Thursday, February 04, 2016

Baseball Prospectus | 2016 Prospects: San Francisco Giants Top 10 Prospects



Fantastic analysis from a great resource. Given the under-25 talent listed below and the Top 10 prospects, even if only 3-4 of them hit big, the Giants seem poised to compete at the top of the division consistently for the next decade.

We're just looking for an average hit rate among the prospects. Man, that Bickford pic reminds me of Bronson Arroyo. Hopefully, he has just a good a career. Aramis Garcia is another one moving up a ot of lists in rather stealthy fashion. Sam Coonrod is one who could contribute in 2016 as well if he has a strong spring training. The number so far have been good. The organizational depth is such that even the number 10-15 listed as also-rans could conceivably be valuable contributors in short order.


San Francisco Giants Top 10 Prospects

December 8, 2015

2016 Prospects


Last year's Giants list
The State of the System: The good news is that the Giants win the World Series every other year. The bad news is that even with the usual collection of hard-throwing right-handers, this is the weakest San Francisco system in years.
 The Top Ten
1. Christian Arroyo, SS
DOB: 05/30/1995
Height/Weight: 6'1" 180 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: Drafted 25th overall in the 2013 MLB Draft, Hernando HS (Brooksville, FL); signed for $1.8665 million
Previous Ranking(s): #6 (Org.)
2015 Stats: .304/.344/.459, 9 HR, 5 SB in 409 PA's at High-A San Jose
Future Tools: 60 hit, 55 arm
Role: 50+—Solid-average regular up the middle
The Arroyo pick was mocked by many as a significant reach, but it appears the Giants knew what they were doing. His feel for hitting is outstanding, and his line-drive swing and above-average bat speed allow him to make consistent hard contact. He's an assertive hitter who will swing early in the count, and his ability to make good contact on pitches outside the zone makes him a classic "bad-ball" hitter. Like many young hitters, that assertiveness can lead to aggressiveness, which can lead to weak contact/strikeouts. There's also fringe-average power—mostly to the pull side—with the occasional double into the right-center gap
Arroyo's hit tool makes him a potential starter at every infield position except first base, which is good, because he's likely to move off shortstop at some point. He's a fringe-average runner with fringe-average range, and though he gets rave reviews for his instincts, they can only take a player so far. The bat plays best at second base, but a non-traditional third baseman who can hit .300 with 10-12 homers is also possible.
Bret Sayre's Fantasy Take: Yeah, it's another one of those systems. The best version of Arroyo is probably similar to former Giants' second baseman Freddy Sanchez, in that almost all of his value will be derived from his batting average ability. If he's a .290-plus hitter, he'll contribute enough in the other categories to be a MI option in mixed leagues. If not, he's best reserved for NL-only and very deep mixed formats.
Major League ETA: 2017

2. Lucius Fox, SS
DOB: 07/02/1997
Height/Weight: 6'1" 175 lbs.
Bats/Throws: S/R
Drafted/Acquired: Signed July 2015 out of the Bahamas for $6 million
Previous Ranking(s): Not Applicable
2015 Stats: N/A
Future Tools: 70 speed, 55 hit
Role: 50—Average regular up the middle
Fox, who played high-school ball in Florida, likely would have been a top-20 pick in last year's draft had he not been declared an International Free Agent in April, a ruling that earned him an extra $4 million or so. He oozes athleticism and has a swing that works from both sides of the plate, staying through the zone with quick wrists and very little wasted movement. There's more power from his natural right side at this point, which will probably change as he gets stronger; still, anything more than 40 power is unlikely because of his size/swing plane. The approach as a Florida prep left a lot to be desired, though there's plenty of time for that to develop.
He has the speed and arm strength to stick at shortstop, but plenty of scouts I spoke with believe his ultimate landing spot is center field. The Giants will give him every chance to stay in the infield, and if he can he's a potential .280/.350/.400 player who can steal 40 bases.
Please note that I did not make a Batman joke. [Editor's note: no fewer than seven Batman jokes were removed during editing. You're welcome, Earth.]
Bret Sayre's Fantasy Take: There's just so much lead time here, but the upside is worth getting him drafted in deep dynasty leagues this offseason. That said, if he's being taken before the third round, it's a poor pick. There's certainly 30-40 steal potential, and in today's depressed speed context, that makes him attractive. Though, in five years, there could be a lot of speed out there. We have no idea.
Major League ETA: 2020

