Thursday, June 11, 2015

MLB: Giants Top 10+10 Prospects Post-Draft Edition

     With the 2015 MLB Draft now finished and more than 1,000 players selected by the 30 MLB clubs, the final hurdle for the clubs is the signing deadline for the draft selections. For the Giants, all the players selected in the draft in the first 10 rounds have a good chance of signing but I want to exclude them from this top 10 prospect list until they are officially signed. This top 10 prospect list is based on the performance and my own personal judgement on the development of the Giants prospects so far this season.

Note: I didn't include Andrew Susac, Chris Heston, Matt Duffy and Hunter Strickland because I feel they have graduated the minors already. Once the top 10 draft picks of the Giants have signed and how they perform there, I'll make another top 10 prospect list.

The player's FanGraphs articles are going to open when you click on the player's name in bold with their stats and advanced metrics. The stats that you see throughout are accurate as of June 10, 2015 if you're living in the US. Here's my top 10.


1. Tyler Beede RHP (AA)

   Tyler Beede quickly became easily the top prospect of the Giants this year, quickly rising from pitching on the heat of college baseball playoffs at this point last year to cruising in High A and just promoted to AA ball this year. The huge success of Beede this season is not due to high strikeout numbers but due to the high groundball outs per start, pitching to contact and pounding the zone with his new pitches, the sinker and cutter. Possibly the most positive development is on the walk rates, from over 4 last year and in college ball to around 1.7 BB/9 this year. Typically, FIP and K/9 is a great indicator about pitcher's success but the same principle can't be truly applied to Beede due to high groundball ratio and his reliance in his defense, resulting in a pretty big difference in runs allowed and earned runs. Add that with his 3.4-ish FIP, around 6.0 K/9 and below .300 BABIP which is average, he's better than some of the advanced stats say. I am waiting for the Giants to let Beede fully incorporate his repertoire including his good changeup and curveball in games and there's a moderate chance he'll be a September call-up this year.

2. Keury Mella RHP (A+)

   Mella's improvement in the minors has been steady so far this season. He's been dominant in the California League so far, as proven by his stats. He's still sailing on the right direction even though his mechanics is not that pretty with throwing across the body and he got that dreaded inverted W in his delivery. There's some recent injuries on his shoulder and I can blame that on the inverted W but so far, he's proven that he's healthy especially on that right elbow particularly the UCL of his and Yusmeiro Petit has the same problem and it hasn't bit him so far. Mella's mechanics is deceptive, making his pitches jump on hitters, evident by his K/9 numbers right around 9. He still average on allowing walks and I would not be surprised if he gets promoted to AA before the season is done. 

3. Christian Arroyo SS/2B (A+)

   The Giants made a rather surprising move, promoting Arroyo to High A this season instead of bringing him back to Augusta. Early on, Arroyo has been proving that he's up to the challenge, hitting with a hot bat before an oblique injury sidelined him for 6 weeks and returned when DrB checked out Tyler Beede's start if I am not mistaken then his bat cooled off a bit. Most of his success comes from him trying not to be a power hitter, instead, he's focusing on squaring the ball up, and getting base hits and getting on base (Full article located here) and it paid off, raising his OPS while maintaining a solid batting average (His average is higher before his injury and is easier to fluctuate because of the fewer games that he played this season). He's also been aggressive at the plate, drawing a 1:4 BB/K ratio and he hasn't stolen or tried to steal yet. That said, I say his hit tool is legit and I could even grade that at 60 if his bat gets hotter late in the season and the Giants should slowly develop the guy.

4. Adalberto Mejia LHP (AA)

   Mejia started this season serving a 50 game suspension after testing positive for sibutramine, a weight loss drug to aid treatment of obesity along with diet and exercise. In 2014, Mejia is a mess with a 4.67 ERA, more hits than innings pitched, less than 7 K/9, plus the addition of the suspension. The only positive that I can take from him last year is that his BB/9 is still consistently below 3. I am starting to think that the issues last year are due to weight issues and I think he's served that suspension well. In his return from his suspension, he is back with a bang with 4 no-hit innings with a walk and 3 strikeouts and based on an MiLB article, his composure is better than ever and he looked confident on the mound, another positive sign with a good fastball and a plus change and average curve. With last year now in the rear view mirrors, I am expecting more great things from Mejia this season. I may have put him too high but it's all positive so far with another prospect sinking.

