Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Mid-Season Prospects Special

It's the middle of the regular season and the Futures Game is coming very, very soon and we'll see the Giants' very own Phil Bickford and Adalberto Mejia to pitch in that game. It's also the best time to dish out to you my mid-season prospects special. It is a look back at the top prospects after their first halves of the season which also includes where I will slot the draftees for this year by the organization and much more. 

Overall Review of the First Half

The Giants organization had a very good first half in terms of individual development of their prospects. The pre-season top prospects have improved in terms of their development and the draft class of last year just continue to deliver the goods, with some reaching as high as Double-A. The international prospects also had a good first-half this year. There are more prospects that have moved forward in their development than the prospects who seemed to have stalled or took a step back. 

Specific Reviews for Every Level in the Minors From a Prospector's Perspective

Sacramento- While you won't find a whole lot of high-ceiling prospects in the highest level in the Minors, the team is stacked with a lot of former Major Leaguers getting a lot of time to have a shot again of reaching the Majors. Recently promoted Joan Gregorio and Adalberto Mejia joins Clayton Blackburn and Ty Black with the lefty-righty combination of Steven Okert and Tyler Rogers in the bullpen, you will notice very well that the six pitchers are Major League-ready arms waiting to be called up either for spot starting or immediate dose of bullpen help. One hitter to be excited about there that is still a prospect is Austin Slater. He's not performing well in his stint there currently but he got solid tools there.

Richmond- The hoard of the top Giants prospects is currently in the East Coast playing for the Flying Squirrels. From Christian Arroyo to Andrew Suarez and everything in between alphabetically in the Richmond roster, you will find the prime cut of it. Fourteen of my projected top 35 prospects are playing there and things are looking very good out there, from fireballing back-end relievers to command-first starts to hulking, homer-hitting tanks to prospects who can just flat-out hit, you name it, they got it.

San Jose- The home of the 2015 draft class standouts, they still got a good squad to put out every day even though it got stripped off its heart of the batting order and replaced with lesser talent. Its rotation is led by the Giants farm ace Phil Bickford and is doing very well there and they still have Jordan Johnson that is experiencing a pretty rough year. The back-end of the bullpen is still elite with Reyes Moronta now leading the charge there in the 9th after his fellow Dominicano Rodolfo Martinez got promoted in Richmond and he also has Tyler Cyr who's coming off a Rodolfo Martinez-like year there. The offense got shelled but is still is a good hitting squad with Jonah Arenado getting hot and Ronnie Jebavy hitting better in the lead off spot. This squad is still very competitive.

Augusta- Only two words to describe the Augusta team right now. Miguel Gomez. He's taken this team by storm after a month of sitting down doing nothing on the bench of the Augusta roster. He's just a gifted hitter. The rotation is still strong after Phil Bickford left the place and is headed now by Michael Santos who's having a sensational year in my opinion and still got good pitching and offensive balance all around. And don't forget Lucius Fox. Ever. He's young but his potential is still through the roof.

Salem-Keizer- It's still a young season for the Volcanoes and if you want to look at this year's draft class by the Giants, the top dogs are there. All-around outfielders Bryan Reynolds and Gio Brusa and the doubles-hitting, still-waiting-for-him-to-hit-the-long-ball Heath Quinn forms a very solid outfield trio and Matt Duffy-like shortstop Ryan Howard leading the infield forms a very solid lineup for the Volcanoes. Don't forget about the modern-day miracle Gustavo Cabrera getting playing time and hitting pretty well there. Pitching has been highlighted by Dominicans Victor Concepcion, Melvin Adon and Hengerber Medina who pokes interest but the big dog there is Matt Krook that's getting the pitching appearances for his post-TJ recovery year.

AZL Giants- There's not a lot of ceiling that I can see on the roster but Mikey Edie is here and is struggling for the second straight year. Sandro Fabian, the all-around-all-solid-tools outfielder, is making some noise and recent arrival Jacob Heyward, the brother of Jason, is making an even louder noise on the offensive side of things. On the pitching side, not so much but the recent draft picks Caleb Baragar and flamethrower Reagan Bazar are the ones that poke my interest as well as Deiyerbert Bolivar, a pint-sized pitcher that can pitch but hasn't made any pitching appearance so far this year.

