Top 14 in ’14: San Francisco Giants

Susac, Andrew

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There’s no denying that the Giants have had plenty of success over the past few years, and much of that has been due to home-grown players like Buster Posey (Thank you, draft gods) Tim Lincecum, and Matt Cain. So it’s a bit odd to see the system come to this point, as it now sits as one of the worst systems in all of the National League due in large part to some questionable (at best) draft picks and some questionable (again at best) trades. There are some intriguing arms, but few are guaranteed to be starters at the next level and all but the top two profile as back-end guys. There’s very little here in terms of offensive firepower, and few teams have less depth in the outfield. There’s a lot to like about being a fan of San Francisco right now, but the farm system is not one of them.

Rank Name Position Bats/Throws Height/Weight
1 Kyle Crick RHP L/R 6-4 / 225
There’s a lot to like about Crick, a right-hander with the size and stuff you would look for in a prototypical ace. But there’s still a considerable amount of work to be done before he reaches the big-league level, and many have doubts as to what his ultimate role will be when that time comes.

Crick’s fastball can compete with the best of them, a plus-plus pitch that will clock in the mid 90′s and occasionally touch 97 with late life that explodes out of the right-handers hand. His slider also is a big-boy pitch; while it doesn’t have the tilt of a typical plus breaking-ball, it’s break is so late and it’s so difficult to pick up that it ends up causing plenty of swings and misses. His change is still very much a work in progress, but it will occasionally tease scouts as an above-average pitch with plenty of fade, though the deception is inconsistent at this point.

What worries some — including me — about Crick, however, is his delivery. There’s a great deal of effort from start to finish, and he struggles to find a consistent landing spot, often leaving balls up in the zone. His overall command is unlikely to be anything more than average, so he’ll need the change to continue it’s development if he’s going to be a starter at the next level. Still, with two plus pitching — and a non-zero chance for a third — Crick could be a solid No. 2, with high-leverage reliever as a floor.

FASTBALL 70-70

SLIDER 55-60

CHANGE 40-55

COMMAND 40-50

ETA: LATE 2015

 

Rank Name Position Bats/Throws Height/Weight
2 Andrew Susac C R/R 6-2 / 210
I’m really not sure why Susac isn’t discussed as one of the best catching prospects in baseball, but he should be. Though he doesn’t possess upper-echelon bat speed, Susac has a strong lower-half and gets rotational through his swing, which leads to plus to above-average power to all parts of the field. There’s some swing-and-miss in his game, but he makes up for the fringe-average hit tool by working counts into his favor and he should be able to get on base enough to justify playing everyday.

Even if the hit tool doesn’t reach average, Susac would have a chance to be a starting backstop thanks to the improvement in his defense. He’s a well-below-average athlete, but his receiving skills get better each year, and a quick release and above-average arm give him the chance to throw out all but the fleetest of foot runners.

He’s blocked by that one guy, but Susac profiles as an above-average regular, and if the Giants do decide to move Posey to first at some point Susac should be the replacement.

HIT 40-50

POWER 50-60

SPEED 30-30

GLOVE 45-55

ARM 55-55

ETA: 2015

 

Rank Name Position Bats/Throws Height/Weight
3 Edwin Escobar LHP L/L 6-2 / 200
There are a few arms that competed for this spot, and while a few arms have higher ceilings than Escobar, he represents the best chance of reaching said ceiling with three average-to-above-average pitches and plus control. He’s not overpowering with a fastball in the low 90′s, but he locates the pitch well to both sides of the plate and there’s life to the arm-side as well. His best off-speed pitch is a change that has good deception from his arm speed, though there’s not enough movement to call the pitch a plus future offering. Escobar’s slider is the weakest of the three pitches, projecting as average at the next level but he can throw it for strikes and there’s enough tilt for it to get left and right-handed hitters out. He has very good feel for pitching and attacks the strike zone, and while the control is ahead of the command, he’s generally down in the zone and rarely is is more than a glove away from hitting his spot.

It’s not terribly sexy, but Escobar should be a starer at the big-league level. With back-end floor and a chance to be a number three.

