Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Spring Training Game Wrap 2/28/2018: Giants 10 Brewers 10

The Giants built a 10-1 lead behind terrific pitching from Ty Blach and dingers by Jarrett Parker, Mac Williamson and Kyle Jensen.  The BrewCrew scored the last 9 runs of the game including 7 in the 9'th inning to finish in a tie.  Key Lines:

Steven Duggar CF- 1 for 3, BB.  BA= .273.  Duggar still stating his case.

Brandon Crawford SS- 2 for 3.  BA= .400.  Does anyone else think Crawford could be fixing to have his career year at the plate?

Kyle Jensen PR/1B- 1 for 2, HR(3).  BA= .571.  Jensen is definitely this year's Randy Elliott.

Hector Sanchez C- 1 for 3.  BA= .500.  Looking at the R and RBI in his line, I thought for sure Hector had hit another dinger.  Apparently not.

Jarrett Parker LF- 2 for 4, HR(1).  BA= .231.  Parker shows why it's way too early to be writing him off this spring.

Mac Williamson RF- 1 for 4, HR(2).  BA= .308.  I'm calling a huge season for Mac in Sacramento this year.

Ty Blach LHP- 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K's, GO/AO= 4/1.  ERA= 0.00.  One of the hits was an infielder.  5 K's gives him 7 in 5 IP with 0 BB.  Not sure how you get 5 K's and 5 outs on BIP's in 3 IP, though.  Anyway, Ty Blach with a strikeout pitch could be a lot more than a #5 SP.  Seems he's tightened up his slide piece quite a bit over the offseason.

Andrew Suarez LHP- 2.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 2 K.  ERA= 4.15.  Suarez drew praise from Bruce Bochy.  Pitched 2 shutout innings before faltering in the 6'th.

Steve Okert LHP- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 0.00.  A double and 3 flyouts.  Not an approach he wants every game.

Spring Training Game Wrap 2/17/2018: Giants 14 D'Backs 12

Kyle Jensen, Pride of St. Mary's, blasted a grand slam walkoff HR to give the Giants a come-from-behind win in yet another ragged spring training contest.  Key Lines:

Alen Hanson 2B- 2 for 3.  BA= .417.  Hanson is make an early case for a utility role at the plate and playing multiple positions in both OF and IF.

Brandon Belt 1B- 3 for 3, 2B, SB(1).  BA= .500.  Nice, busy line for The Belter.

Kyle Jensen 1B- 1 for 1, HR(2), 2 BB.  BA= .600.  Chris Marrero was last year's Randy Elliott.  Is Jensen this year's?

Miguel Gomez PR/DH- 1 for 2, HR(1).  BA= .556.  Gomez can hit.

Chris Shaw LF- 1 for 3, 2B.  BA= .250.

Pablo Sandoval 3B- 1 for 3, 2B.  BA= .375.  Thanks to Rainball for pointing out that Pabs might literally be in the Best Shape of his Life.  Check out the video of his double linked in the boxscore.  He also made 2 errors in the field.

Austin Slater RF- 2 for 3, HR(1).  BA= .500.  Slater seems to be fully healthy and picking up where he left off last season when he got hurt.

Ryan Howard SS- 1 for 2.  BA= .429.  Howard is getting quite a few AB's in the early going and making the most of them.

Jeff Samardzija RHP- 1.1 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 14.50.  Veteran pitchers can get their work in early in spring training.  Not necessary and probably not wise to come in and blow the doors down in your first spring appearance.

Tyler Rogers RHP- 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K.  ERA= 0.00.  Not sure how Rogers had a GO/AO= 2/1 when he faced just 2 batters.

Hunter Strickland RHP/Sam Dyson RHP- 1 scoreless inning each.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Fantasy Focus: Multi-Inning Relievers

A major trend in MLB, which has not quite caught on in fantasy baseball is the multi-inning reliever.  With Saves being a category in most fantasy formats, even bad Closers are generally more sought after than the multi-inning guys who aren't generally going to be around in the 9'th inning.  With both starting pitching and Closer positions getting very thin at the MLB level, smart fantasy players will want to take another look at some of these guys and find significant value late in their drafts and off the FA list.

I will start by using Yusmeiro Petit as an example.  I don't think he was ever rostered in my league last year, yet he was a 5-category asset as a multi-inning reliever for the D'Backs:  5 Wins, 4 Saves, 96 K's, 2.89 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 87.1 IP.  Whether he can repeat that in 2018 with the A's is debatable, but those numbers will help most fantasy teams in almost any format.

If your interest is piqued, here is a partial list of other RP's with similar profiles who can help your team:

Chris Rusin(Rockies)- 5 Wins, 2 Saves, 71 K, 2.65 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 85 IP.

Chris Devenski(Astros)- 8 Wins, 4 Saves, 100 K, 2.68 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 80.2 IP.

Michael Givens(Orioles)- 8 Wins, 0 Saves, 88 K, 2.75 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 78.2 IP.

Mike Minor(Rangers)- 6 Wins, 6 Saves, 88 K, 2.55 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 77.2 IP.

Anthony Swarzak(Mets)- 6 Wins, 2 Saves, 91 K, 2.33 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 73 IP.

Archie Bradley(D'Backs)- 3 Wins, 1 Save, 79 K, 1.73 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 73 IP.

Chad Green(Yankees)- 5 Wins, 0 Saves, 100 K, 1.61 ERA, 0.74 WHIP, 67 IP.

Andrew Miller(Indians)- 4 Wins, 2 Saves, 95 K's, 1.44 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 62.2 IP.

Tommy Kahnle(Yankees)- 2 Wins, 0 Saves, 96 K's, 2.59 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 62.2 IP.

Dellin Betances(Yankees)- 3 Wins, 10 Saves, 100 K, 2.87 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 59.2 IP.

Spring Training Game Wrap 2/26/2018: Royals 10 Giants 6

A 5-run Giants rally in garbage time failed to overcome a 10-1 Royals lead.  Key Lines:

Gregor Blanco CF- 1 for 2, 2B.  BA= .500.  Blanco is making an early statement to make the team.  Early spring fortunes can change quickly, though, as Steven Duggar, who preceded him in CF and went 0 for 3, found out.

Brandon Belt 1B- 2 for 3.  BA= .286.  Belt had 2 harmless singles on the day.

Alen Hanson RF- 1 for 3, 3B. BA= .333.  Does Hanson's ability to play both IF and OF give him a leg up for a roster spot?

Miguel Gomez 2B- 1 for 2, 2B.  BA= .571.  Gomez' double started the 9'th inning rally.  He can hit.

Jonah Arenado 3B- 2 for 3.  BA= .750.  Arenado getting an early look to spare the vets from needless fatigue in the early spring.

Tyler Beede RHP- 2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 13.50.  Not a great look for Beede's spring debut.  Afterwards, he made some good points about not trying to do too much too early in spring training, but a guy in his position needs to make a good first impression.

Derek Holland LHP- 2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 9.00.  So far, Blach, Stratton and Suarez have the early lead for the last 2 rotation spots, but it's very early.  If Holland's results catch up to his K's, he'll be in good shape for either #5 or swingman role.

Cory Gearrin RHP, Derek Law RHP, Josh Osich LHP- 1 scoreless inning each with Osich getting 2 K's.  Osich has to find consistency this season.

Julian Fernandez RHP- 0.0 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 0 K.  ERA= Inf.  The rule 5 draftee gets crushed in his first spring appearance.  He'll get more looks to prove he can't make the 25 man roster.


Fantasy Focus:  Speaking of too much too soon.....Thor reportedly hit triple digits 7 times in the first inning of his first meaningless game of the spring.  He may look like a Norse god, but that does not seem like a smart thing to do.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Spring Training Game Wrap 2/25/2018: Cubs 12 Giants 10

The Giants came out on the short end of a ragged game in Scottsdale as Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey and Joe Panik made their 2018 spring debuts.  Key Lines:

Joe Panik 2B- 1 for 1, HBP.  BA= 1.000.  Panik makes his spring debut and gets plunked in his first AB.  He stayed around long enough to get his first spring hit in his second PA which drove in a run and he later scored one.

Andrew McCutchen RF- 1 for 1, BB.  BA= .333.

Austin Slater PH/RF- 1 for 3, BB.  BA= .400.  Slater is off to a good start to the spring.

Buster Posey C- 1 for 2, 2B.  BA= .500.  Apparently Buster has been slowed by a sore ankle, but had a successful spring debut today.

Chris Shaw PR/LF- 1 for 2, 2B.  BA= .143.  Shaw scuffled at the plate in the first two games but got his first spring hit today.

Kelby Tomlinson SS- 1 for 3, 3B.  BA= .167.  Kelby's first hit of the spring was a 3-bagger.

Ryan Howard SS- 1 for 2. BA= .333.  I did not recall that Howard was a ST invitee.  Where's Crawford?  It's too early to be playing games anyway.

Steven Duggar CF- 1 for 2, HR(1).  BA= .400.  It was mop up time and a nobody pitching, but yeah, Duggar is making his statement early.

