Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Your 2018 Giants: Big Six Top Giants Prospect Lists

I sometimes post a Big Six Giants prospect list on my blog - as, generally, while there are a lot of interesting prospects, there are maybe 4-8 who are really interesting from the viewpoint of contributing this year or contributing in a big way in the future - but frankly have not made the time to do it before the season began.  Plus, frankly, I'm not that good deep into the Giants farm system, if you want that, DrB's website is a much better choice, and Roger Munter is also good for that too, I provided a link for him below as well.  But to add value, I break it out into two parts, basically one to cover players that should be expected in the majors this season, and the second to cover interesting players who are showing a lot of potential but perhaps not covered as much as others who are closer to reaching the show. 

One saying I've heard is that in any particular season, on average, you got two eventual starters and two eventual contributors in the farm system.  That seems to be a good adage, something to keep in mind when thinking about any farm system.

Here are some on-line links to prospect profiles (I tried to link to text below, but for some reason Blogger kept on dying on me...):
  • MLB Pipeline:  http://m.mlb.com/prospects/2018?list=sf
  • John Sickels:  https://www.minorleagueball.com/2018/2/28/17061970/san-francisco-giants-top-20-prospects-for-2018
  • Roger Munter:  http://prospects1500.com/top-50-lists/san-francisco-giants-2018-top-50-prospects/
  • DrB:  http://whenthegiantscometotown.blogspot.com/2018/01/drbs-2018-giants-top-50-prospects.html
The season has already begun, but I haven't really looked much at how the minor leagues are doing right now, so I'll write some notes regarding what I knew about the season before the season, just to get this out there.  And I thought I would get this out today since Beede is slated to pitch for the Giants.

Ignore if you don't care or it's too late for you, it's cool, I just wanted to get it out.

ogc thoughts

Big Six Lists

Off the top of my head, here's how I would go with my Big Six for 2018 (greatest impact in 2018 at MLB level) and Big Six for Potential (how good they might be, based on current skill set and performances):