3. Tyler Beede, RHP
DOB: 05/23/1993
Height/Weight: 6'4" 200 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: Drafted 14th overall in the 2014 MLB Draft, Vanderbilt University; signed for $2.6132 million
Previous Ranking(s): #4 (Org.)
2015 Stats: 3.97 ERA, 124.2 IP, 44 BB, 86 K at High-A San Jose and Double-A Richmond
Future Tools: 65 fastball, 55 change
Role: 50—Mid-rotation starter
Beede has the stuff you look for in a top-of-the-rotation starter. He's got a four-seam fastball that will touch 97, as well as a two-seamer with the downward movement that creates ground-ball outs. He keeps the same arm speed on his change, and the late fade makes it a swing-and-miss pitch to both left- and right-handed hitters. The curveball is rarely a strike, but the hard downward spin can fool hitters sitting on something else.
Control and command have been his issues, but it appeared he had turned a corner earlier in the year, walking nine batters in just under 53 innings for San Jose. Then, upon his promotion to Richmond, he walked 35 in 72. Some of that might have been wear at the end of his first full professional season, but he often struggles to repeat his delivery and battled poor control in college. With the stuff to be a frontline starter but the command of a no. 5, Beede likely splits the difference. There's a lot of volatility.
Bret Sayre's Fantasy Take: Volatility is not a bad thing at all when it comes to investing in dynasty league pitchers, and Beede has it in spades. Given the raw stuff and the strong player development staff that the Giants have in place, Beede is the top mixed league fantasy prospect in this system for me—it's tough to match his SP2 upside, even if he's pretty unlikely to get there.
Major League ETA: 2017

4. Jalen Miller, SS
DOB: 12/19/1996
Height/Weight: 5''11" 175 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: Drafted in the third round of the 2015 MLB Draft, Riverwood International Charter HS (Sandy Springs, GA); signed for $1.1 million
Previous Ranking(s): Unranked
2015 Stats: .218/.292/259, 0 HR, 11 SB in 197 Plate Appearances at complex level Arizona League
Future Tools: 60 run, 50+ hit
Role: 45—Fringe-average regular up the middle
Miller was the fourth player taken by the Giants in the 2015 draft, but his ceiling is the highest of any player they signed, as reflected by his over-slot bonus. His best assets are strong wrists, which help him get through the zone with plus bat speed. There is some glide to his swing, creating some timing issues, but his natural bat-to-ball skills give him a chance to possess a solid-average—maybe higher—hit tool. There's also some loft to the swing plane, and there's fringe-average power potential if he maxes out physically.
Like Arroyo—and almost every other shortstop in the minor leagues—there's a good chance he's going to have to play a different position. Even with his plus speed, his range is only average, and even with a quick release, his arm grades at just average. He should be plus at second base, but Miller profiles best as a utility infielder who can play all over the infield and give you 10-12 homers and 20-plus stolen bases off the bench. If the range improves and he can stick at shortstop, that's an everyday player.
Bret Sayre's Fantasy Take: If you love Lucius Fox, you'll like Miller. If you're in a dynasty league that rosters fewer than 250 prospects, you'll love neither. There's just too much value in a roster spot to let Miller occupy one in any league shallower than that, even if he could steal 30 bags one day.
Major League ETA: 2018
5. Phil Bickford, RHP
DOB: 07/10/1995
Height/Weight: 6'4" 200 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired/Bonus: Drafted 18th overall in the 2015 MLB Draft, Southern Nevada College; signed for $2.3338 million
Previous Ranking(s): No. 33 on top 125 MLB Draft prospects
2015 Stats: 2.01 ERA, 22.1 IP, 13 H, 6 BB, 32 K at Arizona Instructional League
Future Tools: 70 fastball, 50 slider
Role: 45—Back-end starter/high-leverage reliever
Bickford has a lot in common with Beede. Both are hard-throwing right-handed pitchers, both are former first-round picks of the Blue Jays who chose to attend college, and both are now Giants pitching prospects. Coincidence? Probably.
Bickford's arm strength is elite, and when he's working in short spurts, he'll touch the high 90s with a four-seam fastball that has late life. His slider is maddeningly inconsistent; he struggles to repeat his three-quarters arm slot, and it will vary from a 40 pitch that he can't locate to a 60 with hard tilt. The change is very much a work in progress, and like the slider its grade varies wildly from appearance to appearance. The control is ahead of the command, but he does a good enough job filling the strike zone that he should be able to start. However, because the stuff is so much better in shorter outings, it shouldn't surprise anyone if he ends up making his living as a reliever.
Bret Sayre's Fantasy Take: The problem with Bickford isn't that he can't start, it's that he's unlikely to be a valuable fantasy commodity if he does. Best case scenario, he'll light up the radar gun without getting as many swings and misses as he should, and he'll reside as a decent SP4. Think present-day Nate Eovaldi..
Major League ETA: 2018

