Friday, February 14, 2014

Your 2014 Giants: MiLBA 2014 Arrived!

Happy First Day of Spring Training!  I just got my Minor League Baseball Analyst annual for 2014 and wanted to share.  And Haft reported on his blog that Sandoval looked real good (for him), and Pavlovic also reported that Sanchez learned his lesson and that Hudson is fine physically, running and doing everything without thinking about it, and is nearly 100%.



ogc thoughts

First off, they actually rate the Giants a B+ for the system, and they were only one of two systems to get an A for Pitching, SD being the other.  Other clubs also got B+ for their system, so you can call it a tie for 8th, but physically, on the list, they were 11th.  8th tie is probably better, Miami is above them but the Giants were better in Pitching and Top-End Talent (rated B+ there too) and same in Depth (Giants one of many to get B+), while only behind on one, hitting (natch).  But maybe they rounded to a grade from a numeric system, so who knows?

Second, they devoted a section to sleepers outside their Top 100 and Ty Blach got a shoutout there, and they note that the Giants "have stockpiled an impressive arsenal of young arms and Blach is right there in the the conversation as one of the better ones."  He's projected as a #3 starter.  Plus FB (up to 94) and plus Change-up.

They have been higher on Blackburn than other publications and continue to be, rating him as a future #2, probably why they rank the Giants system higher than other experts.  Crick is also projected as a #2 too, as well as Escobar, giving the Giants three potential #2 starters (I'll note here that Waldis Joaquin was once projected as a #2, so there is no guarantees) .  Not as enamored with Mejia, he's only a 4th starter, and Agosta is a #4/reliever, due to lack of a passable changeup, he will need that to start, they say.  Gregorio is also a #4.  They like Mella more, #3 and Stratton is also viewed as a #3, which is actually the same they said in last year's book.

There were others.  They also like Bochy Jr, in spite of his lackluster velocity.  Chase Johnson, #4.  Stephen Johnson, power reliever.  Mike Kickham only gets #5/reliever.  Surkamp was also #5, FYI.  Not sure why, but Law only projected to be setup, not closer.  Osich power reliever.

Lots of great info on each pitcher, pitches he throws, some velocity, particularly FB, how good each pitch is, stats, coding on potential and probability, and a paragraph description.  Crick is rated the 14th best starting pitcher, Blackburn 58th, Escobar 65th, Stratton 66th.  Wow, minor separation it seems, as Escobar is projected #2 starter, Stratton #3.

They also provide MLE's in back.  I like their system because it takes level into consideration, as well as age, and only does it for AA and AAA.  Escobar, for example, his AA MLE was 2.52 ERA, 7.8 K/9, 1.9 BB/9, 4.1 K/BB, 136 BPV (where 50 is min for long-term success, and elite bullpen aces should have over 100 and at least 75, so Escobar's stats in AA was very good).  To contrast, Kickham had basically 4.00 ERA performance in 2012 and 2013, roughly 60 BPV both seasons, which is average (which is good for the majors).  With a surplus of lefties rising in Escobar, Blach, and Mejia, Kickham might get permanently moved to relief, as a loogy, once the others are ready.

There is also a Top 15 in the back for each team.  They still like Panik (7th still) but Brown is off the list.  Cabrera is still on it at 14th (does not appear to acknowledge his horrific injury to his wrist) and Johneshwy Fargas is #15.  They see JF as a future starting CF with good speed helping his defense.

Wow, Susac didn't even make the top 15.  They appear to not like his poor contact rate, plus rate him below average for power (I thought that was one of his strong points), BA, and speed (no surprise for a C) but plus defensively.  They still like him enough to project him as a starting C.  As good as his numbers looked in AA, MLE was only .648 OPS, so that's probably why.  Didn't mention his AFL, so I wonder if this would change if they did account for that.

I heartily recommend this book to any prospect hound, gives another view of the players and it's cheap via Amazon, like $15-20.  They give the best combo of scouting (they all scout the leagues, from what I understand) as well as sabermetric evaluations.  I sometimes find their description does not match what they say about the pitches, but overall I like their evaluations a lot.

2 comments:

  1. Lots of good stuff here, ogc. Sounds like this publication is willing to buck conventional wisdom and look objectively at what the Giants have on the farm. Maybe not quite the elite talent at the top that some organizations have, but just incredible depth. Fargas is definitely a sleeper with a huge ceiling. The wildly divergent opinions on Susac are interesting. Seems to me he has to be top 15 somewhere, but if he's not, that tells you something about the depth of the system right there because potential starting catchers are fairly rare.

    Speaking of, I think I'm more excited to see the lighter version of The Hector than anything else I've read about spring training so far. The next challenge is to scratch out some playing time. If I'm Hector, I'm taking ground balls at 1B and 3B as much as possible. You just never know.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That'a s very good point there about Susac and the depth of our system, very astute and logical thinking, thanks. I would note that he's projected to be an average starting C (a step below solid starting C), if that matters.

      Got me thinking, I should check out their Top 15 catchers, and see how #15 looks like. Max Stassi is #15. Average power, BA and defense (of course, below average speed), he's projected to be a solid starting C. For comparative purposes (and reminder), Susac is considered below average power and BA and speed, but above average defense by this publication.

      Oddly, while Stassi is rated the better hitter, Susac has actually had about the same contact rate AND much better walk rate, in fact, elite walk rates, while Stassi is under 10%. Basically same age (Stassi is one year younger though and hit a bit higher OPS than Susac, so that explains part of why they think he's a better BA than Susac). And RC/g is basically the same.

      Whoa, OK, now I see what I was missing, despite the similar or better stats for Susac, I guess that one year makes a huge difference (just realized Stassi was only 22 last year in AA, and their rule of thumb is the top prospects make AA by 22). Stassi's MLE is .748, Susac's was only .648.

      Susac's year was up then down, but his contact rate didn't vary much month to month, like his batting line did. I take solace that he dominated in AFL after he got some rest after the regular season, suggesting that his first two months (which was close to what Stassi hit) is closer to his talent level than his overall numbers.

      Good point about Hector showing up in shape and maybe playing others positions. Sandoval was a catcher too and moved when his bat proved good enough. And I like his bat too, that would really help the team a lot of he can play other positions, if need be, though since there are no other catchers on the 25-man roster, he'll only play other positions as we get late into games.

      Delete

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