DSL Giants- While not quite the powerhouse that it was last year, mi Dominicano amigos are still good, lead by the second-most paid prospect last year by the Giants in catcher Ricardo Genoves who is actually flashing a better bat than what scouts and I have thought. With him and Angeddy Almanzar, they form a respectable heart of the order there. While there are no pitcher that pokes my interest there, pretty sure someone will come out and suddenly pump out the strong pitching numbers.

In Memoriam

This segment is dedicated to those who have graduated the top 30 prospects list of and my top 35 list in the pre-season:

Jarrett Parker (MLB)
Jake Smith (waived and picked up by the Padres)
Derek Law (MLB)

Soon: Mac Williamson, Chris Stratton

Special In Memoriam to Those We Lost This Year Due to the Tommy John

Logan Webb
Martin Agosta

May you both recover from the surgery and pitch well next year.

The Risers and the Fallers

Before I reveal my top 30 prospects for the Giants in the mid-season, I want to first talk about who rose to the occasion in the first half of this season and who dipped in terms of performance.

The Risers

Phil Bickford- He went from being a shade below the top 2 combination of Tyler Beede and Christian Arroyo in the cream of the crop of Giants prospect lists to breathing the same are that the two have done by putting just monster numbers in Low-A and High-A.
Chris Shaw- He is living up to his billing on being a power-hitting first baseman. 
Rodolfo Martinez- I can really see him beating Ray Black on who will have a bigger impact on the Giants bullpen in the future due to his better command of his fastball.
Reyes Moronta- He became the this year's Rodolfo Martinez of last year and just bursted to the spotlight.
Adalberto Mejia- He become a legitimate back-end starter for the Giants from a middle relief future with them. I am a big believer of his pitching and he can stay in the big leagues for a pretty while.
C.J. Hinojosa- He became a hit-producing machine in San Jose and is holding his own at a much worse hitting environment in the Eastern League. 
Miguel Gomez- I was actually pretty disappointed that he isn't getting playing time in the first month of the season but he made it up damn well with a stellar hitting performance in Augusta.
Austin Slater- Caught a hot streak before being promoted to Sacramento and who knows, he might be playing in the outfield for the Giants once he catch another.
Tyler Cyr- He's basically the Ian Gardeck story of this year.
Steven Duggar- I want to save the last riser for my main boy this season, he met and exceeded my expectations for him for this year. When someone can hit 9 home runs in relation to zero last year, I think that's a pretty good job to say the least.
Joan Gregorio- He went from being a reliever full-time to having a chance to start in the big leagues after a stellar AA campaign.
Dan Slania- When he was given the chance to start in May, boy he got lit in a good way.
Tyler Rogers- When you possess a 32-inning scoreless inning streak, you are going to get noticed and coming from a submariner, it's good.
Caleb Smith- He has been a good lefty reliever in the Augusta pen this year and the most impressive lefty reliever after Okert.

The Fallers

Chase Johnson- After an awful start to this year, he got relegated to the bullpen for reasons I don't know why and it just hurt his value so much. Maybe something about struggling to locate his fastball and his secondaries ain't working well and everyone knows relievers are the most potent position to evaluate.
Mikey Edie- He's playing pretty bad this year and he's just not meeting my expectations for him this year. Maybe I expected too much?
Jake Smith- Again, relievers are the most potent position to evaluate and he just walked too much guys to have good value. He's off to the Padres now. Hoping for the best for him.
Johneshwy Fargas- He got beaten by the better pitching of the California League too much and the questionable hit tool has been exposed too hard.
Mac Marshall- He went from a ball-throwing lefty last year to throwing even more balls this year. His injury didn't helped him either and looks like he still got a lot of ways to go in terms of improving that control of his fastball that's just average.
Jordan Johnson- After a good start to the season, he just got bitten hard in the ass by the homer ball. There's also the issues with consistency and hard hit balls.
The Mid-Season Top 30+1 Prospects of the Giants

Note: I will remove Mac Williamson and Chris Stratton on this list because both will definitely graduate the Giants farm system very soon.

Tier 1

1. Christian Arroyo  AA  SS/3B/2B 

One of youngest players in the Double A level, Christian Arroyo has not been spectacular for the Flying Squirrels but he has held his own there while learning to play third base and second base defensively. I still see his hit tool to be plus but he has hit for less power in a league that's very, very difficult for hitters. With Hinojosa playing at short now, he'll play more third base. He will not steal any bases at a good rate and the power will be more of gap-to-gap in the long run but the hit tool and the defensive versatility will be the key for him. I place him still at number one because I still believe at his polish and his potential.