Madison Bumgarner LHP- 1.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K's.  ERA= 10.80.  Bummy did not have to do anything but get his work in.  He got hit a bit, but recording all 5 of his outs by K is great.

Pierce Johnson RHP- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 0.00.  This was Johnson's second appearance. He came in to get 1 out to get out of an inning the last time.  Is he a dark horse to make the team?

Casey Kelly RHP- 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 0.00.  I have a nagging feeling that Casey Kelly still has a MLB career in there somewhere.

Tyler Rogers- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, GO/AO= 2/0.  ERA= 0.00.  This was Rogers' second scoreless inning of work this spring.

Pudge's kid gave up 6 runs in his 0.1 IP for half of the runs the Cubbies scored.  Rough day.

Fantasy Focus: Chasing Saves

Saves is a category that is kind of "out there" by itself.  MLB's practice of relying on a single "Closer" to get the lion's share of Saves is starting to break down a bit as teams are starting to allocate their best relief pitcher to more high leverage situations.  On the other hand, at any given time, there are still just 30 guys out there getting the vast majority of the Saves.  The problem with the category is the position has become so volatile, unless you "punt" the category entirely, you will likely be "chasing Saves" all season and spending a great deal of your time reading daily reports of the Closer status of all 30 teams.  If you don't, you may wake up one morning to find the 3 solid Closers on your team are now not Closing anymore!  With that in mind, her is a list of RP's who are at the top of their team's depth chart right now with the number of Saves they got last year.  I will also post an estimate of how secure their position is on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being the most secure.  Warning:  At least a 3'rd of these could change by Opening Day, so be on your toes.

Giants:  Mark Melancon, 11, 3.  Secure if healthy, but far from certain to be healthy coming of pronator muscle surgery.

Padres:  Open.  Brad Hand is their best reliever, but the Padres may prefer Hand back in his multi-inning, high leverage role. Their only obvious alternative is Carter Capps who has an injury history and a very controversial delivery.  Also,  Hand could be traded before 7/31.

Dodgers:  Kenley Jansen, 41, 1.  You'll pay a lot, but he's as close to a sure thing as you'll get in the category.

Rockies:  Wade Davis, 32, 2.  There's been some slippage of his numbers and hints of health concerns.  The move from Wrigley Field to Coors Field should be kept in mind too.

D'Backs:  Open.  With Fernando Rodney moving on, Archie Bradley is their best RP by a wide margin, but he's too valuable in his multi-inning role.  The D'Backs are hoping Brad Boxberger or Yoshihisa Hirano grab the role.

Cardinals:  Luke Gregerson, 1, 4.  Gregerson is probably just a placeholder until the Cardinals can find a hard-throwing young RP who steps up and grabs the role.  They could also still sign Greg Holland or make a trade.

Pirates:  Felipe Rivero, 21, 3.  Rivera could solidify his hold on the Closer job and move into elite status, or the Pirates may decide they need him more in another role, or he could be traded.  He would have a lot of value on the trade market.

Brewers:  Corey Knebel, 39, 2.  Appears solidly entrenched in the role, but beware of a high walk rate.

Reds:  Raisel Iglesias, 28, 2.  Appears solid but Reds could see a different role for him longterm.

Cubs:  Justin Wilson?, 13, 4.  Brandon Morrow(2) or Steve Cishek(1) could also factor in here, or the Cubs could still sign Greg Holland or make a trade?  The Cubs bullpen is surprisingly unsettled and weak for a contending team.

Nationals:  Sean Doolittle, 24, 3.  Some injury history and Ryan Madson is waiting in the wings.

Phillies:  Hector Neris, 26, 3.  See Felipe Rivero above.

Mets:  Jeurys Familia, 6, 4.  It's been a rough year for Familia on and off the field.  Is he ready to reclaim the Closer role and be back to elite status?

Marlins:  Brad Ziegler, 10, 5.  Ziegler is not a lock to make it to Opening Day as the Marlins Closer.  He could be traded or they could find a younger, harder thrower they want to develop in the position.

Braves:  Arodys Vizcaino, 14, 4.  Another potential trade candidate and an injury history.

Rangers:  Alex Claudio, 11, 4.  A lefty who is Closer by default.  Could grab the position and make it his or go in any number of other directions.

Mariners:  Edwin Diaz, 34, 2.

A's: Blake Treinan, 16, 3.  Was much better after this trade to the A's last year.  Can he keep that up?

Angels: Open.  Blake Parker(8), Jim Johnson(22) and Cam Bedrosian(6) are the contenders.

Astros:  Ken Giles, 34, 2.

Twins:  Fernando Rodney, 39, 3.  The Twins also signed Addison Reed(19), but will likely use him in a setup role.  Still, Rodney is getting old and has always been maddeningly inconsistent.

Royals: Kelvin Herrera, 26, 3.  Prime trade candidate.

Tigers:  Shane Green, 9, 3.  Another trade candidate.

Indians:  Cody Allen, 30, 2.  Allen at Closer with Andrew Miller in a multi-inning, high-leverage role seems to be a stable arrangement.

White Sox: Open.  Joakim Soria(1) and Nate Jones appear to the the main contenders.

Blue Jays:  Roberto Osuna, 39, 1.  Osuna was surprisingly solid last year and does not have any obvious rivals.

Rays:  Alex Colome, 47, 2.  With the Rays selling off assets, Colome is a prime trade candidate, although he would likely also be the Closer for the team he is traded to.

Yankees:  Aroldis Chapman, 22, 2.  Some injury risk here, otherwise should have more Saves in 2018.

Red Sox:  Craig Kimbrel, 35, 1.  Undisputed elite closer for the BoSox.

Orioles:  Brad Brach, 18, 3.  Picture somewhat unsettled, but Brach looks like the guy for now.  Britton could reclaim the roles when he recovers from his latest injury.

Blogger's Note

While appreciate the enthusiasm, I respectfully request that commenters save comments on games until after I have posted the game wrap.  Fair warning:  From now on, game comments that "jump the gun" will not be posted.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Spring Training Game Wrap 2/24/2018: Giants 9 Dodgers 3

I had my heart set on watching a delayed broadcast of this game on MLB TV.  It was blacked out in SoCal.  $%&# the Dodgers!  Anyway.....Chris Stratton, Mac Williamson and Hector Sanchez had big game to lead the Giants to a runaway win over the Bad Guys.  Key Lines:

Gregor Blanco CF- 2 for 4, 3B, SB(1).  BA= .500.  Blanco led off the game with a triple.  The Giants, true to form, left him stranded.  He also singled and stole a base.  No runs or RBI's.  As Vin Scully would say, "go figure!"

Kyle Jensen 1B- 1 for 1, HR(1).  BA= .500.  Kyle Jenson has an approximately zero chance of making this team, but the Pride of St Mary's has serious toonder in his bat, when he makes contact.

Hector Sanchez C- 2 for 3, HR(1).  BA= .667.  Buster Posey is the starting catcher and Nick Hundley will be his backup.  Sanchez is here for injury insurance.

Miguel Gomez 2B- 2 for 2.  BA= .667.  Miguel Gomez can hit.

Mac Williamson LF- 2 for 3, HR(1).  BA= .400.  Mac his holding his hands lower and looked like he was all over the pitches he hit for a single up the middle and a long tater to LF.  He's trying to create a positive impression for a callup later in the season.

Chase d'Arnaud SS- 2 for 3, 2B, SB(1).  BA= .400.  d'Arnaud had a rough day in the field yesterday, but came back with a solid day at the plate today.

Orlando Calixte 3B- 2 for 3, SB(1).  BA= .600.  Calixte is a depth piece.

Chris Stratton RHP- 2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K's, GO/AO= 2/0.  ERA= 0.00.  Stratton was facing the Dodgers (mostly) "A" lineup including 5 of the first 6 batters hitting from the left side with Yasiel Puig hitting cleanup.  Stratton had his struggles, but kept his composure and got out of a bases-loaded jam in the 2'nd with a beautiful called strike 3 curveball to Chase Utley.  So, 3 of the 4 pitchers competing for the #4 and #5 SP slots have had successful spring debuts.

Steven Okert LHP- 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 0.00.  Okert gave up a 1-out double to Cody Bellinger but got Puig and the switch-hitting older brother of Heliot Ramos for a scoreless frame.

Roberto Gomez RHP- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 0.00.  Gomez has a distant shot at the long-relief/swingman role.


Fantasy Alert:

Colin McHugh struck out 5 batters in 2 IP, for the Astros today.  Jharel Cotton, who had a very rough first full MLB season last year did the same for the Oakland A's.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Spring Training Game Wrap 2/23/2018: Brewers 6 Giants 5

The Brewcrew scored 6 unearned runs to overcome what was otherwise an encouraging start to the Giants Cactus League campaign.  Key Lines:

Steven Duggar CF- 1 for 3, 2B.  BA= .333.  Duggar drove in 2 runs with a ringing double into the RF corner in his second AB of the game.  Nice start in his drive to win the starting CF job on Opening Day.

Pablo Sandoval 1B- 1 for 3, HR(1).  BA= .333.  Pablo starts the spring where he left off 2017, with a dinger, although this one was not a walkoff dinger.

