016 SS:  .389/.405/.528, 5 2B, 2.7 BB%, 8.1 K%, 37 PA.
2016 A:  .260/.299/.348, 17 2B, 5 3B, 1 HR, 14 SB, 5.1 BB%, 10.5 K%, 370 PA.

Jean Angomas has taken his time moving through the lower levels of the Giants farm system.  I believe he has been a long time fave of a reader known as Carmot.  Angomas put up a K/BB of close to 1 in 2 DSL seasons.  His walk rates plummeted in 2016, but he continued to be very difficult to strike out and started to show some gap power.

Angomas is a somewhat raw looking toolsy guy who I believe is a cousin of MLB slugger Edwin Encarnacion.  The problem for Angomas is he needs lots of playing time to develop and he's going to find it hard to get with all the Giants surplus of OF prospects.

Blogger's Note: Back Up and Running!

Hey everybody!  Just got our WiFi hooked up at the new house.  We still unpacking, but have returned to close normal daily routine.  I don't know if I will be able to post as often for awhile, but I'll try to get at least one up per day.  Can't wait to get started!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Blogger's Note: Moving Day!

I and my family are moving to a new home today.  I am not sure when I will have computer/internet back up and running.  Please check back periodically.  It could be a few days, though.

DrB's 2017 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #37 TJ Bennett

TJ Bennett, 2B.  DOB:  7/22/1992.  B-L, T-R.  6'3", 215 lbs.  Undrafted FA.

2016 A+:  .284/.357/.482, 15 2B, 3B, 9 HR, 8.0 BB%, 26.8 K%, 250 PA.

If you are looking for an underdog to root for, look no further than TJ Bennett who the Giants signed as a FA after 2 years of playing indy ball.  Despite being quite big for a 2B, Bennett had never shown much power in college or indy ball before putting up impressive numbers in the Cal League.  Looking at his swing on video, it looks like a stroke that should produce power.  He's always been a high walk/high strikeout hitter, so the power is really necessary to make that approach work.  He should get a chance to take on AA and the EL for Richmond in 2017.  If he does well there, he's on the doorstep of the majors.

Hot Stove Update: A's Sign Rajai Davis

The much travelled and former Giant Rajai Davis got the Hot Stove flickering back to life by agreeing to a contract with the Oakland A's.  This will be Davis' second tour of duty with the A's where he enjoyed the two best seasons of his career in  2008 and 2009.  His most recent stop was Cleveland where he hit a memorable HR off Aroldis Chapman in the World Series.  His overall stat line for the Indians was .249/.306/.388, 23 2B, 2 3B, 12 HR, 43 SB in 495 PA.  He is a slightly above average fielder in both CF and LF and still a plus-plus baserunner despite having just completed his age 35 season.

The deal is for 1 year/$6 M with $450 K worth of incentives.  Most of the incentives are for PA's greater than 500 which he has only reached 1 time in his MLB career.  Davis will likely be the starting CF for Oakland with Khris Davis manning LF and Matt Joyce in RF.  Brett Eibner and Jake Smolinski 2 hitters with low BA's but a lot of power potential will compete for playing time.

Where he bats in Oakland's lineup is a bit more problematic as his career OBP of .313 makes him a less than ideal leadoff hitter.  Still, SB's have value lower in the lineup too, especially in the AL where you don't have to worry about the pitcher killing rallies.


The Cincinnati Reds finally made a significant signing by agreeing to terms with RHP Drew Storen.  Storen's career has fallen on hard times and he'll be moving to another hitter-friendly environment, which does not seem like the best place to get your Closer career back on track.


The Arizona D'Backs worked out a trade with the KC Royals for previously DFA'd Peter O'Brien.  O'Brien is a former 2'nd round draft pick of the Yankees.  A college catcher, his catching defense is generally regarded as being unacceptably bad.  He also sports a career MLB BA well south of the Mendoza Line.  His one plus attribute is power.  He has 6 dingers in 79 career MLB PA's which projects to 45 per 600 PA's.  An AL team like the Royals has the luxury of putting him at DH and batting him 7'th or 8'th in the lineup and being content with the dingers.  Comp would be Dave Kingman.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

DrB's 2017 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #36 Jose Vizcaino Jr.