2018 Big Six Impact:
  1. Steven Duggar:   As the Giants FO has noted, "CF of the future."  He was the last cut, thus fueling the suspicion that they want him to do well in AAA to confirm their thoughts.  And the structure of the outfield was set up to enable the Giants to start without him, starting Jackson and Blanco in a quasi-platoon, where Jackson gets more starts.  But as Sabean noted in the off-season, Jackson was acquired to be the Giants 4th starter, and thus, sooner or later, Duggar will be brought up to the Giants starting CF, the only prospect expected to be placed in a starting role for a significant part of the 2018 season, and thus why he's first here.  
  2. Tyler Beede:  With the need for a 5th starter for 1-2 starts, after the injuries to Samardzija and Bumgarner, he is getting those starts now that he's been brought up.  If not for his injury last season, he would have already been brought up because there was great need for a healthy body last season as well.  In most seasons, the #7 starter, which he basically stacks as in 2018 (behind Bumgarner, Cueto, Samardzija, Stratton, Holland, and Blach, in that order), will get used a lot, and thus he is high on this list, in terms of 2018 contributions.  He has been a high profile prospect for the Giants since he was drafted, and I've felt that he's a top of rotation starter potentially, it seems to me, but most scouting reports view him more as a middle rotation starter or even back of rotation.   BA noted that he doesn't miss many bats and now profiles as a possible #4 starter, as his velocity has waxed and waned, as well as his "subpar command".  They also noted that some scouts think he "uses too many pitches, which keeps him from developing a feel for any one pitch".  Here is what Sickels said: "Grade B-: Age 24, first round pick in 2014 from Vanderbilt; posted 4.79 ERA in 109 innings in Triple-A, 83/39 K/BB, 121 hits, 14 homers allowed; up-and-down prospect lists since his college days; fastball anywhere between 89 and 97 depending on the day, usually at the lower end of the scale in ‘17; curve, change-up, and cutter all flash plus but seldom at the same time; physical ability to be a number two starter but doesn’t have necessary consistency yet; missed last part of season with groin injury; my thinking is that he’ll always be erratic but isn’t as bad as the Triple-A stats imply; ETA 2018."  I believe that Holland nor Blach will hold a SP position all season, and thus Beede will get shots throughout the season.
  3. Andrew Suarez:  Suarez was neck and neck with Beede all the way through spring training, and frankly, the only reason Beede got the early season starts is because he has a 40-man roster spot and Suarez does not.  This is because while Beede had an up and down 2017, due to his injuries (and poor 4.79 ERA to go with that), Suarez had a 2.96 ERA in AA (11 starts) and 3.55 ERA in AAA (13 starts, 2 relief), which was pretty good.  Not great, (the respective MLE's are only 5.36 ERA for his AA, 4.28 ERA for his AAA), and thus why most ranking have Beede over Suarez.  Again, most teams need starting pitcher depth and thus, as the #8 starter, he will make contributions in 2018, as I don't believe Holland nor Blach has the physical stamina to pitch effectively all season, and thus Suarez will probably get a shot starting at some point, given how well he pitched in 2017 in AAA and AA.
  4. Reyes Moronta:  Part of the reason I break the rankings up between impact on 2018 and potential is because, often it is relievers who end up having a lot of impact relatively because it is easier to bring them up and have them contribute, and not as easy for starting pitchers nor starting position players, because those involve needing either injury or poor performance, which is more random, whereas relievers are going up and down in any season, for whatever reasons.  In 2018, the Giants actually was not looking like prospect relievers would be   doing much, as they had signed major leaguers without options in Melancon, Dyson, Watson, Smith, Strickland, and Gearrin, taking up the full bullpen (only six spots) but Smith is out to at least May in recovering from TJS, and Melancon is suffering pain again the same way as last season, in the same area, and has been DLed once more, with no idea when he might return, as they are just waiting and seeing what happens.  The hope is that it calms down - it flared up when Melancon pitched back-to-back days - but no news is definitely not good news there.  So prospects are getting the opportunities, and Moronta was one of three prospects getting a shot (including Pierce Johnson and Roberto Gomez).  Moronta was ranked #15 by BA, #13 by MLB Pipeline,  and #12 by Sickels, showing his potential, as he has 95-99 MPH speed generally, and can reach triple digits.  However, BA thinks his fastball is a bit straight and the control has been fringy, though that's more because he nibbles, rather than an inability to throw strikes.  Still,, MLB Pipeline thinks that he could blossom still into a closer.   He has been doing well in the majors