Nick Hundley C- 1 for 3, HR(1).  BA= .333.  Nick Hundley looks like he's ready to have another solid season as Buster Posey's backup catcher.

Ty Blach LHP- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, GO/AO= 3/1.  ERA= 0.00.  Blach came out strong, keeping the ball on the ground and getting 2 K's in his second inning of work.

Andrew Suarez LHP- 2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's.  ERA= 0.00.  Suarez K'd the side in the 3'rd inning. His second inning of work was a bit rougher as the leadoff batter singled.  He erased that runner with a GIDP.  The next 2 batters singled but he got out of it with a flyball out to LF.

The Giants 6 errors were all committed by guys who are not likely to make the 25 man roster.


Fantasy Alert:  The Tampa Bay Rays received devastating news that their top pitching prospect, Brent Honeywell, who experienced forearm pain after throwing 10 pitches in a bullpen session yesterday, tore his UCL and will require Tommy John Surgery.

Spring Training Update: 5 Burning Questions

We are off to a way too early start to the spring exhibition season, so let's put out some Burning Questions about what the Giants need to accomplish/learn in these games:

1.  Can an aging roster stay healthy all spring?  It's especially critical that the Big 3 SP's Bumgarner, Cueto and Samardzija stay healthy, not just through the spring but all season.  What is the likelihood of that happening?

2.  Can Steven Duggar win the starting CF job?  The Giants have to be hoping he does, because otherwise, their CF defense is the same gaping hole it was last year.

3.  Can the Giants find 2 at least average SP's out of the mix of Stratton, Blach, Derek Holland, Beede and Suarez?  If not, we may be looking at a revolving door of Dumpster Dive types filling in all season.

4.  Is Mark Melancon fully healthy?   The Giants aren't going anywhere without their $60 M Closer back to full health.

5.  Will we see Heliot Ramos in an MLB level exhibition game?  Not that it would mean anything, but how exciting would that be?

What are your burning spring questions for the Giants?

DrB's 2018 Giants Top 50 Prospects: Dominican Dandies

We'll wrap up our offseason prospect coverage with the Dominican Dandies.  These are players who I think have a chance to move up to stateside competition and become rankable prospects in the future.  The dates at the end of the bio line are the year they were signed as IFA's.

Ismael Alcantara, 1B.  DOB:  4/15/2000.  B-L, T-R.  6'3", 190 lbs.  2016.
2 hits in 6 AB.  Alcantara signed for the maximum allowed $300 K.  He appeared in 2 games then disappeared, presumably due to injury.

Franklin Labour, OF.  DOB:  5/11/1998, B-R, T-R.  6'1", 190 lbs.  2015.
.317/.412/.495, 10 2B, 4 3B, 5 HR, 13 SB, 26 BB, 30 K, 186 AB.  Greatly improved numbers in 2'nd DSL campaign.

Wascar De Leon, 2B.  DOB:  1/8/1998.  B-S, T-R.  5'11", 180 lbs. 2015.
.275/.382/.380, 8 2B, 2 3B, HR, 3 SB, 24 BB, 31 K, 142 AB.  A Dominican Dandy for the name alone.

Raiber Gutierrez, OF.  DOB:  12/10/1999.  B-R, T-R.  5'10", 165 lbs.  2016.
.275/.416/.309, 18 SB, 24 BB, 21 K, 149 AB.  Speedster with zero power.

Samuel Jorge, 3B.  DOB:  9/9/1999.  B-R, T-R.  6'2", 190 lbs.  2016.
.232/.317/.331, 4 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 3 SB, 13 BB, 35 K, 142 AB.

Ghordy Santos, SS.  DOB:  9/2/1999.  B-S, T-R.  6'1", 177 lbs.  2016.
.218/.372/.333, 9 2B, 3 3B, HR, 15 SB, 38 BB, 40 K, 156 AB.  Signed for $300 K maximum.  Started painfully slow, but hit .321 in August.

Aynesber Sivira, 2B.  DOB:  1/9/2000.  B-R, T-R.  5'9", 155 lbs.  2016.
.222/346/.263, 20 SB, 23 BB, 17 K, 194 AB.  Had a good June but faded in July and August, possibly due to small size and grind of playing every day in the heat.  Listed as a 2B, but played all over the field.  Will probably repeat DSL, but secondary stats suggest he can improve a lot.

Norwith Gudino, RHP.  DOB:  11/22/1995.  6'2", 200 lbs.  2014.
6-1, 1.82, 74.1 IP, 10 BB, 83 K, GO/AO= 1.14.  This was Gudino's 3'rd rodeo with the DSL.  Very old at 22, but age is less critical in pitchers.

Marco Gonzalez, LHP.  DOB:  12/8/1997.  6'1', 180 lbs.  2015.
4-5, 1.83, 69 IP, 21 BB, 74 K.

Luis Moreno, RHP.  DOB:  8/3/1998, 6'2", 174 lbs. 2016.
4-1, 3.23, 64 IP, 19 BB, 38 K, GO/AO= 1.22.

Francis Pena, RHP.  DOB:  6/2/1997.  6'3", 175 lbs.  2016.
2-3, 3.27, 58.2 IP, 18 BB, 60 K, GO/AO= 1.64.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

DrB's 2018 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #1 Heliot Ramos

Heliot Ramos, OF.  DOB:  9/71999.  B-R, T-R.  6'2", 185 lbs.  Drafted 2017 Round 1, #19 Overall.

R:  .348/.404/.645, 11 2B, 6 3B, 6 HR, 10 SB, 6.6 BB%, 31.8 K%, 151 PA.

I remember the instant I knew the Giants had to draft Heliot Ramos if he was available at #19 of the 2017 draft.  I was reading through a mock draft and saw his name as the Dodgers pick.  I let out an audible "No!"  "The Giants cannot let the Dodgers draft Heliot Ramos!"  Well, if Ramos is the guy they can't let the Dodgers have, there is only one way to guarantee it won't happen:  Draft him before he gets to the Dodgers!  Boom!  Guess who the Giants grabbed at #19.  

Heliot Ramos might be the most athletic, toolsy first round pick the Giants have ever made.  Run, Catch, Throw, Hit, Hit for Power.  Check, Check, Check, Check, Check!  He's got a great shot to be what Gustavo Cabrera could have been.  He's got the same athleticism and muscular strength along with the other tools.  To top it off, he got off to a blazing hot start to his pro career marred only by a high K rate and a concussion from an HBP that ended his season a bit early.

Of course, my irrational exuberance might come crashing down when he struggles in Augusta, but hey, Augusta as a new ballpark and maybe it's not quite as unfriendly to hitters as Olmstead Park.  For now, I am as excited about Heliot Ramos as I have been about any Giants prospect I can remember, and I go all the way back to Will Clark and Matt Williams.

Hot Stove Update: Carlos Gomez and Cameron Maybin Sign

The Rays replaced Steven Souza with Carlos Gomez 1 yr/$4 M, approximately what Souza cost in salary.  Souza is probably a bit better as a player at this point, but the Rays were able to get reasonably close talent and a nice haul of prospects to boot.  Nice series of moves for them.  Gomez was on my radar for the Giants but I never heard his name seriously mentioned in connection with them.  I would prefer Gomez for Austin Jackson for about the same price, although we don't know that the Giants could have gotten Gomez for the same price as the Rays.  The Giants may also have felt that Gomez' hot dog personality might not have fit on the team.


The Marlins added a RH bat to their OF by signing Cameron Maybin to a 1 year/$3.5 M contract.  I really like Maybin's chances of finally having a breakout season, but he has to stay healthy for 600 PA which he has never really been able to do.  Again, I liked him a lot more than Austin Jackson for the Giants, but again, we don't know that the Giants could have had him for the same price and the injury history might have scared the Giants off.  They were looking for certainty, or as close as you can come to it in baseball, and Maybin is close to the opposite of certainty.


Bobby Evans again said the Giants and Madison Bumgarner have a mutual interest in a contract extension but said there are currently not talks in that direction.  That could come later in the spring, but I don't see how the Giants sign Bummy to an extension this year and still stay under the CBT threshold so I doubt it's going to happen this spring.  Of course, I am on record as saying the Giants should not give Bummy a big, longterm contract with that much mileage on his arm.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

DrB's 2018 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #2 Tyler Beede

Tyler Beede, RHP.  DOB:  5/23/1993.  6'3", 210 lbs.  Drafted 2014 Round 1, #14.

AAA:  6-7, 4.79, 109 IP, 6.85 K/9, 3.22 BB/9, GB/FB- 1.69.
AFL:  0-1, 4.50, 16 IP, 4 BB, 11 K, GO/AO= 1.13.

Disclosure:  I've been a Tyler Beede fans since he was a high school draft prospect.  I was very happy when the Giants drafted him and felt he could be the steal of the 2014 draft(I had him going to the Cubs at #4 or wherever they were drafting instead of Kyle Schwarber.  And yes, the Giants might still get the last laugh on THAT one!).  Beede has definitely had his ups and downs in the Giants minor league system and last year was mostly a down.  I am not going to try to convince you he had a great season, but I am going to try to show that it was not as bad as it's been made out to be in some circles.

