Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Scouting Reports for 2015 Giants Part 5: Cole, Fargas, Williamson + Something Extra

After a pretty brief rest, I am now going to continue the series with part 5 of my scouting reports for the Giants this year. It will now feature the breakout candidate Hunter Cole, the best name in the Giants system in Johneshwy Fargas, and the toolsy OF Mac Williamson. As for the other series,  FanGraphs profiles will be shown when you click on their names. Enjoy!

Hunter Cole  IF/OF  (AA)
6'1" 195 lbs.  R/R  Video: Credits to ieProSports (at 0:51) and

Cole was drafted by the Giants in the 26th round last year, with a lot of scouts fearing that his contact issues might never be solved even though he got good tools across the board. The Giants took the risk in taking him in the later parts of the draft and signed them. After showing average numbers in SAL early this year, he took off like a rocket once he's promoted to San Jose and then still carrying the same scorching bat to Richmond. 

His frame is good for a position player with enough muscle to have a good raw power. I feel he can add a little more muscle on his body to have a bit more but I can feel that it will limit his athleticism. His scouting reports in college draws fears on teams because they fear that he'll not improve his hit tool and will have really high K numbers. His K% numbers this year are similar to is numbers last year at around 19% and his BB% numbers are still similar. What is the possible secret on his success this year? The Giants coaches did a great job on removing the stiffness in his swing while retaining the power stroke by shortening his swing, placing his hands on his stance higher to remove the flatness in his swing, making his front foot more quiet when the pitcher starts to throw the ball from a lunging his front leg forward while leaning his body back and really relying on his back foot for the power like an uppercut swing to more of a toe tap this year, and his follow through is now one-handed and similar to Christian Arroyo from two-handed in his college days. There are some similarities in his swing to Jose Abreu of the White Sox. You can compare the this year's Cole with the videos provided above and last year's Cole here credits to FanGraphs. The result of all of that changes is a better and easier swing path to the ball, putting his good raw power into use as he creates more hard hit balls and better approach. His power is good to transmit 10-15 homers on paper.

He is a below-average runner that will not stole a not of bases but his baserunning instincts is good, creating triples and extra base hits. He's a 3B in college but he got stints in RF and 2B which tells me that he's a versatile defender and he got a .961 fielding percentage which is good. His arm is good fits better in the OF but in the IF, it can be counted also. He's been a really pleasant surprise this season for the Giants and a testament that the Giants can also produce good hitters and not just good pitchers. He's proven that he's a lot more than what the scouting reports say and he can be a valuable player in the Majors soon.

My Grades: Hit 50 | Power 50 | Speed 45 | Arm 50+ | Glove 45+

Ceiling: Versatile Brock Holt-type player     Floor: Bench bat     ETA: 2016

Johneshwy Fargas  CF  (A)
6'1" 163 lbs.  R/R  Video: Credits to minorleagueball and FanGraphs

Puerto Rico is something that not a lot of teams are taking a good look at but recently, there are good, toolsy players that are coming out with future star Carlos Correa leading the way. The Giants are one of the believers in the talents that can be found in Puerto Rico and the prove that by taking Fargas in the 11th round in the 2013 MLB Draft. He's got a rail-thin frame where his uniform looks like it's really big on him. He's athletic and he got a lot of room to fill out to improve his durability and most especially his limited raw power at the plate.

He sets up at the plate with a wide stance and a high hand placement. His swing is a bit long for someone that isn't a power hitter but he's making it work this season. He got a small leg kick which is good but he tends to lunge forward when swinging, which can result to not fully utilize that the raw power that he got. He got a good approach, generating a good number of walks but he is still pretty raw offensively. In my opinion, he can learn the fundamentals of slap hitting (bunt singles, infield hits, hitting where the defense are not position, and others). That way he can really utilize the speed that he possess and could possibly be better results for him. His power is just mostly gap power and will likely to stay like that and if he ever puts on more muscle in his thin body, 8-10 homers is pretty much his standard number that I would expect.

He got plus to plus plus speed that causes havoc when he's on the bases (in the top 10 in SAL with 34 steals) and can easily extend singles into doubles if a fielder ever misplay a ball but he tends to be overaggressive when stealing (leads the SAL with 14 caught stealing). He needs to be smarter on the bases and improve on stealing (he can learn from Billy Hamilton's improvements this season). His arm is a legit plus, reaching 97 MPH in the outfield and can be converted to the mound if he never pan out. He got really good range thanks to his speed but he can still improve on his defensive instincts. He's still a raw product but he's still so young (20 years old) and he can still learn a lot from the coaches about baseball and a potential of having four really good tools (raw power can be just as good as average) is still a big reality.

