Monday, February 8, 2016

The Top Prospects of the San Francisco Giants in 2015: Tier 4

As I am writing this list, I felt this is the last tier that I will do for this edition of prospects because of the amount of time that has taken me away from writing in my blog especially studying. I felt I have disappointed myself and my readers but I will make a top prospects list to top it all off with a lot of other things at hand.

Welcome to Tier 4! This probably not the best of the best prospects but there are a lot of prospects that I like in this tier and got a good shot at improving and moving up a tier or 2. Several high-ceiling, raw guys on this tier, some pretty disappointing players but still got potential to bounce back and just impressive prospects.

*Vine links on videos will sometimes not work, try to go directly to the site and search.

Mikey Edie  OF  ROK
5'11" 175 lbs.
Videos: Credits to Eric Longenhagen and Academia Carlos Guillen 1 and 2

Edie is one of the higher ceiling guys that makes me excited when I have heard of him by reading DrB's profile of him and his aggressive ranking of him before the 2015 season. Arrived to America, he had a hot start in Arizona, cooled off considerably in the the middle of the Rookie season but he got hot in the end of season, having a hit in his last 9 straight games, having 14 hits in 38 at-bats with just 6 strikeouts over that span and over the course of the season, he has hit an impressive .290 overall.

There's not much stats to really dig deep around but he makes it up with exciting tools. His frame is thin and lean and he could add more in that frame but I don't see him add a lot of pounds. He's very athletic. At the plate, he got a very big swing for a very thin guy. His swing features a big leg kick and moves his wrists on the same level as his head. He got a wide swing path but thanks to his quick-twitch and strong wrists, he can adjust his swing and get pitches outside the zone. He also got very good bat speed as well. His approach is still raw (6.5 BB%, .369 OBP) but I think he can improve on that and I feel he can have an at least average hit tool. His power right now is below-average even though his swing got some loft in it (.319 SLG and just 4 XBH (all 2B)). I feel even if he fills out his frame, he only got 8-10 HR power in the future. His gap power is pretty exciting as he can put out 20+ 2B potential with his swing, speed and an improved approach.

His speed is a plus tool of his as his athletic frame can leg out 2Bs and 3Bs as well as having great range on the outfield. He can be at least 20 steals guy in the future as well as a good glove. His arm is not as plus as Fargas but it's enough for him to stay in CF. 

He got the looks of a prototypical top-of-the-line hitter with plus potential. He's still far away from the Majors but I'm excited with his tools and his potential and with the right coaching and work ethic, he'll be roaming the Giants outfield some time in the future.

Grades: Hit 50 | Power 40+ | Speed 60 | Arm 55 | Glove 50

Ceiling: Everyday ML CF   Floor: Bench Bat/Defensive Replacement   ETA: Mid-2019/2020

Ian Gardeck  RHP  A+
6'2" 220 lbs.
Videos: Credits to Chris Kusiolek

After struggling to locate the baseball in his first 3 seasons as a minor leaguer, Gardeck looks like he has found the trick, breaking out in the San Jose bullpen this year. He has trimmed his walk total to a very solid 24 in 86.1 innings with 104 strikeouts. 

His mechanics looks very different from his college mechanics. He doesn't throw across his body anymore and looks like he is slinging the ball. Even though his lower half starts to drift to left in his drive, his front leg and foot stays closed and helps him to stay in line with the strike zone. His delivery looks free and easy right now. He hides the ball well in his big, strong body creating deception. He throws his pitches on a more true 3/4 release point that's close to being low 3/4. His mechanics is easy and his arm speed is pretty good. 

His fastball reaches up to 99 MPH while hovering at 94-97 MPH with good arm-side movement and his release point and deception plays to his favor and is an elite pitch in his pocket. His slider is pretty good that's shown in the video but reports is that he still needs to harness the control of it as it is inconsistent. His command of his fastball is good but the pivotal point in his career to take the next step is to improve the control of his slider. If he does that, he'll become a good Major League reliever in the future and that could come soon.