Before his season was cut short by a groin strain, Beede made 7 Starts in what I call "high and dry" PCL cities including Reno, Colorado Springs, Salt Lake City, Albuquerque and Las Vegas(not high, but very dry and a wind tunnel blowing out).  His ERA in those 7 Starts covering 31.2 IP was 7.47.  Only 1 of his "disaster" starts was not in one of those cities.  His ERA in his 12 other Starts covering 70.1 IP was 3.33. His Home/Road splits were not quite as dramatic, but still significant:  5.43 Away, 4.01 Home.  Likewise, his overall AFL line is a bit deceiving because he got rocked in his first AFL start, allowing 5 ER in 2 IP.  In his other 4 Starts, he allowed just 3 ER in 14 IP, with 1 BB, and 10 K's.

Baseball Census, linked to the left, posted a scouting report of one of his poor starts in Salt Lake City.  The difficulty of the environment was noted.  They reported his FB to be 92-93 MPH up to 95 MPH when he really reached back.  His repertoire is 2-seam FB, 4-seam FB, cutter, curve, changeup.  In this particular game, he was spiking his curveball and the changeup was fading down and out of the zone and batters were laying off it.  They also noted that he did a good job of maintaining his composure in some tough situations.

I could be all wet, but I think Beede may be one of those kids who pitches better in the majors than the minors.  At the very least, he only has one "high and dry" city to worry about and at least that park has a humidor which I guarantee those PCL parks do not.

He has a shot at a rotation slot out of spring training, but he will need either a boffo spring or an injury to someone ahead of him on the depth chart to get it.  Most likely he returns to Sacramento for more salt.  He will likely make his MLB debut sometime in 2018.

DrB's 2018 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #3 Steven Duggar

If you are wondering what happened to #4, Bryan Reynolds was traded to the Pirates for Andrew McCutchen after the Top 50 list was finalized.


Steven Duggar, OF.  DOB:  11/4/1993.  B-L, T-R.  6'2", 195 lbs.  Drafted 2015 Round 6.

A+:  .270/.361/.470, 11 2B, 4 HR, 7 SB, 12.8 BB%, 31.6 K%, 133 PA.
AAA:  .261/.370/.413,  2B, 2 HR, 3 SB, 14.8 BB%, 22.2 K%, 54 PA.
AFL:  .263/.367/.421, 3 2B, 3 HR, 9 SB, 90 PA.

After hitting .321 in 276 PA for AA Richmond in his first full pro season in 2016, some of us thought Steven Duggar might challenge for a MLB role in 2017.  Alas, he started the season on the DL with an injured quad.  Then, during his short stint in Sacramento and later in an AFL assignment, he drew rave reviews for his CF defense.  Guess what?  The Giants desperately need an upgrade in their CF defense and so far have not found it outside the organization in the Hot Stove League.  Fangraphs rates him as having 60 speed and a 60 arm, but 40 field.  If he's upgraded the field part to match his speed, well, you could have yourself a MLB CF there.  If he could give the Giants 60 D in CF, I think they could live with a bit of a learning curve on offense, not that he necessarily needs that either.  So, big spring for Steven Duggar.  By all accounts he has a chance to win the starting CF job in spring training.  Even if he doesn't, the alternatives seem to be little more than placeholders until he's fully ready, probably within a couple of months.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Hot Stove Update: Rays, D' Backs and Yanks in a 3-Way

The Rays continued their selloff of veteran players for prospects while the Yanks get Brandon Drury from the D'Backs.  He can play 3B well enough that the Yanks can take their time with Miguel Andujar and/or Greyber Torres.  The D'Backs get OF Steven Souza from the Rays.  Souza hit 30 HR's last year but a pretty good OBP, but a poor BA.  Souza is a much better defensive player than Yasmany Tomas and hit 30 dingers last year with a .351 OBP so this is probably an upgrade.  The Rays get prospects.  LHP Anthony Banda is the most well known but 2B Nick Solak has a lot of admirers and is a solid prospect.  Two more prospects will be going to the Rays as PTBNL's from the D'Backs.

So, the D'Backs appear to win this trade with the Yankees getting some immediate help while the Rays get a few nice prospects who may be part of a rebuild effort.

DrB's 2018 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #5 Austin Slater

Austin Slater, OF.  DOB:  12/13/1992.  B-R, T-R.  6'2", 215 lbs.  Drafted 2014 Round 8.

AAA:  .321/.377/.467, 12 2B, 5 HR, 7.3 BB%, 18.9 K%, 206 PA.
MLB:  .282/.339/.407, 3 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 6.3 BB%, 27.8 K%, 127 PA.

Austin Slater looked like he was going to stop the Giants LF revolving door in it's tracks last year before suffering a torn abdominal muscle which morphed into a sports hernia.  That is now repaired and Slater reportedly feels 100% coming into spring training.  Unfortunately for him, the Giants felt they could not count on him to sustain his SSS production for 2018 so he will have to fight for a reserve role and will probably start the season in Sacramento.  Slater is one of those players who does everything well, but possibly no one thing well enough.  He might not have quite enough power for LF, not quite enough speed for CF and not quite enough arm for RF.  On the other hand, a lot of teams, including the Giants could do a lot worse at any of those positions.  He has a very high floor, which means he is almost certain to have some type of multiple year MLB career.  The challenge for him is finding the right niche.  That might be a 4'th OF role or he may eventually find a team that is willing to accept less power in LF or less speed in CF or less arm in RF in return for the other things he does well.

Hot Stove Update: The Dominoes Finally Fall

By the calendar, we have almost a month of Winter left, but Spring Training is in full swing which means it's time to shut down the Hot Stove.  Free Agent hoping to not be left in the cold started signing contracts in the busiest weekend of the Hot Stove League.  The first shoe to drop was Eric Hosmer signing an 8 year $144 M contract with with the San Diego Padres.  Hosmer was projected by MLBTR to get a 6 year/$132 M contract this winter, so he got more years and more total money, but at a lower AAV of $18 M rather than the projected $22 M.  The contract takes him through his age 35 season and if Hos is their guy, the 2 extra years in return for a lower AAV probably makes sense for the Padres.  Hosmer has run hot and cold in his career with 3 years of the last 5 contributing 3-5 fWAR but 2 other years being essentially replacement level performance.  He does look like a good bet to at least break even in value over the duration of the contract.  My only problem with it from the Padres perspective is what do they do if a better first base option comes available, say, in year 4 of the contract?  They've boxed themselves in at the position, a bit like the Giants and Brandon Belt, but for a longer commitment than the Giants have to Belt.  As for rebuilding, if the Padres can't build a competitive team before Homer's contract runs out, they need drastic changes in management and ownership.


Thy Red Sox finally clapped back at the Yankees for the Stanton trade by signing their obvious target, JD Martinez, to a 5 year/$110 M contract which is considerably less than MLBTR's projected 6 years/$150 M.  The Red Sox successfully waited out the market.  What makes the deal palatable for Martinez is it is heavily front loaded with 2 Opt-Outs.  JD gets $25 M for each of the first two years then can opt out or take $22 M for the 3'rd year. Then comes another Opt-Out opportunity or he can take the final two years at $19 M per season.  Like the Giants, the Red Sox desperately needed to add a power hitter to last year's dinger-challenged team. Unlike the Giants, the Red Sox decided to ignore the CBT tax and sign the top available power hitter after Stanton.  We'll see how that works out this year and in the years ahead.


The D'Backs signed CF Jarrod Dyson to a 2 year/$7.5 M contract which is considerably less than MLBTR's projected 2 years/$12 M.  For essentially the same price as the Giants paid for Austin Jackson, the Snakes get a superior defender but probably a weaker bat.  Personally, I would take my chances with a platoon of Gorkys Hernandez and Jarrod Dyson unless the Giants really are convinced that Steven Duggar is their man right now.


The Twins shored up their Starting Rotation by trading a 3'rd tier prospect to the Rays for RHP Jake Odirizzi.  Odirizzi is a fairly average #3/4 SP whose surface numbers should improve just with the move out of the AL East.  If you read Fangraphs, you will see that some analysts believe Jake is a tweak away from being a really good pitcher, maybe a #2 SP.  He won a salary of $6.3 M earlier this winter which is very affordable for what he gives.  For you fantasy baseball players out there, the trade opens up a lane for Rays top pitching prospect, Brent Honeywell to join their rotation out of the gate.  That would be a buy!


Lastly, IF Eduardo Nunez re-signed with the Red Sox and LHP Jason Vargas signed with the Mets.  Not much to say about those.  Nunez will probably fill a utility role while Vargas will eat some innings fro the Mets.


The Giants DFA'd Joan Gregorio to make room on the 40 man roster for Tony Watson, an inneresting move seeing as how they also have the likes of Pierce Johnson on the 40 man.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Blogger's Note

I will be away from home through Monday, President's Day.  Posting may be infrequent or I may not post at all before Tuesday, Feb 20.