5. Kyle Crick RHP (AA)

   Now if you think that this is too low for Crick, I might be wrong but this is the highest point that I can project him in my top 10. If Bickford's here, he'll be higher than Crick on my top 10. He's been consistently inconsistent since the season started and possibly throughout his career, having his longest outing sandwich between short starts with high pitch counts. His walk rate is actually higher this season with 7.51 BB/9 while he's at 6.08 last year and his K/9 is down from 11 to 9 this year. He got some mechanical issues (imbalance in leg kick, east-west finish), speculations of mental issues starting to arise, and other more together with his walk issues. The only good news is that the walks and the high pitch counts doesn't bit him hard in the butt due to his plus stuff, with an LOB% of a whopping 87%. That's some high-end reliever stuff right there and that's where I'm projecting him right now. Age is still his friend but unfortunately, time is slowly running out for him. (I'll discuss more about Crick's issues and why I am pessimistic about him pretty soon.)

6. Steven Okert LHP (AAA)

    I place Okert right here based on the value that he can give to the Giants out of the bullpen as a potential heir to the throne of Affeldt and Lopez. Even though his ERA might make you think that he's pitching poorly this season, I'll tell you that he got 3 really bad outings especially that 5-run outing where he didn't record an out. The golden nugget lies on how he fared versus lefties this season and so far in 11.1 IP against lefties, he allowed 7 hits, 4 BB, 4 ER, and 19 Ks with hitters batting .175 and that's how I'll evaluate him as he got 2 above-average pitches to build with. So far, he's been good on that. He needs to resolve his current problems against righties but he'll most definitely be a September call-up because he's a good asset to have with being only a LOOGY as the worst-case scenario. He got one foot inside the Show.

7. Michael Santos RHP (A)

    I am on the higher side on Santos than maybe anyone else. I love his 6'4" lean, lanky frame that can be filled with a lot of muscle, his pretty advanced feel for pitching at his age, a low-90s fastball that can be faster once he fills out his body, a good slider that can improve and an average changeup, has pretty smooth mechanics and the Giants develop pitchers pretty well so it is all about projection for him. This season, he sustained a shoulder injury if I am not mistaken after just 2.2 innings which still puts a hold sign on his development. I feel he got a chance to be a middle of the rotation starter if the Giants fully tapped into ceiling with proper development and the Giants have a really good track record so I am optimistic. Projection!

8. Clayton Blackburn RHP (AAA)

   Blackburn started this year on the disabled list with a shoulder injury and the passing of his brother. He returned on May 9 so far with the exception of his ugly outing where he allowed 9 runs (1 unearned), he's pitched well in the PCL so far where he allowed 3 runs or less with the rest of his starts this season. He's still showing the good command with a BB/9 of 3.09 plus he's still generating the groundball like always, evident in his great start yesterday with 9 Ks and 2 BBs in 6 innings, with a 6/0 GO/AO ratio. Blackburn is a great value for a 16th rounder and he still got a chance to beat the odds again and be a solid #4 starter in the Majors.

9. Kelby Tomlinson 2B (AA)

   Tomlinson might be pretty high on this list, ahead of Blach and Williamson, but he is swinging a hot bat right now and he's slowly showing up in my eyes. His stat sheet is pretty good. Top 6 in EL in average and just .002 below of top prospect Josh Bell from the Pirates. He also posted an .816 OPS with top 10 in OBP, 2:3 BB/K ratio, top 5 in steals and top 10 in doubles. Based on the videos that I saw on him, he leans back during his leg kick and he got really quick wrists which results to quick bat speed, so I am pretty all in on his hit tool. His defensive range and arm might only limit him in 2B in the future. He might have a low ceiling but he got a really good change to be a legit late bloomer for us and if he continues to hit the ball like this throughout the season, he'll stay in the top 10. Matt Duffy-esque potential? He might be!

10. Ty Blach LHP (AAA)

     Blach just continues to be a reliable starter in the PCL. He got a solid ERA in a hitters league, lower than some of the top prospects in the minors. The really positive sign about him that I love is cutting his BB/9 numbers by more than half to just 1.08, a sign that his command is above-average. There are some things to worry about him though. First is the FIP right around 4 and his LOB% is around 65% which might be a testament to the quality of hitters in the PCL, as well as a GO/AO ratio of 1.07. Nonetheless, he has proven to me this season that he's a solid pitcher with average stuff and knows how to command his pitches with good feel of the strike zone. The Majors will present him a bigger challenge with way more quality hitters when he'll earn his promotion maybe late this season probably as a spot starter, but he's a reliable starter like he's always been in the minors.


