Friday, July 14, 2017

2017 Mid-Season Special

It's the time of the season where the summer weather is blistering and the Mid-summer Classic, also known as the MLB All-Star Game, was already done and plenty of fun happened. In the Minors however, plenty of ball have already been played and the short season affiliates already played a significant amount of games to evaluate them, especially the 2017 draftees. 

For the Giants, the minor league records of almost every team are disappointing but there are plenty of impressive prospects to get behind on with plenty of great lines and exciting tools. I'm giving you my updated top prospect list with plenty of thoughts on the guys. I didn't put Hwang Jae-gyun because I don't really consider him as a prospect but if he's a prospect, he'll be here. You already know about the Tiers list so I'm cutting out the chit chat and let's get going.

Stats are written by the time I wrote it which is on a day-to-day basis (putting thoughts on 4-7 prospects a day) so plenty might not be updated. Data courtesy of FanGraphs and

Tier 1

1. Christian Arroyo  SS/3B/2B  AAA

Updated Grades: Hit 60 | Power 45 | Speed 40 | Arm 55 | Glove 55

This seems to be like a see-saw but I placed Arroyo above Beede because Arroyo posted a more impressive stat line than Beede and even got a taste of Major League action in May but a fractured hand put his stellar season to a grinding halt. 

I think people already know that his ability to hit is something special, with an impressive mix of bat speed, wrist strength, and eye-hand coordination to pound AAA pitchers. That style didn't really played well in the Majors as he got carved up due to him being overaggressive that can be seen in his 5.9 BB% and needs to take pitches better and allow himself to draw walks. The one positive that he has showed in his cup of coffee in the Majors is that he displayed better power there that's towards his pull side and has promise. 

There's work to be done in the walks department but he knows that's the one to improve in order to take the next step of being a Major Leaguer.

2. Chris Shaw  1B/OF  AAA

Updated Grades: Hit 50 | Power 65 | Speed 25 | Arm 55 | Glove 45

Shaw's performance in Richmond where he posted stats of an all-around power hitter and not just a prototypical power hitter has earned him a promotion to Sacramento. 

He is showing the power numbers, with five homers in a five-game span a week ago or two but the eye and the patience that he has been famous of over the years hasn't arrived yet, with a BB% and K% of 4.0% and 26.2% respectively and that is not really good if you're to ask me. The big thing for him though is that he's shifted to left field where his defense is more acceptable even though he's new to left (he's played at right field in college) and his range and arm fits there (he even made a nice diving catch there). 

If the Chris Shaw of old, the one who takes pitches and draws walks and not striking out a lot while hitting bombs, comes back at the second half of the season, his call-up is imminent. He still needs to continue to hit for average and for power to fully evaluate his hitting ability as well as continue to improve on his defense in left field to really elevate his game to the next level.

3. Tyler Beede RHP  AAA

Updated Grades: FB 55 | CH 55 | CUT 50 | CB 50+ | CMD 50

Beede's stint in the Pacific Coast League hasn't been like what plenty expected from him coming to this season especially after winning the Eastern League ERA title. One thing that really struck me the most is that he already allowed 14 homers this season which is one less than the amount he has given up in the previous two years combined (15) and that's really odd since he's a groundball pitcher. His strikeouts are down and his walks are high, and he's given up a lot of hits. 

From what I watched from him in his starts, there are times where he'll just have poor feel for his pitches and leaves plenty at the middle of the plate, the sinker doesn't have the gopherball sink that it had last season, the cutter's flatter and much more hittable, and the curveball command has been on and off. Mechanics might come into question but the mechanics hasn't changed since last season so I think body control might be the culprit. Good thing is that he doesn't miss by much more often than not as I feel he's nimbling on the zone more, trying to make the perfect pitch and not getting the favorable call. What's been good is that the changeup never left him and his mentality is admirable, his grit, his toughness shows on and off the mound. I'm still waiting for the strikeouts to come but it just doesn't come at a high rate so I'm knocking my grades on the pitches a bit especially his fastball. 

The AAA has been a difficult test for Beede and some might argue on me that I'm showing a little bias on him because I still slot him at 3 even though a young man named Heliot Ramos is guns blazing in the Arizona League, flashing his tools and potential and some might say that Beede lost his luster as a prospect. In some ways yes, he's lost some luster due to a subpar Sacramento stint but he can still make a quality pitch whenever he's in a jam that he or his fielders placed him to get himself out of it. He's still also capable of delivering vintage Beede performances every now and then even though he's not tapping 97 MPH this season.  

