Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Out In Front: Post-Trade Deadline Opinions + Something Extra

For what it's worth, the Giants didn't made any deal at the trade deadline and opting to wait it out and evaluate the waters in the offseason. I think that's pretty fair considering what the Dodgers got for Yu Darvish which is like swapping 75 cents for a dollar. We could've seen some of the core players like Joe Panik, Brandon Belt, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, and Hunter Pence get dealt to playoff contenders but based on the value that the prime cuts of meat received, it's a fair decision to stand pat. But, the Giants did trade one of their decent players in Eduardo Nuñez to the Red Sox for minor leaguers Shaun Anderson and Gregory Santos.

I have chatted to one of my Twitter friends in John Calvagno in Notes From the Sally for a good amount of info about Anderson because if there's someone I can rely on regarding the prospects in the South Atlantic League and is a Red Sox fan, John's the go-to guy.

Based on what John said on Anderson last April, he got a low-90s fastball that's above-average but is almost as straight as a bullet and got a slider and a cutter that flashes better than average. He didn't hold the velocity deep into starts as he's dipping towards the high-80s range in the 5th inning. His slider in the mid-80s and cutter in the high-80s are solid pitches where the latter projects to be a better pitch and has confidence in it. He also does throw a changeup with some sink and projection. I think he's also thrown a curveball that has some knee-buckling action in it in a video of him last season.

Based on videos, he loads heavily on his back leg that helps generate the downhill plane that he creates and that works well with his fastball. He has good feel for his pretty repeatable mechanics even though it's pretty funky and stayed consistent on his 3/4 release point according to John. He has good feel for pitching and the command is usually there but when on longer stints, his command wane and it's more control than command. 

All in all, I think that he has the potential to be a starter with good pitching repertoire of average or better pitches with good command but in my opinion, he'll be better suited to the bullpen. The Giants will stretch him out to allow him to use all of the things that he can bring to the table ala Dan Slania but Anderson's future is most likely to the bullpen where his fastball can get a tick faster and hover towards the plus territory. That said, Anderson can be a back-end rotation guy when all things come together and his changeup projects to be a good third offering.

I don't have a lot of info for Gregory Santos but according to Baseball America, he's already throwing at around 92-93 MPH at the age of 16 so don't look at all his stats in the MiLB.com because what you will see there is not what he does have to offer. He probably all throw hard with little success but there's ingredients to build on especially on that arm that throws that hard that early. But we all know he's a million miles away from reaching the Majors so the bust level is through the roof. 

At the end of the day, the Giants didn't hit a homer or at least made loud contact in the trade deadline but it's more of an infield dribbler that he beat out for a hit, making sure they'll trade the person that they feel can be let go without any regrets while getting as much value as possible and for Nuñez, I think this is good value. Below is where Anderson will slot on my Top 30 that is updated with some slots moving up and down:

Tier 1
1. Christian Arroyo (hopefully, the wrist injury will not have any long-term effects)
2. Chris Shaw (keep on working it! but will likely be called up in 2018)
3. Tyler Beede (too bad he's injured but he might be an AFL participant this year)
4. Heliot Ramos (top prospect for 2018 if he keeps on hitting)

Tier 2
5. Bryan Reynolds (he just keeps on hitting nicely)
6. Steven Duggar (he's back but his knack for drawing walks isn't fully back)
7. Austin Slater (injuries suck, man)
8. Andrew Suarez (latest start was excellent and should be in contention in ST)
9. Jacob Gonzalez (his eye and approach is too good in AZL w/ more BB than K)
10. Aramis Garcia (finishing strong might allow him to be in AAA in 2018)

Tier 2.5
11. Miguel Gomez (holding his own in limited ABs in the Majors shows his ability)
12. C.J. Hinojosa (the bat is fully back and he might be slumping but he's alright)
13. Kyle Crick (forgot he's still a prospect but man, my petition to convert him to RP is justified)
14. Ryder Jones (he's on the rehab now and hoping he'll not be held by Panda)
15. Seth Corry (present good stuff but he got as much walks as innings pitched)
16. Garrett Williams (promotion to SJ proved that his command is better)

Tier 3
17. Heath Quinn (the injury he sustained sucked the life out of him)
18. Shaun Anderson (he'll slot here but the stock is as fluid as a flowing water)
19. Ryan Howard (he can hit so well that maybe he can hit a ball using his cleats)
20. Stephen Woods, Jr. (latest start shows that he can be unhittable when he's right)
21. Sandro Fabian (he's in a hot surge and poised to move higher at seasons end)
22. Matt Krook (he's being demoted to the pen which might be a blessing in disguise)
23. Reyes Moronta (he's on the rehab trail and he can move back towards the teens)
24. Garrett Cave (pitched exclusively in stretch position but still more control)
25. Melvin Adon (he's still throwing really hard which is testament on his build)
26. Malique Ziegler (he's cooled down but the tools is still as good as anyone's)
27. Bryce Johnson (his S-K debut is going very well, showcasing his leadoff skills)