FASTBALL 55-60

SLIDER 45-50

CHANGE 50-55

COMMAND 50-60

ETA: LATE 2014

 

Rank Name Position Bats/Throws Height/Weight
4 Adalberto Mejia LHP L/L 6-3 / 195
Mejia made significant strides in 2013, more than holding his own as a 20 year-old in the California League and showing two plus pitches from the left side. His fastball sits 91-93, but he’s touched 95 and there’s a chance to sit in the 92-94 range because of his arm strength and smooth delivery. Both his change and slider will flash above-average at times, but the slider has a chance to be a knockout pitch if he can show more consistency with it in terms of tilt and location. He throws strikes with all three of his pitches, but the command is still sub-par and consistency with all three of hits pitches has been an issue.

If Mejia maxes out he’s a No. 2, but more likely he’s a solid back-end starter, with a non-zero chance that he ends up in the pen.

FASTBALL 50-55

SLIDER 45-60

CHANGE 45-55

COMMAND 45-50

ETA: 2015

 

Rank Name Position Bats/Throws Height/Weight
5 Joan Gregorio RHP R/R 6-7 / 180
There’s an awful lot to like about Gregorio, starting with plus arm-strength and a frame that should allow him to add more to a fastball that sits in the low 90′s but will touch 96 with a great deal of movement. His slider is a plus future offering, with late tilt and hard break into the feet of left-handed hitters that should cause swings and misses as it develops. The only thing missing right now is a competent third pitch and the command to start, as he struggles to hit his spots and repeat his delivery, and his change has little-to-no movement and some arm-speed difference lowers the deception.

Worst case scenario Gregerio is death to right-handed hitters, but if the change and command develop he’s a top-of-the-rotation starter, and there’s plenty of time for the Giants to let his arm develop.

FASTBALL 55-70

SLIDER 45-60

CHANGE 40-45+

COMMAND 40-50

ETA: 2017

 

Rank Name Position Bats/Throws Height/Weight
6 Clayton Blackburn RHP L/R 6-3 / 220
Blackburn has the best chance of any arm in the system of reaching his potential, though his stuff essentially limits him to the back of the rotation. His fastball will touch 93 but is mostly 90-92, but he commands the heck out of it and keeps the ball down well enough to limit the damage. He has three off-speed pitches at his disposal, and while none of them look to be a plus offering, they all should at least be average with the curve and change flashing above-average at times. Despite being on the large side his arm works well and he can throw any of his pitches in any count for a strike.

The one concern is that he hasn’t yet made it to AA as a 21 year-old, but it’s difficult to see Blackburn not being a No. 4 starter, even if that’s the likely upside without a significant upgrade in stuff.

FASTBALL 55-55

CURVE 50-55

CHANGE 45-55

SLIDER 45-50

COMMAND 45-60

ETA: 2016

 

Rank Name Position Bats/Throws Height/Weight
7 Mac Williamson RF R/R 6-4 / 245
Williamson continues to move up the prospect ranks, and a bat that once looked like a platoon outfielder who might have to move to first base now has a shot to be an everyday rightfielder. Williamson — as you could likely guess from his height and weight — is very strong, and though the bat speed is only average, when he squares up he can take the ball out to left and right-center with good extension. The question is the hit-tool; I give it a chance to be average and he’ll draw walks, but the lack of bat speed hurts and he struggles with breaking-balls, particularly down the other way.

Defensively, Williamson gets better every year, improving his reads on balls and with surprising athleticism. The arm is strong (he was more highly rated as a pitcher out of high school) and generally accurate, though at times he will struggle to hit the cut-off man.

Worst comes to worst, Williamson should be a bench-bat who can mash lefties, but I’d give him a 50-50 chance of being an everyday outfielder who can hit 25 homers and get on-base just enough to justify as a starter.