2. Tyler Beede  AA  RHP

After a rough stretch of starts where he allowed a lot of hits per outing early on this season, things start to smile for Beede as he put on an impressive stretch where he put up a 1.35 ERA in his last six outings and lowers his ERA to a very good 2.57 for the year. His command is better than it was last year and he has shown flashes of above-average command. He's having his fastball at mid-90s now, touching 97 and 99 MPH while still retaining his sinker and cutter and also the changeup and curve that flashes above-average to plus. That combination makes me conclude that he got the best shot at being a starter in the senior circuit and he might see some bullpen stint in the Majors this year.

3. Phil Bickford  A+  RHP

Of all of the prospects that have impressed this season in the Giants farm system, he has been the most impressive of all by a pretty wide margin. His ability to get swings and misses in his fastball is very impressive considering he is not a true power pitcher. What's more impressive is that he is throwing almost 80% fastballs per start. How does he do that? He has been locating his fastball and locating I mean spotting it, getting strike one often and hitting the catcher's mitt even though there are rare times where he will tend to overthrow it and miss by a wide margin. He challenges hitters with it often and the fastball seems to rise which is probably due to his fastball having a very large amount of rotation based from what I have watched about baseball rotation and lift. His breaking ball will flash plus when on but what keeps him from being a true starter in my opinion is that his changeup is still far away where it will get misses due to velocity differential rather than its movement and location. If he will have confidence to throw his breaking ball more and have an average changeup, his potential is as high as they come.

Note: Arroyo, Beede, and Bickford are of the same value for me and I had a really hard time to place any of these three atop of the list but I put Arroyo on top based on the lesser risk that he has due to him being a position player while the two are pitchers. For Beede and Bickford, I will take Beede ahead of him due to him having a higher floor than Bickford as Beede will play a back-end of the rotation while Bickford will be a late-inning reliever if they don't reach their ceilings but both have #2-3 starter ceilings. 

4. Chris Shaw  AA  1B

For a first baseman to have value in the big leagues, he needs to hit for average and power. Chris Shaw has done that in the first half this year, being in the top 5 in the Cal League in HR and 2B, while having a respectable walk and strikeout numbers. He has also carried his power hitting when he got promoted to Richmond which is very impressive. He's not a feast or famine hacker in the box unlike other first baseman but he might be in a tight spot because he might be forced to move to the outfield with Brandon Belt entrenched there now and Buster Posey later. If that happens, I hope that his great shape can help him be serviceable in the outfield if that ever happens. If not, he'll be a power-hitting first baseman with an eye to draw walks with average at most defense.

5. Adalberto Mejia  AAA  LHP

His improved conditioning and his mastery of the strike zone has propelled him in the top 5 for me. His pitchability is the greatest among all of the Giants pitchers as he can throw his sinking and cutting fastball, his above-average changeup, his a tick above average slider (Yes, I am one of the few that think that his changeup is a better offspeed pitch than his slider), and his average curveball for quality strikes. I am a very high guy on him and I actually have him as my number 2 or number 3 prospect back entering the 2014 season and I have never lost hope for him to be a big league pitcher someday. Right now, with more reps in the PCL, I can see him pitch in San Francisco some time this year.

6. Lucius Fox  A  SS

There are a lot of people in the Giants community that are already hitting the panic button about the bad offensive numbers and the number of errors at shortstop that Fox had in the first half of the year. But don't worry Fox, I'm here for you. First, he's still uber young (just turned 19 on July 2) and hasn't faced any form of competition like this ever since he moved to The Bahamas. Second, he's one of the youngest players in the SAL and don't expect him to post Yoan Moncada-like numbers right away because he got paid a whole lot. Even Moncada has a very bad start to his pro career and look where he is now this year. I'm saying that give the kid time to learn and mature as a baseball player. He's still the best athlete in the organization packed full of plus-plus speed that can change the tone of the game. He also draws walks and still has the very good bat speed but the power will more likely be gap-to-gap in the future. His BABIP is just .287 which is one of the many reasons why his numbers are not good. His fielding is rawer than I thought but at the end of the day, he'll still be a good defensive player at short on in center field. I'll take what DrB said about his expectations of Fox in MLB Top Prospects website as my final word for him:

"The SAL in general and Augusta in particular is a very tough environment for all hitters, especially young ones. I love Fox's ceiling, but the Giants and their fans need to be patient because he will likely take some time to develop. If he hits .220 or above in Augusta, I will consider that a successful professional debut." 

