Giants Hot Corner Presents: 2014 Mid-Year Giants Top Prospects List

Here is my list of the Giants top prospects (must still have rookie status) based on who has the highest ceiling:

Tyler Beede Giants

1) TYLER BEEDE, Age 21 – RHP, AZL Giants (Rookie)

Ceiling:  #1/#2 Starter 

Estimated Time of Arrival: 2016

2)  KYLE CRICK, Age 21 – RHP, Richmond Flying Squirrels (AA)

Ceiling:  #2 Starter (or Closer)

Estimated Time of Arrival: 2015

3)  ANDREW SUSAC, Age 24 – C, San Francisco Giants (MLB)

Ceiling:  Starting Catcher (league average)

ETA: 2014

4) ADALBERTO MEJIA, Age 21 – LHP, Richmond Flying Squirrels (AA)

Ceiling:  #3/4 Starter

ETA: 2015

5)  KEURY MELLA, Age 20- RHP, Augusta Green Jackets (A-)

Ceiling:  #4 Starter

ETA: 2017

6)  CHRIS STRATTON, Age 23 – RHP, Richmond Flying Squirrels (AA)

Ceiling: #4 Starter

ETA: 2015

7)  CHRISTIAN ARROYO, Age 19 – SS, Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (A Short)

Ceiling:  Starting SS (solid bat, weak glove) or Starting 3B (solid glove, weak bat)

ETA:  2017

8)  CLAYTON BLACKBURN, Age 21 – RHP, Richmond Flying Squirrels (AA)

Ceiling:  #3/4 Starter with plus command

ETA: 2016

9) ARAMIS GARCIA, Age 21 – C, AZL Giants (Rookie)

Ceiling:  Starting Catcher

ETA: 2017

10)  TY BLACH, Age 23 – LHP, Richmond Flying Squirrels (AA)

Ceiling:  #4/5 Starter

ETA: 2015

11) LUIS YSLA, Age 22 – LHP, Augusta Green Jackets (A-)

Ceiling:  #4 Starter

ETA: 2016

12)  MARTIN AGOSTA, Age 23 – RHP, San Jose Giants (A+)

Ceiling:  #4 Starter

ETA: 2016

13)  MAC WILLIAMSON, Age 24 – RF, San Jose Giants (A+)

Ceiling: Average everyday RF with good power

ETA: 2015

14)  JOE PANIK, Age 23 – 2B, San Francisco Giants (MLB)

Ceiling:  Utility guy

ETA: 2014

15) MATT DUFFY, Age 23 – SS, San Francisco Giants (MLB)

Ceiling:  Utility guy

ETA: 2014

16)  GARY BROWN, Age 25 – CF, Fresno Grizzlies (AAA)

Ceiling:  4th/5th OF

ETA: 2014 (Sept)

17) STEVEN OKERT, Age 23 – LHP, Richmond Flying Squirrels (AA)

Ceiling:  Set-up man

ETA: 2015

18) RYDER JONES, Age 20 – 3B, Augusta Green Jackets (A-)

Ceiling:  Slightly below league average 3B

ETA: 2017

19) KENDRY FLORES, Age 22 – RHP, San Jose Giants (A+)

Ceiling:  #5 Starter/Long Relief

ETA: 2016

20) RAY BLACK, Age 24 – RHP, Augusta Green Jackets (A-)

Ceiling:  Set-up man, or closer with improved control (throws 102 MPH!)

ETA: 2016

JUST MISSED: Joan Gregorio RHP (A-), Cody Hall RHP (AA), Derek Law RHP (AA)

Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Giants Hot Corner’s GIANTS NOTES – APRIL 2014

Tim Hudson Giants

Here are some interesting notes and numbers as we look back on the San Francisco Giants opening month of the 2014 season:  