6. Samuel Coonrod, RHP
DOB: 09/22/1992
Height/Weight: 6'2" 225 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired/Bonus: Drafted in the fifth round of the 2014 MLB Draft, Southern Illinois University; signed for $330,000
Previous Ranking(s): Unranked
2015 Stats: 3.14 ERA, 111.2 IP, 103 H, 34 BB, 114 K at Low-A Augusta
Future Tools: 60 fastball, 60 slider
Role: 45—Back-end starter or high-leverage reliever
Coonrod was one of the most pleasant surprises of the 2015 season, and although he was on the older side for the level, his stuff suggests that this is sustainable—for the most part. His four-seam fastball sits 90-94, and when he reaches back for more he'll touch 97. He complements that pitch with an above-average slider. He has shown improving feel for the pitch and can now throw it for a strike, something he didn't do much of while at Southern Illinois. He'll mix in a 40 change, an offering that doesn't have much life and that is delivered with an occasional drop in arm speed and slot.
If the Giants were to move Coonrod to the bullpen, he'd be a future closer, but no one can blame them for seeing if he can pitch every fifth day. His ability to miss bats with two pitches while throwing strikes makes it a realistic possibility.
Bret Sayre's Fantasy Take: At this point, Coonrod remains a player just to track in fantasy leagues, despite the temptation to pounce based on his performance and potential future home park. He's still far more likely to be a reliever long-term, and dynasty leagues are not kind to relief prospects (nor should they be).
Major League ETA: 2017

7. Christopher Shaw, 1B
DOB: 10/20/1993
Height/Weight: 6'4" 260 lbs.
Bats/Throws: L/R
Drafted/Acquired/Bonus: Drafted 31st overall in the 2015 MLB Draft, Boston College; signed for $1.4 million
Previous Ranking(s): No. 46 on top 125 MLB Draft prospects
2015 Stats: .287/.360/.551, 12 HR in 200 plate appearances at short-season Salem-Keizer
Future Tools: 60 power, 50 hit
Role: 45—fringe-average regular at first/bench bat
If you're looking for power from the left side, Shaw is your man. He's massive, and his natural strength and ability to transfer that weight allows him to take the ball out to any part of the field. He's not just a power hitter, though, as he shows patience at the plate, routinely working counts into his favor or drawing walks. The swing can get violent with added length and there's plenty of swing-and-miss, so he'll pile up strikeouts.
Shaw played both the outfield and first base at Boston College, but don't let that fool you; he's a 20 runner who has no chance of being a professional outfielder (though he does have an above-average throwing arm). That puts a lot of pressure on his bat, and ultimately this is a player who profiles best as either a platoon first baseman/DH or a weapon off the bench.
Bret Sayre's Fantasy Take: There's enough potential with the bat here to take Shaw in the first three rounds of dynasty drafts over the next few months, but he's likely a better bet in on-base leagues than batting average ones. The big lefty could be a .260 hitter with 25-plus homers in time, but let's wait until he gets to full season ball to get too interested here.
Major League ETA: 2018