  5. Pierce Johnson:   He isn't showing up on any Giants prospect rankings, so I don't have a lot of info on him.  His 2017 profile in the Cubs Top Prospect list (#19), notes his problems staying healthy as a starting pitcher, but once placed in the bullpen in late 2016, as able to stay healthy, striking out 35 (walking 13) in 22.1 IP in AAA.  His Baseball-Reference.com's profile notes that he was actually making Top 100 prospect lists in 2014-15 (albeit, 83-100) with his potential, so he has skills that got evaluators' attention in a significant way.  He has a 96 MPH fastball that he pairs with an inconsistent but above-average slurvy breaking ball.  The Athletic's Baggarly noted that he's best friends with Blach and was Cape Cod roommate with Stratton, so he was able to acclimate faster than other prospects, getting comfortable faster than he might have had Blach not been around (Ty gave him a tour almost immediately after the Giants picked him up off waivers last season, and been his mentor, basically).  His problem is wildness historically, but last season he was able to get enough control that he had a 12.3 K/9 and 2.74 K/BB in AAA for the Cubs last season.  With the talent there, and production coming, he's going to be making the AAA-MLB shuttle along with Osich, Law, Okert, Moronta, and, I believe, DJ Snelten (who I wanted to mention as he had a great 2017 season and 2018 spring training, but with Watson and Smith signed, and Osich seemingly refinding his prior good form and mechanics, and Okert going well, and so he's probably looking at 2019 as his major opportunity).
  6. Austin Slater:  I was going back and forth between Slater and Snelten, as both look good enough to get a shot, but both are significantly blocked in the majors.  I noted Snelten's block above, but Slater is blocked by Jackson, Blanco, Gorkys, and Sandoval (as Slater can play some infield other than SS).  Given I expect Watson and Smith to be Affeldt1 and Affeldt2 in the bullpen, and not Affeldt/Lopez, and there is also Osich and Okert ahead of Snelten, I think Slater will be more likely to contribute, as the guys ahead of him are older, plus Slater is looking like he'll be a super-utility guy, playing both infield and outfield positions, as he's blocked even in AAA by Shaw, Duggar, and Williamson at the moment (Williamson is someone who put his name into the hat with his improved mechanics in spring training, copying Justin Turner's mechanics, but is blocked by McCutchen, Pence, and Shaw at the moment).  Contributions is often random, based on injuries and unexpected poor performances, so I'm sure there will be others contributing more than Slater, once the season is over, but right now, he looks like the best bet.
2018 Big Six Potential:
  1. Heliot Ramos:  He's the top prospect on most Top Giants prospects lists (I think the Minor League Baseball Analyst book is the only one I know of that has him lower than first; he is the #3 prospect on that list, behind Shaw and Beede; and yet is 79th on their overall Top 100 prospects list).  He's a legit 5-tool prospect, with a great hit tool and power even though he's only 18 YO for the 2018 season (he actually fits that rule for youngest high school prospect drafted, so there's that for his potential, as the researched showed that those tend to do better than their slightly older brethren), and if he can stay slimmer, a future CF at the MLB level (though with Duggar around, and his potential for future weight issues, probably moves to a corner OF position).  He was ranked #61 by BP, #63 by MLB Pipeline, and #79 by BA for the 2018 season, in the annual Top 100 lists, which is great for any first round draft pick, let alone a high school player.  But that's what hitting 1.049 OPS, 6 homers in 138 AB, in the Arizona Rookie League, after signing, will do for a prospect.  And he did it as a 17 YO, 2.7 years younger than the average position player (meaning most of the position players were college players) and 3.8 years younger than the average pitcher (meaning that the pitchers were even more slanted towards college pitchers).  He did strike out 48 times in those 138 AB, so there were a lot of swings and misses in there with all the hitting, and thus a warning signal of the strong obstacles in his way, but he's probably the best high school position prospect drafted since Matt Williams.  MLB Pipeline noted:  "While he needs a few years of development time, Ramos has the highest ceiling of any Giants prospect since Buster Posey. His bat speed and strength generate well-above-average power from the right side of the plate, and he already shows the ability to drive the ball out of the park to all fields. Part of an athletic family that includes brothers in the Dodgers system (Henry, an outfielder) and on Puerto Rico's national soccer team (Hector), Heliot has at least plus speed as well as solid arm strength. The biggest question with Ramos is whether he can develop a more patient approach and make consistent contact so he can realize his offensive potential. He also needs to refine his reads and routes in order to stay in center field. Time is on his side, as he'll play the entire 2018 season at age 18."