Grades: FB 70 | SL 50 | CMD 45+

Ceiling: Potential set-up reliever   Floor: Minors closer   ETA: 2016/2017

Miguel Gomez  C/3B/1B  A-
5'10" 185 lbs. 
Videos: Credits to Salem-Keizer Volcanoes and minorleaguebaseball

Gomez is a pretty interesting prospect. He's already 23 which doesn't holds too much time in terms of future impact but he is an offensive machine in his arrival in America after winning DSL MVP in 2014. He set a Salem-Keizer franchise record for consecutive games with a hit with 22 and has put on a show offensively.

His batting average over the past 3 years has been around .315 to .319. His approach to his plate is see ball, hit ball with him taking just 5 walks in the Short Season. The same approach to the plate also just make him struck out just 24 times. He's a very contact-oriented hitter. Good thing his BABIP is a solid .331. His body looks really stocky with respect to his height. He's a switch hitter with different stance on both sides of the plate. His bat placement is lower as a lefty hitter while the bat is high as a righty. His eye-hand coordination is a plus for him as he can hit pitches that he can get. His pitch selection has improved pretty dramatically this season but I want to see him take more walks. His bat speed is pretty average but his hit tool can be close to above-average. His power potential is average where I can see him hit 10-12 HRs in the future. 

Outside the batter's box, it gets tricky. His speed is below average and his defensive future is still a question as he is awful at defense behind the plate as catcher. His arm is okay. I can see him play 3B or 1B in the long run, probably 1B. His age is not gonna help him but there's just one thing that I can say about him. He can hit.

Grades: Hit 50 | Power 45 | Speed 35 | Arm 45+ | Glove 40+

Ceiling: DH   Floor: Bench bat   ETA: Late-2017/2018

C.J. Hinojosa  SS/3B  A-
5'9" 180 lbs.
Videos: Credits to Moore Baseball and

One of the better prospects out of high school (#75 in 2012 by, C.J. didn't quite lived up to the hype in his 3 years for the Longhorns and was signed by the Giants in the 11th round in 2015. His Salem-Keizer stint was a solid one for him, having a good season there, batting .296 with 5 HRs, a wRC+ of 128 and a K% of 7.4, but having a very low BB rate of 3.9%. His ISO numbers for the Volcanoes is a solid .185 which is much better than better than his college ISO numbers.
His body is big for someone his size, leaving no projection as he progresses. His torso and his thighs are very big that make him have a good amount of raw power for someone his height. His swing is quiet but with little load on it. He simply moves his front foot forward and then loads his hands a little then starts to swing. He doesn't exactly need a big leg kick to translate his raw power but with more load, his raw power can be translated better in game. His bat-to-ball skill is good and he employs a more contact oriented approach in his game. He got good wrist speed as well as a pretty short arm swing with a good follow through. In the long run, he can be a good hitter with good batting average and 10 HRs in a season with hints of more.

His body will not make him a base stealing threat in the future and his baserunning is below-average. His range in the infield is also a question but his agility is pretty good and his glove actions are pretty good too. He got enough arm for him to play at third base but I think his future position will be at second base. He got enough going for him to be better as a professional than his college career and he could break out next season. People also lauds his intelligence which makes me remember of a guy with not a lot of speed but with good hit tools and exceptional intelligence.

Grades: Hit 50 | Power 45+ | Speed 35 | Arm 50+ | Glove 45

Ceiling: Future ML regular player   Floor: Bench player   ETA: 2018

Ronnie Jebavy  OF  A-
6'2" 190 lbs.
Videos: Credits to Roger Munter and

After being selected in the 5th round by the Giants out of nowhere, the only information that was initially caught my attention is the SportsCenter highlights that he is in. When he played for the Volcanoes as the leadoff hitter, he hit a pretty surprising 8 home runs with .156 ISO while amassing only 9 walks which is unlike what I expect for a leadoff hitter. He has also struck out 55 times in 64 games for the Volcanoes but there's potential as a leadoff hitter as he stole 23 bases.

His body is lean and athletic that's what you want for a leadoff hitter but it got good amount of muscle in it for him to have an average amount of raw power. His stance at the plate is quiet with a good rhythm and a slight leg kick. His strong and quick wrists provides him the very good bat speed and the power that he gets even though his bat path is flat with little loft in it that will make him miss on breaking balls if he chases. His hip rotation is also good but it leaks a bit. His power is mostly to his pull side right now and if he can utilize his power towards all fields, he got a good chance that he'll be a solid doubles producer with some home run power. His approach and pitch selection needs to be improved however for him to draw walks and improve his overall numbers.