Thanks for reading, everybody!


DrB's 2018 Giants Top 50 Prospects: Chris Shaw

Chris Shaw, LF.  DOB:  10/20/1993.  B-L, T-R.  6'4", 235 lbs.  Drafted 2015 Round 1, #31.

AA:  .301/.390/.511, 10 2B, 6 HR, 11.7 BB%, 16.9 K%, 154 PA.
AAA:  .289/.328/.530, 25 2B, 3B, 18 HR, 5.6 BB%, 29.4 K%, 360 PA.

Chris Shaw is easily the top power hitting prospect in the Giants farm system.  He has enough of a hit tool that you can quite easily envision the power being useful at the MLB level.  If prospect rankings were only about hitting, Shaw would probably be at least #2 on this list, possibly #1.  The problem is almost nobody outside the Giants organization thinks he can play a position in MLB.  Reviews of his D at both 1B and LF are dismal.  For their part, the Giants seem determined to make him a LF with Manager Bruce Bochy stating this week that Shaw would play exclusively LF in spring training games.  The Giants do not need a corner OF this year.....yet.  Shaw will undoubtedly start the season in Sacramento where he will try to up his BB% and shave down his K% while maintaining the doubles and dingers.  The Giants will have 2 corner OF openings in 2019.  They are clearly trying to prep Shaw to be the LF by then.

College Corner: Opening Day Roundup

Otherwise known as the Parade of the Friday Starters.  The 2018 college baseball season opened yesterday and the Friday Starters were on disaplay which included most of the top 2018 college draft pitching prospects.  How did they do?  Let's run them down.

The star of the day was Shane McClanahan of South Florida who dominated North Carolina with a line of 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 11 K's.  His FB reportedly sat at 97 most of the night.  Brady Singer of Florida, who sits on top of many early draft rankings also pitched well with a line of 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K's.  Casey Mize of Auburn dominated for 6 innings with line of 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K's.  Ryan Rolison of Ole Miss only went 5 innings but struck out 12 batters against just 2 walks while not allowing a run.

Remember Tristan Beck of Stanford?  He was draft eligible last year and ranked fairly high on many draft boards but missed the season with a back injury.  He's not ranked as highly this year but got off to a strong start with a line of 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K's against Cal St. Fullerton.

A couple of Closers from last year made noise in their starting debuts:  Nick Sandlin of Southern Mississippi went 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K's against Mississippi St.  He's not a big guy at 5'11", 170 lbs, but was dominant as a closer last year.  Griffin Roberts of Wake Forest was their closer last year.  He is a big guy at 6'3", 215 lbs.  Per BA he throws a heavy fastball with a wipeout slider.  The FB was mid 90's out of the bullpen last year, but sat in the lower 90's last night. His line:  6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 9 K's.

Junior RHP Nolan Kingham of Texas was also dominant with a line of 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K's.  He's a big guy at 6'3", 215 lbs. who should be of interest as the draft approaches.

It is harder to get much of a read on hitters in just one game.  Nick Madrigal of Oregon St went 3 for 4 with a 2B and HR.  Seth Beer of Clemson went 1 for 3 with a 2B.  Travis Swaggerty  of South Alabama went 1 for 4 with 2 BB's and scored 3 runs.  I don't have a boxscore line but Alec Bohm  of Wichita St hit a monstrous HR into the night that might still be in the air.  Greyson Jenista also homered in that game which was suspended with the Shockers leading 10-6. Tristan Pompey of Kentucky also homered.

Hot Stove Update: Giants Agree To Terms with Tony Watson

The Giants seemingly put a, ahem, cap, on their 2017-2018 offseason by signing veteran lefty reliever to a contract.  Not much has been reported on the deets, but word from MLBTR is it is for more than 1 season and does not put the Giants over the CBT threshold. How about that?  According to Fangraphs bio page, he earned about $5.6 M last year, so either he's taking a serious pay cut or the Giants were further from the CBT threshold than we thought, if it is true they stayed under it.

Most of Watson's career has been with the Pirates.  Last year, he was traded to the Dodgers at the trade deadline after a rough first half and pitched well down the stretch for the Bad Guys.  His overall line was 7-4, 3.38, 66.2 IP, 7.16 K/9, 2.70 BB/9, GB/FB= 1.62.  His ERA for the first half was 3.86 going down to 2.67 in the second half.  The scouting report in the MLBTR write up says he started using his 2-seam FB more and his slider less after the trade to the Dodgers and was more willing to work up in the zone, although his overall GB percentage was up for the season and was way up after his trade to the Dodgers.  He pitched 7 innings in 11 postseason appearances with an ERA of 2.57. His FB tops out at about 94 MPH.  His BAA is about even between L-R, but he is much stingier on long balls to lefty hitters than righties.

Watson provides early insurance against a late comeback by Will Smith and gives Bruce Bochy a double-barreled option from the left side after Smith does return.  Whether there is room for a 3'rd bullpen lefty slot for Steve Okert, Josh Osich and DJ Snelton to fight over remains to be seen.  The Giants veteran bullpen commitments now run 6 deep:  Melancon, Dyson, Smith, Watson, Strickland and Gearrin.  If the Giants go with the standard 5 man rotation and 7 man bullpen, that leaves just 1 bullpen slot and they need to fill that with a long relief/swingman person.

On paper this makes the Giants bullpen stronger, but Watson is 33 yo and his numbers have backed up over the last 2 seasons, the stretch run with the Dodgers notwithstanding.  If that trend continues, it may be a disappointing acquisition for the Giants.

Friday, February 16, 2018

DrB's 2018 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #7 Aramis Garcia

Aramis Garcia, C.  DOB:  1/12/1993.  B-R, T-R.  6'2", 220 lbs.  Drafted 2014 Round 2.

A+:  .272/.314/.497, 20 2B, 3B, 17 HR, 4.3 BB%, 21 K%, 347 PA.
AA:  .282/.360/.436, 12 2B, 10.1 BB%, 23.6 K%, 89 PA.

Aramis Garcia missed much of the 2016 season after suffering facial fractures in a collision at 2B so was reassigned to San Jose to get more experience at the level. The Giants are usually very conservative with prospects coming off injuries so that was not surprising.  He remained healthy for the entire 2017 season and did a lot of really good things.  The 17 HR's for SJ showed serious pop in the bat.  In a small sample after his promotion to AA Richmond, he was a doubles machine with 12 of his 22 hits going for 2 bags in just 89 PA.  The BB and K rates were kind of all over the place so hard to read too much into them. He generally gets positive scouting reports for his work behind the plate.  I would guess he returns to AA with the possibility of a midseason promo to Sacramento and an outside chance of an MLB debut, but a lot of bad things would have to happen for that to happen.  Giants don't really have a reason to rush him so let him get those PA's in a tough hitting environment.

DrB's 2018 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #8 Andrew Suarez

Andrew Suarez, LHP.  DOB:  9/11/1992.  6'2", 205 lbs.  Drafted 2015 Round 2.

AA:  4-4, 2.96, 67 IP, 7.39 K/9, 2.01 BB/9, GO/AO= 1.28.
AAA:  6-6, 3.55, 88.2 IP, 8.12 K/9, 2.74 BB/9, GO/AO= 1.34.

Suarez is described by John Sickels as an "ultra-polished lefty."  Sickels lists his FB as 88-94 MPH, which may mean he is really good at changing speeds on it.  Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs puts it in a narrower 89-91 MPH range.   Per Longenhagen, his best secondary pitch is a tight slider and he adds a good changeup while occasionally looping in a curveball.  Suarez has steadily climbed the Giants ladder since being drafted as a senior out of Univ. of Miami.  He had labrum surgery and an oblique injury in college but has not missed time as a pro.  His performance last year for AAA Sacramento means he is ready to challenge for a rotation spot with the Giants in spring training.  He'll most likely start the season back in Sacramento but with a high probability we'll see him in SF sometime in 2018.

Hot Stove Update: Giants News.....Sort Of

Brian Sabean gave an interview to Baggs on the The Athletic and had some rather inneresting things to say starting with him "being more involved" at the major league level this season.  I don't have a subscription to The Athletic, so am dependent on the summary in MLBTR, but this clearly sounds like a demotion for Bobby Evans and a re-assuming of direct control of some sort by Sabean, although Evans will still be "retaining wide authority."  MLBTR's interpretation includes an impression that Sabean will somehow be working closely with Bruce Bochy to "re-establish a winning culture."  Then there is this quote from Sabes:  "I'll pay respect to how (Evans has) operated the last 3 years, but my experience has been called upon and ownership and (CEO Larry Baer) want this as an initiative starting with me and we are going to carry it out as best we can on an everyday basis."

Wow!  Them's some words to chew on right there!  The questions just come flooding out:

Why are we hearing about this in an apparent 1 on 1 interview with Baggs?

Why are we not seeing a word of any of this from either Chris Haft or Alex P?

Why aren't we hearing it from Larry Baer himself?