4. Heliot Ramos  OF  ROK

Updated Grades: Hit 50 | Power 60 | Speed 70 | Arm 60 | Glove 55

I have already packed up a nice scouting report on Heliot on my previous post so come and check it out. Quite honestly, Ramos doesn't just hit the ground running, he's hit the ground wearing a jetpack and just blazed the AZL competition so far even though it's been just 6 games. The videos of him that I have seen over the past week showcased what he can bring to the table. 

His hitting ability is much better than expected as he made hard contact most of the time, shown a better eye for his age, elite bat speed and plenty of hard contact. In an organization in dire need of high ceiling talent, Ramos is like a Godsend for the Giants as he got the highest ceiling in the system, even higher than Beede and Arroyo with potential five plus tools (I graded his hit tool to be a 50 because of his proximity to his ceiling but there's 60 true ceiling with the hit and glove tool). The difference is that the two ranked higher are extremely close to the Majors while Ramos is just getting started but if he keeps producing this type of numbers, he'll be on the top of the board at the end of the season.

Tier 2

5. Bryan Reynolds  OF  A+

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

Reynolds struggled early on the season especially when batting left handed but with some adjustments more on the mental part than on the hitting mechanics where he adjusted his leg kick and his hands, he started to get his groove back on the plate and that earned him an opportunity to play in the Futures Game this year, hitting for good average and some power. 

He has solid speed but he's really savvy on his baserunning where he already leads the California League in triple with 7 and 16 two-baggers even though his basestealing leaves plenty to be desired (1 stolen base vs 3 caught stealing). The thing that concerns me is that the ability to draw walks that he showed in college disappeared in pro ball especially this season where he just post a 4.8 BB% and striking out at an above average rate (22.4%) that limits his offensive ceiling. His 4 homers might be a little disappoint to look at but I watched San Jose games and Reynolds are hitting the wall often in his extra base hits and some are inches off leaving the yard so I think the homers will come but Major League implications especially in the spacious AT&T Park will make it doubtful. 

If Reynolds' walk and strikeout numbers improve, expect him to be an impactful prospect on the fast track.

6. Steven Duggar  OF  A+

Grades: Hit 55 | Power 45 | Speed 65 | Arm 60 | Glove 55

There won't be much here to say since Duggar got injured for the vast majority of this season with a flexor and another injury that I am not sure. The grades are unchanged because of what I have seen from a short sample size this season but I am still impressed with him and his overall tools and athleticism that gives him a big shot to play center field in the Major Leagues.

7. Austin Slater  OF  MLB

Updated Grades: Hit 50+ | Power 50 | Speed 50 | Arm 50 | Glove 50

Slater will lose his prospect eligibility soon as he's still holding his own in the Major League level. 

The Slater that I saw last year, the Slater who raked against PCL pitching and become a different hitter, is the same as this year. The power might not be the same as what he put up last season for Sacramento but his solid tools all across the board and versatility across the outfield will make him an asset in any team, not just for the Giants. The reduced walk rate is slightly concerning but his strikeout rate is hovering at around average, matching his career rate, so I think with more polishing at the Major League level, he'll draw more walks in the future. 

His tools might not be loud but he's here because he's succeeding at the highest form of baseball.

8. Andrew Suarez  LHP  AAA

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

Suarez is on the fast track now as his good season in Richmond was celebrated by a promotion to Sacramento. His strikeout ability improved a bit this season by better relying on his slider and change in two strike counts more and the slider has later break on it, looking like a cutter at times. The command department has been a bit shaky when he got promoted to Sacto as a result of generating more strikeouts. In starts that I've watched from him on both levels, he misses on his spots more often than before on all his pitches and misses a lot on his fastball even though the mechanics is practically the same but he's still showing the ability to command it on both sides of the plate and locates it enough to get hitters to chase his slider. 

It's nice to see him strike out more hitters but he needs to find the ability to spot his fastball back to its old self, there's a good shot he'll be promoted sooner than Tyler Beede.

9. Heath Quinn  OF  A+

Updated Grades: Hit 45 | Power 55 | Speed 40 | Arm 55 | Defense 50

Quinn's bat is cold in his last 10 games, hitting just .200 but his season overall has been a productive one for him even though he's missed almost a month and a half due to an injury. Quinn has been a consistent power hitter and run producer for San Jose, posting solid lines all over the board and showing his power, hitting 8 this season. I did not see anything that Quinn changed or tinkered heavily to produce power as he's still have that unorthodox finish in his swing that's top hand-heavy. 

