Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Blast from the Past: Bengie Molina Retires

Bengie Molina announced his retirement a few days ago. He had pretty much kept that bit of news to himself, but his wife had other ideas and planned a surprise party for him at their house in Arizona. My first thought when reading that was she did it to ensure Bengie doesn't change his mind, but I'll leave that between them.

The party was well attended by present and former players well represented by the Giants. Whatever we, as fans, think of Bengie and his catching abilities, Giants pitchers, not an easy bunch to catch or please, love pitching to him. So much so that if you want blame somebody for delaying Buster Posey's arrival in the majors, Giants pitchers probably have as much to do with it as anybody. Of course, they are just as protective of Buster now, but yeah, pitchers can be a funny bunch sometimes.

Bengie has a few obstacles to overcome in jockeying for position in the pantheon of Giants history. To begin with, he started his career with the Angels and was a member of the team that beat the Giants in the 2002 World Series. Secondly, he had the misfortune of coming on board with the Giants during the death throes of the Barry Bonds era and had the dubious and misplaces honor of emerging from the smoldering wreckage as his successor at cleanup hitter. Lastly, he was asked to hold the catcher position past the expiration date on his contract and career until the Giants deemed Buster Posey ready to handle the difficult and downright dangerous stuff the Giants pitching staff brought to the mound every game.

It was fairly easy for Giants fans to forgive his Angels history when he quickly brought stability to a position that had been manned by the likes of Eliezer Alfonso and Todd Greene the season before. Bengie gave Barry Bonds a bit of protection in the lineup and came up with enough big hits to earn the nickname Big Money. As the Barry Era drew to a close and no replacement for the big guy was forthcoming, the fans started to blame Bengie for being an obviously inadequate cleanup hitter. Later, as the first glow of the Buster Posey era started to dawn on the horizon, Bengie got blamed for holding back the arrival of The Chosen One. He didn't help himself with the fans by seeming to be less than enthused about the prospect of mentoring the young star. Nevermind that the Giants were waiting for a green light from the guy many of them wished was the Giants manager instead of Bruce Bochy, Steve Decker.

I'm going to leave the discusssion of Bengie's career with one thought. He might be one of the most underrated players in the recent history of the game. Now, the term "underrated" is thrown around way too much and is often impossible to prove or disprove. It's an opinion, a judgement call in most cases. With the emergence of advanced valuation systems, we can get pretty good objective estimates of player values in terms of the salary structure of Major League Baseball. Bengie Molina earned a total of just over $33 million over the course of his career. Now, that's a ridiculous amount of money, but we can objectively show that it was also a ridiculously low amount of compensation compared to other players in the game at the same time.

When you compress Bengie's statistics into a single value that estimates how much he contributed to his team, Win Above Replacement(WAR), he put up a total of 15.2 WAR over his career. Players on the open market in major league baseball get paid, on average, $4.5-5 M per WAR which means that Bengie was paid for less than half his market value over the course of his career. Even after you account for salary inflation, he outproduced his salary in all but 2 of the 10 peak seasons of his career. The biggest disparity was his 2008 season with the Giants when his 2.7 WAR was worth $12.4 M while his salary was $6.3 M.

As time goes on, I hope Bengie Molina will be remembered by Giants fans as a good Giant. As much as he gave to the team, it is unfortunate, though necessary, that he had to watch the Giants win it all from the opposing dugout. I'm glad he finally was presented with his Giants WS ring at his retirement party. It was well deserved.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Down on the Farm: Honorable Mention Late Adds

NIck Liles, OF. 6'0", 165 lbs. BD: 7/23/1987. B-R, T-R.

High A: .281/.317/.372, 6 SB.

AAA: .417/.462/.500 in 12 AB.

Liles is an older prospect who hits for average, but doesn't draw many walks and has little power. I thought he looked bigger than his listed size when I saw him play for San Jose last year.

Jason Stevenson, LHP. 6'1", 175 lbs. BD: 8/8/1981.

AA: 1-0, 1.29, 7 IP, 2 BB, 7 K's.

AAA: 1-0, 5.56, 11.1 IP, 5 BB, 9 K's.

Formerly failed prospect signed midseason last year out of Indy ball. Has overcome a lot of personal problems. Gotta root for a guy like that!

Juan Perez, OF. 5'11", 185 lbs. BD: 11/13/1986. B-R, T-R.

AA: .256/.303/.381, 25 2B, 10 3B!, 4 HR, 22 SB.

DWL: .290/.320/.389, 13 SB in 162 AB.

After taking another look at Perez' numbers from last year, he put them up in a very tough environment for hitters as is the DWL. Still has a chance to be a reserve OF in the right situation.

Shawn Sanford, RHP. 6'0", 200 lbs. BD: 8/28/1988.

Low A: 10-10, 2.55, 169.2 IP, 30 BB, 107 K's, GO/AO= 1.63.

The story of his dad's struggle with colon cancer and how it affected Shawn led me to take another look at him. As long as he can keep the ball on the ground and keep his walk rates down, he has a chance to keep moving up.

Taylor Rogers, RHP. 6'4", 200 lbs. BD: 6/5/1987.