8. Kyle Crick, RHP
DOB: 11/30/1992
Height/Weight: 6'4" 220 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired/Bonus: Drafted 49th overall in the 2011 MLB draft, Sherman HS (Sherman, TX), signed for $900,000
Previous Ranking(s): #2 (Org.)
2015 Stats: 3.29 ERA, 63 IP, 47 H, 66 BB, 73 K at Double-A Richmond
Future Tools: 70 fastball, 60 slider
Role: 45—Reliever
In a system filled with frustrating prospects, Crick is the most frustrating.The Giants finally had enough last season, as they threw in the towel on his starting career and moved him to the bullpen. He'll show two out-pitches, led by a four-seam fastball that touches 99 and sits 92-96 with heavy sink. His slider is another strikeout pitch with hard bite, and those two offerings alone make him a guy who can give right-handers fits.
Crick's flaws recede a bit in the bullpen role, but they're still present. His control/command are woeful, and he lacks a competent third offering to get left-handed hitters out, as seen in the .432 on-base percentage they had against him in 2015. Go to the "right" game and you'll see about 15 different arm slots, which, as you might guess, isn't conducive to throwing strikes.
If someone can finally get Crick to throw strikes, he's a potential closer. Right now he's just not reliable enough to project as a high-leverage reliever.
Bret Sayre's Fantasy Take: As far as dynasty relief prospects go, Crick is one of the better ones out there. That statement is the very definition of damning with faint praise. If you can still trade him based on name recognition, you should probably do that.
Major League ETA: 2016
9. Aramis Garcia, C
DOB: 01/12/1993
Height/Weight: 6'2" 220 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: Drafted 52nd overall in the 2014 MLB Draft, Florida International University; signed for $1.1 million
Previous Ranking(s): Unranked
2015 Stats: .264/.342/.431, 15 HR, 1 SB in 447 Plate Appearances at Low-A Augusta and High-A San Jose
Future Tools: 50+ power, 50 arm
Role: 40—Backup catcher
When you hear the term "offensive-minded backstop," they're describing Garcia. Despite his struggles in San Jose, his strength and above-average bat speed give him above-average power. The swing is compact, and though he doesn't have elite hand-eye coordination, he makes enough hard contact to project at least a fringe-average hit tool. He's a smart hitter who recognizes pitches well and will draw his share of walks (he can be too passive, however, which puts him behind in too many counts).
Garcia works hard behind the plate, but he's a below-average defender at this point. The arm is only average, and his lack of athleticism leads to slow pop times. He also struggles to block pitches in the dirt at times, and his framing skills need to show growth.
Still, Garcia has enough offensive upside to profile as a backup big leaguer. The ceiling isn't huge, but he can fill a role as a backup/platoon behind the plate or at first base.
Bret Sayre's Fantasy Take: If Garcia were a strong defender, there would be some reason for optimism in dynasty leagues, but his bat doesn't project to be good enough to carry his poor defense at the position—and his bat won't make him important for our purposes at another position. Garcia is best left for two-catcher formats and very deep leagues.
Major League ETA: 2017

10. Adalberto Mejia, LHP
DOB: 06/20/1993
Height/Weight: 6'3" 240 lbs.
Bats/Throws: L/L
Drafted/Acquired/Bonus: Signed March 2011 out of Dominican Republic for $350,000
Previous Ranking(s): #2 (Org.)
2015 Stats: 2.45 ERA, 51.1 IP, 38 H, 18 BB, 38 K at Double-A Richmond
Future Tools: 55 change, 55 fastball
Role: 40—No. 5 starter/swingman
Mejia missed the first 50 games of the season after testing positive for Sibutramine — a weight loss stimulant — and while the stats were fine after his return, the overall stuff took a step backward. He still shows a quality change from his quick arm and will touch 94 mph with his four-seamer. Unfortunately, the slider was slurvy for the most part, and he struggled to throw strikes, a recurring problem for the southpaw. In (albeit limited) looks at him in the AFL, he was much better, with the change flashing plus and more feel for both the fastball and slider. His waistline has grown significantly in his time with the franchise, leading to questions about his eventual durability..
If Mejia shows the same stuff he did in Arizona in 2016 he'll shoot up this list, but because of the lost developmental year—and the fact that the AFL is such a small sample—it's tough to have a lot of trust in this type of profile.
Bret Sayre's Fantasy Take: It seems strange to say at this point in a poor list, but Mejia might be the second-most valuable name in the Giants system for fantasy purposes because of his combination of proximity and potential. He still could be an SP4 who is stronger in the ratios than the strikeouts, but we'll probably know pretty quickly into 2016 whether he's worthy of a roster spot or not.
Major League ETA: 2018


