Saturday, August 22, 2015

Scouting Report for the 2015 Giants Part 9: Johnson & Johnson

After not doing this thing for more than a month, I'm back to the thing that I really love, scouting prospects! I finally have some time to do this thing without a lot of school-related stuff to hinder me from doing it. I'm telling you, I'm missing just watching a flurry of videos, reading other reports from a lot of established sources like from FG, BA and and a lot of other minor and major blogs and websites, and doing a little bit of think tanking myself to say my opinion about the prospects that I am making a scouting report on. It took me almost a full day just to scout 2 people because I want to make sure that I want to be accurate and to assure the readers are getting the best information that they can get. 

I could say my scouting reports this year have come a long way from just scouting the top prospects to scouting some diamonds in the rough and the always underdogs of prospects in the system. It's been to part 9 now and I'll be talking about Chase Johnson and Jordan Johnson, a couple of righty pitchers that are making buzz in the Giants prospect hounds and even minor league communities. If you forgot how I do stuff in scouting, check on my previous scouting reports and I put their FG profiles if you click their names and the 20-80 scale that's pretty much the standard grading system for prospects. 

Chase Johnson  RHP  (AA)
6'3" 195 lbs.  R/R  Video: Courtesy of David Lee 1 & 2, Roger Munter, &

One of the better starting pitching prospect in the Giants organization is Chase Johnson. After posting pretty close to mediocre numbers for the past two years that he's on the Giants farm system, he broke out this year, posting elite numbers while pitching in the Cal League that's pretty famous to favor hitters rather than pitchers. I feel that Chase's success this year is that he's striking out the hitters this year than let's say the hitters to put his pitches in play in the past and the hitters who put his pitches in play this year are getting themselves out. The result is the promotion to the Eastern League with better caliber of hitters to pitch on. 

Chase is a little wiry on the mound, his arm muscles are pretty thin but his torso muscles are pretty buffed. He looks like he's a bit taller than what his height suggests. I expect him to not fill out his frame any longer because I can see that his frame is pretty much filled up and will not add any more room which is okay. 

His delivery starts with a pretty high set and turns to the side with his glove in the same level as his chest. His leg kick is pretty small and is quiet, allowing him to have good balance on the mound. I noticed that there's some changes in his mechanics this year and last year. Although the arm motion are the same from the past year to this year, I noticed that this year, he now sets on the extreme first base side of the rubber compared to last year where he is set from close to the center of the rubber. What it makes is it makes his motion more crossfirey, and more deceptive from a hitter's perspective. While retaining his same arm action, it makes him harder for hitters to pick up the ball like he's the American Keury Mella as he lands on the third base side of the rubber. His glove separates high, his throwing arm and is not lunging that signals me that his release point is 3/4 and higher. When his left foot lands, his arm is in a relaxed position and is not late that signifies he's got a better chance to stay healthy. What his more crossfirey delivery do is the he's more closed and is one of the best in making sure that he's closed in his delivery until he releases the ball (just look at how great he is in terms of staying closed in his delivery on the clip. He releases the ball in a high 3/4 slot and possibly what I love about him is that look at how much he follows through in his motion and he's not forcing or pushing the ball out of his hands. He just lets the energy that he created to be transferred smoothly to the ball like Cliff Lee.

Stuff-wise, his fastball velocity has improved from what I saw this year, reaching up to 98 MPH that he did in his 14K masterpiece though he can throw it faster overall this year, throwing from 93-96 on a good day and he also got a sinker with good sink. Thanks to his delivery, the fastball got some hop to it and with its velocity, it's a plus pitch, plus he can hold it deep into starts. I saw a changeup in a video before and it got potential to be close to above-average one with noticeable velocity differential and good vertical drop in it. His slider is only average and I thought that a curveball can be a good pitch with his smooth mechanics and his high release point. His command of his pitches are pretty good and if there ever will be problems with his command, it will be that he's throwing across the body too much but it should project to be average in the future. He's a breakout guy this year, and it will be interesting to see what he can do in AA for the rest of the season. He should be pretty near towards a promotion and could stay as a starter if he improves his offspeed pitches.

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

Ceiling: #4 Starter     Floor: Set-up Reliever/Long Reliever     ETA: 2016

Jordan Johnson  RHP  (A+)
6'3" 175 lbs.  R/R  Video: Credits to Chris Kusiolek

The guy who just burst into the scene in the good field of Giants farm system recently, Jordan Johnson put up a string of good numbers in the AZL and in S-K before being shown to the spotlight in SJ where his great stuff is showing up in the box scores and in the eyes of scouts. A lot of prospect hounds on the Giants community and some national scouts are raving for the guy and are shelling out really positive scouting reports about him, even independent scout Chris Kusiolek called him the SP with the highest ceiling that he saw this year. From the looks of it, he's a wiry guy with some projection left in his body to add 15 pounds more although I don't really see him add a lot of weight to be looking like a big dude on top of the mound.

The mechanics analysis of him is the most clunky information that I can give because of the quality of the video and it is only lasting for 7 seconds. But from what I saw, he's pitching from the stretch. Maybe he's pitching with a man on base or just pure pitching from stretch like Yu Darvish and I can't confirm that myself. He's set close to the first base side of the rubber and glove's far away from above his chest. He starts with a slow leg kick that keeps him balanced on the mound. He slightly drops and drives with his glove facing up but stays closed and hides the ball well. He somehow spreads his body and contracts by the time he lands back to the ground. He lands pretty close to the third base side of the rubber, throwing across the body and does a good job of staying closed. He got good hip-shoulder separation, his upper body rotates and explodes the energy in his right hand on a close to high 3/4 release thanks to his spread then contract mechanics. He finishes his delivery well and is on an okay fielding position. His mechanics is explosive but is slow which can make him susceptible to base-stealing threats. 

