Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Scouting Reports for 2015 Giants Part 4: Blach, Marshall, Miller

     Welcome to part 4 of the scouting report series! This time it will be Ty Blach and the recently signed players Jalen Miller and Mac Marshall. I know it's pretty late to make scouting reports on Miller and Marshall but I'll still give the best information that I have for the two. There are no stats yet for the two. Let's get started!

Ty Blach  LHP  (AAA)
6'2" 200 lbs.  R/L  Video: Credits to Roger Munter and Lauren Chinn

      Blach was drafted in the 5th round by the Giants in 2012 and has slowly but steadily worked his way into respectability due to his immense feel for pitching and his command even though he got mediocre velocity. He got to my top 10 prospect list because he reached his ceiling as a command-first guy just awaiting an opportunity in the Majors. 

Blach is already filled out his frame that's will be durable to handle 150 innings if given the opportunity. He looks fit, athletic and not much fat. He stands in the middle of the rubber in his windup and he slowly moves to his set position which is pretty much what you want for a mechanics, allowing him to repeat his mechanics really well. Leg kick reaches up to his chest and his glove is just above it. It is a sound leg kick that allows him to have good balance on the mound. He got a "tall and fall" delivery where he stays upright to the plate with a short extension in his drive to the plate. I don't really like tall and fall but what it does is to have Blach a really good downhill plane on all of his pitches. Arm path is sound and I am confident that he's going to be healthy on his left arm. He does a good job in staying closed in his delivery and releasing his pitches in a close to high 3/4 release point. He does a really great job of finishing his pitches in a north-south path that allows him to be in a good fielding position. (Credits to minorleagueball for this video where he showcased the really good effect of finishing in a good fielding position and a little bit of reflexes.)

He doesn't have plus velocity but what he does well is he mixes his four-pitch repertoire in keeping hitters off balanced and commanding it. His repertoire is highlighted by his really good changeup with excellent arm movement and good fade in it. (Here's a video showing that credits to Giant Potential. Skip to 2:15). His fastball sits in high-80s to low-90s with some sink and cut on it. His curveball and his slider are average pitches but will generate some swing and miss. His very repeatable delivery allows him to have plus command and this season, he lowered his BB/9 to just 0.92 which is outstanding. He can get hit hard sometimes due to his lack of plus velocity but he throws quality strikes which is really good and he could be on the Majors because he's pretty much a finished product.

My Grades: FB 50 | CH 55+ | CB 45+ | SL 50 | CMD 60

Ceiling: #4 Starter     Floor: Spot Starter/Long Reliever     ETA: Sept. 2015/2016

Jalen Miller  SS  (ROK)
6'1" 185 lbs.  R/R  Video: Credits to Prospect Pipeline and FanGraphs

      The Giants drafted Jalen Miller as their first pick in Day 2 of the 2015 MLB Draft, round 3 to be exact. He's listed as the #41st best prospect in the draft by and #43 by FanGraphs. He's an athletic shortstop that possesses five above-average tools across the board. 

He's skinny guy with tremendous athleticism that got a chance to surely add 10-20 more pounds of pure muscle and still retain the athleticism. That kind of projection makes me think he'll add even more raw power in his 15-homer projection, possibly a 20-homer guy. He got a really quiet bating stance in the box, making him balanced at the plate. He's timing with the pitches with more of a small step forward than a leg kick shown in FG video where he plays in game conditions while in BP videos in PP, he turns his left leg in his small step. His bat in the FG video also lower than in the PP video. I don't really know what's his real stance but he got above-average bat speed thanks to his strong wrists. In the FG video, he does a good job of rotating on his original position but he could add some more loft in his swing to be more of a homer threat. But he's more of an extra base hit guy for me and utilizing his speed. Overall, it's an average hit tool now as well as his power tool with projection to be an above average one.

He also got good speed (6.90 60-yard dash from Perfect Game) that can steal 20 bases consistently in the future. His speed will reflect well in his defense. He got the quickness, the strong arm (84 MPH in the IF from Perfect Game), and the range to stick at shortstop long-term although a possible move to third base or second base can be also considered. His intelligence, feel of the game and makeup also earns high praises from scouts. For me, he's a steal that we got a chance to draft and sign him. He's so young (18.5 years old) and he can develop nicely with the right coaching and potentially be a 20-20 guy with 20 doubles and the Brandon Phillips comparison isn't far fetched.

My Grades: Hit 50+ | Power 50+ | Speed 55 | Arm 55 | Glove 55

Ceiling: Potential All-Star player     Floor: Everyday 2B     ETA: Late 2018/2019

Mac Marshall  LHP  (?)
6'2" 185 lbs.  R/L  Video: Credits to FanGraphs

     Marshall was drafted last year and was part of the Brady Aiken fiasco along with Jacob Nix. He went to Chipola JUCO to re-enter in this year's draft. He suffered some injuries this year but he went to the Giants as the third player that the Giants drafted this year that didn't signed in previous drafts. 