  2. Alexander Canario:   A highly ranked prospect already even though he hasn't played a second of pro ball in America (After Reynolds and Arroyo were traded, Baseball America ranked him #11, MLB Pipeline ranked him 12th, Sickels ranked him 19th), he is another true 5-tool prospect, like Ramos, and hence why I have his second here (as this is based solely on potential, not on his likelihood of attaining that potential).  MLB Pipeline captured his great skill sets:  "Canario has electric bat speed from the right side of the plate and can catch up to any fastball. He has a knack for making consistent hard contact and the patience to draw walks. While his home run potential currently shows up more during batting practice than in games, he could develop at least average power once he adds some much-needed strength. Currently a plus runner who's aggressive on the bases, Canario figures to lose a step once he fills out. He spent most of his first year in pro ball as a right fielder and has the solid arm strength for the position. If he retains much of his present quickness, he has a chance to play center field after seeing brief action there in his debut."  Sickels noted a more cautionary tone (given his lower ranking):  "Grade C+: Age 17, signed out of Dominican Republic in 2016, hit .294/.391/.464 in Dominican Summer League with 33 walks, 40 strikeouts, 18 steals in 235 at-bats; DSL performance must be taken with large grains of salt and I am usually cautious with players this low in the system but reports are positive on this one, pointing to explosive bat speed combined with a good batting eye; also has above-average speed and arm strength; ETA 2022."  BA stated:  "Canario has yet to play a game in the U.S., but a pretty convincing case can be made that other than Heliot Ramos, he has the highest ceiling in the Giants' farm system...  he's already demonstrated a rare blend of speed, athleticism, and feel to hit.... His above-average bat speed is what allows him to drive the ball even though he hasn't filled out, but his plus speed, athletic frame and chance to stick in center field are equally notable.  His swing will get long when he goes hunting for home runs, but when he's at his best, he's short to the ball and show good pitch recognition for his age...  his long-term home is in center...  could rocket up this list in the next couple of years."  Given that the Giants did not move him up to Augusta along with Ramos, I see them continuing to play him in CF, and keeping his trade value higher, one level behind Ramos, as both rises up the system (assuming both rise at the same speed).  Sabean Naysayers have been beating the "no OF developed" drum hard this season, but with Duggar, Shaw, Williamson, Ramos, and Canario, the drought could be a flood within a few seasons. 
  3. Tyler Beede:  Top of rotation starter potentially, it seems to me, but most scouting reports view him more as a middle rotation starter.   As noted above by Sickels, he has the physical ability to be a number two starter, but doesn't have the necessary consistency yet.  And thus he has fallen among the rankings, BA has him 3rd still, Minor League Baseball Analyst still has him 2nd, but he's 4th for MLB Pipeline, and Sickels has dropped him all the way down to 7th.  With the ability to reach 97 MPH, while being able to pitch to contact (his first pro season), that brings to mind a Matt Cain type of pitcher, and he was a damn fine pitcher for us for many years, and thus why I put him second here, in terms of potential.