Tier 2

7. Sam Coonrod  AA  RHP

Leaving the California League as one of the top pitchers there when he got promoted in Richmond, Coonrod he is holding his own in the Eastern League. Even though the strikeouts are way down this year, he makes it up for pitching to contact that the Giants have put him this year and mid-90s sinkers is one of the best ways to get easy groundballs similar to the Tyler Beede method last year and his slider and changeup are no slouches too as they can get swings and misses. He's still a starter material for me and he could be higher in this list if he puts on the same type of performance in High A.

8. Andrew Suarez  AA  LHP

After a stellar campaign in the California League, he is the first pitcher to arrive in Richmond because of his advanced pitchability and command of his four-pitch repertoire. He got banged around in his stint in Richmond which he allowed a close to 12.5 H/9 there and his K/9 dipped to just 6.33 from 10.31 in San Jose. I think the reason for that is that the level of competition in AA is greater than in High-A, just being better in pitch recognition and feel for hitting. The good news is that he is still walking less than 2 per 9 innings which means that he's command is still there. From the past clips that I watched from him, he still makes quality pitches but the balls that he left in the heart of the plate are being punished. His latest start is the best start for him in a Flying Squirrels uniform and hopefully, things will be better for him in the latter half of the season.

9. Bryan Reynolds  A-  OF

Here is where I will rank the first selection for the Giants in the 2016 draft. He got a nice floor as well as a nice ceiling in the spot where the current Giants will need a lot of help in the future. He got four solid tools to begin with with room to improve on those areas (the arm is the only tool that I project to be below-average) and he will be the successor of the center field spot when all comes together. Think of a Dexter Fowler-type of player. Pretty good, right? He's playing well for the Volcanoes after 2 horrible games to begin his pro career as he is getting used to playing in pro ball. Expect him to play in Augusta later in the season if he continue this kind of performance in Salem-Keizer.

10. Aramis Garcia  A+  C

He is on his way to having a very good first half when his season has grinded to a halt in May 22 when he sustained a facial fracture after getting kneed to the head for breaking up a double play. He is getting better and according to Joe Ritzo, the SJ Giants play-by-play commentator, he's preparing for an August return. His defense also has gotten a bit better every year but is still needing work on his overall catching skills while his bat is starting to be a solid one for a catcher. He's one of the guys to watch for at the end of the season.

11. Heath Quinn  A-  OF

The tank and one of Cove Chatter's favorites in the 2016 draft, Quinn is yet to hit a homer in his pro career but expect one or like five to come soon as he is continuing to pump doubles and loud contact. He's also willing to work counts but the walks are not coming yet at a good rate for him. His strong arm is also evident as he already have 2 OF assists and some to cut off an advancing runner. He is just adjusting to the rigors of pro ball and I expect him to be the power hitter that he is in the later stages of the season or next year.

12. Clayton Blackburn  AAA  RHP

He is a Major League-ready pitcher stuck in the Sacramento roster and the PCL is biting him now unlike last year. I really want to see him pitch in the Majors to see if he's a true Major Leaguer or be an AAAA guy. He's still the same pitcher that he is last year but for me, he's slowly losing his luster due to him still stuck in AAA and the quality of prospects that the Giants are producing nowadays are starting to be better than him ceiling-wise. He still got the floor to match for.

Tier 3

13. Austin Slater  AAA  OF

After being a very, very good player in Richmond, things get a little rough for Slater in Sacramento as he is posting underwhelming numbers since his promotion. AAA will really make or break him as he is slowly developing to a nice utility player and he got some Grant Green qualities in him so let's see if he can hit his way into a Major League stint some time this year. Kelby did it last year. Hopefully, Austin can follow.