He got a good frame and a good body with a chance to add a bit more to his frame but I don't really expect him to have a lot of projection. 10-15 pounds is good for him to make him more durable. I love his mechanics more on the first portion of the video compared to the rest because it's toned down and simpler. His leg kick is more toned down and it's just a simple leg lift and his glove now reaches neck level which is better in obtaining balance on the mound than raising his glove to head level and more intense leg kick. He drives well to the plate, staying closed from his glove to his right leg, and he got a good arm path with no inverted W. He does a good job on hiding the ball pretty well in his arm drive. He also lands closed to the plate and releases his pitches on a high 3/4 release point. He finishes his pitches in a north-south arm path and with good energy distribution. He ends on a pretty good fielding position but not the best of the bunch. 

Marshall got a three-pitch mix to work with. His fastball doesn't have a whole lot of velocity, ranging from 89-92 MPH but it can peak at 95 MPH which I hope he could improve to somewhere in the 91-94 MPH range with more muscle and he can generate a good running movement on it. His changeup is his main putaway pitch, with excellent deception thanks to the same arm speed as his fastball and it got the great drop and the sink that you would expect in a great changeup. His curveball is his breaking ball that got a chance to be an above-average offering with good break on it. His easy and repeatable mechanics will enable him to have a potentially above-average command in the future. He can add a potential cutter in the future. He got the feel for pitching to succeed and he can be a good starter for the Giants in the future.

My Grades: FB 50 | CH 60 | CB 50+ | CMD 50+

Ceiling: #3-4 Starter     Floor: #5 Starter/Long Reliever     ETA: 2018

     This the end of part 4! I hope you enjoy reading it!


  1. Hey Wrenzie.

    Blach. Thing I always consider about him is his fight and competitiveness. This is the guy that opened TD Ameritrade Stadium for Creighton. He's shined in the toughest situations, the biggest games; so I won't ever count him out. However, I'm not so convinced his stuff plays up to the MLB level, I worry it's a bit "too straight." Yeah, MLB hitters are that good. But not every pitching prospect needs to profile as a 10K/9 arm. There are plenty of "serviceable starters" in The Show who earn their pay with 6-ish K's per 9 IP and hold a low walk rate.

    His control is excellent. Even if he's a #5 starter- think of a guy like Paul Maholm. Think of his value not only in terms of eating innings and being "around Major League average," but also in terms of offsetting salary by being cost-controlled for up to 7 years. Payroll can be spread around to other positions of need. I'd take that all day and twice on game days.

    Jalen Miller. I digging on some of his tools. I also noticed a big difference in his BP swings and in-game swings. In his BP, I *really* love the smooth and strong pivot he creates around his shoulders, looks like in games this 'breaks down' a bit. The 3rd and 4th in-game swings in the FG video look pretty nice. He seems to keep his head fairly still, I always appreciate that quality. His fielding practice looks a bit too much like he's going through the motions- not using his best form or technique. Kinda just "winging" his throws from a looser sidearm... And he takes that extra crow step (or three) when setting from the hole to throw to 1B.

    One thing I really love about Crawford is his sense of body control. It's pretty uncanny. He can slide onto his belly and when he hops up, notice how his feet are *completely* under where his shoulders were on the ground and he's set up for a great throwing motion? He also has the spectacular ability to eliminate that extra crow step or rocker-step when planting from deep in the hole to throw to 1B.

    Maybe you've watched it closely already and noticed? Craw can be moving with his momentum carrying backwards, but when his right foot plants, he simply "leans' on it and pulls the trigger, instead of taking those extra 2 crow steps to realign. It's a smooth and beautiful thing to my eyes. Jalen will undoubtedly learn more polish as he develops, we'll see. But I like some of his tools already. I've been dreaming of a 30 doubles - 30 steals guy for a long while. Perfectly suited for AT&T, and the total of 61% of our games in AT&T, Petco & the Latrine combined. Maybe Jalen, Maybe Gustavo, Tomlinson, Fargas, or Mikey Edie, Galindo, or Jean Angomas. Who knows when we'll see it?

    Marshall. I'm trying to get on board and learn to like this pick. My eyes can't get past how varied his landing point can be, or so it seems to me. A few times it looks short, a few times it looks a bit more towards 3B, a few times a bit more centered toward home plate. The way he finishes his pitches has me concerned for him getting hit in the head by a comebacker. I sure hope it never, ever happens. Or he learns to finish with his glove a bit more active. His stuff and arm action look pretty okay, but my eyes really seem to pick out these few things quickly and I can't help but notice them.