Quinn's ceiling might not be big like Reynolds but he's been productive as a right fielder this season for the lil' Giants showing good power numbers and driving in runs. He should have a nice chance to be a callup candidate a couple of years from now.

10. Jacob Gonzalez  3B/1B  ROK

Updated Grades: Hit 50 | Power 55 | Speed 45 | Arm 50 | Glove 45

Along with Heliot, I have also written a good scouting report on Jacob in my previous post but what I see from him over the past week is very similar to Heliot, he also hit the ground with a jetpack and zoomed quickly. 

Even though he just turned 19, his approach at the plate is too advanced thanks to his incredible baseball IQ (I heard his dad is pretty good at playing baseball) and work ethic. His swing really places backspin on the ball and he got a very projectable frame with long levers to project plus-plus raw power once he fills out and a potential above average hit tool if he can continue to show the improvements against better breaking balls and harder velocity. Some might say his athleticism sucks or his speed is bad but he's actually pretty fast for a guy his size once he gets going but he's not going to be a base stealing threat. Jacob will get all the time in the world to play third base but some are skeptical regarding the chance he'll stick there in the long run but he's working hard to improve on that as well as develop a better arm suited for the position. 

I think that he'll move as fast if not faster than Ramos due to his advanced hit tool and I see some similarities on him on fellow Giants prospect Ryder Jones but with a better hit tool and worse arm strength.

Tier 2.5 (Tier 2-type talent but won't peg down the true Tier 2 guys)

11. Aramis Garcia  C  A+ 

Grades: Hit 45 | Power 55 | Speed 30 | Arm 55 | Glove 50+

Aramis is having a resurgent season after sustaining a facial injury last season that stopped his promotion to Richmond. What impressed me the most is that he's finally found the power stroke that the Giants drafted him for in the second round of the 2014 draft. While he almost half his walk totals this season, his power from the right side really showed, ranking third in the California League in homers with 13 and posting an ISO of .237, a far cry from his previous years.

While I haven't seen anything that stand out from Garcia this season with the swing, I think that it's more on the mental side. Getting more comfortable with the pitchers in the Cal League is the key for Garcia in his third stint with San Jose. He has good bat to ball skills and approach at the plate offensively. 

Defensively, he has improved vastly from the past. His arm strength might only be average but he's accurate with it and he improved his athleticism behind the plate,with excellent glove-to-hand transfer, registering pop times at around 1.8-1.9 seconds, which is above average to plus. He's opted for the hockey-style mask in the hopes of reducing the chances of getting a concussion when the ball hit his mask. Yes, he's still allowing passed balls and he's still got some ways to go with his pitch calling but I'm satisfied with his defense behind the dish. He's old for the level at age 24 but with his power finally starting to show, I think that Aramis will be in the Majors in the next 2-3 years as Posey's backup catcher or even as a first baseman as he received playing time too at that position.

12. Miguel Gomez  IF/OF  MLB

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

In a league where pitchers are king and hitters are seemingly getting crumpled, Gomez didn't just held his own, he thrived in the league like a mature hitter that earned him a call-up to the Majors. 

Being the same old Miguel Gomez that we knew since busting into the prospect scene a couple of years ago in Salem-Keizer, he has continued his all-contact approach resulting to a very low walks and strikeouts while maintaining a healthy and sustainable BABIP (3.7 BB%, 11.2 K%, .325 BABIP). He has 65-grade bat to ball skills where even he's got a nature of chasing pitches out of the zone, he's still making contact with it, fouling balls and making hard contact. His power will likely sit out as average but the crucial thing for him is that he's finally found his defensive home at second base where he's not a big liability there (13 errors) and should grade out as fringy when given Major League coaching.

Gomez's promotion to the Majors is worth it as he's proven to be a consistent hitting machine in the Minors for the past few years. I think that he'll hold his own against Major League pitching but he needs to hold down the fort at second base because the guy that he's trying to surpass there is a Gold Glove defender. 

13. C.J. Hinojosa  SS/2B/3B  AA

Updated Grades: Hit 50+ | Power 40 | Speed 35 | Arm 55 | Glove 45

Hinojosa has caught fire recently after struggling to come out of the gate on May 8 due to an injury. In his last 10 games, Hinojosa is batting .410 with 2 homers and that raised his batting average to just a shade below .300 for the season. Add in the more walks than strikeouts and you got yourself a mature hitter at the helm. 