14. Steven Duggar  AA  OF

This is my boy right here. I pegged him to be the breakout player for the Giants and so far, he did not disappoint me and exceeded my expectations of him. He is the definition of raw tools converting into a solid product. He is still the god of OBP as he just continues to draw walks at a superb rate in San Jose. He's making more contact now in Richmond with less BBs and Ks but the BABIP is against him as he is batting just .276 which is a sign that things will be better for him offensively. He ninetupled (if there ever is a word on that) his home run total from last year and he his hitting for more power which is the product of the smoothened hitting mechanics. He is patrolling CF now for Richmond and the plus arm and solid glove fits there, already having 2 OF assists in just 9 games there. His plus-plus speed gives him the range there but is still pretty raw on the base stealing portion, getting caught more than stealing bases. If he got that thing smoothened out, we are looking at a possible Gregor Blanco replacement and possibly better in San Francisco, people.

15 . Rodolfo Martinez  AA RHP
He is clearly the best reliever of the Giants farm system this year, having a better control than Ray Black while pumping the same triple digits fastball. Martinez's fastball also has life on it, making it more than just a velocity pitch. I like his changeup more than his slider as the changeup has so much movement that he is yet to harness fully while his slider is more of a chase pitch. I can see already that he got a better chance to reach the Majors than Black and is looking to sustain it as relievers are a volatile prospect to have. I really feel that he deserves to be higher on any other people's list.

16. Hunter Cole  AA  OF

Cole is still a solid player for Richmond, with 20 doubles and 10 homers in the season but hit batting average as taken a hit so Austin Slater has overtaken him in terms of promotion to Sacramento. He is not that special in terms of ceiling but the floor is there and looks like he's getting close to being a finished product. As long as he can produce, he will be of high regard for me.

17. Steven Okert  AAA  LHP

After being very disappointing last year, things started to smile again on Okert this year as he is posting his 2014 stats yet again. Only this time, it's in the harsh conditions of the PCL. He is again giving lefty hitters a very bad experience, with lefty hitters hitting just .176 against him with 21 Ks in 14 total innings of work against them. His fastball-slider combination plus his low 3/4 release point is lethal again and if given the chance, he'll be the eventual replacement to Javier Lopez as the LOOGY of the Giants pen. 

18. Matt Krook  A- LHP

The recovering fourth rounder with first round potential will slot here. He's still on the road back, getting innings to get his feel for the baseball yet again. The walks will be there aplenty of course as the last thing to ever come to a pitcher recovering from Tommy John surgery is command. The real work to get his command back will happen during the offseason and in the Instructional League so expect his numbers to be pretty ugly especially on the walks. But when he's on, his fastball-curveball combination reminds me of Carlos Rodon but unlike Krook, Rodon throws a slider.  

19. C.J. Hinojosa  AA  SS/2B

Looks like the Giants has produced another stud hitter in Hinojosa. Honestly, I never thought he'll bat third in the SJ lineup and hit very well there, continue to play shortstop defensively and sustain that kind of hitting ever since being promoted to Richmond. He has also found the ability to not strike out while drawing a fair share of walks. He has delivered some power numbers with 7 HRs on the year and a close to .145 ISO and what's funny is that his BABIP is an awful .259 which tells me that there's improvement on the stats to come which is very, very surprising especially being promoted to a tougher hitting environment. While he'll never be a basestealing threat because he lacks speed on the bases and his range at shortstop, he can field what he can get but at the end of the day, I see him be a second baseman in the future. But right now, his calling card is his hitting ability and there are a lot of callers interested in him. Basically, he has shattered all the expectations to him by everyone including me and is the true breakout star for the Giants this year.

20. Michael Santos  A  RHP

Another year in the Sally, another promising performance for Santos for the GreenJackets but he just can't catch a break against the injury bug as he is injured yet again for reasons unknown. Maybe it's something to do with his body frame but when he is still pitching, he's a very good pitcher with feel for pitching and good stuff. His fastball is above-average and his curveball also flash above-average, projecting to be a tick under and his change and slider are okay offerings and he got the ability to retain his stuff deep into starts. He is still very young at 21 so there are a lot of time to still be excited for him but I am getting concerned now on his injuries for the past two years and he just can't catch a break. Hopefully, he'll return back to pitching some time this year.

21. Joan Gregorio  AAA  RHP

Honestly, I am seriously impressed with Gregorio now after pitching very well in Richmond. He has really grown into his frame and looks like a man now unlike 2 or 3 years ago and his fastball-slider combination plus his wacky mechanics makes him rack a lot of strikeouts  as evident in his K/9 which is a shade above 10. Unfortunately for him, he still doesn't have a good enough changeup to sustain that kind of success and his wacky mechanics are giving him a fair amount of trouble throwing strikes, with a 3.81 BB/9 in Sacramento. I am still projecting him to be a reliever down the road but now, my confidence on him is good.