    Sheesh, sorry so long. Damn. Tried to cover some of my thoughts. I don't mean to overrun your great blog. Thanks for covering this stuff and appreciate the video links. Great thoughts. Cheers!

    1. Hey Mr. Carmot! Love the stuff that you bring!

      You are 100% right on Blach. He's gonna be a serviceable guy for us like a Yusmeiro Petit. A spot starter, a long man, or optimistically a mainstay in the rotation. I have a philosophy where a strikeout is just one of the outs that a pitcher can create and I believe that getting outs is one of the two main things that you need to win a ballgame, the other is getting runs.

      I have a rough scale on how to grade speed. Alonzo Jones' 60-yard time is at 6.10ish which a legit 80 speed. 80 speed can be portrayed in the ML level as a 40+ SB guy. Miller on the other hand got a 6.90 60-yard time which is a solid 55 for me. I leaning more towards the 20 steals guy because he can still put some weight on his frame that can add raw power but will sacrifice his speed a bit. If he can get 30 steals for us in the ML, why not! In the FG video, In the videos, I'll take his defense with a bit of salt there because he's nonchalanting his plays which think that I'll better not take that D seriously. I want to see him in game action. I want to see him make real time plays. But his ceiling defensively is not close to BCraw because he got a 70+ defense right now. I think Miller's arm, athleticism and quickness can make him a good defender in the future. Maybe better than advertised with a good hit tool.

      I'll take the first part of Marshall's video because it's more toned down, more consistent. I'll get aboard on a plus changeup guy with a potential good curve. I hope he can add a cutter in the future because his FB is more straight than having a running movement. I'll think of him as half of Cole Hamels.

      It's okay if you can post long comments here because you know a lot and I love the info that you bring here. Don't gold back on you comments because I really love it. Oh and if you want to watch Shohei Otani's starts, I watch on ace kuroda's videos on YouTube. Just type there ace kuroda. He got a lot of pitch-by-pitch videos there from Bob Gibson 17K World Series game to Shohei Otani. Cheers!

    2. Oh look, now I could reply here- before it wouldn't let me. Doh!

  2. Hey again, Wrenzie. Not sure this response will be threaded under yours, it doesn't seem to allow my 'reply' there. Thanks for your kind words. I'm always so happy to talk Giants prospects with others that share the passion (and have great insights/info like you).

    How about Jalen's pro debut, huh? 2 hits, a walk, and a stolen base! Uh... and TWO fielding errors. I fear Angomas won't see the field much, he's blocked by both "higher prospects" Gustavo Cabrera AND Mikey Edie in CF, and Byron Murray got a start in CF already, too. That AZL Giants club should be a great follow this season- I'm guessing some of those guys won't stay there for long. Salem-Kaiser could really use one or two of them center fielders!

    I get you about speed. But I also try to caution myself, straight "track speed" doesn't always play, as we all know. Gotta be able to read pitchers' first moves, have good jumps (what I think of as a "launch"), good slide technique and such. But 6.10-ish is sick. I think I recall Panik going from home to 3B last season in about 11.1 seconds, not bad, but Alonzo would beat him by maybe 25 feet. lol. I just want a 30-30 guy, not saying it would be Miller. Just hope for one some day soon.

    So, do you see what I mean about Crawford's body control? It's not intuitive at all to eliminate that extra crow step when throwing from deep in the hole. He's so amazing at these "little things." I'd have a longer-winded description, that goes into a volleyball comparison- don't know if you much care about volleyball. Miller might have a lot of development in cleaning up his defensive techniques, we'll see.

    I'll check out ace kuroda's stream. Thanks for the info! Cheers.

    1. I don't know that my site didn't allow your reply to be threaded. I'll go check.

      We get a little bit of everything of Jalen in his debut. His defense might still be a little raw than what I expected with the 2 errors. I think Angomas is pretty blocked but I am hoping for an everyday start for him since Gustavo is out with an injury.

      Yeah I see what you mean on BCraw. He doesn't have excessive movements on his fielding. He really knows how to defend quickly and he got a great body clock of the hitters and their speed. If it's the time to rush or the time to take things slow.

      Thanks for the reply! Cheers!

    2. I think it was probably my janky laptop, should've cleared my cache or something. No worries, I doubt it was Blogger's fault. I'm so upset that Angomas isn't getting playing time. One of his two starts, he was DH. We don't need 4 CF's in our lowest domestic "development" league. They all need time to work on their craft.

      There isn't any way to email you through your profile? Will you post about the IFA prospects? I was thinking of writing up some stuff about them myself. I think we spend and actually get a few. My "best guesses"?

