Saturday, March 3, 2018

Spring Training Game Wrap 3/3/2018: Giants 9 Rangers 4; Giants 13 Indians 4

The Giants backed Johnny Cueto's spring debut with 4 dingers to dominate the Rangers in Scottsdale.    Key Lines:

Joe Panik 2B- 2 for 4, 2B, HR(1).  BA= .400.  Looking for a big season from Panik.  He's gotta stay healthy.  Both hits came of lefty Cole Hamels.

Steven Duggar CF- 2 for 2, 2 SB(2).  BA= .375.  Duggar went yard yesterday.  Today he showed off his speed with a couple of SB's.  Let's see....the 5 tools are hit, hit for power, run, catch, throw.  Yep, Duggar pretty much does them all, and quite well too!  Heres a true 5-tooler who could very well win the starting CF job for a contending team and yet he's not a top 100 prospect?    I would bet a lot that there is at least 1 prospect in BA's or MLB's top 100 who has neither the ceiling nor proximity to the majors that Duggar has.

Evan Longoria 3B- 2 for 3, HR(1), BB.  BA= .333.  Longoria makes his first spring start in the field and shows why the Giants traded for him.

Gregor Blanco CF/LF- 1 for 2, HR(1).  BA= .545.  Blanco is competing for a roster spot.

Chris Shaw LF- 2 for 2, HR(1).  BA= .412.  Shaw is probably not competing for a roster spot, but he's putting himself more clearly on the Giants radar screen for the future.

Johnny Cueto RHP- 2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K.  ERA= 9.00.  First spring start.  Getting his work in. Gave up a leadoff double then a dinger to Shin-Soo Choo.  Settled down after that.

Derek Holland LHP- 2.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K's.  ERA= 5.79.  8 K's in 4.2 IP in his first 2 spring starts.


Tyler Beede's second spring start went much better than his first and Mac had a huge game as the Giants road team dominated the Indians home team.  Key Lines:

Austin Jackson CF- 2 for 2, 2B.  BA= .500.  Jackson has not played much yet, but doing well when he does.

Gorkys Hernandez RF- 1 for 3, HR(1).  BA= .250.  Another guy who is competing for a roster spot.

Jarrett Parker DH- 1 for 3, 3B, BB.  BA= .211.  Parker has these flashes amidst long stretches of 0'fers.

Mac Williamson LF- 3 for 4, HR(3), SB(1).  BA= .421.  Huge game for Mac.  He'll probably start the season in Sacramento, but I could see him being the starting LF before the season is over.

Dylan Davis LF- 1 for 1, HR(1).  BA= .250.  There was a parade of prospects in the late innings of the split squad games.  Davis' dinger stands out.

Tyler Beede RHP- 3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K's.  ERA= 7.20.  The 1 hit was a dinger.  Other than that, Beede was much sharper than his first start of the spring.


  1. Thanks DrB, that's been one thing that's been bothering me too, about how well Duggar has hit and how good his defense has already been lauded, and yet he could not even get on one Top 100 list anywhere. Then again, neither did Crawford or Panik, either.

    I'm excited about Mac too. With his new batting stance and all. Do you have any idea why it took him so long to try a different stance? The Giants seemed to know all about what Belt needed to do, and Bochy has a history of improving hitters who join his teams (a study of managers found this out). Was he unwilling to listen until FedEx hooked him up with Turner's coach? Or maybe he was willing to talk with someone who had such a huge success?

    The only way I see him starting in LF is if Pence is injured, and unfortunately, that's been his problem since that lousy Cubs' scrub broke his bone and his consecutive game streak, it's like he's fragile now.

    I thought for sure that Parker would win the last OF spot, but his poor hitting has me thinking I was wrong to think that. What do you think?

    I was wondering if Beede was too ampped up in his first start, that happens.

    I've been thinking Holland would win one of the last bullpen spots, particularly long relief, and he has not been disappointing. I also thought that he might contend for the #5 spot with Blach, but everyone has been pitching well, so we'll see how things fall out. Plus, a lot of spring to go...

    1. A couple notes to add to this discussion:
      Duggar’s defense is not universally regarded. Some reports have it as more average than stellar. Combined with what some perceive as a question mark with the hit tool, it would make him more 4th OF than starter.
      Crawford was never much of a performer in the minors and only had 29 games at AAA. Not much chance to make prospect lists like Pablo.
      Mac, on the other hand, hit well until the majors. Why make a change?

    2. I agree that he's not universally regarded as good defensively, but average (i.e. 0 DRS/UZR) would still be an improvement (looking across all the various advanced defensive metrics available: RTOT, DRS, UZR) over what we've had for a long time in CF.

      His minor league stats are no sure thing, but I think it's good enough, with at least average defense, to start in the majors with this pretty good offensive lineup: Panik, McCutchen, Belt, Posey, Longoria, Pence, Crawford. And to see what he can do up here, assuming he keeps on hitting well in spring training.

      Mac had over 100 PA in 2016, giving the MLB coaches plenty of looks at what he's done and how. 35 K's in 112 AB shows pretty bad contact rate, and he actually was seen in late 2015 as well, there were no changes recommended? But I see your point, he did hit 800+ OPS before
      But from the history of how they hounded Belt to change (and Burriss, to no avail), seems like if there were changes that would bring his abilities out better, they would have been suggesting it after 2015 or 2016 seasons already.