  • Through 28 games this season, the Giants have hit 34 home runs which ranks third in Major League Baseball.  Of the two teams ahead of them, one gets to use a designated hitter (Angels) and the other gets to play at Coors Field (Rockies)
  • Through 28 games in 2013, the Giants roster had hit only 21 home runs.  Brandon Belt, Michael Morse, Buster Posey and Brandon Hicks have already hit 24 this year.
  • The 2013 Giants ended up reaching 34 home runs in their 39th game of the season
  • Giants left fielders and second basemen combined to hit only 9 home runs in 2013 in 1,387 plate appearances.  Through the first month of the 2014 season, they have already hit 10 home runs in only 223 plate appearances.
  • Brandon Belt hit 7 home runs in April.  Last year Belt didn’t hit his 7th home run until June 9th.
  • Despite the Giants 2014 power surge, their 17-11 record is only 1 game better than where they were at this time last year (16-12)
  • Aside from the power, the Giants offense has been rather mediocre ranking 22nd in MLB in batting average (.239), 21st in OBP (.309) and 20th in runs scored
  • How is Pablo Sandoval doing in his “walk” year?  How about a slash line of .177/.262/.302.  It is safe to say that some of his poor performance has been due to poor luck.  His BAbip (Batting Average on balls in play) is only .201, which is well below his .312 lifetime average.  
  • The Giants pitching staff has been stellar so far, posting a 3.24 ERA (7th in MLB) and a 1.18 WHIP (5th)
  • Brian Sabean takes a lot of heat from Giants fans, but the Tim Hudson signing has looked great so far.  Hudson’s opening month as a Giant saw him go 4-1 with a 2.17 ERA, but that barely begins to tell the story on how dominant he has been.  Through 46.2 innings, Hudson has a 0.74 WHIP, which ranks 2nd in MLB, and an unbelievable 15.5:1 K to BB ratio (31 Ks, 2 BBs)
  • Giants pitchers are enjoying the spacious AT&T Park so far as they have 2.51 home ERA and an outstanding 1.05 WHIP.  However, the Giants arms have not fared so well on the road, posting a team ERA of 4.14 and a WHIP of 1.34.
  • The Giants pitchers have only surrendered 9 home runs at home this year in 559 opponent’s plate appearances.  On the road, they have allowed 21 home runs in 474 plate appearances.
  • One of the Giants biggest weapons this year has been their bullpen.  Giants relievers have posted a 2.05 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP through the first month of the season.   2014 MLB averages are 3.70 and 1.33.

Should the Giants Extend Pablo Sandoval?

sandoval

With the recent news that Pablo Sandoval shot down the Giants’ 3-year, $40 million extension offer, what should they do now?  Sandoval is reportedly seeking a contract in the neighborhood of the one Hunter Pence received last September (5/$90 million) from the Giants.  The Giants appear to be in a bit of a dilemma as Sandoval is a fan favorite and their minor league cupboard appears bare at third base, but on the other hand, he has weight issues and has had problems staying on the field.  

Sandoval, the 2012 World Series MVP, lost about 40 pounds (it appears some has already been put back on) this off-season as he seems poised to have a big year with free agency looming.  I’m not completely sold that Pablo’s weight was a major factor in his past injuries, as two of his lengthiest DL stints were due to broken hamate bones in each hand.  I do believe that in order for Sandoval to earn a hefty contract, he will need to stay at third base and that will not happen if he continues to put weight on.  Defensive metrics show that Sandoval was a below average third baseman last season (-10 Runs Saved per Baseball Reference), and at this point playing first base is not even an option with the emergence of Brandon Belt, as well as the eventual Buster Posey move to first.  

The biggest issue for me are Sandoval’s declining offensive numbers over the past few seasons: 

2011:  .315/.357/.552

2012:  .283/.342/.447

2013:  .278/.341/.417

While the offensive trend is not a good sign, I would feel comfortable offering Sandoval a contract as high as 3-years/$50 million.  I definitely would not go over 3 years, considering the weight problems that Sandoval has had in the past and I feel that $16.7 million per season is more than fair given the going free agent market.  

Best case: Sandoval keeps the weight off and plays league average defense at third for the duration of the deal.  He stays relatively healthy and regains some of the power that was sapped by his recent hand surgeries and hits similar to his 2011 season.  This 3-year extension would only take Sandoval through his age 31 season, so this is possible.

Worst case:  Sandoval continues to decline offensively and eats his way off of third base and you are stuck with a year or so of an extremely expensive bench bat.

If Sandoval stands strong on his 5-year (or even 4-year) contract demands, the Giants should simply make him the qualifying offer after this season and let him walk once he declines.  This way the Giants could get a draft pick if he signs elsewhere, and use their money to sign a better third basemen like San Diego’s Chase Headley.  The Giants could also get Sandoval back at a discounted rate going this route, as teams may be hesitant to lose a draft pick by signing Sandoval (like Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales).

Please let me know your thoughts and what contract, if any, you would offer to Pablo.