HIT 40-50

POWER 50-60

SPEED 55-50

GLOVE 50-50

ARM 60-60

ETA: 2015

 

Rank Name Position Bats/Throws Height/Weight
8 Christian Arroyo SS/2B R/R 6-1 / 180
Arroyo was somewhat of a surprise first-round pick (though he was one of the few picks that I nailed in my final mock draft), as most thought he was closer to a second-to-third round talent. The Giants appear to have known what they were doing, however, as he was one of the more impressive prospects in Arizona this summer. The bat is going to carry Arroyo, as he has excellent feel for hitting and a line-drive stroke from a quick trigger that is capable of hitting the ball hard to all parts of the field. He’s got very little in terms of power — his swing is flat plane and he doesn’t have a big build to begin with — but he should be able to at least make defenses honest by putting the ball into the gap.

The question is where Arroyo ends up defensively. Many believed the Giants might move Arroyo to catcher, but San Francisco appears to want him up the middle. More than likely he’s going to end up at second base, where his average speed and arm play better than on the other side of the bag. The bat should play there, though, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Arroyo is the best offensive prospect in the system starting next year.

HIT 45-60

POWER 40-45

SPEED 50-50

GLOVE 40-45 (SS)

ARM 50-50

ETA: 2017

 

Rank Name Position Bats/Throws Height/Weight
9 Ty Blach LHP L/L 6-1 / 200
Blach is essentially the left-handed version of Blackburn in terms of his arsenal, with solid feel for pitching and four average offerings. His fastball will sit 90-92, though he’ll hit 94 with his four-seamer and there’s some sink on his two-seam fastball. His best pitch is his change, a pitch that offers plenty of deception from excellent arm speed and just enough fade to cause swings and misses or weak contact. Blach also throws a slider and curve that tend to run into each other, which both projecting as fringe-average. I’d probably scrap the slider and go with the curve, which shows more swing and miss ability with above-average spin and some depth. He generally throws strikes, though his delivery will “fly open” on occasion, which causes him to miss up and takes away some of the deception.

Blach should be a starter at the big league level, mid-rotation if everything breaks right and a No. 5/swing man as a realistic floor.

FASTBALL 55-55

CURVE 45-50

SLIDER 40-45

CHANGE 55-60

COMMAND 45-55

ETA: 2015

 

Rank Name Position Bats/Throws Height/Weight
10 Heath Hembree RHP R/R 6-4 / 205
Hembree was expected to be a major contributor to the Giants bullpen in 2013, but instead he spent most of the year in AAA as he struggled to find consistency with his stuff and command until the end of the year. That end of the year though was promising enough to expect him to be a major contributor to the San Francisco bullpen this year. His fastball will still touch the high 90′s but settles more in the 93-95 range, with enough life to keep hitters from squaring the pitch. The lack of velocity drops the fastball a grade, but the ability to throw it for a strike is a nice little exchange. His slider is a plus offering that will occasionally flash plus-plus, with strong tilt and enough of a velocity difference to keep hitters off of the heater.

If the command continues it’s uptick that it did towards the end of the year Hembree has a chance to be a closer, but one way or another he should be a high-leverage reliever who can give left and right-handed hitters trouble.

FASTBALL 70-70

SLIDER 60-65

COMMAND 40-45

ETA: 2014

Rank Name Position Bats/Throws Height/Weight
11 Martin Agosta RHP R/R 6-1 / 180
Agosta was solid in his full-season debut last year, though at 22 he was old for class-A and it was somewhat surprising he didn’t see anytime in AA based on what he did for Augusta in his 91 innings.

Agosta will never be over-powering, sitting 90-92, but he commands the pitch well and his delivery is clean so that the velocity plays up. He can throw both his slider and change for strikes — and the change will flash above-average with good arm speed — but both pitches have a tendency to play “soft” and he likely will struggle to miss bats as he advances to the higher levels. Still, with two-above-average pitchers and average command, Agosta has a chance to be a back-end starter, and the velocity might play up if he moves to a relief spot.