  4. Chris Shaw:   Most Giants rankings has him either second or third, swapping places with Beede.  In fact, most list him higher, but I view Beede's potential for being a #2 starter higher, hence my ranking here (if I were ranking as most likely production, I would agree with the rest that Shaw is above Beede).  He just continues to hit no matter where they put him.  He conquered AA in 2017, after getting slowed down in 2016, as well as AAA, hitting .901 OPS in AA and then .858 OPS in AAA.  As high as those numbers are, they are not really get numbers for an MLB level hitter, for example, Belt hit over 1.000.  Still, he showed the ability to figure things out at AA in 2017, and I don't doubt that he won't solve AAA in 2018, in terms of strikeouts, and thus he still looks on track for becoming a 30+ homerun hitter who can play LF for a MLB club, probably in 2019, after Pence's and McCutchen's contracts end (though I expect McCutchen to be re-signed by the Giants, leaving Shaw to battle with Williamson and Slater for the starting LF position, with Duggar in CF).  It is his likely below-average fielding in LF that holds down his potential, but the Giants can use another big power bat in their lineup, and he looks like he can deliver that.
  5. Steven Duggar:  Duggar, as noted above, appears to be our future starting CF.  Ranked #3 by MLB Pipeline, #4 by Sickels and BP, and #8 by BA, there is a lot to like about Duggar:  hitting, speed, defense, some power.  He was hurt by the bane of many speedsters (like Andres Torres):  being taught to swing with a downward plane, in order to hit many grounders and use their speed to get on-base.  The Giants fixed his swing to be more aligned to Ted Williams' book on hitting, with an upward swing, and he has done much better as a hitter now.  MLB Pipeline:  "The biggest change San Francisco made with Duggar was adjusting the angle of his barrel so it didn't point as much toward the ground, giving him a more level and longer left-handed swing and helping him get a better look at pitches. He now makes a higher quality of contact and hasn't sacrificed his control of the strike zone. While he hit just eight home runs in three college seasons and won't ever be a slugger, he's driving the ball more often and should produce double-digit homers on an annual basis.  Duggar can post plus-plus running times but his speed doesn't play that well on the bases. He succeeded on just 62 percent of his steal attempts in his first three pro seasons and needs to be more aggressive. Clemson used him mainly in right field, in part because of his strong arm, but he has taken well to center field as a pro and is the Giants' best long-term option there."  The Athletic (subscription needed) noted however that Duggar worked with Vince Coleman (yes, he of great ability to steal;  I had been hoping we could hire Dave Roberts to do this for us, but Coleman is just as good, if not better) and improved his ability to steal, improving to 10 of 12 during the regular  season, 9 of 10 during AFL.   Sickels, however, is not as sold, stating:  "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 although this has improved since college; can be erratic but should post strong secondary averages; better tools than Slater but not as polished; ETA late 2018."  Still, a classic lead-off CF with good defense thrown in, that's pretty good potential.  
  6. Sandro Fabian:  He has been highly rated on Giants prospect lists for a couple of years now, 8th on BA in 2017, 7th in 2018 (9th originally until Reynolds and Arroyo were traded), but I didn't get on his bandwagon until I saw how good he hit with Augusta in the last two months, which is notable as he was only 19 YO, very young for the league (I wrote about my crush in another post).  Here is what MLB Pipeline noted:  "skipped a level to low Class A at age 19 last year. Though South Atlantic League pitchers took advantage of his ultra-aggressive approach, he rallied to hit .352/.366/.535 in the final six weeks. Fabian has a feel for hitting well beyond his years, showing the ability to repeatedly barrel balls and make adjustments. He almost puts the bat on the ball too easily, walking in just 3 percent of his plate appearances during his first three pro seasons, and will do more damage once he learns to work counts and not worry about hitting with two strikes. While his hitting ability has more upside than his power, he already shows the potential for average pop and might have more if he turns his right-handed swing loose more often during games. His instincts extend to defense as well. Though Fabian has fringy speed, he gets good jumps in right field and has a strong, accurate arm. He also gets high marks for his makeup, impressing with his enthusiasm and his desire to learn English quickly."  Sickels ranked him 5th, noting:  "extremely aggressive hitter who jumps at pitches but still hits them hard; must hone discipline at higher levels but offensive ceiling is quite impressive and he’s very young; 60-grade arm is accurate as well as strong, leading to 15 assists from right field, also made 11 errors but that should improve with time; high-risk but intriguing; ETA 2022."  I'm very intrigued too, he and Ramos are young hitters showing a lot of potential to make the majors, we could soon be up in our ears with OF talent in a few years.
Other Prospect Thoughts

