Friday, October 12, 2018

Giants Depth Charts: Shortstop

Brandon Crawford has 3 years left on his 5 yr/$60 M contract.  He can still pick it at SS so he isn't going anywhere soon.  The bat is worrisome as he finished the season with almost identical marks as 2017 after being close to the hottest hitter in baseball in May and June.  Whether that was due to nagging injuries or his swing is notoriously dependent on timing and just got out of synch we may not know for sure.  I guess the hot streak is encouraging but the collapse afterward is just the opposite.  We should probably expect future seasons to be more like 2017 and 2018 than 2015 and 2016.  On to the Depth Chart:

MLB:  1.  Brandon Crawford- See above.  2.  Alen Hanson- Hanson is OK to fill in occasionally, but if he had to play the position for long stretches, would probably be a defensive disaster.  3. Abiatal Avelino- recent acquisition from the Yankees for Andrew McCutchen.  Has some defensive chops but the bat needs more salt.  Will probably start the season in AAA.

AAA:  Orlando Calixte is on the River Cats roster, but I believe he is a minor league FA.

AA:  Ryan Howard and CJ Hinojosa are interchangeable middle infielders who should both move up to AAA unless the Giants sign some MLB depth to stash there.  One of them could move to 3B so they and Avelino can all play at the same time.

A+:  Brandon Van Horn has a nice glove but the bat has a long way to go.  May not be ready for AA.  Kelvin Beltre has played SS, 3B and 2B.  His big need is to stay healthy.

Low A:  Manuel Geraldo finally conquered the SAL and seems ready for the challenge of higher levels.  I've been high on his potential for a long time, but he has been a slow developer.  Abdiel Layer got a late callup but may start next season back in camp.

Rookie AZL:  Nico Giarratano is a defensive SS from USF who put up decent offensive numbers for S-K.  I expect to see his name in the Greenjackets boxscores next season.  Jett Manning is a defensive SS from Alabama who did not show much stick in his pro debut.

Rookie AZL:  Not much to get excited about at this level.  Marcos Campos, Francisco Medina, Enoc Watts and Edison Mora failed to distinguish themselves.

DSL:  Ghordy Santos has had two seasons in which he couldn't hit his way out of a paper bag for 2 months then got hot in August.  Is that enough to get him a ticket to Arizona?  He has a high-ceiling vibe about him.  Jean Pena was hot early then cooled off but hit 6 dingers, which is a lot for a DSL player.

Marco Luciano was signed on July 2 as a SS.  He is already the #3 prospect in the Giants system on my list.  I expect him to skip the DSL and start next season in Arizona. Augusta would be an extremely aggressive placement and probably not best for his development.

Free Agents:  Manny Machado(26) obviously heads the list.  Freddy Galvis is probably the most interesting other name.  Other's include Alcides Escobar(30), Adeiny Hechiaverria(30), Jose Iglesias(29), Jordy Mercer(32), Eduardo Escobar(30).

Summary:  It's hard to imagine anyone but Brandon Crawford playing SS for the Giants over the next 3 seasons.  It might be time for him to think about changing his hairstyle, though.


  1. hairstyle -- wife likes it!

  2. Thank you for all of these posts, doc. They are informative and well thought out. That to be said, they are not encouraging. They seem to add up to a few more years of struggle. I am basing this on the following: Each of these posts suggests that same player will be manning the same position regularly for the Giants next year. It also seems like the true prospects that have a chance to really be an impact player aren't in AAA or AA for the Giants. They are in Salem-Keizer or Augusta. I also have a hard time seeing Machado or Harper signing with the Giants (ball park suppresses production, unlikely to be an immediate contender, etc). So I guess what I am asking is what can I hang my hat on in terms of being hopeful for improvement in the next two years?

    1. yeah I agree - when Luciano and Joey Bart are producing at MLB Giants can contend ... when will this be?? Bart can be MLB contributor in 2 years but Luciano? what 4 years at earliest? maybe 5 ,,, of course the no. 10 selection in next year's draft if a college player could be a producer in 2 years so in reality team can have Bart and next year's pick be productive in 2020 or 2021 if all goes well - team should plan on two more years of sub-standard play before true re-build can take shape - why even chase Harper or Machado now when they really need two years to restock?

    2. Most of Machado's HRs are to left field from the foul line to left center and tailing off in numbers toward center, a few in the direction of AT&T's triples alley. Most of his doubles are to left field. If pitched away, he can hit the wall in RF, probably won't log many splash hits.

      Crawford played a lot of games last year, many with nagging injuries. He took 2 3-game breaks (one was maternity), only missing 5 other games, mostly 1 at a time. As there wasn't really a backup shortstop, he played when he was needed, however he felt. Giants were .380 (8-13) when he didn't start, .461 when he did -- and this includes the Giants 5-21 September.

      The two of them can figure out how to co-exist on the same field.

      Can the Giants afford Machado and an OFer who can hit 30 HRs? If Machado can pull the ball consistently, he'll knock 30 more.

    3. I don't see any way to upgrade the infield without both eating a lot of money and spending a lot. Some teams may still see Brandon Belt as having potential for surplus value but good lucked finding takers before he proves he's healthy. I see a decent chance for bounceback seasons from Belt and Panik and a decent chance for a modest improvement from Longoria.

      Here's where the Giants need to upgrade: The outfield! They can go into next season counting on the "kids" for 1 position, possibly two. No way can they count on them for all 3.

      Maybe that upgrade is Harper, but I think they can do it without making that gargantuan commitment. How about signing Pollock and then maybe finding a way to pry Domingo Santana away from the BrewCrew? There are other trade possibilities out there. That is just one.