Jose Vizcaino Jr., 3B.  DOB:   4/5/1994.  B-R, T-R, 6'3", 200 lbs.  Drafted in 2015 Round 7 out of Santa Clara Univ.

2015 SS:  .288/.351/.457, 11 2B, 3B, 6 HR, 7.3 BB%, 16.6 K%, 205 PA.
2016 A+:  .261/.336/.403, 17 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR, 8.7 BB%, 20.7 K%, 333 PA.

Jose Vizcaino Jr is the son of a former Giant(for 1 season, his best in MLB) although his pop actually works for the Dodgers now.  Jose Jr. was a college SS who was obviously headed to 3B in the pros due to his size.  He had a fine short season after being drafted by the Giants then got an aggressive assignment to San Jose.  After a slow start, he slashed .354/.411/.662 in 19 games in July before turning his ankle while running out a triple on July 21.  That was his last game of the season.

There's a video on Youtube of the triple where he turned his ankle and another of him hitting a dinger.  In both videos, he displays a short, quick swing to the ball with power at the point of impact.  The slow start and injury made his overall line kind of average looking and analysts have kind of forgotten about him making him a nice sleeper  prospect.  I love his size, love his swing and impressed by his scorching hot streak in July.  Looking for a breakout in 2017.  Does he start off back in San Jose, or move up to Richmond?

DrB's 2017 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #35 Gio Brusa

Gio Brusa, OF.  DOB:  7/26/1993.  B-S, T-R.  6'3", 220 lbs.  Drafted in 2016 Round 6 out of Univ. of Pacific.

2016 SS:  .264/.298/.495, 15 2B, 3 3B, 10 HR, 4.6 BB%, 29.0 K%, 238 PA.

Whoever coined the word "enigma" had Gio Brusa in mind at the time.  Brusa is a big, strong, 5 tool athlete who wowed scouts at the Cape Cod League, but was an inconsistent hitter in college ball.  He stayed in school for his senior season after his stock dropped for the 2015 draft.  The Giants love them some CCL stars, so grabbed him in the 2016 draft.

A look at some of the many videos available on the internet immediately shows why he sometimes struggles at the plate.  The swing is huge!  We'll call it the full windup.  From both sides of the plate.  I would go so far as to say if he does not learn to tone that bad boy down he'll never make it.  The swing is reflected in his low BB/high K rate.  On the other hand, almost half of his hits were for extra bases.  He is big and strong enough that he should still have plenty of power with a shorter swing, so the possibilities are there.  He is strictly a corner OF, so the bat is going to have to play.

We'll most likely see him in San Jose for 2017, unless the Giants keep him back to work on the swing.

Monday, January 2, 2017

DrB's 2017 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #34 Manuel Geraldo

Manuel Geraldo, IF.  DOB:  9/23/1996.  B-S, T-R.  6'1", 170 lbs.  International FA.

2016 A:  .162/.205/.176, 9 SB, 2.6 BB%, 33.6 K%, 152 PA.
2016 SS:  .298/.333/.371, 10 2B, 5 3B, 0 HR, 13 SB, 4.8 BB%, 23.5 K%, 293 PA.

Many DSL graduates struggle when they reach the Arizona League, the lowest level stateside in the minor leagues.  Despite a .328 BA in his second DSL season, Low A Augusta was an extremely aggressive placement for Manuel Geraldo, so it is no surprise he was completely overmatched there.  Salem-Keizer would have been a very aggressive placement for him too, so it is encouraging that he enjoyed success after resurfacing there.

For a guy who is getting zero national attention and very little even on Giants oriented sites, Geraldo does come with some pedigree.  He got a $375 K signing bonus as in international FA.  If you want to see a player to dream on, I implore you to look up a couple of videos and still photos that are easily available by Googling his name.  There is one video showing him scalding the basepaths on a triple and a couple of still photos with him making IF plays.  This guy is a pure athlete with projectability oozing out of every pore of his body.  Think Jalen Miller with a lot more speed.  He switch hits to boot!

He's played SS, 2B and 3B so far in his career.  I'm not sure how much arm he has but he sure looks like a shortstop in pics and videos.  If he is not a SS, I think he could probably play CF too.  Geraldo is an extremely interesting prospect to follow and a guy I've been bullish on since his first DSL season.   I think a big breakout is in his future, possibly as soon as 2017!