      -- Either Cionel Perez or Norge Ruiz.
      -- Lucius Fox *and* Eddy Julio Martinez.
      -- Then I'd say maybe Luis Daniel Serrano.
      -- Randy Orozarena is another we might have a shot at.

      I know we've been closely tied to Lucus Fox and Eddy Julio Martinez, maybe you like Jose Adolis Garcia or Yusnier Diaz more? If they are available...

      Depends how much we've spent to that point. Maybe 25M is our max, which equals nearly 50M with penalties. We'll see. Your thoughts on the IFA's? Cheers.

    3. I really want Angomas to start and not stuck in DHing. He's blocked by Byron Murray I think. The 40th rounder that we picked this year even got a start! I am sure that AZL is like just scrimmage games or just some pick up games on the block and more of personal development so I think the coaches are just pressing him.

      Yeah I'll post my thoughts about the IFA prospects as soon as tomorrow. I don't really know how but you can email me at My short thoughts is I love Lucius Fox and Eddy Julio Martinez and Kiley even said to me on his prospect chat that we are pursuing hard on one of uncommitted prospects in the J2 market. I'll expand my thoughts about it on my next blog post. You have a lot of ideas Mr. Carmot. I'll be glad to have your thoughts. Just email it to me. Thanks for reading again! Cheers.

    4. I really thought I added my email on my profile but I didn't. I added it right now.

    5. Thanks, Wrenzie. Angomas is a CF. That means he's blocked by:
      - Mikey Edie
      - Gustavo Cabrera
      - Byron Murray (started him in CF, too)

      And the corner outfield is just as crowded, and yeah, just added draftees Carson Fulmer and Roger Edwards to the AZL. We don't need 4 center fielders when Salem-Kaiser really could use *at least* one or two of them.

      That's what I think is likely in the IFA. Basically at least 4 significant signees, from the names I listed. I'll be in touch. Cheers.

    6. I think that Angomas should move to a corner OF first to get him better playing time. He's maybe developing himself off the field but if he can't have some game action, it really hurts his stock and confidence. The coaches should allow most of the players to start since the AZL is just a developmental-centric field.

      You brought good names on the list mr. carmot. I love Norge Ruiz, Eddy Julio, and Fox. I really hope the wallets can open since the archnemesis are grabbing basically everything. Cheers!

    7. Some factors I consider as to "why" the Giants will finally spend on significant IFA's this year:

      - IFA Draft might be coming. Might even erase the 2ne year penalty.

      - LAD, CHC, and SD and others. Landing guys keeps them from going to our rivals.

      - Sabean went back to scouting from the GM position- specifically THIS offseason. I think it is no coincidence

      - Can't become a laughing stock of "kicking tires" and "we didn't get a rose" and always "the ask was too high." Eventually we need to land talent. We expanded international scouting department before 2013 Winter Meetings and so far? Nada. Except maybe Carbonell.
      - Our farm isn't ready to fulfill all our needs. Up to 15 players could be replaced off our 25-man roster within the next two years. To begin the 2017 MLB season. We need more talent. FAST!

      I'm quite certain it's time. We'll spend. Those are some of my reasons. Not just "hope." Cheers.

    8. I will agree on all of the factors that you written here and I'll add this on my J2 blog post as I am writing it right now. Cheers!

    9. Not sure where you are getting "up to 15 players could be replaced off our 25-man roster" by 2017.

      We have Posey, Cain, Pence, Bumgarner signed to 2017. Under control we got Aoki, Belt, Crawford, Hanchez, Panik, Kontos, Duffy, Susac, Strickland, Heston, Broadway. That's 15 guys under control and probably around for 2017.

      We also might re-sign Casilla and Romo for 2017. Probably Blanco and Petit as well. I would also bet that Adrianza has one of the bench spots, as well. So we should have 15-20 guys, and thus need 5-10 guys.

      That would be two starting pitchers (Beede plus Stratton/Crick/Blackburn/Bickford/Blach), one Loogy (Okert or Osich), a starting CF (???), and another utility MI (Tomlinson).

      In any case, no baseball team fills all their openings through their farm system, the success rate of finding players is too low to support such a grand strategy. You have mix home grown with judicious trades and good free agent signings to do that, plus a few junk heap finds, like Torres, Casilla, Blanco, Petit, Strickland.

    10. I got to agree with Mr. ogc with this one.

      I think that we can get better OFers in the FA market than developing them due to the failures of the farm system to produce impact OFers while we continue to grab quality players like Aoki, Pagan in the trade deadline or in the FA market. But developing quality OFers from the start is good but surrounding them with the right vets from the FA and trades are better. That's just my point.