There's nothing that I have seen Hinojosa do to be a potential above average bat at the highest level. He got an excellent eye at the plate where he picks pitches to make contact on but still with fringy power projection because his swing is more line drive-oriented although he makes more flyouts than groundouts. Defensively, he's still playing the prime position where he's got the arm strength there as well as in the hot corner where he had some playing time also but his lack of range due to his poor raw speed and fringy defensive actions will likely slot him at second base.

I think Hinojosa will continue to carve up hitters in Richmond and probably move to second base now that Miguel Gomez is now promoted to San Francisco. Being a bat-first second baseman with fringe power is something that will likely to happen to Hinojosa but his excellent baseball IQ and style draw comps to Dustin Pedroia and I think that can happen if Hinojosa keeps on hitting while improving and making himself more comfortable there. 

Tier 3

14. Matt Krook  LHP  A+

Updated Grades: SNK 60 | CUT 65 | CB 50+ | CH 50+ | CMD 40+

Krook had a horrible start to the season where his command is just all over the place, missing horribly and fastballs sailing to the backstop, making wild pitches with his breaking stuff and just having real trouble finding his release point throughout his start. Things started taking a turn for the better on May 19 where he allowed 3 or fewer walks in 7 out of 8 starts. His K/9 has also raised to exactly 10.0 and also allowed 3 or more earned runs in just 1 out of 8 starts over that stretch. 

So what's the secret for the turnaround? I think it's a culmination of things that acted like a domino effect. First, Krook ditched his curveball for the most part recently, throwing it sparingly (I watched his recent starts and yes, he still throws his curve like 10% of the time and his command of the pitch is spotty) and relying on his cutter more (it is reported in March last year that he throws a cutter but there are times that there's too much horizontal break that it can be classified as a slider) that I think is even better than his sinker which is plus in its own right. His cutter has a really hard two-plane break that minor league hitters just swing on top of it. What that does is that since the sinker, cutter, and the changeup are pretty much thrown with the same arm action with just different finger pressures and grips unlike the curveball, he's repeating his release point better and allowing his natural throwing motion. And that in effect, it boosted his confidence on the mound and produced positive results.

After being an afterthought early this year, Krook's back on the radar to be a top pitching prospect for the Giants. If he continues to improve on the control and command of his pitches at the second half of the season, he should be sniffing the top 10 list because there's so much ceiling on him.

15. Seth Corry  LHP  ROK

Updated Grades: FB 55 | CB 60 | CH 40 | CMD 45

Krook and Corry are kind of similar in many ways. Both are left handed with a live arm throwing fastballs with movement on both sides and impressive curveball but lacking the polish needed to succeed.

I have written a scouting report on Corry on Giants farm and you can come check it out but here's a summary on him: he has potential for both plus fastball and curveball where the former has late horizontal break and cut that he throws in the low-90s but there's not much room to fill in Corry's frame so he's unlikely to add on that velocity, the curveball has plus 1-7 break from nose to toes-type of shape with plus spin rate but the main problem is that he's having trouble locating his pitches for strikes due to a raw delivery where his front leg can collapse. 

Corry's stats early shows the same thing with 3 walks already and a hit batter in 1 1/2 IP but with 3 strikeouts and no hits showcasing his good stuff. Giants need to tinker plenty this instructional league and in the offseason. He'll be brought slowly so expect that he'll have growing pains but the reward can be quite sweet.

16. Ryder Jones  1B/3B/OF  MLB

Updated Grades: Hit 45 | Power 55 | Speed 35 | Arm 65 | Glove 45

It's a true breakout season for Ryder as he finally broke out of his shell and busted out an impressive 2017 season that culminated to his call-up to The Show. The numbers that he put this season is incredible. He walk rate is double than last season, his ISO is up by .100, his batting average is around .300 while having a good BABIP of .345, and became a really good all around hitter for Sacramento.

It's a culmination of things that resulted to his breakout. He improved on all facets of the game that started on the Arizona Fall League where he faced some very good competition and held his own there. I think the mental aspect of the game is where he improved because he has such a good and balanced swing and stance at the box that's geared for hitting for average and the bat speed and leverage to hit for plenty of power. He has become more aggressive on pitches to drive with a bigger leg kick. His approach at the plate, specifically his eye and his pitch recognition, vastly improved, laying off pitches that he'll be tempted to hit and resulted to weak contact before. 