Five who are just interesting:
Ray Black, RHP – Black throws harder than you do. In the AFL he was lighting up 101 with his four-seamer, which rarely dips below 96. He'll also show an above-average curveball at times, but when he overthrows it it stays flat and slurvy (and he overthrows it quite often). He also has well below-average control right now (25 walks in 25 innings in San Jose), so as with Crick it's hard to picture him pitching in pressure situations. Yet when you can miss bats like he does (51 strikeouts in those same 25 innings), there's always a chance.
Mac Williamson, OF – If you've followed the Giants closely, you probably know that developing outfielders hasn't exactly been the team's strong suit. It's not terribly likely, but Williamson has the best chance of becoming an outfield regular in years. There's plus power in his right-handed bat thanks to his size and natural loft, and he has the extension necessary to hit line drives to every part of the field. Having the tool only goes so far, however, as Williamson gets extremely pull-happy, and the swing's length and lack of bat speed mean he's going to strike out. A lot. His arm is plus and he's a deceptively good athlete, so if he can hit enough you could justify playing him every day in right field. It's far more likely he's a lefty-killer off the bench.
Andrew Suarez, LHP – Suarez was one of the best senior arms in the class (he was the Nationals' second-round pick in 2014 but chose to return to Miami), and though he doesn't offer much upside, the floor is high. He commands both his two- and four-seam fastballs to both sides of the plate, and while he's been seen as high as 96 MPH, he's in the 91-94 range more often than not. He'll show three off-speed pitches with varying level of success; the best is a slider that will occasionally flash plus. Both his curveball and change are potentially 50 pitches, and he throws all four pitches for strikes from an easy delivery that he repeats well. There's nothing particularly sexy about this arsenal, but four competent pitches and the ability to throw strikes make him a potential starter with very little margin for error.
Austin Slater, IF/OF – Slater is the type of player who doesn't have a set position, but doesn't really need one. He possesses a toned down version of the "Stanford Swing" (high-contact, go the other way, nuts to power), but he was never going to be a big power hitter anyway. There is enough bat speed and strength to put the ball into the gaps and put his plus speed to work. He spent most of the year at second base, but the Giants had him play the outfield corners in the AFL, and his speed and above-average throwing arm play well there. He's not an everyday player, but Slater's versatility makes him interesting, and he could help the Giants' bench at some point this summer.
Mac Marshall, LHP – Marshall was victim of MLB's insane draft rules when Brady Aiken wasn't signed, as his seven-figure agreement was voided. The Astros' loss was the Giants' gain. Marshall shows three average pitches, the best being a change that will routinely flash plus with late fade. He won't miss many bats with his 90-92 four-seam fastball and somewhat-slurvy slider, but because he throws strikes with all three pitches from a smooth delivery, there's a great chance of him pitching at the back of someone's rotation someday.
Top 10 Talents 25 And Under (born 4/1/90 or later)
  1. Joe Panik
  2. Christian Arroyo
  3. Matt Duffy
  4. Lucius Fox
  5. Tyler Beede
  6. ​Jalen Miller
  7. Phil Bickford
  8. Sam Coonrod
  9. Christopher Shaw
  10. Kyle Crick
For the first time in several years this Giants list is not headlined by left-handed stud Madison Bumgarner. That change alone results in a dramatic shift in the overall quality of this under-25 ranking, even though reality says the Giants still have a wealth of "young" talent at the big league level in 20-somethings Bumgarner, Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Hunter Strickland, and Chris Heston.
Among those young players who still qualify for this list, second baseman Joe Panik has made those who believed in him coming out of college look smart, while other evaluators are left wondering how the Giants yet again found an underrated and highly productive player. Panik is an all-around player who can hit for average, get on base in other ways, and shows an ability to drive the ball to the gaps, making him an extremely valuable commodity in any lineup.
While Christian Arroyo is an intriguing shortstop option, and he ultimately should carry additional defensive value, Panik's demonstrated major-league performance and all-around ability reduce risk and make him a better bet for this type of list.
For as much as Panik surprised some evaluators with his big-league performance, third baseman Matt Duffy has proven to be an even more perplexing developmental case, with hitting ability and power playing to levels few imagined as he came out of Long Beach State. Duffy is the Giants' everyday guy at the hot corner for at least the foreseeable future, and with that level of certainty it is impossible to push for a raw prospect like Lucius Fox to rank ahead of him.
With the remainder of the under-25 list comprising the same prospects listed above, there appears to be a lack of young talent in San Francisco. As alluded to earlier, that couldn't be further from the truth. Further, even though they're too old for this list there are additional players such as Andrew Susac, Jarrett Parker, and Josh Osich in the primes of their careers and with enough ability to contribute to the big-league roster.
Regardless of the appearance of this 25-and-under list and the overall prospect ranking, the Giants remain well positioned to challenge their rivals in the National League West. They may not have the flash, make the headlines, or have the money of some of their division opponents, but the Giants are a young, talented team with considerable potential left. —Mark Anderson