22. Tyler Rogers  AAA  RHP

There are a lot of Giants relievers to have performed well in the recent past, from hard-throwing lefties to slider-slinging righties to have never seen a submariner perform this well. Thirty-two straight innings without allowing an earned run is some kind of feat for a reliever and Rogers did that while throwing from down under. His stuff is never prime time in terms of pure velocity but he got a nice sinker-slider combination with his sinker hovering in the mid-80s but the way he delivers the baseball towards home plate is what makes him weird enough for me to believe in him. He's in Sacramento now and maybe he'll get a shot this season if he continues to pitch well and locate on the lower-half of the plate as his stuff will be crushed if left above the belt.

23. Jalen Miller  A  SS/2B

For the second year in a row, he has been a disappointment offensively and the development process has been slower than what I have thought for him. His walk rate this year is barely more than half of what it is last year while striking out at the same rate and the stats are just underwhelming but there's still glimmers of hope. First, his ceiling is still there as a potential above-average player and was promoted aggressively by the club. Second, SAL is just a bad spot for young hitters learning their way so this must be quite the learning experience for him. Third, the power is slowly coming around as he posted a .094 ISO this year which is more than double of last year. And last, his age is still in favor of him (will turn 20 in December) so there's a lot of time for growth. What is clear is that his hitting approach is still raw at this point of his career and still need a lot of seasoning for him to reach his potential but the potential is still there and practice patience in him.

Tier 4

24. Jordan Johnson  A+  RHP

Jordan has been rocked hard by the California League this year. There are flashes of him being the mid-rotation starter that I expect from him to hit but this season, he has been hit hard by the long ball, allowing 12 homers this season in 76 2/3 innings this year compared to just 3 in 59 1/3 last year. One reason that I can see is that his fastball is very flat especially when he misses in the plate due to his drop and drive nature of his delivery. His overall velocity is now hovering towards the low-90s which is a couple of MPH down from the reported velocities that scouts reported last year which doesn't help too. But one thing that he has retained is his overall control, hovering just above 2 BB/9 but he's more control than command in this stage as I have seen him have problems with consistency with his release point, leaving pitches in the heart of the plate resulting to damage. His changeup and curveball are still above-average offerings when on but hitters won't bite on it when he can't locate his fastball consistently on the edge of the zone. His season this year kind of reminds me of the kind of season that Martin Agosta had in San Jose last year. Good BB/9 and K/9 but being bit very hard in the ass by homer ball.

25. Reyes Moronta  A+  RHP

Imagine a much, much fatter Sergio Romo with a much, much harder fastball than him while having the same low 3/4 release point and the same frisbee slider and you will get Reyes Moronta. The tag team of Moronta and Martinez made the back-end of the SJ bullpen and now that Martinez has been promoted, it's Moronta's time to shine now as the closer. He is striking out hitters at a crazy rate of just under 13 K/9 while cutting his walk rate to 2.57 BB/9 which is very, very impressive. Looks like he has found the mechanics that allows him to throw strikes on a consistent basis and from the outings that I have watched, he can throw quality strikes and the slider that I first don't like is now a very solid offspeed pitch for him to compliment his mid to high-90s tailing fastball, as it got a lot of lateral movement while not having a great amount of vertical break. Hopefully, he can maintain his shape or have a better physique to better cope in the future.

26. Miguel Gomez  A  3B/1B/C

The minor league leader in batting average, Gomez just continues to rack up base hits after base hits. Just like Hinojosa, he has also found a way to make contact 9 times out of 10 and not strike out. He got an advanced understanding of hitting and will just hit good and bad pitches. He has also came in much better shape than last year and he worked hard to play at 3B. If he can't play third baseman at all in the future, I would like to see him play first base but if not, he should get traded to an AL club where the DH will be the perfect spot for him. He's also 23 so Father Time is not is friend right now. A switch-hitting third baseman who can hit a baseball anywhere it has been pitched but got some weight issues and a solid glove. That sounds eerily similar.