10 notable prospects outside the Top 10 in no particular order

Mac Williamson OF (AA)- Good comeback after having TJ last year, posting solid #s across the board and could be a good 4th OF bat. Justin Maxwell-kind of guy.
Johneshwy Fargas OF (A)- Plus arm and plus speed though he needs to be smarter on baserunning, good average in the SAL with possible gap power and the glove should improve. 80 grade name.
Chase Johnson RHP (A)- Reaches mid-90s in his FB, allows more hits than usual which is a signal of relying on his FB too much, 3 BBs or lower in all of his starts which is great, definite starter potential.
Mikey Edie OF (?)- DrB's guy with plus speed and plus bat speed, good line drive power with chance for more, legit 5-tool potential, will need to show more stats to back him up if he's in the AZL this year.
Gustavo Cabrera OF (?)- 5-tool player too with more power than Edie and will move to RF which he'll perfectly fit. Needs to prove he's 100% back after the freaky accident about his hand with stats.
Rodolfo Martinez RHP (A)- Hits 101 MPH with his cheese while posting 0 BBs in 10 of his 16 appearance including 7 in a row. Slider needs to improve to become an elite reliever.
Hunter Cole OF (A+)- 26th rounder posting good numbers after his promotion to the CAL after posting okay numbers in the SAL. 1:2 BB/K ratio and pretty good gap power. 
Kelvin Beltre SS (?)- $650K guy in 2013 with projectable body, good bat speed though seems to start his swing too early in MiLB video, raw power and just 11 Ks with 22 BBs signals there's some potential in his plate discipline and the arm at SS. Breakout candidate.
Jonah Arenado 3B (A)- Younger brother of Nolan Arenado can play baseball with good hit and power potential. There's still room to add on his 6'4" 195 frame to add more power. Breakout candidate.
Adam Duvall 1B/DH-ish (AAA)- Might be a too old to be a prospect at 26 but with above-average game power and a good hit tool. Only problem is he can't defend 3B and stuck with 1B but more of a DH to me. Trade chip maybe.


Note: Rodolfo Martinez's link will direct you to instead of FanGraphs because the info about him on FG is pretty shady.

     Here's my top 10 prospects at this point of the season. I know I missed some guys here and there and they will be some disagreements about the placements but I hope you'll find this top 10 a good read and also an informative one. Cheers!


  1. What a great read! There are a zillion ways to "rank" prospects, and I don't know that there is one method better than another. Some stay loyal to draft position, and I find that too limiting/biased (examples like Crick, Aramis, and G Brown in recent past). Some don't think relievers should make a top-10, due to role. Others place "ones closest to helping at the MLB level" at the top. Others like to use age-vs.-level. It's all just a matter of opinion and priority, not fact. I really like your overall list, nice balance, IMO.

    I appreciate that we've a heap of guys who *could* be in contention for some recognition. To heck with the "barren wasteland of a farm system" banter. Not that I'm trying to start arguments... Adrianza, Cody Hall, Ray Black, Biagini, Broadway, Stephen Johnson, Chase Johnson, Osich, Cordier, Lollis, Slater, Ragira, Turner, Mark Reyes, Gage, Ysla, Christian Jones... To name a few (of the others, along with your fine lists)... You get the idea.

    I know this is constantly a "moving target" based on current performance coupled with past history & future potential. One guy that is on my radar... That I basically try to bring up with anybody willing to read my comments (lol!):

    Jean Angomas. I love his clutch situational hitting and consistency. Since he's one of the guys no longer on the DSL roster, I have to figure he'll move to at least AZL or maybe Salem-Kaiser. I'm really excited to follow his season, even though I know no other Giants prospect watcher seems to care much about him. Perhaps soon I'll put up my own post describing all the factors of why I feel Angomas is one to truly watch for. Cheers.

    1. Hey Mr. Carmot! Thanks for reading and liking my work! I did a lot of arguments in myself on how I'll rank them. There are a lot of factors like you mention. I put relievers here and there because we are now seeing the bullpen possibly as the most important part in the game especially in the postseason. I am more of a ceiling guy and tools but if a guy is performing well even when this guy is pretty old, I'll think that this guy just found something that just clicked and I'll shoot him up especially if he's near the Majors. The bottom line for me is what is this guy's value at the Majors and is he near that specific value that he'll bring to the table or is he still pretty much lost. An example of that is I ranked Santos higher than Blackburn. I ranked Santos higher because he brings better value as a mid-rotation starter than Blackburn as more of a back-end guy. But Blackburn is closer and more ready to help right? I'll argue that who'll have more staying power in the Majors and my intuition is telling me that Santos will bring better value than Blackburn in the near future. If Santos' performance will decline for maybe a couple years, that's maybe I'll drop my hopes. But so far, Santos is performing well and I am hopeful.

      I don't really follow international prospects in the DSL or Mexican League until they came to America where their stats and tools are going to be shown in the national stage. I know there's a lot of international prospects that will wow you just in their tools like the young Miggy, young Felix and others. I will put Angomas in my radar and will look on his stats and tools and I feel you're into something with him because you love the guy. Thanks again for the visit!

    2. Mr. Carmot I can't message you personally. I just changed the link of my blogsite. I just thought I need to reply it to you. Thanks for bookmarking me!