Jones really improved and is worth of a call-up to the Majors. I think a defensive home is the thing to figure out where his lackluster speed might limit him to first base but his plus-plus arm strength isn't a good fit so the outfield, possibly at right field, is where he fits best. Of course, he needs to figure out how to hit well against Major League-quality pitching. Before, I would bet against him but now, he has grown on me and I hope he'll hit enough to make an impact there in the big leagues.

17. Ryan Howard  3B/MIF  A+

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

Howard just flat-out hit in the first half of the season for San Jose, as he's currently the second in the league in hits with 102. Howard makes so much contact that he's walking at a way below average rate that's kind of similar to Christian Arroyo at 3.9%. Good thing he's not striking out as well just like good BABIP hitters like him (.371 BABIP).

Howard doesn't have much power in his wiry frame but he's done a good job of putting the bat to the ball with exceptional hand-eye skills even though his swing path isn't really conducive of power but it's always geared for contact. His speed is average and with that, he won't stay at shortstop long-term but his arm strength is above average and should fit at the hot corner where his glove is consistent with soft hands, excellent reaction and good range. 

Howard reminds me a lot of Duffy but I see that Howard has less power potential than Duffy but he got a chance to be a good defensive third baseman at least if the BABIP gods and his poor walk numbers will catch up to him. If he continues to hit at this rate and the BABIP gods will be friendly to him, he's on the fast track to promotion to Richmond. 

18. Garrett Williams  LHP  A

Updated Grades: FB 60 | CUT 50+ | CB 55 | CH 45 | CMD 45

My pick to be the breakout prospect for this season, Williams has been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise disappointing GreenJackets team. Aside from a June swoon where he's allowed 13 walks in a three start span, Williams has been pretty much locked on in his appearances, highlighted by his latest start where he pitched 7 innings of 4-hit shutout ball with no walks and 5 Ks. 

The fastball from his left side even though he's just topping 93-94 MPH on it on his best days, the combination of him throwing his fastball in three ways (four seam, two seam, and cutter) and coming from a low 3/4 release point, throwing across his body, and standing on the 1st base side of the rubber, makes his fastball a plus pitch from the left side. His hard curveball has good snap on it and he's able to locate it pretty well, and while his changeup is a firm pitch, it has velocity differential and some fade.

The key for Williams is that he's finally repeated his mechanics better by having good body control to have a promise of average command. Williams will be a promotion candidate some time after the All-Star break and if the command of his pitches holds up to the grind of the full season, he's got a good chance to be a starting pitcher all the way. If not, his fastball-curve combo and the deception makes him a pretty darn good reliever option.

19. Sandro Fabian  OF  A

Updated Grades: Hit 50 | Power 45 | Speed 45 | Arm 55 | Glove 50

I expect that Fabian's season at Augusta will be pretty rough but I never thought that i will be this rough. The rawness and the lack of maturity of the bat shows as he's just reached on base on balls are just 6 (!) in 301 at bats. That's just incredible. He has hovered at around .240-.260 all season long as if there's no escape from it. Good thing that he's been on a mini hot streak in his last 5 games. 

The biggest problem for Fabian is that he's still having that feast-or-famine approach at the plate, putting the ball into play on early, overaggressive counts and not really picking the pitches to drive, and that resulted to the poor performance offensively. That approach will not going to cut it to the higher level and he really needs this realization for him to adjust his approach and show his innate plus bat-to-ball skills and good bat speed into good use. Defensively, he also need to improve his overall defensive skills to be a good right fielder.

Fabian will be up for a rough end to his 2017 season and he could be demoted to Salem-Keizer if this keeps up which he shouldn't take in a bad way because I know someone who struggled really bad in his first taste of the Sally and got demoted to Salem-Keizer and played really well there and in the next season, he got an aggressive promotion to San Jose and then he's on his way. I think you know him.

20. Sam Coonrod  RHP  AA

Updated Grades: FB 60 | SL 50+ | CH 40+ | CMD 45

Compared to his first taste of coffee last season at Richmond, Coonrod might be horrible but when you dig deep into the numbers, you'll see the Coonrod actually improved this season. Even though his ERA last season for Richmond is 3.03, his FIP and xFIP there were 5.05 and 4.96 respectively and a BABIP of a freaking unsustainable .231. Now, in a more conventional BABIP of .295, Coonrod has a FIP and xFIP of 3.75 and 4.14 which are better than his current ERA of 4.31 and his K/9, BB/9, and HR/9 also improved this season.