The Executives
Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations: Brian Sabean
Senior Vice President and General Manager: Bobby Evans
Vice President, Scouting and International Operations: John Barr
Say this about the Giants: They know what they want, and outside of the outfield stuff, they do as good of a job as anyone of developing their type of player. Barr and company have received their share of criticism for their selections (Arroyo, Joe Panik, etc.) but the player development team—led until 2013 by Fred Stanley—has done a great job of maximizing those players' seemingly limited skill sets. Say what you will about process over results, but front-office members don't get fired because their bosses were unsatisfied with the "process" of draft picks.
With that being said, San Francisco's player development hasn't been without flaws. Outside of Fox they haven't spent big on the international free agents—or developed those they have spent money on—and the Dombrowski-esque love for hard-throwing right handers with no command or feel for pitching has left this system in trouble. Some of that falls on the player-development staff, but it also falls on the front office for failing to recognize that high-probability isn't such a bad thing to have in a system. When the majority of your system is low-floor, medium-reward, you probably aren't setting yourself up for future success, and I only say probably because there's a non-zero chance the Giants will win the World Series every other year regardless.
Christopher Crawford is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Christopher's other articles. You can contact Christopher by clicking here

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The Giants have more homegrown players on their 40-man roster than any other team - McCovey Chronicles

Image result for who'd of thunk it?

Well, who'd of thunk it? Considering how the Giants farm system consistently ranks in the lower echelon among the prospect-paparazzi, this is indeed a surprise and a testament to the Giants scouting and player development staff. They have really turned a corner since the Bonds era, when draft picks were systematically devalued in favor of purchasing high-priced, veterans to surround King Barry.

It's a good time to be a Giants fan if you have any interest in the minor league players prior to their major league debuts because the pipeline appears loaded. Could still use a legitimate five-tooler, preferably in the OF, but....otherwise not complaining.

from McCovey Chronicles:
http://www.mccoveychronicles.com/2016/1/26/10834738/sf-giants-40-man-roster
That might surprise you. The real surprise is that it isn't especially close. According to Roster Resource, here are the percentages of homegrown players on the five most-homegrown teams:
  1. Giants, 67.5%
  2. Mets, 61.0
  3. Twins, 57.5
  4. Royals, 56.1
  5. Cardinals, 55.0
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Kuiper: Giants top prospect Arroyo 'going to be really good' | CSN Bay Area

Kuiper: Giants top prospect Arroyo 'going to be really good' | CSN Bay Area
Image result for christian arroyo

Arroyo is just relentlessly following the Joe Panik developmental path and at the same time breaking the Gigantes recent string of bad luck with high round, high school hitters as draft picks.

Arroyo may be replacing Tyler Beede, who himself just recently replaced Kyle Crick as the consensus, most highly rated Giants minor league prospect. Crick, unfortunatly looks to be falling out of the top ten due to his deplorable K/BB rate.

from CSN Bay Area:
http://www.csnbayarea.com/giants/kuiper-giants-top-prospect-arroyo-going-be-really-good?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=san-francisco-giants

Kuiper: Giants top prospect Arroyo 'going to be really good'

The hype surrounding Giants 2013 first-round pick Christian Arroyo is growing by the day.
In early December, Baseball America rated the 20-year-old as the Giants' No. 1 prospect in their system entering the 2016 season.
On Tuesday, the Giants invited the shortstop to big league camp, and on Friday, MLB.com ranked him as the No. 82 prospect in the minor leagues, the only Giant to make the list.
Arroyo has plenty of fans, and one of them is Giants' play-by-play announcer Duane Kuiper.
Appearing on the Murph & Mac show on KNBR 680 on Thursday, Kuiper was asked about the Giants' non-roster invites and brought up the Tampa-native Arroyo.
"I've seen a little bit of him last year, but by all reports after the Arizona Fall League, he's going to be really good. So, it'll be interesting to see where the Giants try to place him position-wise, given the infield positioning is so young. So maybe they'll stick him in the outfield, take some flyballs. Because if you can hit, you're going to find a place to play," Kuiper said.
During the aforementioned 2015 Arizona Fall League, the annual gathering of the top prospects in baseball, Arroyo hit .308/.360/.448 with three doubles, three home runs and 13 RBI in 19 games.
That performance came after he hit .304/.344/.459 with 28 doubles, nine home runs and 42 RBI in 90 games for High-A San Jose in 2015.
As Kuiper alluded to, Arroyo may have to learn a new position due to Gold Glover and Silver Slugger Brandon Crawford's presence at shortstop on the big league club.
During the Winter Meetings in December, Giants vice president of baseball operations Brian Sabean addressed a potential position change for Arroyo.
"We're all marveling at how fast the bat is coming," he said. "Now, will he be a shortstop? I don't think so. Is he going to be a second baseman or third baseman? We have to flush that out. But this guy is a legitimate bat."