What exactly does a GM do day-to-day to foster a winning attitude once he's assembled the team, other than the occasional trade or decision about a minor league callup?  Does this suggest there was friction between Bochy and Evans on a day-to-day basis?  Does this have anything to do with the whispers of clubhouse discord that started leaking out last year?  One player was anonymously quoted as saying players felt like they "couldn't do anything right" with the implication it was in Bochy's eyes.  Was it really in Bobby Evans' eyes?  Were Bochy and Evans giving discordant messages to the players?

Brian Sabean has always tended to talk in riddles and circles, but does this sound like he really knows what he is supposed to do himself?  If Sabes is vague about what he will be doing, does Bobby Evans have any idea at all what decisions he can and cannot make?

Stay tuned on this one, but I smell TROUBLE!


Tim Lincecum threw a showcase for MLB scouts and reportedly looked to be in great shape and humped his fastball up to 93 MPH.  The Giants are in he market for an inexpensive SP option.  Does the 93 MPH drive Timmy's price out of reach for the Giants?  Would they go above the CBT threshold for a reunion with a player who is still an incredible fan favorite?  I'm guessing they would if they thought it would put a thousand or two more butts in seats every 5'th day for even part of a season and Timmy would definitely do that if he pitched half decently.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

DrB's 2018 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #9 Sandro Fabian

Sandro Fabian, OF.  DOB:  3/6/1998.  B-R, T-R.  6'1", 180 lbs.  IFA 2014.

Low A:  .277/.297/.408, 30 2B, 11 HR, 5 SB, 2.0 BB%, 17.5 K%, 504 PA.

Hitting .277 with 30 2B, and 11 HR in Augusta is no easy feat.  The list of good prospects who have struggled there is long.  So, Sandro Fabian's full season line is actually quite impressive.  On top of that, he just kept getting hotter as the season progressed slashing .311/.331/.473 with 8 of his 11 HR's in the second half.  He hit .370 in August and .476 over his last 10 games.  So, what's not to like here?  Welp, it appears he graduated from the Frankie Pegs school of hitting where students have it drilled into them that they absolutely cannot walk off the island!  On the other hand, the most HR's Frankie Pegs hit was 10 at age 22 in San Jose so Fabian is showing some power at a much earlier age in a more difficult hitting environment, especially for power.

Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs who is actually quite high on Sandro has written repeatedly about how bad his 2017 season was.  I think he is focusing on the walk rate almost exclusively because that actually pretty impressive performance from a 19 yo in Augusta.  Longenhagen scouted Fabian in the Fall Instructional League in Arizona this last October and posted this report:  "He's making among the loudest contact at Instructional League with multiple exit velocities in excess of 100 MPH during my in-person looks.  He tracks pitches well, has great timing and bat control and can drive balls to all fields.  There is a special offensive talent here, and I'm still buying stock in Fabian even after a horrendous season!"

OK, I love what I'm reading here until I get to the word horrendous.  I agree the walk rate is a concern, but Sandro Fabian actually had a pretty good season in Augusta.  If Eric Longenhagen wants  to see a truly horrendous season, he might want to look up what Christian Arroyo did in Augusta or Ryder Jones or maybe Pablo Sandoval in 2006.  By 2008, Pabs was hitting .345 in his MBL debut.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

DrB's 2018 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #10 Jacob Gonzalez

Jacob Gonzalez, 3B.  DOB:  6/26/1998.  B-R, T-R.  6'3", 190 lbs.  Drafted 2017, Round 2.

R:  .339/.418/.458, 15 2B, 3B, HR, 8.2 BB%, 11.9 K%, 194 PA.

Jacob Gonzalez is another member of the Giants Kiddie Korps of teenage prospects.  The son of baseball star Luis Gonzalez, you can tell from his stat line that he already knows how to hit with strong plate discipline to go with high contact skills.  He's a big kid, though not quite as big as the pre-draft 6'4", 205 lb numbers we saw in draft scouting reports.  He has limited tools except for the two most important ones, hit and power.  The power is more doubles power right now, but scouting reports I've read are confident the dingers will come.  Biggest challenge will be not having to move to 1B where the bat would have to be truly special as the speed is slow, the arm fringy and the glove clanky at times.  We should see him in Augusta later this spring.

DrB's 2018 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #11 Shaun Anderson

Shaun Anderson, RHP.  DOB:  10/29/1994.  6'4", 225 lbs.  Drafted 2016 Rd 3(Red Sox).

A(Red Sox):  3-0, 2.56, 38.2 IP, 8.61 K/9, 2.56 BB/9, GO/AO= 1.34.
A+(Red Sox):  3-3, 3.99, 58.2 IP, 7.36 K/9, 2.76 BB/9, GO/AO= 0.87.
A+(Giants):  3-3, 3.51, 25.2 IP, 7.71 K/9, 1.40 BB/9, GO/AO= 1.39.

Anderson is the other pitcher the Giants received from the Red Sox for Eduardo Nunez.  He's a big, strong RHP who was a college reliever only because Florida had too many great SP's.  Anderson throws a FB 92-96 MPH and also has a cutter, slider, curveball and an improving changeup he is starting to throw more often per Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs.  I saw Shaun pitch in his last start of the season in San Bernardino.  He was completely dominant, allowing his only baserunner in the 6'th and final inning while striking out 7 and walking 0.  BTW, it was so hot that night, I had to leave the game early and nearly fainted as I was walking out to my car.  Anyway, Shaun Anderson should move up to AA this season and I expect him to be MLB ready as early as midseason.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

DrB's 2018 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #12 Gregory Santos

Gregory Santos, RHP.  DOB:  8/28/1999.  6'2", 190 lbs.  IFA 2015(Red Sox).

DSL(Red Sox):  2-0, 0.89, 30.1 IP, 7.12 K/9, 4.45 BB/9, GO/AO= 4.55.
DSL(Giants):  1-0, 1.93, 18.2 IP, 8.20 K/9, 2.41 BB/9, GO/AO- 1.86.

Gregory Santos was one of two very nice pitching prospects to come to the Giants in the Eduardo Nunez trade to the Red Sox.  He's pitched 2 seasons in the DSL, but due to his birthdate, 2018 will be his age 18 season, which will likely be in Arizona.  He's got close to ideal size, a mid-90's FB and a nice mix of secondary pitches.  As you can see, his walk rate dropped dramatically after the trade.  Don't know if that's a sample size blip or if the Giants coaches were able to fix something quickly.  Then there is the sweet groundball rate.  It will take time for him to fully develop, but he's an exciting prospect with a high ceiling and a possible fast mover in the system.

Fantasy Focus: Value SP's

A word to the wise.  Pitching is going to be very thin again in 2018.  So much so, that you may want to reverse the age-old fantasy draft formulas such as drafting 7 position players before you take your first pitcher or spending 70% of you auction budget on position players.  If you think you are going to be able to fill in your rotation by plucking guys off the FA list, think again.  I've done some combing through depth charts and there are multiple MLB teams out there who don't have even 1 rosterable fantasy SP in their pre-season starting rotation.  If you don't believe me, look up the Padres, Rangers, Royals and Marlins rosters and depth charts.  I'll add the Pirates to that list too, and maybe the Twins.

With that in mind, I also combed through Fantasy Pros preseason ADP list and looked at two tiers:  #50-100 and ADP's greater than 100.  Let me tell you, the pickings are slim.  Here is what I came up with for possible value SP's.  Keep in mind these could change dramatically as the season approaches.  Note:  Listed ADP's are SP, not Overall.

I have already profiled Blake Snell(58) as a Breakout Candidate and Luis Gohara(78) as an Impact Rookie.  You already know that I absolutely love Tyler Chatwood(79) to breakout now that he is out of Coors Field.

It gets even thinner after you pass #100, but Tyler Mahle(106) has a chance to be an Impact Rookie.  Erasmo Ramirez(123) has been a Breakout Candidate seemingly forever. He always puts up great WHIP's but has struggled with consistency.  His overall numbers from 2017 don't look exciting but he ran off 7 of 8 QS down the stretch for Seattle last season.  My Deep Sleeper  /Breakout Candidate is none other than the Giants very own Chris Stratton(144), although the ride could be bumpy.

Monday, February 12, 2018

DrB's 2018 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #13 Alexander Canario

Alexander Canario, OF.  DOB:  5/7/2000.  B-R, T-R.  6'1", 165 lbs.  IFA 2016.

DSL:  .294/.391/.464, 17 2B, 4 3B, 5 HR, 18 SB, 12.0 BB%, 14.6 K%, 274 PA.

If you hadn't already figured it out, there is a huge yawning gap in my mind between #13 and #14 on this list.  Heliot Ramos is in a tier all by himself, but then the second tier goes from #2 to here, Alexander Canario.  I may have ranked a DSL player in my top 50 before, but I don't remember when.  I usually lump them into a separate Dominican Dandies category because there is just too darn much we don't know about them.  Which brings me to the prospect himself.  It's pretty obvious from the numbers that this kid has at least 3 tools, Hit, Power, Run.  The BB and K percents tell you there is already some skill added to the tools.  It's enough that he's already getting some national press among prospect watchers.