His speed is his best tool, with him capable of stealing 30 bases in a full season as well as very good range in CF in which I think he'll stay. His arm is also good enough for him to stay there and his defense is pretty special. There are still things that needs to be sorted out offensively for Jebavy to truly take off but his defensive skills are pretty much enough for him to be a valuable asset for the Giants down the road.

Grades: Hit 40+ | Power 50 | Speed 55+ | Arm 50 | Glove 55+

Ceiling: Potential everyday CF   Floor: Defensive replacement   ETA: Late-2017

Ryder Jones  3B/1B/OF  A+
6'3" 215 lbs.
Videos: Credits to minorleaguebaseball and 1 and 2

The another surprise pick of the 2013 draft by the Giants, Ryder Jones' development so far hasn't quite lived up to the value of his pick unlike his 1st round counterpart. His calling card is his power but he hasn't translated all of his raw power into HR totals this season, as he only hit 6 all season. His batting average is just an okay .268, but he hasn't his walk rate is at a very low 3.7% and his wRC+ is below average at 84. The silver lining in his season is that his K rate went down to a good 18.5% in San Jose. 

His body is still awkward as he's body is very torso heavy and his legs doesn't have that much of muscle. He generate most of his raw power on his hips and his torso rotation. His stance on the box is sound and he varies his leg kick from a slight rock back to a toe-tap one. His bat speed is just average although it flashes some plus bat speed and his pitch selection has improved but his approach leaned more towards a more contact-happy approach rather than a power-happy approach that wastes some of his raw power. I think he will have enough contact skills to put his raw power into good use and possibly hit 15 homers in the future but he should improve on his approach at the plate and drawing walks while maintaing his good K rate. 

His speed is below average and his range in third base has been hurt because of that. I have been thinking that the Giants should try him in the outfield, likely left field, because his arm will play very well there as it is a very good arm and putting him at first base will waste his arm. His range should be decent enough for him to play there. If he can put it all together, he'll be a Major Leaguer. I watched a video of him working out this offseason to reach his dream to play in the Majors and I have high hopes for him this upcoming season.

Grades: Hit 40 | Power 55 | Speed 30 | Arm 60 | Glove 50

Ceiling: Everyday player   Floor: Call-up guy   ETA: 2018/2019

Mac Marshall  LHP  ROK
6'0" 181 lbs.
Videos: Credits to FanGraphs and Chris Kusiolek

After going inside the whole Brady Aiken mess last year with the Astros, Giants selected him in the 4th round this year and had a pretty rough debut season in two levels. His command issues was exposed, with a BB/9 of 6 but has shown the ability to strike out hitters consistently, with his K/9 close to 13. Hitters also enjoyed batting against him, with him having a WHIP of 1.84 and giving up more hits than innings pitched.

He is an undersized, pretty athletic pitcher with little to some projection left in his frame. His mechanics is pretty good and closed but can get out of sync sometimes. He gets on top of his pitches and his arm speed is very good. He releases his pitches on an over-the-top release point but will get low sometimes on a more high 3/4 slot when he throws an offspeed pitch. He follow throughs his pitches soundly.

His fastball will go from 89-92 MPH with straight movement in it but with his downhill plane, it plays well to his advantage. His changeup and curveball are above-average offerings with the former is the better pitch. His curveball breaks early but with good depth and some sweeping motion in it. His changeup is a potential plus one with the same arm action as his fastball with solid fade in it that can get big league hitters out. His mechanics can get out of whack but his athleticism should allow him to have at most an average command in the future.

His future can be in the bullpen if he won't resolve his control issues in the past season (that can be solved by the coaches helping to find a mechanics that's easier to repeat) but my gut still believes he can be a starter in the future but I want to see his performance in a full season.

Grades: FB 50 | CB 55 | CH 55+ | CMD 45

Ceiling: #3-4 Starter   Floor: Middle Reliever   ETA: 2018

Rodolfo Martinez   RHP  A
6'2" 180 lbs.
Videos: Credits to Eric Longenhagen

A guy who didn't ring up a lot of bells, or at least one, last year, Martinez has been a revelation this season on the Augusta bullpen. I made notice of him on my previous Top 10+10 and he finished his special season on a great note, finishing the season with a 2.54 ERA.