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Blackburn Turns It Around For Giants - BaseballAmerica.com

Blackburn Turns It Around For Giants - BaseballAmerica.com
Clayton Blackburn (Photo by Bill Mitchell)

I honestly think, based on Chris Heston's performance last year, that Clayton could definitely sneak his way into the Giants rotation in 2016 and post even better numbers as a back of the rotation starter. Unfortunately, this means an injury or poor performance from Peavy, Cain or one of the "Big Three"
(Bumgarner, Cueto, Samardzjia).

from Baseball America:
http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/blackburn-turns-around-giants/

Blackburn Turns It Around For Giants

SAN FRANCISCO—It was beginning to look like a lost year for righthander Clayton Blackburn.
He didn't get much of an opportunity to impress Giants coaches in major league camp because of shoulder tendinitis. Then he stayed in Arizona when the minor league seasons began. When he reported to Triple-A Sacramento, he was 2-3, 4.50 in his first seven starts—including a nine-run blasting at Albuquerque that served as a rude introduction to the Pacific Coast League.
...
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Giants Top Minor League Prospects

  • 1. Tyler Beede 6-4, 215 RHP from Vanderbilt projects as top of the rotation starter when he works out his command/control issues. When he misses, he misses by a bunch.
  • 2. Christian Arroyo 6-1, 180 SS very efficient with the bat, good hitting approach, test will be how he handles advanced pitching
  • 3. Adalberto Mejia 6-3,195 LHP Throws strikes and mixes pitches well. Good secondary stuff, projects as middle rotation guy. Keeps ball down and gets outs.
  • 4. Aramis Garcia 6-2, 220 C from Florida INTL projects as a good bat behind the dish with enough defensive skill to play there long-term
  • 5. Kyle Crick 6-4,220 RHP Power pitcher in the Matt Cain mold. High K-rate comes with High BB-rate. Low 90's FB with sink. Can be a top of the rotation starter once command/control issues ironed out. Mechanics are sound.
  • 6. Clayton Blackburn 6-3, 220 RHP Good low 90's FB with sink, excellent command of stuff, good secondary pitches. His 8.64 K/BB ratio is off the charts efficient.
  • 7. Lucius Fox 6-1, 175 SS Smooth MIF with all the tools, price tag dictates he will get every opportunity to succeed.
  • 8. Phil Bickford 6-5, 205 RHP Sturdy power arm, will move up the charts fast, Top of the rotation potential
  • 9. Sam Coonrod 6-3, 215 RHP Hard-thrower got off to a good start in rookie ball, impressed with high K/BB ratio. Needs to keep ball in the yard.
  • _10. Chris Shaw 6-3. 230 1B Lefty power bat, limited defensively to 1B, Matt Adams comp?
  • _11. Steven Okert 6-3, 210 LHP Oklahoma product, another power lefty prospect.
  • _12. Mac Williamson 6-4, 240 OF Wake Forest grad with five-tool potential if he hits advanced pitching.
  • _13. Ty Blach 6-1, 210 LHP Glavine comps will give him a chance to rise fast.
  • _14. Michael Santos 6-4, 170 RHP Twenty year old needs to fill out a bit and perform at higher levels but stuff is there.
  • _15. Chris Stratton 6-3, 185 RHP Mississippi State Decent four-pitch mix, solid pitching frame. Can run FB to 94 MPH with movement. Throws SL/CB, with the slider the better of the two.
  • _16. Jalen Miller 5-10, 175 SS Another smooth HS SS with Jimmy Rollins comps, may be better prospect than Fox, without the price tag.
  • _17. Ryder Jones 6-2, 200 3B polished bat with some pop. Good athleticism for the corner IF
  • _18. Dylan Davis 6-0,215 OF Good size and speed package from Oregon State. Has a good arm so may challenge in RF down the road.
  • _19. Andrew Suarez 6-2, 185 LHP Miami grad, not over powering, but gets guys out.
  • _20. Mac Marshall 6-0,180 LHP Good stuff from small package more as bullpen piece than starter.
  • _21. Hunter Cole 6-1, 190 Another collegiate MIF who may have to move to the OF to get a chance.
  • _22. Austin Slater 6-2, 215 2B well-schooled from Stanford Univ. via The Bolles School in Jacksonville FL good size, speed combo with hit tool playing well through AA. Line drive, gap hitter with 15HR power potential
  • _23. Derek Law 6-2, 210 RHP power arm with some deceptiveness in his delivery, could be a dark horse to contribute in 2014
  • _24. Stephen Duggar 6-1, 170 CF Another toolsy, under-achieving OF in the Gary Brown mold, hoping for better results.
  • _25. Chase Johnson 6-3, 185 RHP from Cal State SLO, strong arm, projects as mnid to low rotation starter or middle relief bullpen arm