My Grades: Hit 40+ (50+ ceiling) | Power 25 | Speed 65 | Arm 70+ | Glove 50+ | Name 80

Ceiling: Everyday CF     Floor: Fourth Outfielder     ETA: 2018

Mac Williamson  OF  (AAA)
6'5" 240 lbs.  R/R  Video: Credits to and Christian Williamson

In 2012, the Giants isn't really a powerhouse in terms of having top-flight position player prospects but when Mac Williamson was drafted in the 3rd round in 2012, the Giants received a guy that can potentially have a big impact on the Major League. He broke out in 2013 when he hit 25 HR but it come with a price of 132 Ks. He then had Tommy John which cost him almost all of 2014 and performed well in his return in 2015.

He is a big, strong, athletic, and really physical body with his body already filled out and his body just screams plus raw power all over it. His hit tool is the big question mark though. Even though he got a silent stance in the box with good balance, his swing tends to be big and long sometimes and his height will naturally generate holes in his swing especially when an opposing pitcher will throw him breaking balls. His stroke is a powerful one with a good path in it, which when he made loud contact with the ball. He got a leg kick specifically for timing like he's a guess hitter at the plate and not really relying on his wrists. He maintains good balance throughout his swing and finishes in a one-handed follow through. He does a good job this season in cutting down his Ks from a 22.1 K% in 2013 to 18.8% this year while maintaining the good walk rate. Once his hit tool is an average tool, he got a really good chance to hit 20+ bombs if he plays regularly even though he's not really posting eye-popping power numbers this year. Think of a two-thirds of talent of George Springer

His hulking body will limit him to a below-average runner in the basepaths but it's better when he's playing in the OF. A former pitcher before converting to a position player, he got the perfect arm to fit in RF and his arm strength is back since coming back from Tommy John surgery and his defense is good as well. He can be something pretty special if his hit tool raise a bit and can be a good player for the Giants in a while. I am still hopeful.

My Grades: Hit 45+ | Power 55+ | Speed 45 | Arm 60 | Glove 50

Ceiling: Everyday RF     Floor: Bench bat/fourth OFer     ETA: Late-2015/2016

Something Extra: Tyler Beede made his start earlier here (yesterday in America) and I covered his start on Twitter. He got to a bit of a jam in the first inning but got out of it and only allowed just one run. Chris Bostick stole a base and runners now have a 7-8 success rate against Beede as he works pretty slow in the stretch. Until then, Beede's on a cruise control in innings 2-5, with 1-2-3 innings on 2nd, 4th and 5th and just like what we saw on him when he just dominated CAL hitters. Beede showed signs of fatigued in the 6th inning where he allowed his first 2 of the 3 walks in his outing but got out of the bases loaded jam with no runs allowed. In the 7th, Beede fell behind in the hitters he faced but managed to get a double play out of it. His sinker is at 90-92 MPH (credits to Jon Laaser for replying on my tweet to him), cutter is a good pitch for him, he bounced right around 10 curveballs in the dirt especially in the 6th where he trusted his catcher for blocking some of the most important curveballs in his outing. Not sure if bouncing that much curveballs is a good thing but it's a gritty start for him. It showed his composure on tight spots and confidence in his pitches when he needed it.

That ends part 5 of the scouting report series. I am not sure when I will end this series. For as long as there are prospects to write, I will gather most of my thoughts for the players and write about them. That will be my motto probably. I can cover some draft prospects in the future and some of the top prospects in the MLB. I hope you enjoy reading this article. Cheers!


  1. Nice rundown of some great prospects in the Giants farm system. Most of it is over my head, but I enjoy reading them nonetheless, I'm hoping to learn by osmosis!

    One area that confused me was about Fargas. First you note his line-drive approach, which I believe is a good thing. But then you note that slap-hitting is the best way that works for him, which to me is a totally different approach, and, in my view, is never a good thing for a hitter to be doing, as it kills his ISO and thus SLG.

    That was a big issue with both Torres and Burris. Torres was taught the slap method because of his speed, but he was a horrible hitter. He then sought out training for the line drive, Ted Williams approach that the majority of MLB hitters use, and we saw the transformation for him in his SF career.