FASTBALL 55-55

SLIDER 45-50

CHANGE 50-55

COMMAND 45-55

ETA: 2015

Rank Name Position Bats/Throws Height/Weight
12 Gary Brown OF R/R 6-1 / 190
Boy, where to start. The industry has always been higher on Brown than I have been, but I certainly didn’t expect the disaster that was the 2013 season. Almost nothing went right for the center-fielder, and he doesn’t have the bat speed, ability to make adjustments, and frankly talent with the bat to be anything more than a fourth outfielder. Yes, he has plus-plus speed and can get to pretty much anything in center, and yes, he’s good enough defensively to make a big-league roster. But based on what we saw in 2013, the dream of him being a top-of-the-order hitter should essentially be dead.

HIT 45-45

POWER 40-40

SPEED 70-70

GLOVE 60-60

ARM 50-50

ETA: 2014

Rank Name Position Bats/Throws Height/Weight
13 Chris Stratton RHP  R/R 6-3 / 190
If you looked purely at the numbers, you wouldn’t believe it, but in reality Stratton was a disappointment in 2013, failing to show the plus fastball and slider he did at times at Mississippi State. His fastball has touched the mid 90′s, but more times than not he was 87-90 in Augusta, and the command was only average. His slider and change both regressed, as once plus-potential offerings were too often flat and up in the zone.

There’s still time for Stratton to rediscover the No. 3 stuff he showed in college, but 2013 was not a strong debut and there’s a 50/50 chance that he’ll have to move to the bullpen in order for said stuff to play up.

FASTBALL 45-55

SLIDER 45-55

CURVE 40-50

CHANGE 40-50

ETA: 2016

Rank Name Position Bats/Throws Height/Weight
14 Keury Mella RHP R/R 6-2 / 200
Mella was dominant in his time in Arizona, overpowering hitters with a fastball that will already touch 94 with a chance for more thanks to plus-plus arm strength. The curveball also was impressive, flashing plus with good bite and spin, though it’s strictly an “ahead of the count” pitch right now, as it rarely ends up in the strike zone with an inconsistent release point. He’s still learning how to pitch — and he’ll need to develop a third offering if he’s going to start — but there’s big-time upside in Mella’s right-arm, and in time he could become one of the best arms in the entire system.

FASTBALL 60-70

CURVE 45-60

CHANGE 40-50

COMMAND 40-45

ETA: 2017

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17 Responses to “Top 14 in ’14: San Francisco Giants”

  1. Shankbone says:

    Wayyyyyyy too long. I’ll leave the link up to your website so anyone who wants to read your rant can simply click on your URL. Again, thanks for reading. But I’m not letting someone leave a novella on the website.

    • Shankbone says:

      Fair enough. The Giants have the best drafting in baseball from 2006-09 with the results to back them up, the jury is out on 2010-2013 from poor draft position, and your inference that Posey was luck is straight up wrong, as is your questionable at best lines about trades. I’ll offer again to see your picks for the 2010-13 draft that would be superior to what they’ve done, and I’d offer semi-friendly advice that if you talk trash about a team you might get some thrown back at you from time to time. You haven’t really earned that right to criticize a front office that has major time grinding away at the hardest draft in pro sports. Questionable… at best.

    • I guess I can never leave a reply here! :^D

      • Chris Crawford says:

        You sure can. Sorry if it made me seem like I’m a tyrant. Just 500 words was a bit much.

        • Sorry, I’m just known for war and peace types of comments, I was just goofing on that.

          I did not feel that you were being a tyrant, and you did link to Shankbone’s site, that was very decent. I’ve had my comments taken off for no good reasons other than the site owner didn’t agree. Now that’s being a tyrant.

  2. […] top 14 prospects: Top 14 in ?14: San Francisco Giants | They project Escobar and Brown up this year. Crick, Susser, Mejia, Williamson, Blach, Agosta up […]

  3. Chris Crawford says:

    First of all, I’m not talking “trash” about the Giants. It’s a good organization that is in a lull right now in terms of its farm system. If you have orange and black colored shades on that can’t see that, it really — and I can’t stress this enough — isn’t my problem.

    As to your question for picks from 2010-13, a ton of guys that were higher on my board went by the giants with every pick, and I’ll just give one example on each.