On video, he's a wiry strong athlete who looks confident at the plate with a short, simple swing to the ball with very little extraneous movement, yet with explosive power at the point of contact.  He needs to do some filling out, but the frame looks strong, like that should be no problem.  I expect him to follow the Sandro Fabian track with 2018 in Arizona and 2019 in Augusta.  By then, we'll know more about where he's headed, but the early returns are darn exciting.

DrB's 2018 Giants top 50 Prospects: #14 Joan Gregorio

Joan Gregorio, RHP.  DOB:  1/12/1992.  6'7", 180 lbs.  IFA 2009.

4-4, 3.04, 74 IP, 7.42 K/9, 4.26 BB/9.

Gregorio has been around forever and still hasn't quite broken through.  Although he posted a pretty good ERA for Sacramento in 2017, the K and BB rates were a regression.  Then on July 1, while on the DL with a back injury, he was busted for PED's and suspended for the remainder of the season.  He's always had intriguing height and has grown into his frame a lot more than the listed 180 lbs.  2018 is probably his last chance to put it all together.  He's not really being mentioned in the Giants SP depth chart.  He looks like he could be a nice swingman option, but again, he has to sharpen up his command.  Another question is his option status.  I have not seen him listed as being out of options but he's been optioned 3 times already.  Whether the Giants have an extra option on him due to injury or suspension is not clear to me.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

DrB's 2018 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #15 Miguel Gomez

Miguel Gomez, 2B.  DOB:  12/17/1992.  B-S, T-R.  5'10", 185 lbs.  IFA 2011.

AA:  .305/.330/.458, 19 2B, 2 3B, 8 HR, 3.7 BB%, 11.2 K%, 322 PA.
MLB:  .242/.235/.303, 2 2B, 0.0 BB%, 17.6 K%, 34 PA.

Gomez is still on the 40 man roster after an impressive season for AA Richmond and a promising, though SSS MLB debut.  There doesn't seem to be much doubt the man can hit and he looked surprisingly agile at 2B, again in a very SSS. He haas also played 3B and 1B  and C in the minors although his catching days are probably behind him.  Detractors point to the miniscule walk rate which MLB pitchers may well exploit once they get to know him a bit.  His offensive profile is very similar to another Giant who helps them sell a lot of funny looking hats.  I am not sure exactly where Gomez will land with all the minor league FA IF's the Giants are bringing in, IMO they could do worse than start the season with him and Kelby as the reserve IF's.  Reserve corner IF is probably Panda's to lose though.

DrB's 2018 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #16 Dan Slania

Dan Slania, RHP.  DOB:  5/24/1992.  6'5", 275 lbs.  Drafted 2013 Round 5.

AA:  5-3, 3.59, 80.1 IP, 6.16 K/9, 3.14 BB/9.
AAA:  0-8, 7.82, 61 IP, 8.41 K/9, 4.57 BB/9.

Big Dan Slania also pitched 1 scoreless inning for the Giants in 2017 before getting sent back down to the minors.  I guess if I was making this list today, I would rank him a bit lower.  I think I thought he was still on the 40 man roster, but he passed through waivers in October so at least is still in the organization.  As you can see from the numbers, his big challenge is controlling the strike zone and improving those AAA numbers.  If he does that, he could be in position for another crack at the majors sometime in 2018.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

DrB's 2018 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #17 Garrett Williams

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

A:  4-3, 2.25, 64 IP, 8.16 K/9, 3.52 BB/9, GO/AO= 2.44.
A+:  2-2, 2.45, 33 IP, 10.36 K/9, 2.73 BB/9, GO/AO= 2.11.

Garrett Williams has been on scouting radar screens since little league.  He was wild in college to the point where he actually pitched very few innings.  The Giants took a mid-single digit flyer on him and seem to be successfully helping him overcome the control/command issues.  There is a lot to like in these lines from his first full pro season:  Strong K/9, improving BB/9 and an extreme GB tendency.  He reportedly sports a low 90's FB but his curveball is what gets most scouts excited.  There is a nice scouting report on Baseball Census linked to the left.  The Author of that piece also had good things to say about his changeup.  Video shows a low 3/4 arm slot with strong sink on the FB.  If he continues to improve his command/control, he could keep climbing right up to #3 MLB SP.  It would not be unreasonable for him to start 2018 in AA Richmond.

Hot Stove Update: Cubs Sign Yu Darvish

The Cubs agreed to terms with Yu Darvish on a contract of 6 yrs/$126 M.  Davish was MLBTR's top rated FA for this cycle.  This deal equals MLBTR's predicted length but is well under the $160 M total dollar amount, although the deal reportedly has incentives that potentially bring it up to $150 M.

As much as some people have moaned about collusion and falling FA values, this is a pretty sweet deal for a guy who missed 2015 and part of 2016 with TJ surgery and is coming off a 3.86 ERA season capped by stinking out The Latrine in the World Series, which is not a easy feat. Still, I'd probably rather give a contract like this to Darvish than to Jake Arrieta.  Darvish joins Jon Lester, Jose Quintana, Kyle Hendricks and Tyler Chatwood to make a very solid starting rotation for the Cubs in 2018.  The contract is likely to be very bad by the time it is done, but is for tomorrow to worry about.  At this point, the Cubs bullpen appears to be their weak link for 2018 but they still have time to fix that too.

Fantasy Focus: Value Outfielders

Outfield is a tough position to write about in fantasy baseball because there are so darn many of them.  Unlike other positions where you only have to worry about 10-15 players for each position, each team will roster a minimum of 3 OF's and there may be additional OF's rostered in UT positions.  Some leagues even require you to carry 5 OF's trying to simulate a real MLB 25 man roster!  So, if you are in a 10 team league, you are going to have to know at least 30 OF's and possibly as many as 50.  Bigger leagues just force you to go even deeper.

Here is a list of OF's with ADP's greater than 30 per Fantasy Pros website who I think may give good value if you have to wait until the end of the draft to pick your last OF or two:

Marwin Gonzalez(#32) is interesting because of his extreme versatility.  He is listed as eligible for all 4 IF positions as well as the OF.  Adam Eaton(#41), Gregory Polanco(#46) and David Dahl(#67) are potential bounceback candidates coming off injuries.  Adam Duvall(#51) seems like a tremendous value to me although his BA may scare come people off.  I absolutely love Willie Calhoun(#64) and Michael Taylor(#65) although Taylor has his work cut out for him to stay ahead of Victor Robles on the National's depth chart.  I like Scott Schebler(#86) in Cincinnati.  If you are chasing SB's, Mallex Smith(#102) is currently sitting on top of the Rays LF depth chart and Victor Reyes is an intriguing Rule 5 pick for the rebuilding Tigers who just might end up as their starting CF.

DrB's 2018 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #18 CJ Hinojosa

CJ Hinojosa, IF.  DOB:  7/15/1994.  B-R, T-R.  5'10", 175 lbs.  Drafted 215 Round 11.

AA:  .265/.321/.340, 16 2B, 4 HR, 5 SB, 7.4 BB%, 10.1 K%, 417 PA.

I've followed CJ since he was an interesting HS draft prospect before embarking on a mostly disappointing college career at Texas.  He has a very similar profile to Ryan Howard. On the surface, Howard may look like the better prospect.  He's bigger, was drafted higher and had the great BA for San Jose.  I ranked CJ a notch higher because of success at the very challenging AA level as well as better BB and K rates.  CJ probably profiles as a future utility IF at the MLB level.

Friday, February 9, 2018

DrB's 2018 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #19 Ryan Howard

Ryan Howard, IF.   DOB:  7/25/1994.  B-R, T-R.  6'2", 195 lbs.  2016 Round 5.

A+:  .306/.342/.397, 21 2B, 9 HR, 7 SB, 4.1 BB%, 14.3 K%, 565 PA.

Howard is pretty much a cookie cutter Giants IF prospect.  A SS in the minors who is probably not quite good enough defensively to be a MLB starter there, high BA, occasional pop, a little speed, high contact.  He had a very consistent season for San Jose maintaining a BA above .300 for all but a few days at the beginning of the season.  He should move up to AA Richmond in 2018.  If he hits there, he'll be almost ready to be brought up as an injury fill-in or utility player.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

DrB's 2018 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #20 Ricardo Genoves

Ricardo Genoves, C.  DOB:  5/14/1999.  B-R, T-R.  6'2", 190 lbs.  IFA 2015.

R:  .252/.327/.356, 6 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 8.0 BB%, 18.7 K%, 150 PA.

There is a very nice scouting report on Genoves up at Baseball Census linked to the left where I got most of the info for this profile.  Genoves was a $550 K IFA bonus baby in 2015, the same year the Giants signed Lucius Fox.  He is very athletic for his size with advanced defensive skills behind home plate.  The bat trails significantly with a swing that looks a bit stiff and long.  On the other hand, batting .250 is a lot better than many defense-first catching prospects and the plate discipline looks promising in the stat line so I think there is hope for the bat.  Will the Giants send him to Augusta for his age 19 season or keep him in camp and send him to Salem-Keizer later in the summer?  Genoves is a long term project and time is on their side.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Fantasy Focus: Breakout Candidate- Blake Snell

Blake Snell LHP, Rays.  DOB:  12/4/1992.  6'4", 200 lbs.  Drafted 2011 Round 1 #52.