Coonrod's stuff is practically the same with a nice hard fastball with life, a slider that flashes solid to above average and a poor changeup but there's not a lot of excitement that I feel from him anymore. Maybe what you call fatigue but he's still pitching pretty good in Richmond. I think that he can be a good reliever down the road because his LOB% throughout his career is around 70% except for this season and he got two good pitches to work against hitters.

21. Stephen Woods, Jr.  RHP  A

Updated Grades: FB 60 | CB 60 | SL 50 | CH 40 | CMD 40+

Here's something that might surprise you. I placed Stephen Woods, Jr. here not just because of the good stats that he put this season for the GreenJackets but also from a scouting perspective. 

Woods throws his pitches on an over the top slot, really getting on top of his pitches and generating a steep, downhill plane and he only allowed two homers as a result. His low to mid-90s fastball has life up the zone where he can throw it as a four-seamer with vertical break and a two-seamer with sinking action. His curveball is a legitimate plus pitch, a hard one with a sharp and late 12-6 or 11-5 break on it that he can flip for strikes or get swings and misses on it. He throws a slider with a chance to be above average with hard two-plane break on it but is more inconsistent than his curve. His repertoire especially his fastball-curve combo draws plenty of strikeouts (9.60 K/9) but his max effort delivery and he's more control than command with his repertoire along with a poor changeup has him with a high walk rate (4.61 BB/9). 

I don't think that there's much to do with his mechanics because I feel it's more of a body control issue right now so there are reasons to think that he'll be a reliever some time down the road. But, with a repertoire with that much swing and miss stuff, it's just time that he needs to tap on his ceiling of a true starter. He needs probably to tone down the mechanics in order to find better control. I'm excited to what he'll bring to the table next year if he keeps this type of season for Augusta or maybe up to San Jose.

22. Garrett Cave  RHP  A-

Updated Grades: FB 65 | CB 55 | CUT 50 | CH 40 | CMD 45

I have written a scouting report on Cave on Giants Farm so come check that one out. Even though Cave's been relieving to start his pro career in Salem-Keizer, he's been performing well according to the stats as he's thrown 4 innings of shutout ball with just 1 walk and 6 strikeouts. I would love him to be in the rotation but I think that the Giants are going to the idea of placing their recent draftees on the place they're comfortable with and letting them rip and then try to tinker stuff in instructional with the hopes of improving. I think that improving his line towards the plate, and having changeup grip that works will really make or break Cave and he should be poised to be one of the breakout candidates for next season if he makes the rotation. 

23. Reyes Moronta  RHP  AA

Updated Grades: FB 65 | SL 55 | CH 35 | CMD 40

Oh how fast the wind blows as a reliever. After being lights out at the start of the season and considered to be the best reliever in the system, he's struggled to throw strikes and got bounced around in May and June until landing to the disabled list on June 3. 

Moronta's walk totals that he solved last season when he was stellar for San Jose resurfaced, with a BB/9 of 6.00. In the games I watched him, he tend to late on his release point with his mechanics on the days that he struggled with command of his fastball. He's catching the middle of the plate more and his velocity is down to more of a 92-93 MPH that topped at 95 on his fastball compared to last season where he can reach up to 100 MPH on it. I noticed that the pitch has cut that's good when he tries to bore it inside lefties. His slider also slowed down to a low-80s offering but with more break on it when thrown down the zone but is a hanger when he leaves it up the zone. I also saw a changeup at 87 MPH but it's firm with little movement and not much excitement on it. I think the injury also got the better of Moronta as he might be pitching with a nagging injury that ultimately sent him to the DL.

Moronta was having a really nice 2017 season and is on the fast track until some of the nuts on the wheel loosen that resulted to loss of command of his pitches. Injury might also be sapping him of previous velocity that he used to blow by hitters easily with his deception in his mechanics. There's plenty of hope for Moronta though as he's still getting hitters to swing and miss often with his pitches (13.00 K/9) and once he gets a hold of his former command that made him stellar in 2016, he'll be in the Majors next season.