Chris Stratton

Including him because while not a rookie anymore, not really proven either.  But he had a great end of 2017, as I've analyzed in prior posts, and wanted to note his potential again, with his elite spin rates and elite results with those pitches.  He and Beede should be good additions to the rotation, and perhaps help to make the rotations great once more.

Josh Osich

Has not been a prospect for a long time, but hasn't been good for a couple of seasons as well.  He reportedly went back to what was successful for him when he came up in 2015, reducing his repertoire, and fixing his mechanics, and hopefully revert back to his better performances.  He was great during spring, earning his spot, but given the tight roster issue in the bullpen, could end up in AAA even if he continues to do well.  And given the tight roster, his bar is that much higher, as well.  Might not be until 2019 or later for us to see how good he could be (and possibly trade bait given the roster squeeze; I would rather keep him, I still love his talent and abilities).

Mac Williamson

While relegated to the minors because there was no space on the 25-man roster, Williamson showed off a brand new batting stance and mechanics, learning some tips from the coach who helped Justin Turner turn the corner for the Dodgers, and he looked great during spring training.   Many were disappointed to see him go down, but I understood, as both Pence and McCutchen have proven to be good hitters, whereas Williamson really looked good in spring training.  Suppose the Giants did do what fans asked for and DFA Pence while starting Mac in LFe.  If he should falter again, then we got no starting LF (Shaw maybe, but he's the same boat, what if he don't produce, like neither Arroyo, Jones, or Williamson did last season?).

Instead, Williamson will likely get the first call, should either Pence or McCutchen have any extended time on the DL, as he's on the 40-man and Shawsome isn't.  And I'm good with that, for, as I noted previously, Pence was back to his old hitting ways at the end of 2017, so you need to give him a chance to show that off again, but move on quickly if he's still struggling (he would then be a backup OF).  And if Williamson falters again, then perhaps it's time to bring up Shaw.  But I'm very encouraged by Williamson, and would prefer to hold onto him and see how he does competing for a starting spot for the 2019 season.  His new batting mechanics has me that excited about his chances of being a good starter for us.

Austin Slater

He was also sent back to AAA.  With three other OF expected to start over him in Sacramento (Shaw, Duggar, Williamson), he's most likely going to be a super utility player, stealing AB's in the OF and IF (he has played 2B before and probably can handle 1B and 3B, as well).   The Giants could always use a player like that, and his numbers, while good in the majors last season, was also elevated by a high BABIP, and thus, given his pedestrian minor league numbers as well, probably is best suited for a super utility role, though I would definitely have him competing for a starting OF spot in 2019 as well, as you never know.

DJ Snelten

I thought he was going to be seeing extended opportunities in 2018, after a great 2017, and especially with a pretty good spring until the end, because we had so much trouble with lefty relievers last season.  But with Watson, Smith soon, Osich appearing to be better, Okert as well, suddenly there is a long line in front of him.  I still believe in him (hence why I considered him above) but there's just too many guys in front of him right now.  He should be seeing time in September, as he's on the 40-man, and I can see him battling for a bullpen spot in 2019, though it will be tough with Melancon, Watson, Smith, Strickland, and Gearrin strongly in place right now.  But injuries and poor performances do happen, so we will see what happens.  In any case, I like him a lot right now, looks like a good lefty reliever.

Ricardo Genoves

I was debating placing him in the #6 spot for potential because I read about how great he already is defensively, and how great he is as a leader, so I wanted to highlight him as a potential Posey successor, which works time-wise, as Genoves is only 19 YO for this season, and didn't get assigned to a full-season league this season, so he's at least 4 years away from reaching the majors, if not more.  But Fabian did so well at the end in Augusta that I chose him.  Still, lots of good reports on Genoves.

MLB Pipeline noted:  "Though he probably won't make his full-season debut until 2019 and still has a lot of development ahead of him, he already shows the promise of becoming perhaps the best defender among the Giants' current catching prospects. Genoves caught for touted Padres right-handed pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza as an amateur, helping him get accustomed to handling quality stuff at a young age. He has the makings of a solid receiver with a plus arm that helped him throw out 33 percent of basestealers in his U.S. debut last year. He moves well behind the plate, had a durable frame and shows leadership ability. Genoves has a lower ceiling offensively and how much he hits will determine whether he's a starter or a reserve. He employs a contact-oriented approach from the right side of the plate, giving him a chance to hit for a decent average. His strength is more notable than his bat speed, so it remains to be seen how much power he'll generate against advanced pitching." 