DrB's 2017 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #33 Johneshwy Fargas

Johneshwy Fargas, OF.  DOB:  12/15/1994.  B-R, T-R.  6'1", 170 lbs.  Drafted 2013 Round 11, HS Puerto Rico.

2015 A:  .278./347/.349, 19 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 59 SB, 6.1 BB%, 14.2 K%, 458 PA.
2016 A+:  .172/.255/.216, 0 2B, 3 3B, 0 HR, 9 SB, 7.8 BB%, 26.1 K%, 153 PA.
2016 A:  .275/.340/.354, 11 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR, 32 SB, 7.4 BB%, 17.6 K% 323 PA.

Johneshwy Fargas had a breakout season for Augusta in 2015, or so it seemed.  You look at his batting line and there really isn't too much there to be concerned about for the future.  Maybe the walk rate and power are a bit shy, but the K's were OK and you don't necessarily expect a player of his profile to walk a lot or hit a bunch of dingers.  So, what happened when he moved up to San Jose and a league where hitters generally thrive?  He did a faceplant!   He was just completely overmatched!  He got sent back to Augusta where he resumed putting up about the same numbers he did on 2015.

So, we should expect Fargas to get another shot at San Jose and the Cal League in 2017, right?  Here's where the numbers game starts to get complicated.  The Giants have so darn many OF prospects, it's a bit hard to see where Fargas is going to play next year.  I would expect San Jose to have the 2015 draft OF triumvirate of Reynolds, Quinn and Brusa as their OF starters, unless Reynolds or Quinn get a hyperagressive assignment to Richmond.  Jacob Heyward and Sandro Fabian seem set at the corners for Augusta next spring which would leave Fargas fighting Malique Zeigler, Ashford Fulmer and Woody Edwards for CF.

I don't think the Giants want to give up on Fargas just yet.  Here's what Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs had to say about him:  "Fargas is a plus-plus runner with physical projection who flashes gap power and impact range in centerfield, but who is also extremely raw in all facets of the game." I'll guess the Giants resolve the playing time dilemma in one of two ways:  1.  They will give either Quinn or Reynolds an aggressive assignment to Richmond.  2.  They will keep Zeigler in camp and send him to Salem-Keizer while Fulmer and Edwards fight for ABs as reserves with Augusta and San Jose.

DrB's 2017 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #32 Heath Slatton

Heath Slatton, RHP.  DOB:  9/17/1993.  6'3", 200 lbs.  Drafted on 2015, Round 18 out of Middle Tennessee St U.

2015 R:  3-1, 0.79, 22.2 IP, 1.99 BB/9, 9.53 K/9, 8 Saves.
2016 A:  2-4, 2.37, 49.1 IP, 4.20 BB/9, 8.03 K/9, GO/AO= 1.15, 4 Saves.

Heath Slatton was a teammate of Ronnie Jebavy in travel ball at age 10 and again in college at MTSU. He was plagued by high walk rates in college, but the Giants liked his arm strength and drafted him in Round 18.  Slatton seemed to be on the Closer track in pro ball until late last season when he was moved into the Augusta rotation.  In 5 starts at the end of the season, he allowed just 1 ER in 20 IP with 8 walks and 17 K's.  4 of those walks came in his first start which lasted 4 IP.

I don't have much of a scouting report and I was not able to find any videos, but I found one pre-draft scouting report that had him sitting 88-93 MPH and touching 95-96 MPH.  Heath Slatton should be moving up to San Jose for the 2017 season.  We'll see if he's in the bullpen or the starting rotation.  Either way, he could be a big breakout name by the end of the season.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

DrB's 2016 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #31 Dillon Dobson

Dillon Dobson, 1B/3B.  DOB:  8/21/1993.  B-L, T-R.  6'1", 220 lbs.  Drafted in 2015, Round 23 out of Appalachian St. University.