    2010: Gary Brown, I’d have taken Anthony Renaudo or Nick Castellanos. Both were top 25 on my board.

    2011: Joe Panik, Literally a crap-load of guys went after Panik that were higher on my board. Jackie Bradley, Brian Goodwin, Henry Owens, Kyle Crick :), just to name a few.

    2012: Chris Stratton, I liked the Stratton pick quite a bit. Had no issue with the pick at the time. Has it worked out so far? Not really, but if you’re looking for better prospects on my board Marcus Stroman and Steven Piscotty would look awfully good in San Francisco right now.

    And there were a crap load of guys that went after Arroyo who looked like better prospects then, and better prospects now. But again, he looked good in Arizona this year.

    Thanks for reading,

    • Shankbone says:

      Here’s your bias showing, via the Rays description: “The Rays organization is one of the best in baseball from top to bottom, but what was once one of the best systems in baseball is now one that I would call average, maybe slightly below. It’s a group that no doubt has been hurt by their own success; as they haven’t had a top 15 pick since 2008 and they’ve had several quality prospects graduate and become key contributors for a very good club.”

      That is what the Giants have done, if you change the year. (And the Rays had a miserable 2008 fo sho). No mention of questionable trades, questionable picks or backhanded insults for killing the draft over there.

      2010: so the Giants didn’t want to pay the B-team bonus babies big bonuses – those guys were 3.5MM and 2.5MM to sign, a lot of MLB said no thanks.

      2011: the underrated part of Joe Panik is he allowed them to go overslot with Susac. Yes, its not the traditional gaming of the draft. BTW he played hurt all year in the Eastern. I did like Owens as well, but he sure is skinny, and there’s not that much separation in that tier of guys. Both OFs were mocked to the Giants a lot.

      2012: I didn’t want Stratton. I wanted Hensley or Sims. So it goes. Piscotty would not look good in SF, he’s a tweener, wait and see.

      2013: Too soon to comment. I wanted Ervin or Kaminsky but was again fine with the pick due to talent tiers and draft position.

      Thanks for your response. I’d stick with my criticism of your work – too much attention and weight paid to the big bonus babies. Those guys bust all the time.

  4. Here’s where you are missing stuff Chris (Shankbone had a great response to the areas where your analysis is off): the draft, even in the first round, is broken up into tiers of probability of finding a good player. My draft analysis a while back captured this tiering: http://sfgiants.scout.com/2/343576.html

    The implications from this tiering is that playoff competitive teams end up in the last third of the first round, where the odds of finding a good player is roughly 10% (and the odds drop exponentially from there, for the rounds I did capture), is that teams which are playoff competitive every year will, on average, find one good player with their first round draft pick every ten years. And as noted, the odds are even worse with each pick after that. Since it appears to be halving with each subsequent pick, lets call that two good players every 10 years of the draft. That’s why the Giants (and the Rays) have not been doing so well in the draft since they started their recent stretch of winning.

    • From this and from following the draft for a number of years, I’ve realized that there is a lot of hubris (including my own) in the baseball prospect hound world, which experience will help beat out of you as you realize that the odds are stacked against you, a lot, as the odds I found in my study showed.

      Let’s take the argument about how there were a lot of players you thought were better than Brown or Panik. You did list a good number of better ones. Now let’s be intellectually honest: go back to your lists back then, how many of the ones you thought were better than Brown or Panik did worse?

      Lets pick on Colon: did you have him ranked ahead of Brown? Barret Loux isn’t looking that good either. Deck McGuire? Dylan Covey? Jake Skole? Hayden Simpson? Kolbrin Vitek? Alex Wimmers? Zach Cox? It’s easy to pick out the winners after the fact (I liked Castellano too…) but nobody faces the fact that a lot of the guys you liked flopped pretty badly too. So, it’s pretty easy to look at your past draft boards and find examples of guys you liked who are better, but nobody ever remember to point out the whiffs they also had.

      Also, as we all well know, we haven’t reached the finish line yet. Players take up to 4-6 years to develop. And how many prospects who you were high on over the years never made it to be a starter in the majors? Sure, there are guys who look better right now, but until they prove it in the majors, we are all spitting in the winds.