2016 Top MLB College Draft Prospects

  • 1. Alec Hansen 6-7, 235 RHP Oklahoma
  • 2. A.J. Puk 6-7, 225 LHP Florida
  • 3. Connor Jones 6-3, 200 RHP Virginia
  • 4. Nick Banks 6-0, 200 OF Texas A&M
  • 5. Logan Shore 6-2,215 RHP Florida
  • 6. Bobbie Dalbec 6-4, 220 3B Arizona
  • 7. Robert Tyler 6-4, 215 RHP Georgia
  • 8. Cal Quantrill 6-3, 185 Stanford
  • 9. Corey Ray 5-11, 185 OF Louisville
  • _10. Matt Krook 6-3, 205 LHP Oregon

2016 MLB Draft - Top National HS Players

  • 1. Blake Rutherford 6-3, 190 OF Chaminade College Prep HS (CA)
  • 2. Riley Pint 6-4, 195 RHP St. Thomas Aquinas HS (HS)
  • 3. Austin Bergner 6-4, 195 RHP Windermere Prep (FL)
  • 4. Drew Mendoza 6-4,195 SS Lake Minneola HS (FL)
  • 5. Braxton Garrett 6-3, 190 LHP Florence HS (AL)
  • 6. Jason Groome 6-6, 180 LHP IMG Academy (FL)
  • 7. Jeff Belge 6-4, 235 LHP Henninger HS (NY)
  • 8. Mickey Moniak 6-2, 185 INF/OF La Costa Canyon HS (CA)
  • 9. Brad Debo 6-1, 210 C Orange HS (NC)
  • _10. Bo Bichette 6-0, 200 INF Lakewood HS (FL)

2016 Top Tampa Bay Area High School Baseball Players

  • 1. Bo Bichette 6-0, 200 3B/2B Lakewood HS (STP) Son of former major leaguer Dante Bichette, unconventional swing generates plus bat speed and power to all fields. Athletic and shows good instincts defensively.
  • 2. Jordan Butler 6-1, 180 LHP Alonso HS (Tampa) Heavy FB and above avg. slider. Florida commit (JR)
  • 3. Conor Grady 6-2, 185 RHP Tampa Catholic HS (Tampa) Sinking 88-90 FB, workable CB and change (JR)

2016 Top MLB HS Draft Prospects (NW Suburban Chicago Area)

  • Anthony Holubecki 6-4, 195 RHP Kaneland HS/IMG Academy(FL) Notre Dame commit easy 93 MPH FB. Another top of the draft talent.
  • Brady Huffman 6-2, 165 RHP Genoa-Kingston HS Illinois State commit. Lanky frame, cruises 85-88 with FB, CB has some depth, efficient delivery and arm action.
  • Brenden Heiss 6-1, 200 RHP Jacobs HS Arkansas commit, can reach 95 MPH on FB, workable CB and CH. Power arm, but struggles with control at times.
  • Copper Johnson 6-0, 200 C Carmel Catholic HS Strong receiver with quick feet and throws well 1.85-1.90 pop time. Clean RH stroke with gap to gap power. Ole Miss commit.
  • Joe Dittmar 6-2, 205 RHP/3B Richmond-Burton HS Wichita State commit. Good two-way prospect can hit and has soft hands in IF. cruises late 80's with FB can goose it up to 92. Power arm/power bat.
  • Nick Derr 5-11, 160 SS Geneva HS/IMG Academy (FL) Florida State commit, top of the draft talent, athletic three-sport standout, with sub 7.0 - 60 yd dash speed and arm strength to play QB