I found this great report on Genoves (via DrB; for some reason, still can't link, so here is the URL:  http://baseballcensus.com/2017/08/16/san-francisco-giants-ricardo-genoves-scouting-report-baseball-video-august-2017/ ), which stated: "A surprisingly good athlete for a catcher, Ricardo Genoves is an impressive specimen behind the plate relative to his age and level. The right-handed hitting catcher has some offensive work to do in order to be a viable prospect, but he’s already receiving high marks for his glove work across the board, with a particularly good feel for throwing and blocking. The San Francisco Giants prospect also showed me an impressive ability in balancing the need to be patient with—and then push—his young pitching staff, and he manages games like a veteran with very good situational awareness. His pitch framing skills are good now, and more nuance ought to come in time, too; there’s no reason he can’t be as advanced there as in his other defensive work, though it’ll simply take more professional innings for him to learn some of the subtleties of that art. I know for a fact that the San Francisco Giants are high on him internally, and while we will see whether those opinions are a precursor to him becoming a big-time prospect or simply an intriguing depth option, there’s plenty reason to be optimistic about his development this early in his professional career. ... without a doubt my pick to keep tracking from this AZL Giants squad is Ricardo Genoves. Exceptional defense will help him move steadily in a San Francisco Giants system generally bereft of top-line catching talent, and any offensive improvements along the way will only further raise his impressive, currently under-the-radar profile. " 

If he's not starting out with Augusta but has played for the AZL Giants rookie club, then I have to think that he's slated for Salem-Keizer short-season league for this season.  I will keep him on my radar, he's definitely the defensive replacement for Posey, but whether the bat will work is another question.  But his contact rate is encouraging so far (84% in 2016, 80% in 2017), along with a good amount of walks (roughly 50% for his career so far), while he was 1-2 years younger than the other hitters in the league, 2-3 years younger than the pitchers in the league (basically college pitchers, as he was 18 last season).  Hasn't hit for much, high 600 OPS, so far, though, but that would work in the majors if he provides great defense to go with that bat (which would work batting 8th, as his OBP is actually pretty okay, it is his power that is poor, and of course, little power means that upper level pitchers will challenge him more).  He has a long way to go offensively, but given how good defensively he is, I felt the need to make note here.


I usually also mention some names to keep an eye on this season (I've already mentioned a number of them as possibilities above, but will honorably mention them here), some who are known names on the Giants Top prospect lists, others who I thought deserved some mention for doing well, either hitting or pitching, last season:
  • Tyler Cyr
  • Aramis Garcia
  • Miguel Gomez
  • C.J. Hinojosa (was just suspended for his second violation of drug abuse, however)
  • Rodolfo Martinez
  • Jacob Gonzalez
  • Garrett Williams (I was considering him for the potential list)
  • Shaun Anderson
  • Melvin Adon (also considered, has triple-digit speed, but likelihood as reliever pushed him out)
  • Ryan Howard
  • Seth Corry
  • Julian Fernandez (obviously won't be doing anything this season, but wanted to name him)
  • Heath Quinn
  • Dereck Rodriguez
  • Camilo Doval
  • Jalen Miller
  • Malique Ziegler
  • Pat Ruotolo
  • Logan Webb
  • Robinson Batista
  • Franklin Van Gurp
  • John Russell
  • Jason Bahr


  1. Wow, and right around the same time, it's announced that not only is Beede getting his first start on Tuesday, Suarez will get his first start on Wednesday, because Cueto injured his OTHER ankle in a workout, and will be 10-day DLed.

    No word on who gets removed from the 40-man and 25-man roster to add in Suarez. Okert was also added to the team yesterday, taking Cueto's place, while Roberto Gomez was optioned to the minors in order to bring up Beede.

    Unfortunately, given Osich's struggles so far and Okert's arrival (he did well in spring and so far in minors), I suspect that he's going down when Suarez is added to the roster, so that's the 25-man spot.

    Not sure how they will open up a 40-man spot. They could move Bumgarner to the 60-day DL, but I think that would make him mad, as he's been saying he can return before June. Though technically, 60-days for him would place it right near the end of May, since he was injured in late March, what, March 28th? Maybe he'll be okay with that, just to forestall a DFA.

    1. To open up a 40-man spot for Suarez, they move Bumgarner to the 60-day DL list.

      To open up a 25-man spot for Suarez, they optioned Okert back to AAA, so he made the trip to SF for nothing (well, not entirely for nothing, he gets another day of MLB service time, another day of MLB pay, which I would guess roughly is a little more than $3,000, woo-hooooo! That's assuming $565K minimum salary, and roughly 180 days of MLB baseball).