      And I’m not trying to pick on you. Everybody does this. It didn’t help that when BP did their draft study after mine, they decided to make average WARP their main analysis tool, instead of looking for what we all look for, who is going to be a good starter. They didn’t realize that if you looked for a player with the average WARP for their first pick, you would end up in the world of Michael Tucker. Isn’t that depressing, the average first round pick is a Michael Tucker-type?

  5. Chris Crawford says:

    You are entitled to my opinion. Mine is that you are categorically incorrect in thinking I have a bias towards any team in baseball, and we’ll leave it at that.

    • I think Shankbone’s being a little hard on you, claiming bias, but to his point, your description of the Rays is pretty complimentary relative to the Giants.

      I took a look at the Rays drafts for 2009-2012 and the only draftees who actually played for the Rays are Zac Rosscup (10 games, 1.35 ERA), Derek Dietrich (215 AB, .679 OPS), and Kevin Kiermaier (1 game, 0 AB).

      Here are the Giants from the 2009-2012 draft: Brandon Belt (358 games, 1,107 AB, .798 OPS), Jake Dunning (29 games, 2.84 ERA), Heath Hembree (9 games, 0.00 ERA), Mike Kickham (12 games, 10.16 ERA). Needless to say, but the Rays basically got 0 WAR from their 2009-2012 drafts, while Belt by himself laps everyone. They may have better prospects right now, but we have had much more production, and a big lead with Belt.

      I know it is impossible to keep track of every teams’ details, so I’m understanding that you can’t know all this. But you let the Rays off the hook while laying claim of questionable picks on the part of the Giants. And I would note that one bonafide developing star like Belt makes up for a lot of questionable picks.

      Plus, the Giants have amassed a big bulge of pitching talent filling their Richmond and San Jose rotations, which is perfect for the Giants right now. They have their core set of players (Posey, Belt, Sandoval, Pence, Cain, Bumgarner, Lincecum) so they only really need complementary players to come up and be the cheap parts that allow our stars to shine and do well. That pitching will help replace our two old starters plus our very old bullpen, plus the leftover can be traded to fill other areas of need, like the lineup and offense.

      And in terms of offensive needs, we really only need a 2B and CF. Adrianza, Noonan, Panik, and Arroyo, I think, is a good enough group of prospects to fill that spot. Brown might not be doing well right now, but his defense is very good, and with Belt, Posey, Pablo, and Pence in the middle of the lineup, we can probably afford to carry a defense only CF like Brown is right now, like the Orioles used to do. And there’s always trades.

  6. Regarding Posey, if he’s a thanks from the draft gods, then so is Lincecum and Bumgarner, both the top WAR producers for who was available at the time the Giants selected, plus top 1 or 2 overall.

    And I would point out this interesting factoid: there are four teams who could have drafted Lincecum, Bumgarner, Posey for their team, beating the Giants to the trio, but didn’t: Rays, Orioles, Royals, Pirates.

    It might be luck that they fell to the Giants (but then you must direct this charge to any team who didn’t draft first overall), but when they had their time at the podium, they selected the three best that they could have at that point of the draft. And except for Mike Trout and Strasburg, with Belt in 2009, they arguably had one of the better picks of that draft as well, making it four in row, 2006-2009.

    Is that luck? Some, always, because they didn’t pick first. But when you pick one of the top, say, 5 overall prospects of the draft for four drafts running, I think that speaks well for how good they are at identifying talent in the draft. Are they perfect, of course now, nobody is. But they know their stuff, minutes after selecting Bumgarner, Sabean and Tidrow are interviewed and said that they expect him to make the majors in two years. And darn if he didn’t.

    Also, I would give the Giants player development department some credit too. Lincecum was totally wild in college, yet somehow he becomes a pro and he’s not as wild anymore. Posey was projected by all the prospect sites as a great glove, good bat, but little power hitter, he was projected to reach 15-20 HR after a number of years in the majors. He hit that in his first season and he didn’t even play a full season. Belt was considered a severe overdraft with little power.

