Thursday, February 18, 2016

The 2016 Top Prospects Primer

Welcome to the 2016 top prospects primer! I'll write anything and everything about the top prospects for the upcoming 2016 season from my top prospects list to the possible breakout stars this year. I'll write short thoughts about the guys on every list and I'll be as fair as I can and do as much justice in regards to ranking the prospects. 

Farm System Overview

Even though the Giants never had a premier prospect since Buster Posey, the state of the farm system coming to the 2016 season is a positive one. The front office did a very good job on drafting prospects that go to The Giants Way, the coaches did a very good job making the prospects exceed other people's expectations and develop them to solid ballplayers. 

The Giants farm this season is loaded with a lot of solid potential players that can help the big leagues in the very near future. The Giants had one of the drafts last year, giving the farm a vast assortment of prospects from power pitching, power hitting, exciting but raw tools, and solid overall-types. Signing Lucius Fox gives the farm another potential high-ceiling player 3-5 years from now. 

While the Giants seem to develop hitters better than pitchers in very recent memory, the farm is loaded with pitchers more with high-octane relievers on the pen and contact-oriented pitchers on the rotation. The hitting prospects also isn't too shabby, with several high-ceiling and exciting position players, with more pure hitting prospects than power-hitting prospects but also having several players with solid tools across the board. 

All in all, the Giants farm system is in a great state and there should be no initiative to change it because it's proving its worth.

My 2016 Top 35 Prospect List

It is based on my tier lists with some changes here and there. 