24. Melvin Adon  RHP  A

Updated Grades: FB 75 | SL 50+ | CH 40 | CMD 40+

Having an arm that can throw 100 MPH fastballs is such a nice thing to have and Adon has it. There are still issues of him throwing strikes on a consistent basis but he improved on that aspect as he lowered his BB/9 lower than 4. The improved strike-throwing ability also helped his strikeout numbers as it creeps up to a strikeout an inning.

I think that even though he's improved his control, I think that there will be fringy at best command in the future, I think that he's going to be a reliever for the long run because when I watch his starts, his changeup is still rather firm to be a good pitch. I also think that his slinging arm action is a better fit in the pen because a rather hard arm action to repeat in the rotation. I think that the slider has become a rock solid pitch for him and pair that with his fastball that could routinely touch triple digits once he moves to the bullpen, he'll be too good for hitters to handle. 

Adon has the good stuff to be promoted to San Jose right now but he still needs to continue to refine his command of his fastball but it's nice to see him get lined to the plate better this season. 

25. Ronnie Jebavy  OF  A+

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

Jebavy came back in June after an awful injury in the postseason last season for San Jose. Right away, the thing that I am really worried about him is that he's still striking out at an alarming rate, close to 30% while having taken just 2 walks in a month and a half of action.

I don't have any problem with his plus speed that allows him to steal bases at a very good rate and his excellent center field defense. What I am really worried about him is how much he'll get on base. He got some power on the swing but he's being helped massively by BABIP gods right now (.393 BABIP) and I am really worried how much he'll get on base. 

I think in a league where strikeouts are king, there's potential for him to reach the Majors as a defense-first center fielder. If Billy Hamilton who can strike out at a high rate and get on base at a pretty average rate, I think that Jebavy can play there even though he's not a prototypical leadoff-type of guy.

26. Malique Ziegler  OF  A-

Updated Grades: Hit 45 | Power 45 | Speed 70 | Arm 50 | Glove 55

I have a written report on Ziegler in my previous post. According to him, he's put a lot of work in the offseason on driving the ball better by getting his hands and wrists stronger so that he can whip the bat on the zone, using the whole field to his advantage. It really shows to his performance so far. He's made plenty of contact with the bat using his wiry strength to turn on pitches and using his plus-plus speed to great use as an aggressive baserunner as evident on his 4 doubles and 3 triples and a smart basestealer stealing 11 bases out of 14 tries. 

Ziegler could've placed higher in my rankings because I am pretty conservative on his hit tool currently since he's so young and there's not a lot of sample size yet to evaluate but he's got the tools to become a nice prospect, maybe top 11-15 potential prospect in the next two years. Look out on him.  

Tier 4

27. Kelvin Beltre  2B/3B  A

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

Enjoying his first true full season in Augusta after a career full of injuries, Beltre is having a really solid season. He walked a lot more this season compared last couple of season while having a pretty respectable strikeout rate. 

Yes, there's still room to mature on his frame and probably tap more on his good raw power, but his overall bat to ball skills is still quite a problem for me. He's very spread out at the box that might not allow him to drive pitches better but he got good bat speed so there are good ceiling to tap on there. Even though he's got a plus arm and solid speed, I am not excited on his defense at second base in the games that I watched him with just okay hands and instincts. I think that third base is a better fit for him since his arm fits there but it's not bad to let him continue at second base.

I think Beltre's happy to be playing without any major injuries for the first time this season and he's showing a good eye at the plate but the hitting mechanics can still be sorted out to tap on his power and he really needs to improve his glove in order to be acceptable at the dirt.

28. Dan Slania  RHP  MLB

Updated Grades: FB 55 | SL 50+ | SPL 50 | CB 45 | CH 40 | CMD 45

Slania's call-up to the Majors is actually surprising in my opinion because he's having an unimpressive 2017 on both levels especially at Sacramento where he's always getting getting hit hard and walking plenty of batters in every start. The problem that he had is the amount of homers he has given up for the River Cats, where he allowed 14. His BABIP there is unsustainable at .364 so there might be a good shot that his numbers will improve once the BABIP gods become more friendly. A really high BABIP might also be an indication that his stuff is easy to time, easy to hit and when his fastball is at the middle of the plate like where he is usually to, he's getting crushed.

I think that in his short MLB stint, his command of his fastball has been good as a reliever. I think the Giants did a very good job of converting him to a starter where he used his massive repertoire of pitches and gizmos well but I think it's time to place him back to the pen where I feel will make him thrive again, focusing on fastball location and his slider and splitter where when thrown well are good out pitches for him. Of course he can still throw everything including the kitchen sink from the pen but command is still and will be the key for him.