  2. Beede had a nice enough start. Not surprisingly, he was pretty wild (what, 5 walks in 4 IP?), but after his rough first inning (2 runs), he kept the D-backs off the board for the other 3 innings.

    Wow, he got, like, almost one of everything in his first inning: ground out, walk, single, double, runs scored, stolen base, strikeout, flyout.

    So that means after his initial adrenaline rush of his first start, he settled down some and had this pitching line: 3.0 IP, 1 hit, 0 R/ER, 4 BB, 2 K's. OK, so he was still wild, the adrenaline just kept coming, but he was at least able to control it for the most part. Nice start for the rookie, I expect something good in his next start, which is in San Diego, on the road, AT&T Park South, pitchers park, and maybe even his wife can make the game, as she's in Tucson AZ, that might be doable with a helicopter or something (she missed his debut, as she's an actress working on a film right now).

    Lucky him, getting SD, as Suarez's second start on April 17th is the D-backs at their hitter's park home. But Samardzija or Cueto might be ready to come back by then, so we'll see if he gets a second start then.

  3. Suarez had a pretty good start, he retired his first 10 batters, went 5.1 IP, gave up only 4 hits and 0 walks, plus rang 7 strikeouts. Unfortunately, it included 2 homers, and his inherited runner scoring off the reliever, and thus 4 runs given up. It was the kind of start I expected/hoped out of him, and with one less homer, would be a good start (DOM start under oldPQS, only 3 PQS under NewPQS).

    With his next time in the rotation coming on April 17, the first game in the series in Arizona, I believe either Cueto or Samardzija could be ready to take that start, but I don't expect him to get sent back down until one of them is for sure ready and getting dressed in the clubhouse, before he gets sent back down to AAA.

    I felt good about his chances based on his minor league performances, but this game really sold me on his stuff, his mental abilities, his overall package.

    Our rotation is going to be in good shape in the coming years with Stratton, Suarez, Beede, Blach fighting for spots in the rotation, and maybe Holland too, the problem is that we have Bumgarner, Cueto, and Samardzija in the rotation already, so I can see the Giants perhaps trading off one of the big contracts in order to give the young guys an opportunity.

    But that won't happen until after the 2019 season, I think, unless someone gets injured for a large portion of the 2018 season and gives Beede and/or Suarez a chance to show their stuff in 9-10 starts.

    1. Suarez has already been sent down, with Law taking his place (and unlike Okert, he was used last night after Stratton, 2 shutout innings).

      While Cueto is still a question mark for his next start, the Giants are expecting him to be ready that day. Not sure what the Giants options are if Cueto has any set-backs, though I suppose another injury to him would allow the Giants to pull back Suarez to the majors, as the DL can be overruled by an injury.

  4. Stratton had the type of start I've been mostly hoping for, as he went 7.0 innings, only 1 hit (and to a pitcher who was pinch-hitting for another pitcher), 3 walks, 4 strikeouts (only bad part of start, want to see more K's), which works out to a 3 newPQS/3 PQS start. He has a 2.60 ERA/3.15 FIP in his 3 starts of 2018 so far, which compares well with his 2.42 ERA/3.79 FIP in his 9 start stretch as a regular starting pitcher at the end of 2017.

    For his peripherals, he has reduced his walk rate to 3.6 BB/9, which could still go down some, especially since his K/9 fell to 5.7 so far, and thus his 1.57 K/BB is far from the 2.15 K/BB of his last 9 starts.

    I would like to see more K's, but he appears to be a right-handed version of a crafty lefty type of starting pitcher, like Rueter, and if he can continue being successful in keeping his ERA in the 2-range with this mix of pitching, I can live with the low K/9 rate for his first full season, but would hope he can push that up some in 2019, since he'll have a full season under his belt then, and be settled in as a member of the starting rotation.



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