1. Christian Arroyo- Considering all factors, Arroyo and Beede are 1A and 1B on my list. I will give Arroyo the advantage of playing well up through the Fall League and being a big fan of Arroyo, it's very pleasant to see him here. All he does is hit and he's playing like a 10-year vet at his age.
2. Tyler Beede- Could have been the unanimous number 1 prospect if not for the rough AA stint. Have a good friend of mine that told me that Tyler's been working hard in the offseason with Eric Cressey, putting 20-30 pounds in his frame to help him endure a full season which will make him a 6'4" 230 lbs. pitcher. Everyone get hyped.
3. Phil Bickford- Very solid AZL season that I think he should've got a promotion but Giants are holding him back. Full season ball at Augusta should make us realize his true potential.
4. Lucius Fox- Uber-athletic, very young, and very talented, he can be the top prospect after the end of the year with an impressive debut season.
5. Chris Shaw- Power masher with plate discipline and smooth stroke, he can lead the entire organization in home runs next season while playing ample 1B.
6. Sam Coonrod- A reliever to starter success story for the Giants, he got enough going for him to be a starter with his improved command and holds his velocity deep into starts with relieving still a fallback option.
7. Clayton Blackburn- ERA champion in the PCL last season, he has shown he's ready to help the back-end of the rotation of the Giants right now with his command of his pitches as well as his understanding of pitching into contact.
8. Mac Williamson- Cracked the Major Leagues last season, with Denard Span looking to patrol LF and/or CF, it will be a jousting match between him, Blanco and Parker on that platoon OF or a permanent LF spot.
9. Aramis Garcia- I see his defensive potential higher than most guys. I hope he hits for average better this season while still continuing to improve his overall skillset behind the dish.
10. Adalberto Mejia- He's back to his old self last season and he could have the same path as Blackburn in the PCL. I hope he doesn't take illegal drugs anymore as his command and feel for his repertoire is very impressive.
11. Andrew Suarez- Might be the quickest mover of the prospects in the 2015 draft class. Don't be surprised if he's pitching out of the pen for the Giants somewhere in the middle of 2016.
12. Chase Johnson- Wiry, electric starter last season I feel can continue to start in the Majors one day with his deception and his fastball. If there's not a huge need for him in the rotation, his FB-CB-CH can cause problems for the hitters in the pen.
13. Ray Black- Owner of the best fastball in the Minors in terms of pure octane value, his control needs to be better for him to advance quickly and help the Giants pen this season.
14. Hunter Cole- All he does his to hit the baseball well, regardless of his position at defense. He should continue to hit the baseball next season with more authority.
15. Jordan Johnson- Based on potential alone, he can be a top 5 prospect. There's just very little sample size to go by and his injury-plagued career can scare some but there's just too much good raw stuff for him to be considered as a mid-rotation starter.
16.Kyle Crick- Big hopes for his right arm to finally put the freaking baseball in the freaking strike zone next season as he has made steps to make his body and arm more direct to the plate and his mechanics to be more repeatable. Dellin Betances trajectory is still intact boys.
17. Jarrett Parker- Almost the same tools as Williamson, Parker's raw power can help teams in dire need of power from the left side if he loses the battle for the OF spot vs. Mac and Blanco.
18. Jalen Miller- Scuffled mightily in his first taste of pro ball, look for him to improve in his second attempt of the Arizona League. He's toolsy but he's still very raw.
19. Steven Duggar- Player that is poised to make the jump next season in my opinion. A fix on his swing will make his batting average better and deliver more hard contact as his exciting tools and impressive plate discipline makes me very high on him entering the new season.
20. Austin Slater- A solid hitter with solid five average tools across the board.
21. Johneshwy Fargas- When an OF got plus-plus raw speed and a plus-plus arm, everyone should take notice. How much contact and approach at the plate as well as smarter base stealing he improves during this season will be the key.
22. Michael Santos- I am still high on him as he's going to his first true full season, possibly repeating Augusta or joining San Jose and he can move up 5-10 places if he impress on the first half of the season.
23. Chris Stratton- The most unimpressive guy on the list, I still have hopes for him to be a serviceable pitcher in the Majors probably out of the pen.
24. Ian Gardeck- Founded his moxie in 2015, look for him to be this good out of the pen next season.
25. Mikey Edie- Toolsy, fairly high-upside OF who looks to be better this season after a solid AZL stint last season.
26. Ronnie Jebavy- Highlight reel-type of guy with great speed and glove with more power than expected, he needs to improve on his plate discipline a lot to be a true leadoff hitter.
27. Rodolfo Martinez- Giants just keep spewing impressive looking relievers. He has found his fastball command. He now needs to find his offspeed command to become a true reliever.
28. Jake Smith- Another one of the relief corps the Giants have whenever they need one.
29. Ryder Jones- Now more contact-oriented than power-oriented, he should test the waters defending the OF as his power and arm combination fits the corner OF profile.
30. Miguel Gomez- All he does is hit, hit, hit. The true BABIP king, he'll live and die on hitting the baseball or not and is a true offensive player as he's defense is rough.
31. Jose Vizcaino, Jr.- You can interchange Vizcaino and Hinojosa in any order with no problem. Very solid average tooled players with chance with great feel for the game with room for improvement.
32. C.J. Hinojosa- See above.
33. Mac Marshall- I'm pretty afraid that he'll end up as a reliever in the long run if he doesn't combat his control issues but there's still daylight for him to continue to be a serviceable starter down the road.
34. Derek Law- Finally back from TJ, he looks poised to have a solid 2016 but he has been overtaken by a lot of bullpen revelations last season.
35. Kelvin Beltre- Toolsy shortstop that's as raw as a beef that's still breathing, he needs to be better to help himself next season.

Note: I consider Josh Osich as not a prospect anymore but if he does, I'll place him at number 8 and anyone else will move down the list.

Honorable Mentions in no particular order:
Joan Gregorio- Just don't feel very good about him.
Steven Okert- He still have some future value as a LOOGY.
Gustavo Cabrera- When will the injury freight train stop hitting him?
Daniel Carbonell- He went from hero to zero in no time at all.
Ty Blach- He can help the team right now but he just have unimpressive stuff compared to the guys listed above.
Martin Agosta- Conflicting high K/9 & low BB/9 but very high HR/9 baffles me but there's some hope if his K/9 & BB/9 stays that way.
Matt Gage- Got the looks of an innings eater long reliever with some potential for more.
Jonah Arenado- Nolan's younger brother got some raw power but is an inconsistent hitter and a pretty bad defender.
Logan Webb- Ultra young but I project him as a future back-end starter in the long run with likely a reliever role down the road. But remember, he's ultra young.
Deiyerbert Bolivar- Probably the hardest name to spell in the organization, the undersized lefty can bring some intrigue. 
Dan Slania- The closer for the SJ Giants in some points of the season, his ceiling is unlike the guys on the top 35.
Dylan Davis- Awful in his SJ stint and pretty average on his demotion to Augusta. I don't see much daylight left in him. 
Mike Broadway- Power reliever that's way too old to be a prospect in my books but he got the premium arm to help any team in dire need of velocity in the back end.