29. Jordan Johnson  RHP  AA

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

After a pretty disastrous season in San Jose, the Giants brass showed their faith on Johnson that resulted to a promotion to Richmond. I think it was done in order to get him out of the launchpad into a better pitching environment with the hopes of getting his homers down. I think the promotion did a good job on that aspect, reducing his HR/FB% to 11.3% after having a horrible 17.6% last season. Aside from that however, it's been a pretty bad mess. His walks are up, his strikeouts are way down, and after being benefitted on having to play on the pitcher-friendly nature of the Eastern League, his ERA caught up to his FIP after a string of horrible starts. He's also allowing flyballs at an alarming rate. Flyballs and flat, hittable stuff means big trouble often.

Stuff-wise, he's practically the same pitcher as last season. His more control over command at this point, his fastball still flattens out when thrown higher as low as leg-high, allowing loud contact. His secondaries are still good pitches especially his changeup but it's became more inconsistent in terms of locating it in his starts that I watched. His mechanics now looks more and more like an issue that will be hard to harness because of the inconsistency of his release point. 

The hype that I have with Johnson has waned and I almost placed him off my updated Top 30 but the starts that I watched where even though his fastball isn't there, the offspeed pitches saved him because it still got that better than average potential. He really need to hone in in his mechanics to make it work. If not, he's a reliever.

30. Jalen Miller  2B/SS  A+

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

After another aggressive promotion from the Giants front office, Miller's walk and strikeout rate improved but I am still having a pretty problematic and enigmatic feeling on him. It's going to be the third straight season where he's not cracking past the .230 batting average. He's showing better power this season as he already surpassed his homer total last season of 5 by hitting 6 homers in 45 less games and he's also hit 13 doubles to add up to his improved power.

I think that the tools are still there (the strong wrists, athletic frame, good speed and good glove) but obviously, his journey to be a minor leaguer is very slow and plenty are going to write him off already due to some fresh influx of good talent to get excited about. But, I still have good hope in him he'll find the key to his success offensively to become a relevant prospect in the farm system. Sadly, it might be until next season that he'll be on a roll. I have faith in late bloomers and Miller might be one if he pieces all of his exciting tools together.

Honorable Mention That Can Be Placed In The Top 30 In My Opinion

- D.J. Snelten- I think that he's the best lefty relief option that can be readily accessible whenever the Giants need him but I am not really sure. A low-90s two-seamer is his bread and butter and he got the leverage in his pretty twitchy mechanics that gives deception and leverage but I'm not entirely sure if his secondaries will work well against Major League hitters. I need to see more from him.

- Pat Ruotolo- The best reliever out of the Augusta bullpen, Ruotolo has been exceptional for the GreenJackets, showing good control of his fastball-curve combo that has gotten him plenty of strikeouts but not a lot of walks. 

- Dusten Knight- Third straight reliever listed, you can say the same thing I said on Ruotolo on Knight but this Knight is knocking on the door. His spot start in Sacramento looks good as well.

- Joan Gregorio- Good ERA but poor peripherals and the PED suspension knocked him out of the top 30.

- Conner Menez- Great start of the 2017 but has settled into a nice summer. Fastball and slider looks nice but in his recent starts, I have seen him miss his spots that he's hitting before and the changeup and curve has been fringy. I think fatigue is starting to kick in so let's see if he can sustain his performance towards the end of the season.

- Ricardo Genoves- Best catching prospect in the low minors for the Giants, Genoves contributions offensively might be so-so but he's showing the looks of a good eye at the plate so the bat to ball ability needs to improve in order to become a two-way catcher.

- Alex Canario- Really hard to gauge DSL performance using stats but Canario's stats shows he can hit for some pop, he can steal, he got a potential for developing a good eye at the plate. Interesting prospect.

- Manuel Geraldo- Still young, he's been back and forth in the low minors but he has some potential to tap on and he can stick in the dirt.

I might do some podcast in the future that I will post here. I'm thinking of next year as the start. I hope I have a good voice there because I think I can shorten up what I say here and might be nice for readers. I don't really have much to add on so if I miss something, feel free to hit me up on the comments section or on Twitter. If there are going to be movements in the system via trades (possibly adding a new prospect or two on the system), I'm definitely going to update my top 30. I hope you enjoy reading this one!

No comments:

Post a Comment