Tier 4
28. Ronnie Jebavy (the strikeout issues is still hindering him for taking the next step)
29. Sam Coonrod (he's getting uninteresting in my eyes and a convert to RP candidate)
30. Jordan Johnson (see above)


Something Extra

In this edition of Something Extra, I'm going to just small talk about the 2018 draft. The Giants are currently having the worst win-loss percentage in baseball as I wrote this and will likely land in the Top 3 of the draft at season's end. I'm so excited to see the really best of the best, the creme de la creme of draft prospects finally going the Giants. Here's some of my initial opinions on the top prospects in next year's draft class in no particular order:

Brice Turang - Turang reminds me really well of Mickey Moniak, as he got one of the best pure hit tool in this year's draft with a really long track record for hitting for average. He got a really mature approach at the plate but I'm worried about how much can he add in his lean frame to hit for at best average power (slightly worried about the exit velocities off his bat). He can really run with projected plus-plus speed that gives him chance to stick at short with a solid arm to boot. He's my most favorite player in this draft and in my opinion, the best get for the Giants to develop a shortstop probably 4 years away to supplant Brandon Crawford.

Brady Singer - Possibly the first pitcher to be taken in this draft or might honestly be the first player taken, Singer has the tools to be a frontline starter. He got a 93-96 MPH sinker with bowling ball action that he throws on a low 3/4 slot, a slider and change that flashes above-average and the command projects somewhere in the same range. My issues on him is that most people see him to add more but his narrow frame limits that and that might be an issue once he plays in the rigors of pro ball.

Jarred Kelenic - Kelenic got true five-tool potential with a chance to play center field with his plus raw speed and arm strength. He got present average raw power with potential for more especially on his pull side. He got the knack to make loud contact with solid approach at the plate while hitting with a really wide base. I am not really excited on another outfield prospect in next year's draft given the plethora of outfielders in the system but if Kelenic has a monster season next year, I don't mind him getting drafted.

Ethan Hankins - My most favorite pitcher this year, Hankins has the potential to have an 80-grade fastball thanks to his projection to add muscle in his broad frame, easy mechanics and true 3/4 slot or lower. He might touch triple digits in full maturation and combine that with the crazy sink that he gets in his current fastball makes it a true plus-plus offering. Curveball's got a chance to be solid for him but feel is in the raw side as well as his changeup. I'm worried about his feel for his offspeed pitches as well as his command projection given his easy mechanics but the ceiling is too high.

Kumar Rocker - Built like a linebacker, Rocker has one of the smoothest and rhythmic mechanics in the class. He can throw his fastball up to 98 MPH with good life and a slider that already flashes plus where he used that to struck out Will Banfield I think in the UA All-American Game. The changeup is coming as well. The problem that I see in him is that he might be too built this early of his budding career and his arm action is pretty funky that he reminds me of Tyler Kolek.

Will Banfield - Banfield is the best catching prospect of the class because of his defensive ability and feel for hit and power. His defense behind the dish is projected to be at plus thanks to his agility, quickness and smooth actions that keeps on delivering plus or better pop times. Even if he doesn't hit well, there's still tremendous value for his glove. Oh, and he can hit it as well for power even though the power is more towards the pull side.

Travis Swaggerty - Swaggerty has one of the best names in the draft class and also one of the best talent available. He got one of the best power-speed combination with plus raw speed and loose and quick wrists to hit for some power. The swing is more on the line drive side but he got the skills to translate it to pro ball really well as a future leadoff man.

Nander de Sedas - One of my most favorite draft prospects next season, de Sedas has possibly more raw tools than Turang. He got plus raw power as a switch hitter with very good balance, makings of a very good eye and bat speed to match it. His arm is also plus or better, reaching up to 96 MPH when he lets it rip and even though his above-average speed will lose a step once he fills his frame, he'll likely to stay at shortstop with his smooth actions and excellent first steps. The problem about de Sedas that he's not better than Turang is his track record for hitting but what Turang lacks, de Sedas is full of.

Jeremy Eierman - Possibly my favorite college prospect next season, Eierman has the potential to become a five-tool player at the prime position that's shortstop. He can hit for average, he can hit for power, he can steal bases well, he got a strong arm that will stick at short, and he can defend short very well. He's very athletic and he knows he can play all over the dirt but shortstop is his best spot. He got above average bat speed and a very strong lower half to have power to all fields. The problem that I see from him is that the bat path is more on the uppercut side and is pretty whippy and he will strike out a little bit too much for comfort but he's drawn walks at a good rate. If he can reduce his strikeouts and become a 25-25 player as a junior while playing shortstop, I can really see little reason for the Giants to NOT draft him. He's what the Giants need for 2018.

That concludes this edition of Out In Front and Something Extra. I hope you enjoy reading in my blog!

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