Highest Ceiling Players Not In The Top 5
Jordan Johnson- With an electric three-pitch mix plus an above-average command of the baseball, he's got a ceiling of a #3 starter, possibly #2 as long as he's healthy.
Mac Williamson- The most exciting of the position players not named Lucius Fox, he is a potential All-Star player if given enough playing time.
Michael Santos- If he gets healthy throughout 2016, his advanced control of his pitches makes him have a ceiling of a mid-rotation starter.
Sam Coonrod- If he improves his changeup, he can be a mid-rotation starter.
Chase Johnson- With a plus fastball and curveball as well as a serviceable changeup, his ceiling is a mid-rotation starter.

Highest Floor/Players With Little Risk
Clayton Blackburn- Has proven his worth in the PCL, he's a lock to be a back-end starter and little risk due to his advanced pitchability.
Ty Blach- What you see is what you get from him. He can help as a spot starter or as a long reliever.
Josh Osich- He looks like a big league reliever last year and it will stay this season.

Riskiest Players
Kyle Crick- He already shattered his chance of being the ace that the Giants dreamed of. He still got definite bust potential out of the bullpen. While I have already foreseen it in 2014, I think he can still be good out of the pen.
Jalen Miller- Not really impressed with his debut season, he got definite bust potential while still being very young. He can improve this year but his season last year tells me that his hit tool is still very raw, his power is still nonexistent and the good to great defense that scouts saw on him is questionable given the bad defensive stats.
Lucius Fox- He never even played in pro ball so the bust potential is definitely there. Once he puts on the numbers, he can be out or still on this list.
Ray Black- Even with his prodigial fastball velocity, his command is still raw and there's always the injury risk given his background. The Giants will probably rush him because of his age.

Possible Breakout Players
Jordan Johnson- If he repeats his dominance in the lower levels last season to this season in San Jose most possibly, he can soar into the top 10 quite easily as the ceiling's that good.
Steven Duggar- The player with the most exciting tools in my opinion in the recent draft class, Duggar got a broken swing but having the best plate discipline for a Giants prospect is something else. If he repairs is swing this offseason, he can be special
Reyes Moronta- A guy that you have probably never heard of, he got tweeted by Kiley McDaniel to have a mid-90s FB with solid slurve. I have heard of Rodolfo Martinez and he can take the similar leap.
Tyler Brown- Teammate of Phil Bickford in JC, he hit so, so well in AZL (even better than Jalen Miller and Kelvin Beltre) and he could continue this hitting storm this season.
Hengerber Medina- Transitioned from hitting to pitching, he is poised for an American stint.
Victor Concepcion- Master of command in the DSL, he's poised to make the jump to America.

Possible Bounce Back Candidates
Kyle Crick- He should be here. I'm still so, so, so optimistic about him when he did the transition to a bullpen arm which I thought way before. The most electric combo of pitches in the organization, he should just relax.
Steven Okert- Another one who deeply disappointed, he should fare better next season.
Michael Santos- Got injured 3/4 of the 2015 season, look for him to be better this season and hopefully, he can stay healthy for a year.

Best Tools: Hitters
Hit- Christian Arroyo
Power- Chris Shaw/Jarrett Parker
Speed- Johneshwy Fargas
Arm- Johneshwy Fargas
Glove- Ronnie Jebavy

Best Tools: Pitchers
Fastball- Ray Black
Changeup- Tyler Beede
Slider- Sam Coonrod
Curveball- Chase Johnson
Control- Clayton Blackburn

This is the end of the primer for this season. Everything that a lot of prospects have worked on in the offseason will show up when the Minor League season starts. I hope you all enjoy reading it! Let's go Giants!


  1. Hope you are having a good time in school!

    Sorry I didn't comment earlier, meant to but been busy.

    I really enjoyed reading this primer! It covers so many interesting prospects in one post, though honestly, I haven't finished reading all of them thoroughly yet, still need to get through the rest, there is so much good info.

    Happy New Year!

    1. Thanks Mr. ogc! I've been very busy myself too with studies. Good thing I managed to finish it before Spring Training games starts. Thank you so much again!

  2. Hi Wrenzie - we are putting together a Giants Prospect Chat over at, we would love to include your opinions and thoughts on the Giants prospects. Shoot me an email at and I will send you all the info. Looking forward to hearing from you! -Jeremy