27. Ray Black  AA  RHP

The holder of the biggest fastball in the Minors is also having a lot of problem in terms of harnessing it. He is still walking close to a batter an inning but he still has the kind of prodigial stuff to strike out more than 1.5 per inning. But what's scaring me the most is that he just never seem to find that line where he will throw less balls and more strikes because in the Majors, pitchers must throw not just strikes but quality strikes and Black is looking more and more likely to never reach the Majors despite that 80 fastball because of the control issues that he is having. But it's never too late to give up on a guy with that kind of fastball no matter how old he is but there will be a time where he'll be too old to be of use to Major League teams and relievers with better control than him while having the same velocity will overtake him quickly.

28. Kyle Crick  AA  RHP

The faith is still on for him from the Giants front office to let him start again but he's still been allowing too many walks for him to be a starter even if he gets strikeouts and doesn't get hit hard a lot. Looks like he's been better with his approach this season to pitching by shortening his stride length and have him just get outs and throw at the plate. But the mechanics are just not good enough for him to throw consistent strikes and for the longest time, I have advocated the Crick to Pen movement because I can really see him perform well in a bullpen role. Hopefully. If he throws more strikes.

29. Chase Johnson  AA  RHP

For some reason, Chase was relegated to bullpen duties while Dan Slania was put to the rotation. The struggle for him to throw strikes on his fastball was real in the first half of this year and his offspeed pitches proved to be not good enough offerings to bail out his fastball. Now, Chase is in the DL that will give him time to rest and bounce back and probably, the struggle for him to throw strikes consistently is due to the injury that he has.

30. Ronnie Jebavy  A+  OF

Being bested by Steven Duggar fair and square in "who is the best outfielder in the SJ this year", Jebavy has performed better since Duggar and friends' promotion and is currently on a 10-game hitting streak and is telling to the front office to don't leave him behind there. He's still striking out at an un-leadoff hitter-type of way but he gets it done currently and the defense at center field is still great. We might see him higher in this list at the end of the season.

31. Tyler Cyr  A+  RHP

The new sidekick of Reyes Moronta in the SJ bullpen, he is the only standout reliever in the Augusta bullpen so far this year, and he is flashing better command in SJ than in Augusta in a small sample size. He actually reminds me of Sam Coonrod in terms of mechanics and stuff but Cyr looks like he'll stay in relieving as he is already showing the fruits of his hard work.

Note: All stats on the Top 30+1 are updated as of July 9, 2016 1:30 PM ET

The Very Close Call: 

Gio Brusa  A-  OF

Brusa, a senior out of Pacific, has been the best hitter in the Volcanoes lineup this year. He has more polish than most of the hitters there and the good power numbers that he showed in Pacific are also reflecting in the numbers that he is putting in Salem-Keizer. I really think that he got some ceiling left even though he chose to play his senior year especially on the bat where he should be a corner outfield option in the future. 

Honorable Mentions and Other Interesting Prospects

Johneshwy Fargas- His stint in San Jose really exposes him and puts his hitting ability to question and his numbers when he got demoted in Augusta, his numbers there have me conclude that his hit tool will not be enough for him to have a good career in the Majors and he's still a reckless runner in the bases. His arm is still plenty good though.
Ryder Jones- He just posts underwhelming numbers yet again. I think he'll be a call-up type of player and he will probably be a first baseman in the long run but the offensive potential is just not there anymore even though he's a great guy.
Gustavo Cabrera- He needs a few more years to catch up in terms of development so I'm going to practice patience in him. He still got a lot of holes in the swing but the loud contact is there.
Dan Slania- When he went to the starting role replacing Chase Johnson, he posts good numbers. Aside from his fastball though, there's not a good enough offspeed pitch for him to have a big impact in a Major League rotation. Think of him as a Joe Biagini.
Jonah Arenado- Nolan's lil bro has been given the keys on the 1B job after Shaw got promoted and has held his own there, posting good power numbers.
Dylan Davis- The hitting tool is slowly starting to show up in San Jose after his promotion there and looking like he'll redeem himself in the second half of the season and expect him rise again in the Top 30 if he continues this kind of hitting performance from him as he got the raw power and arm in RF.
Matt Gage- He looks like to be a middle reliever in the Majors but he can get the job done.
Ty Blach- He lost his luster as a prospect but he can still get it done in a middle relief role in the Majors or be an AAAA pitcher.
Jacob Heyward- His CWS performance has been carried over in the AZL and is itching to be promoted to Salem-Keizer. He looks like an interesting to prospect.
Reagan Bazar- He's a power reliever that will reach triple digits but needs a second pitch and better command.
Sandro Fabian- He got 5 average tools but the guy steps up in better competition and have a good feel for the game.