2017:  5-7, 4.04, 129.1 IP, 59 BB, 119 K.
1'st Half:  0-5, 4.85, 52 IP, 34 BB, 45 K.
2'nd Half:  5-2, 3.49, 77.1 IP, 25 BB, 74 K.

Snell was once one of the most highly rated pitching prospects in baseball before struggling in his MLB debut and the first half of his sophomore campaign.  He really seemed to settle in over the second have of last season and appears ready to break out in 2018.  The stuff is there with a FB that averages just under 95 MPH and plays up due to great extension of his long arm which releases the ball closer to home plate than the average pitcher.  He'll be one of my SP pitching targets on fantasy draft day.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

DrB's 2018 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #21 DJ Snelten

DJ Snelten, LHP.  DOB:  5/29/1992.  6'7", 245 lbs.  Drafted 2013 Round 9.

AA:  4-1, 1.66, 21.2 IP, 5 BB, 28 K, GO/AO= 3.63.
AAA:  4-0, 2.42, 52 IP, 18 BB, 43 K, GO/AO= 2.05.

DJ Snelten is an interesting prospect.  He's a tall lanky lefty who has filled out his frame since being drafted in 2013.  He struggled for a couple of years as a SP, but blossomed last year as a reliever in both AA and more significantly after a promotion to AAA Sacramento.  He has both solid K and BB numbers but an extreme groundball tendency that held up in the PCL where sinkers don't sink so much.  In a Q/A with Conner Penfold of Giant Potential, DJ said he does not throw a typical 2-seam sinker.   What he does is throw his 4 seamer over the top and used his height to drive the ball down in the zone and create a steep downward plane that get hitters to make contact with the upper half of the ball producing all the groundballs.  It will be interesting to see if that approach works at the MLB level, but the results in the PCL where you might expect it to be not so successful are encouraging.  Snelten is a lefty reliever who can go more than 1 inning at a time and face both L and R handed batters.  He should get a chance to prove out in MLB sometime this season.

DrB's 2018 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #22 Reyes Moronta

Reyes Moronta, RHP.  DOB:  1/6/1993.  6'0", 175 lbs.  IFA 2010.

2017(3 levels):  3-1, 2.92, 37.0 IP, 20 BB, 47 K.
2017 MLB:  0-0, 2.70, 6.2 IP, 3 BB, 11 K.

First of all, let me just say I've seen Reyes Moronta pitch and he ain't no 175 lbs!  In fact, from a distance he looks like he might have been separated from Jean Machi at birth.  Moronta has been in the Giants organization seemingly forever.  He throws very hard and in the past 2 seasons has achieved enough control/command to be a legitimate MLB RP prospect.  His cup of coffee at the end of last season was impressive and may be the reason why the Giants felt Kyle Crick was tradable.  Reyes will compete for a RP roster spot in spring training.  If he does not make it, he likely will be a  mid-season callup at some point.

Hot Stove Update: Mets Sign Todd Frazier

The slow FA market bit Todd Frazier hard.  He was projected by MLBTR to get a 3 year/$33 M contract from someone, but yesterday settled with the Mets for 2 years/$17 M.  Ouch!  Now, before you go all THE GIANTS COULD HAVE...... Evan Longoria's hit on the Giants CBT is a lot less than  $8.5 M THIS YEAR and THIS YEAR is apparently all the Giants care about in terms of the CBT.  Of  course, they are so close to the threshold now, it's anybody's guess whether they will actually stay under it or not and it's hard to see how going over by $1 is much better than going over by $10 M.

The Giants need dingers and Frazier would likely give them a lot more of those than Longoria, but there is also risk that the dingers would disappear in AT&T and they'd be left with a .220 BA and 15 dingers, but just for 2 years.

The biggest news out of this is the FA and stock market officially crashed on the same day.  This signing is very bad news for the remaining FA's in the 2017-18 market.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

DrB's 2018 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #23 Julian Fernandez

Julian Fernandez, RHP.  DOB:  12/15/1995.  6'2", 160 lbs.  IFA 2012.

2017 A:  1-2, 3.26, 58 IP, 18 BB, 57 K.

One of many problems with the Rule 5 Draft process is that despite being signed as young as age 16, IFA's become eligible in the same number of years as HS draftees who are usually age 18 when drafted.  That means teams have to decide to add an IFA to their 40 man roster by age 21 or risk losing him in the Rule 5 Draft while a HS draft pick doesn't usually have to be added until age 23.  OK, now that I have that rant out of the way, the Giants selected RHP Julian Fernandez with the 2'nd pick in the 2017 Rule 5 draft from the Colorado Rockies organization.  Fernandez, who looks a bit bigger in videos than his listed weight, throws very hard, up to triple digits and a cutter in the mid-90's based on some video footage I found.  He's struggled mightily with his commend until last season in Low A ball pitching for Asheville.  Now, Asheville might be the most hitter-friendly environment in the SAL so those numbers are even more impressive.  Unfortunately, the Giants have to keep Fernandez in the 25 man active roster all season or offer him back to the Rockies.  That's a mighty big jump from low A ball to the majors, and triple digits is not as scary for hitters as it once was.  Another case of the Giants trying to catch lightning in a bottle.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

DrB's 2018 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #24 Tyler Rogers

Tyler Rogers, RHP.  DOB:  12/17/1990.  6'5", 187 lbs.  Drafted 2013 Rd 10.

AAA:  4-4, 2.37, 76 IP, 28 BB, 43 K, GO/AO= 2.25, 10 Saves.

Sidewinder/Submarine pitchers enjoyed a surge in popularity back in the 2000's, but now seem to be a vanishing breed.  Tyler Rogers is one such pitcher who has worked his way steadily up the Giants organizational ladder.  He had a rough introduction to AAA in 2016 and some analysts wondered if he had found his ceiling, but he came back in 2017 with a workhorse performance.  Of particular note is the extreme groundball tendency in a league that is generally not kind to sinkerball pitchers.  Other nice feature is the average of close to 1.5 innings per appearance, a skill that is becoming much more sought after at the MLB level.  The Giants have had several sidewinder/submariner types in their system over the years.  Maybe Rogers will be the one who finally breaks through?  A guy who could come into a game in the middle innings and get 4-6 groundball outs would do a lot to solidify the bullpen.

Friday, February 2, 2018

DrB's 2018 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #25 Sam Wolff

Sam Wolff, RHP.  DOB:  4/14/1991.  6'1", 204 lbs.  Drafted 2013 Round 6(Rangers).

2017(2 levels):  4-5, 2.93, 43.0 IP, 19 BB, 59 K.

Wolff was acquired by the Giants in the Matt Moore trade with the Rangers.  He's a hard throwing(as in triple digits) veteran minor leaguer who has missed time due to injury.  He was strong in AA and even stronger in AAA in 2017.  Part of the reason why the Rangers were willing to trade him is he will miss the first half of the 2018 season with a flexor tendon injury.  The Giants hope to catch lightening in a bottle when he is recovered.

DrB's 2018 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #26 Heath Quinn

Heath Quinn, OF.  DOB:  6'7'1995.  B-R, T-R.  6'2", 190 lbs.  Drafted 2016 Round 3.

A+:  .228/.290/.371, 9 2B, 10 HR, 6.7 BB%, 29 K%, 297 PA.

I saw Heath Quinn as being a definite second round talent, possibly even late first round in the 2016 draft cycle.  He then got off to a roaring start to his pro career and appeared to be off on the fast track to be the Giants RF or LF of the future.  Needless to say, his first full season assignment to San Jose, which is in a hitter-friendly league and all was a big disappointment.  He spent some time on the DL and I am going to chalk up this face-plant to injury.  Bounceback Candidate.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

DrB's 2018 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #27 Jonah Arenado

Jonah Arenado, 3B/1B.  DOB:  2/3/1995.  B-R, T-R.  6'4", 230 lbs.  Drafted 2013 Round 16.

A+:  .268/.308/.439, 36 2B, 4 3B, 13 HR, 5.0 BB%, 19.9 K%, GO/AO= 0.75, 488 AB.

Jonah Arenado is a big kid who hits the ball hard.  He's also the brother of a pretty good MLB 3B you may have heard of.  The line for his age 22 season in San Jose is pretty good.  He kept racking up XBH's in bundles.  The problem for Arenado is this was his second full season with San Jose and the numbers are almost identical to his first full season there.  So, where does he go from here?  Seems like the Giants have to either push him up to Richmond and see what happens or essentially give up on him, which they absolutely should not do on a kid with his power potential.  The red flag in his stat line is the very low walk rate.  For some of those doubles to turn into dingers, he needs to be more selective at the plate.  One other issue:  He wants to play 3B.  I saw him play late in the season and to my eye, he's just too big and to stiff in his actions to play 3B at higher levels.  This means 1b is likely his only option which puts even more pressure on the bat.  So, kind of a mixed bag here.  Tremendous power potential combined with a large bust potential.