      And frankly, hitting .800 OPS in the minors is actually pretty weak for an MLB prospect, you have to be more like high 800+ OPS to expect to be a starter, more if you are closer in age to the league average. Hence why some are leery about Duggar's hit tool, as well, he has similar numbers, though I would add that his OBP is very elite, which should translate better to the majors, I believe.

      Pablo was not even on the Giants Top 30 list the season he broke out. And he was in the Giants Top 30 for a couple of years before that, so prospect rankers knew about him, but didn't see his potential. Crawford didn't have much AAA, but had almost 800 PA in AA, giving him nearly 900 PA in the upper minors, two years, and plenty of observations for the rankers to decide that he belongs in the Top 100 or not.

      And this is not to denigrate the Top 100 rankers, but solely to note that they are not all knowing either. They miss a lot, but get a lot more right as well.

    3. BA on Duggar: 8: Has discerning eye and sorts out pitches well... He has above-average speed and takes solid routes that gives him a shot to be an above-average defender in center field with an above average arm... on-base skills and defensive abilities give him a shot at an everyday job...

      Sickels: 4: ... very fast, shows power, draws some walks too, arm and speed for center but instincts sometimes fail him; at times appears more of an athlete than a baseball player... can be erratic but should post strong secondary averages...

      Minor League Baseball Analyst: 5: average skills BA, Speed, Defense; All-around talent ... uses all fields in the line drive approach and has patience to draw walks ... solid-average defender in CF. Plus arm is true asset... Knows strike zone.

      Overall: looks like he has some skills but still more to learn as a hitter, but has good strike zone awareness, which would compensate for a below average BA with more walks, and help him eventually hit better. He's roughly average defensively as CF (which is what Sabean openly noted; his praise is generally not forthcoming unless he's pretty sure, from my experience) but has the potential to be better, which aligns with the fact that he only started playing CF when the Giants shifted him there, he's still learning the nuances.

      Any other year, probably no chance to start, but the lineup is set up that he can be low batting line and still about average if he bats 8th, and he has the speed to help out with balls in the gap that Pence and McCutchen can't reach, while being average and possibly better with experience. And there's no experience like MLB to see what he can do, I see it much like 2011 when Belt was in spring training, doing well, and they put him in because Ishikawa was injured (and I suspect he might have gotten the call anyway).

  2. I'm thinking opening day OF, barring injury, flame-out or stupid roster moves, will be Pence, Duggar & McCutcheon which means the real competition is for 4th & 5th OFer. And right now it's pretty crowded, which is a pleasant change from recent history.

    AS for Duggar, I thought him being voted one of the Top AFL prospects would give him some rankings traction. He's got a good eye. He can hit for power. He's got excellent speed. His arm is strong enough he can play RF. And, of course, he's known for his defensive range.

    But we're the Giants and our prospects are automatically downgraded. But if we trade them, like what happened when we traded for Mike Leake, they suddenly become Top-100 prospects in someone else's organization...

    1. There is no competition for 4th OF, Jackson has that position care of his two year contract. But yeah, I see Pence, Duggar, McCUTCHEN, will be the starting OF, barring any sudden frozen cold spell by Duggar. The bar to start is not very high, there is nobody who even looks average defensively as a CF, and nobody who hits all that well either, Duggar does not have to hit a lot to win the job. Of course, BWeez had a relatively easy hurtle as well, and blew his chance, so we'll see.

      I think people are underestimating his potential, and that's why he's not ranking higher. They don't realize that he changed his hitting mechanics drastically when he turned pro, and the integration and comfort necessary to tie that all together. They don't remember that he's never played CF regularly before, he's been a RF. They don't realize he didn't know how to steal, he only started working with Vince Coleman last season.

  3. The scariest part about Parker this Spring is his K% of 63% and judging by the rest of the Giants' averages (team BA .326), it's not against particularly good pitching.
    Unless he has a complete turn around -- can that happen in the funk he must be in -- he'll be DFA'd. Will anyone want him at 29 yo? Would the Giants want to sign him to a minor league contract?
    When do you give up?

  4. Because Pence has lost a bit of power and had a slow start / bad defense I think people are overlooking the fact his bat came around in the second half. I'm probably in the minority that thinks he will have a .800 ops season if healthy this year.

    Never been a fan of Parker, not a everyday big leaguer. Almost Don't want Mac to come up until someone is hurt. Let him dominate AAA, come up when he has a job, even if that's next year

    1. Pence is 35 in April.
      Bonds had one of his worst seasons at 34 yo, then bounced back and had the best 5 seasons of an already HOF career from 35-39.
      Pence is not Bonds but has exhibited nagging health issues for several years. Most importantly, there aren't drugs that enhance health and performance such as there were in 2000.
      Aging finally caught up Bonds at 40 yo after a 1.422 OPS year although then he hit 26 & 28 HRs at 41 and 42 yo and might have gotten to 800 had the Giants given him a chance.
      Barry Bonds, like Pablo Picasso, recreated himself several times from speed and defense to power and productivity, and, also like Picasso, might have been the best of all time at what he did.
      Bonds was one-of-a-kind and it's not fair to compare Pence, but wouldn't it be great if Pence had a 2018-over-2017 like Bonds' 2000-over-1999?
      Given an easier assignment in LF and much more power and production around him, it could happen and an .800 OPS season not out of reach.
      Good call!

  5. Where did Eury Perez come from? And why?
    BTW, 4 for 4 yesterday with a triple!