In 2014, he's a guy with big stuff but doesn't know where it's going. In 2015 however, looks like he found the secret to harnessing that fastball of his, posting a good 2.74 BB/9 and went to a stretch of 13 straight appearances without allowing a walk. Hitter can't get a hold of his fastball where he just allowed a really drastic opponent's batting average to a good .232. His FIP is really close to his ERA (2.77 FIP) that is an indication that this might be going to be a trend this coming season. Overall by looking and comparing on his numbers, he drastically did better in the Sally.

His frame is more generous than the listed 180 lbs. He's fairly stocky but with sneaky athleticism. His delivery is a, aggressive and max-effort one with a fairly wide arm swing and an attacks the plate fairly consistently. He slightly shows the ball before arriving in his about high 3/4 arm slot which can limit the deception but he counters that with his great arm speed. His follow though is similar to Crick and leaves a lot to be desired. His athleticism allows him to repeat his explosive mechanics fairly well.

His fastball is an elite one, flirting triple digits and hovering at around 94-98 MPH with heavy arm side movement when thrown down the zone. It tends to flatten out when thrown up the zone, reducing its effectiveness. His slider got slurvy movement on it and it flashed better than average in terms of movement but way below control of it. He is aggressive in the strike zone and can throw strikes pretty consistently but he's having an issue on commanding his pitches where he wants. When he locates however, his fastball-slurve combination is a great combo to have. 

His significant strides on improving his control of his fastball is the key of his success last season. Better polish on command as well as improving the control of his slurve will be the key of being a legitimate option out of the bullpen in the future for the Giants. His arrow is definitely pointing up and is ready for San Jose.

Grades: FB 70 | SLV 40+ | CMD 45

Ceiling: Set-up reliever   Floor: Middle reliever   ETA: Mid-2017/2018

Michael Santos  RHP  A
6'4" 170 lbs.
Videos: Credits to David Lee

One of the prospects that I am really high and excited coming to 2015, he got injured in his Augusta GreenJackets debut that shortened his season to just 9 starts this season. His season went pretty well, pitching to a 3.44 ERA albeit short sample size.

I'm not going to dig deep in the statistics that much because it's on a small sample size but I'm going to include the stats while explaining. His body is still rail thin and his arms are long that invokes a lot of room to fill up but I think the projection will hurt his athleticism little bit and probably will stay rail thin which can raise concerns on his durability moving forward.

The mechanics are simple, aggressive and needs only little polish. His mechanics still got the unique spiked left elbow in his drive. He got a loose and whippy right arm then it shortens up upon front foot landing. He hides the ball in his body creating deception and generates good arm speed. is mechanics allows him to throw his pitches on a downhill plane and high 3/4 point. His fielding position is not good due to him falling to the side and he got a bit of recoil when he overthrows.

His fastball sits on the low-90s and thanks to the deception and throwing downhill, it jumps out of his hand. I would like to see him add more movement on his fastball like some sink and cut. It can be a future plus-pitch for him but right now, I project it to be an above-average offering. He got two curveballs according to David Lee and I noticed it. A slow curveball with great shape and 11-5 drop. The break is late and it is nasty. I think it can be a plus pitch to complement the fastball. A faster curveball at the low-80s breaks much earlier and not as hard and nasty as the slower curve but it got lateral break. It looks like an average pitch down the road. The changeup at low-80s got some fading action into it, similar arm speed as the fastball and he is not afraid to throw it to righties. In the future, I can see it to become close to above-average down the road. His feel for his pitches is good although it still needs more polish but in the end of the day, his command can be above-average, if not close to it, down the road. 

Mine and David Lee's thoughts on Santos are similar in a lot of ways because the talent is obvious and it shows up. Santos' combination of stuff, feel, and projection makes me think that he can be a mid-rotation starter down the road. I think that he needs more polish on his pitches since he missed plenty of time on the disabled list as well as worries on his durability. I think he can solve those issues out and possibly reach his ceiling. I am still high on him and if he puts a good 2016, he'll move considerably high on my list.

Grades: FB 55 | CB (slow) 60 | CB (hard) 45 | CH 50 | CB 50+

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

Jake Smith  RHP  A+
6'4" 190 lbs.
Videos: Credits to Chris Kusiolek

Drafted in the 48th(!) round of 2011 Draft, Smith has been a revelation on a really good San Jose bullpen this year. he has reduced his BB/9 by almost 3 points up to a very solid 2.45 while raising his K/9 to 12.59. His ERA and FIP are also close to each other below 3 which is a good sign heading to next season.