Now for the stuff where everybody are drooling and chewing the bone. His fastball based on other people's radar guns reaches 93-96 on the gun and Joe Ritzo noticed that it reached 98 MPH. That's some explosive velocity from a wiry pitcher. Chris Kusiolek said that he got some hop and late action to it and can hold it deep into starts. I will day that the hop that he saw is due to his "take your time" delivery and the late movement is due to his great arm speed and release point. If he can add more muscle on his frame, there's always a possibility that his premium velo will be even more high octane, possibly reaching 100s. From the looks of it, it's a plus pitch and can be plus-plus. His changeup is what he threw on the video and even though it's blurry, I saw the late drop and the significant velo differential that I am expecting on a great changeup. Chris said that he got split-type movement on it with same arm speed as his FB. Another potential close to plus pitch moving forward. He got a slider that Chris said got tight, horizontal break that's for me is a possible average pitch in the future and his curveball got some good spin but is slurvy. He repeats his delivery well which is shown with his 3 walks, I repeat, 3 walks in the season. Even though Chris said he got fringe command, I can say that he's attacking the zone and not really settling on the command part. He got the potential to be something really good for the Giants. That's not bad coming from a 23rd rounder last year. Watch out for this guy.

My Grades: FB 60 (65+ ceiling) | CH 50+ (60 ceiling) | SL 50 | CB 45 | CMD 45+ (55 ceiling)

Ceiling: #3-4 Starter     Floor: #5 Starter/ Set-up Reliever     ETA: Late 2016/2017

That's the end of the part 9 of my series of scouting reports! I hope I shed some light on the two breakout pitchers this year that you can put on the shelf beside what other people's take on them and I hope you find it to be a good read. It's been a while since I last did this and I can say that I'm still enjoying doing this kind of writing like it's the first. I hope you enjoyed reading this one! 


  1. Nice write up Wrenzie.Roger Munter has some new video of Chase Johnson from last nights game.

    Chase Johnson has a good fastball.That's the first time I've watched video of him from the CF camera.Fastball has good life.The good thing about an arm like Chase Johnson's.If he doesn't start he can move to the bull pen and fit in any role.Come in in the 6th,and give you 2 or 3 innings.Or he can be a set up man,like Wade Davis.Maybe even close sometimes.We'll know more next year.Peace Wrenzie.

    1. Thanks for the tip on the Roger Munter videos! I saw it yesterday evening and just didn't replied early because I was rushing to make a presentation. He's a great source for infos as well and I think I'll place it on the videos sextion. I don't really know what his future role will be for the Giants (or not because he got a chance to be a good trade chip), he'll fare well because of the stuff.

  2. I'll never fully understand the game of baseball and its management, Wrenzie...

    How do you BENCH a player two separate occasions after 3-hit games? He's hitting better than our "supposed" top prospect: higher batting average, better OPS, zero fielding errors (compared to two), and more outfield assists in less playing time. Only 2 fewer total bases in 45 fewer plate appearances.

    .455/.514/.606/1.120, an all-world slash line in his last nine games.
    .484 BABIP, 6 R, 5 RBI, only 2 strikeouts.

    But here, he sits. He's safely reached base in ALL NINE games. And yet he's ranked fifth-most in plate appearances for an outfielder on his own team. WTF Wrenzie? Why? Why?

    1. Man, I'm so stoked for your guy too! He's swinging a hot bat, hitting with and without runners of base. Stat line definitely looks like that he's improving by the day but damn, I have no idea also on why the hell are they not playing him over Byron Murray or Dobson who are for me, just meh-caliber players IMO. I am excited for your white whale at the end of the season. Let's scream together. HE NEEDS MORE PLAYING TIME

    2. Thanks, Wrenzie. Oh man, do I feel dense. Angomas DID play yesterday, whoops. Something go terribly jumbled. I wondered why Kobernus was in there. So, oops... My bad. Somehow when I had checked the MiLB games... I got some random JUNE date retrieved! Which is odd, because I edited the URL code for my bookmark, so it isn't a specific time stamp:

      I didn't bother to follow the game, but checked out the game log. That ARI AZL team sucks. lol. 2WP, 2 HBP, 1 passed ball, another throwing error...

      A pop-up to 1B goes for a hit...

      Batter HBP. Then, a ground ball to the pitcher ends up w/ the batter on 2B and the runner who was HBP scores all the way from FIRST. lol.

      On another play, runners on 2B & 3B... (Angomas at 2B)... Ball hit to SS: Angomas gets into a 3-throw rundown. Runner from 3B scores. Batter ends up at 2B. Huh.

      A fly ball to LF, Angomas goes 1B to 3B, batter ends up at 2B?

      LOL! Cheers, Wrenzie.

    3. Well. I am honest to say that I didn't look at the game logs of some games and I completely missed this. AZL is like go do your stuff and just do what you want. I didn't expect that the miscues are this bad! Well. Angomas is playing better than some guys recently (even Jalen Miller). I know that there will always be injustice in terms of playing time but if he keeps this up, man, he's going to be good guy to follow deep. I can see a Ryan Lollis in him but I am not sure until he hits the deck in the higher minors. Cheers Mr. carmot!

      P.S. That Jeff Nelson article of yours is really funny. I just saw a pitch down the middle for a ball what the hell is happening auto umps now.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks a lot! Namaste! (I know a few Indian words, just a handful I think)