Best Tools 


Hit: Christian Arroyo
Power: Chris Shaw
Speed: Lucius Fox

Arm: Johneshwy Fargas/Steven Duggar
Glove: Ronnie Jebavy
Athleticism: Lucius Fox


Fastball: Ray Black/Rodolfo Martinez
Curveball: Clayton Blackburn
Slider: Phil Bickford
Changeup: Tyler Beede
Command: Phil Bickford/Andrew Suarez
Fielding: Tyler Beede

The San Francisco Giants coaches and scouts must be given a lot of credit for drafting, signing, and developing prospects with solid tools and great makeup and work ethic and also, a lot of credit to the players soaking up the experience and handling the expectations that the people around them have placed on them. The Giants has been a banner for developing players that are capable of playing in the Majors and have an impact there, whether big or small. The Giants are the product of their homegrown talent and should be respected all around for developing such talents that have carried them to great success. They haven't botched on their early round picks in the past 3 years and you can see that the top 3 prospects are all first round picks and surrounding them are 2nd to 5th round picks in the past years. The Giants organization as a whole is a great organization and their farm system should be in the middle of the pack which is great considering the amount of success that the big league club had in the past six years and not being aggressive players in the international amateurs period or July 2. 

I hope you enjoy reading my mid-season special. Go Giants!


  1. Top 30

    1.Beede-Looking forward to seeing him pitch in 17'.
    2.Bickford-Still has two full seasons of development left.
    3.Arroyo-Still has best bat in our system.
    4.Fox-He's just being outmuscled right now,has all the skills and tools to be a MLB All-Star.It's gonna be fun weatching this kid develop.
    5.Miller-Same as Fox,Just a matter of time.Quick bat will get quicker,probably moves to the outfield in AA Richmond,like Slater.You can see why the Giants are excited about these kids.
    6.Garcia-Getting hot when he suffered facial fracture.Good bat and make up,good with pitching staff.
    7.Cabrera-Throw him in with Fox and Miller,could see a big jump forward in SJ and Richmond.
    8.Reynolds-Could be a gold glove type left fielder,bat is going to improve too.
    9.Santos-Future mid rotation starter.
    10.Coonrod-Developing ability to get quick outs,after showing ability to strike guys out.
    11.Shaw-Good approach,big power,and good hitter.Shaw would be a top prospect on a lot of squads.
    12.Suarez-Moving quickly,learning quickly.
    13.Krook-Once cosidered a top 10 talent in high school,injury drops him to us on day 2.I think his development will be similar to Coonrod's,small adjustments to be made.Good stuff.
    14.J.Johnson-Fills the zone with strikes,has to get stronger.
    15.Webb-Solid season in Augusta,injury sets development back a year,fills the zone.Good athlete.
    16.Taylor-Innings eater w/good movement on pitches.Pro ball has been good for him.
    17.Duggar-Duggar has shown solid all around game.Plays winning baseball,reminds me of Blanco.
    18.Crick-I felt second half we would see improvements for Crick.He's begun to slow down his leg kick,and that has semmed to help.Starting to show a little better mound pressence.The talent on AA Richmond can also be of help to Crick too.
    19.Gregorio-Just think,he can get stronger.
    20.Mejia-Working harder has been the key for Mejia.
    21.Hinojosa-Another great pick.
    22.Gomez-Would be nice if he ended up behind the plate,maybe in AA Richmond.
    23.Slater-Moved down just because of the systems depth.
    24.Jebavy-Good defender,bats starting to show promise.
    25.R. Martinez-He'll continue to get better.Good stuff.
    26.Brusa-Switch hitting outfielder with power,not bad for #26,another guy who was once considered a first round talent.
    27.Fargas-Needs to learn how to let the game to come to him.He will.
    28.Black-Really fast arm,I think he would be better off in the rotation.
    29.Stratton-Looked solid out of the pen.
    30.Blackburn-Another guy moved down due to talent in organization.

    Nice blog man.Enjoy your summer Wrenzie.Peace.