2016 A:  .273/. .328/.465, 27 2B, 5 3B, 13 HR, 7.1 BB%, 22.6 K%, 439 PA.

We are entering Sleeper Territory in the Top 50 list.  Dillon Dobson would fit that description.  Later round draftee out of a smaller college program. He was a 2B in college.  His body type does not fit that position and he was moved to 1B to start the season in Augusta.  Later, when Kelvin Beltre got hurt, he filled in at 3B.

Dobson turned in to a solid batting line in a tough hitting environment.  On the other hand, he was on the older side for the level and he's now anchored to a corner IF position.  I think he has the arm and athleticism to handle 3B which would be an easier route to the majors.  There is one video showing him making a nifty play on a shallow flyball down the RF line with a nice strong throw to home to nail a runner who had tagged up at 3B and foolishly tried to turn it into a Sac Fly.

He should move up to San Jose for 2017.

DrB's 2017 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #30 Rodolfo Martinez

Rodolfo Martinez, RHP.  DOB:  4/4/1994.  6'2", 178 lbs.  International FA.

2016 A+:  1-1, 0.88, 30.2 IP, 2.93 BB%, 9.68 K%, 21 Saves.
2016 AA:  0-3, 6.65, 23 IP, 5.87 BB%, 6.65 K%, 3 Saves.
2016 AFL:  0-0, 27.00, 3 IP, 18 BB/9, 6 K/9.

2016 was a tale of two seasons for Rodolfo Martinez.  He dominated the California League as the Closer for the San Jose Giants.  He was promoted to AA Richmond, usually a more pitching-friendly environment, and the wheels almost immediately fell off.  His BB/9 ballooned, his K/9 cratered, he got shelled with regularity.  A postseason AFL assignment did not go any better and he was shut down after just 3 IP.  His FB, which regularly reached triple digits for San Jose, was reportedly down to the low 90's in the AFL.  Gotta think he may be sitting on an injury or else something went way off the rails with his mechanics.  We'll see which Rodolfo shows up and where in 2017 if he shows up at all.  The ceiling is still there, though.

Happy New Year!

Oh, and Happy New Year, everybody!  Personally, I and my family had a good 2016, although I am alarmed by many things I see in the world. Of course, the Giants season ended as a major downer, so we can all hope for a better 2017 for them and by extension for us, their fans.

DrB's 2017 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #29 Reyes Maronta

Reyes Maronta, RHP.  DOB:  1/6/1993.  6'0", 175 lbs.  International FA.

2016 A+:  0-3, 2.59, 59 IP, 3.05 BB%, 14.19 K%, 14 Saves.

First things first:  I've seen Reyes Maronta pitch in person and he ain't no 175 lbs!  My description of him physically is he's a clone of Jean Machi.  Maronta generates a high 90's FB with a lot of tailing action out of a high effort delivery.  He pairs that up with an average slider and got good results in a full season with High A San Jose.  He played setup man to Rodolfo Martinez over the first half of the season then moved up to Closer when Martinez was promoted to Richmond.  Maronta should be following him there to start 2017.  Given Rodolfo's end-of-season struggles, it would be no surprise to see Reyes Maronta grab the Closer role.  Ceiling is probably setup guy in MLB.

DrB's 2016 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #28 Hunter Cole

Hunter Cole, OF.  DOB:  10/3/1992.  B-R, T-R.  6'1", 195 lbs.  Drafted in 2014 Round 26 out of Univ. of Georgia.

2016 AA:  .271/.319/.420, 25 2B, 3 3B, 13 HR, 6.0 BB%, 22.4 K%, 513 PA.
2016 AFL:  .235/.316/.338, 2B, 2 HR, 10.1 BB%, 21.5 K%, 79 PA.

Hunter Cole does a lot of things kind of average.  OK, hitting .271 with 13 dingers in Richmond is probably more above average, but that comes with an average walk rate, average K rate, average speed, maybe above average arm.  When you see videos of Hunter Cole hitting, you can see he has surprising power packed into that frame.  The problem is, where does he play?  He's got the arm for RF, but the lack of speed probably does not play in AT&T Park's RF.  He could probably play LF, but is there enough bat there?  He apparently does not have the hands to play IF as the Giants tried him at 3B and 2B and moved him to the OF.  If he gets the promo to Sacramento for 2017, there might be a call up in his future. If he's back in Richmond, he's getting passed on the depth chart right and left.