    For any one of them, yeah, you can say some luck. But when you amass four of them like that, in four consecutive drafts, I feel that falls apart in the analysis.

  7. […] read the headline right. MLB Draft Insider put a stunning 14 different Giants prospects in their top-14 list of Giants prospects, tying an MLB record for top-14 lists. Of course, the […]

  8. Now for your list. I actually like your list. The Giant have a lot of nice prospects who, depending on what you like or emphasize, could move up and down any Top prospect list. Your list hits all the key notes, I think.

    I would remind readers (assume you know this) that Crick only started pitching full-time as a senior in High School, so if it sometimes seem like he just started pitching 2-3 years ago, well, he did.

    I totally agree on Susac. I don’t get why he didn’t get more hype among the catching prospects. FYI, the Giants, if they move Posey, probably puts him at 3B, Bochy actually gave that as his answer when queried by the beats. Makes more sense, at 1B, his hitting is at best average, but even at 3B, he’s still above average, and he probably handles 3B as well defensively as he would 1B, which is around average.

    Plus, Sandoval, either way, pushes Posey to 3B. If he signs with Giants long-term, his body type means he goes to 1B at some point, so Posey would make better sense at 3B. If Sandoval leaves, again, 3B is empty, so Posey, for the good of the team, would move there.

    I’m excited that you have Gregorio up #5, that’s the highest I’ve seen. I’m high on him too. Obviously, his potential is what makes him high on your list, you’re the first to see top of rotation potential, and I agree if he can get his velocity up into the mid-90′s regularly.

    I’m not sure why Blackburn not making AA by 21 is that big a concern. Baseball Forecaster says 22 is the age that the very top prospects make AA by. I would also note that Crick is the same age as Blackburn, so if it is a concern for Blackburn, then wouldn’t it be one for Crick too (as well as many of the other prospects here)? Plus, Blackburn just turned 21 and looks like he’ll be starting out in AA.

    Plus, I really like Blackburn, he might not have as much stuff as others, he knows how to use what stuff he has, plus great command, to dominate hitters, striking out a lot while walking few. And I think he has held back some of his velocity and can pump it up higher as the situation calls for it, he’s a very mature pitcher for his age. Still, I like him as 6th on the list, showing how much I like all these prospects.

    • Me gusto Agosta! Nuff said!

      About his lack of promotion, the Giants generally don’t promote guys in their first pro season unless he’s absolutely dominating. Plus Agosta missed some time with injuries, and that probably sealed the deal. And San Jose’s rotation was already full of good starters to boot.

      I still believe in Brown. His last college season was the best batting line of the prior 8 or so years, including what Longoria and Suzuki did there, as well as best SLG and ISO, as well as OBP. And he did it while jittering around the batter’s box like a rabbit on an electrified floor. It sounds like the Giants left him mostly alone while he was doing well, but mid-2013, he finally agreed to overhaul his approach and mechanics.

      I’m hoping they can redo everything like they did with Belt, for I think he can hit for average, OBP (with HBP), and gap power, as well as play great defense. But even if not, if they sign Sandoval and have a core middle lineup of Belt, Posey, Pablo, and Pence, they can afford to carry Brown as a cheap no hit, all field CF, where his main value is superlative defense.

      Baggarly reported that Stratton had a very severe concussion that had repercussions into his 2013 season (I read one commenter say that this interfered with Stratton’s off-season preparation and just dominoed into 2013). And it was not like Stratton did poorly, it was just that people expected more because of the hype and him being old for the league. I think 2014 will be more indicative of what he has to offer.

      I’m excited by Mella too. Plus, he was only 19 YO last season and already touching 94 MPH, that is exciting stuff to hear, did not remember about that velocity. That’s saying a lot for you to say that he could be the best arm out of the bunch eventually if he continues to develop.

    • Lastly, I like your format for the player profile, but it would improve things if you included their age for the upcoming season, I think that would help.

      Keep up the good work, I enjoyed reading about the Giants prospects here.

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