    Contrast that with Burris, who had a good eye, could avoid strikeouts, but by using the slap method, that I'm assuming his father taught him since he would never do what Carney Lansford tried to teach him, he could never hit for much power, and eventually pitchers learned how to induce weak contact, so then his BA suffered as well, eventually, because MLB pitchers don't usually make mistakes.

    Could you please clarify for me?

    Thanks for the detailed rundown of Beede's outing. I was disappointed by the results, but from your description, it looks like he was fine until he tired out by the 6th inning, and then lost it in the 7th, which is much more encouraging, as he is getting stretched out in the pros, he hasn't pitched so much previously as an amateur.

    Still didn't strike out much too, if I remember right, I wonder when the Giants will take the training wheels off and let him use everything. I wonder if the Giants will call him up (assuming there is 40-man space) in September and see what he got, he should be ready for a rotation spot by sometime in 2016, it seems, he has been learning by leaps and bounds, and adjusting very nicely to both the pros and now with AA. He hasn't quite fulfilled what I thought he could do this season - I thought he could be ready for the majors by mid-season - but he has still advanced a lot so I wasn't far off.

    The beauty of your series method, which I've been enjoying, is that you look at interesting prospects, of which the Giants have had a lot more than I can ever recall, it used to be so hard to get excited about the farm system, not sure if that was lack of data or lack of talent, so it will still take a while for you to get through them all. Also, you can bring up interesting performances with your "Something Extra", like this section on Beede. Plus, at some point, you can revisit players for an updated profile, when their performance improves a lot or regressed a lot, and see what they are doing now vs. before that resulted in the change.

    Keep up the good work!

    1. Good day Mr. ogc! Thank you so much for the kind words.

      I find that pretty mixed-up also. I wrote Fargas' part just after I slept in the afternoon so must have been pretty mixed up and haven't edited that. I can say that Fargas got a line-drive approach because he actually got a pretty long swing and if he can shorten up his swing, trying not to do too much with the ball, that's where he can start do the slap hitting. I really think that slap hitting will work the best for Fargas because he can utilize his impressive speed well by getting on base, hitting infield singles, seeing the ball for a long time, trying for bunt hits. That way he doesn't really need to think that he needs to go think every time in the box that I need a home run because he's not really capable of that. What I want to see from him is to think like Ichiro even though he's Puerto Rican, use the holes created by the fielders, run the bases well, use his speed to his advantage. That's a pretty swing and miss method though and not saying that it could work for him really good because his swing is working right now and he needs to be a better and smarter baserunner to pull slap hitting off. It's just my preference. I'll fix that part and get it edited!

      Yeah. Even though I can't watch, I can relate what I heard on Jon Laaser's broadcast to Gameday. His pitches are pretty spot on from innings 2-5 and in the 5th inning if I am not mistaken out of 58 pitches 40ish were strikes. He's really pounding the zone. I think that they are now starting to mix and match with his pitches. He threw a lot of his curveballs today. Most of them are in the dirt. He only generated close to 11 swings and misses out of 92 pitches today. I counted the swings and misses because I expect Beede to don't generate a lot of Ks today to I try to count what I think is more relevant. 11 swings and misses aren't that bad but as a power-groundball type guy, I want my guy to make hitters to swing and miss up to 25% every time. I haven't really heard to felt that he threw a changeup today. That pitch maybe is in his back pocket today. I can see that he's a great student and a fast learner unlike Kyle Crick. Still don't know if we really need to call him up. Maybe if he continue to find his groove in the EL, he could be called up.

      I think the series works really well on everybody's favor because I don't want to throw really long articles where I wrote almost all of our prospects in one go. It takes a lot of time and effort and visitors and readers can't really appreciate if they read a lot of letters and they get bored. And with something extra, you're right that I can insert my favorite performances or worth of interest. BTW, Arroyo had a 5-hit night although I didn't cover it because I'm pretty busy checking Kelby in AAA. Great flash of his plus hit tool right there.

      I am actually fluid with my scouting reports. I review my reads, fix some words here and there and maybe I'll write a log on that where I'll include the ones I changed for better reading and some changed grades in my eyes. I changed the ? in Jalen Miller's minor league level to ROK like that then add a date. Or I can fix my thoughts here and there like with my massive rework on my Phil Bickford report before. I love writing about the prospects and their talents and I am happy and humbled that there are guys who like my work. Thanks again!