There has been very few tidbits of information about him and from the video that I have seen, his body is solidly built with good muscle in it. His mechanics is a fall and tall one. He stays closed in his set position all the way to his drive. He got the looks of a short arm action and hides the ball in his body but his arm speed is fairly slow. He releases the ball on a 3/4 release and he gets on top of his pitches well. 

His fastball sits on mid-90s, his slider is said to be "devastating" and a pretty good cutter plus a changeup. My grades on his pitches will be opinionated without a lot of information but it will be safe to say that his command of his pitches has improved and it should be average right now. He can move very quickly if he continues to demonstrate his dominance out of the bullpen and he could be one of the parts of what could possibly be a powerful Giants bullpen in the future.

Grades: FB 65 | SL 55 | CH 45 | CUT 50 | CMD 50

Ceiling: Set-up reliever   Floor: Middle reliever   ETA: Late-2016/2017

Jose Vizcaino, Jr.  3B  A-
6'2" 218 lbs.
Video: Courtesy of Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 1 and 2

The son of a former Major League player, Jose Jr. put up a very solid season for the Volcanoes, having a solid walk and strikeout rate, having a solid OPS and a very good wRC+ of 130, a symbol of a very good hitter.

He got solid average tools across the board. Already big and strong, Vizcaino got the strong body that I like for a hitter. His fairly open stance closes and moves to a solid hitting position. He relies on his back leg while making his front leg stiff to drive the ball. His body provides enough raw power to think of a solid 15-doubles, double digit home run totals as long as he maintains his batting average to solid. He got a good idea on what's going on at the batter's box and that knowledge should translate well moving forward.

His speed is below-average and will not going to steal some bases. His range at third is pretty good and his arm should be good in there. His feel for the game is great and while he will probably not be a really good player, he can be a solid contributor if everything comes to place for him in the future.

Grades: Hit 45+ | Power 45 | Speed 40 | Arm 50+ | Glove 45

Ceiling: Everyday player   Floor: Bench player   ETA: 2018

That ends the last tier of my top prospects. I'll wrap everything up in my next post which should come soon now that the load of my studies has been lighter recently. I hope you enjoy reading it!


  1. This post got me excited about the Giants farm system! Lots of these prospects would have once been among our top prospects in the past and yet today they are only Tier 4. I mean, guys with mid-90's velocity and good control as shown by low BB/9 and good command by good K/BB, albeit relievers or SSS, but still, that's quality stuff. Plus some interesting position players as well.

  2. Santos-A lot to like about this kid.With that kind of stuff,control,and pitchability.Santos could move fast.Loking forward to a full healthy season.

    Marshall-When watching old video from High School/JC.He's throwing a lot of breaking balls.Maybe that's what is causing the inconsistency.He has good secondary pitches.Maybe in amateur ball he relied on them too much.Giants should be able to fix that.Should start season in Augusta.

    Gardeck-Nice bounce back year for Gardeck.AA Richmond will be a good test for him.

    Smith-Had a really good season in High A San Jose as the closer.Looks like he'll be the closer in AA Richmond.

    Martinez-David Lee had some good things to say about this hard thrower.If he develops.Add another hard thrower to ths list.

    Gomez-Has hit for high batting average the last 3 seasons.If he continues to take his strength training seriously.Judging from photos from four seam.He looks like he is.Gomez will start to show more power.

    Hinojosa-Could be starting SS in High A San Jose.First full pro season for Hinojosa.I think the kids going to respond well.

    Jebavy-If Jebavy continues to play defense the way he does.Continues to hit for power,and steal bases.I'll take the .260 avg.That should improve w/experience.

    Jose Vizcaino Jr.-He had a solid year in Salem Keizer.Battle for starting 3B spot in SJ between Vizcaino and Gomez Should be a good one.

    Jones-The swing looks solid.Maybe he takes a step forward this year.That swing should be putting up better numbers.He had a pretty hot start in 15'.I believe after everybody was hurt in SJ.He was moved to the 3 spot.And,his numbers took a dive.I think he hits 5th,6th,or 7th.