Low A: 12-10, 2.91, 154.2 IP, 38 BB, 86 K's, GO/AO= 2.11.

Another guy who will have to prove he can make older hitters put the ball on the ground, but why not give him an honorable mention? His height will help him.

Devin Harris, OF. 6'3", 225 lbs. BD: 4/23/1988. B-R, T-R.

Low A: .231/.310/.414, 15 HR, 6 SB.

Fangraphs had a recent article about the vanishing RH hitting corner OF. Harris can take a walk and has some HR pop in his bat. Kind of a poor man's Pat Burrell, if you will. Longshot, but hey...I liked him in college and am not going to give up on him just yet.

Ryan Bradley, LHP. 6'1", 180 lbs. BD: 7/15/1988.

Low A: 4-2, 4.31, 79.1 IP, 32 BB, 48 K, GO/AO= 1.50.

Numbers are unimpressive, but he's a LHP and the son of the Giants minor league pitching coordinator so I figure he's going to get his chances.

Gus Benusa, OF. 6'1", 190 lbs. BD: 1/30/1991. B-L, T-L.

Rookie AZL: .297/.338/.419, 1 HR, 3 SB in 74 AB.

HS draftee has been a bit of an enigma so far. Made his debut in 2009 and then missed all of 2010. Caught fire at the end of last season hitting .313/.389/.500 over his last 10 games.

Stephen Yarrow, 3B/1B. 6'3", 215 lbs. BD: 11/30/1988. B-L, T-R.

Rookie AZL: .286/.412/.371
AAA: .333/.429/.333 in 6 AB.
College(USF): .310/.405/.635, 16 HR.

Signed as an undrafted FA, put up nice BA's and even better OBP's but did not show the power he had in college.

Joe Biagini, RHP. 6'4", 215 lbs. BD: 5/29/1990

College(UC Davis): 3-1, 7.47, 15.2 IP, 9 BB, 18 K's.
Cape Cod League: 1.31, 20.2 IP, 6 BB, 21 K's.

Son of a former Giants minor leaguer. Being a draft eligible sophomore probably helped him get a $175 K bonus out of the 26'th round, but you have to figure he's got something the Giants want too. Terrific size. Reportedly shined in the fall instructional league.

Travious Relaford, SS. No info.


Throwing a bone to the Shank with this one. 44'th round pick. Cousin of Desi Relaford. Raw in all phases of the game but has the athleticism to stick at SS.

College Corner: Weekend Lines for Draftable Players

The big news in college baseball and the upcoming draft is the wrist fracture suffered by Victor Roache which is likely to cause him to miss the rest of he college season and also likely drop down the draft rankings. The Giants have historically not taken his type of player in the first round and it seems unlikely the injury drops him all the way to the late second round.

Listed BA's are for the full season.

Joey DeMichele, 3B, Arizona State: 6 for 10, 2 2B, 3B, 2 HR. BA= .474.

Deven Marrero, SS, Arizona State: 4 for 11, 2 2B, SB. BA= .348.

Mitch Haniger, OF, Cal Poly: 8 for 18, 2 2B, HR. BA= .345.

Tony Renda, 2B, Cal: 4 for 12. BA= .435.

Mike Zunino, C, Florida: 2 for 6, SB. BA= .440.

Preston Tucker, 1B, Florida: 3 for 11, 2 HR, SB. BA= .387. I like Tucker a lot. He's a senior so likely won't go high in the draft.

Nolan Fontana, SS, Florida: 5 for 9, 2 2B, HR. BA= .269.

Peter O'Brien, C, Miami: 3 for 8, 2 2B, HR. BA= .571.

Pat Stover, OF, Santa Clara: 5 for 11, HR, SB. BA= .412. Another OF to keep an eye on.

Christian Walker, 1B, South Carolina: 4 for 10, HR. BA= .381.

Jeremy Baltz, OF, St. John's: 5 for 13, SB. BA= .292.

Stephen Piscotty, 3B, Stanford: 3 for 14, 2B. BA= .265.

Jake Stewart, OF, Stanford: 7 for 13, 2 2B, HR, 2 SB. BA= .400.

Tyler Gaffney, OF, Stanford: 4 for 11, 2B. BA= .346.

Kenny Diekroger, SS/2B, Stanford: 6 for 12, 3 2B, SB. BA= .400.

Travis Jankowski, OF, Stony Brook: 6 for 15, 2 2B, 3B, 3 SB. BA= .400.

Tyler Naquin, OF, Texas A&M: 4 for 8, SB. BA= .522.

Barrett Barnes, OF, Texas Tech: 6 for 12, 2B, 2 HR, 4 SB. Yet another OF to keep an eye on!

Kurt Heyer, Arizona: 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K's. ERA= 1.29.

Brady Rogers, Arizona State: 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K's. ERA= 0.00.

Marcus Stroman, Duke: 7 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 2 K's. ERA= 3.75.

Chris Beck, Georgia Southern: 7 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 5 K's. ERA= 2.08.

Buck Farmer, Georgia Tech: 6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 13 K's. ERA= 3.75.

Kevin Gausman, Louisiana State: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K's. ERA- 0.69.

Kyle Zimmer, USF: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K's. ERA- 0.00. Curiously short outing for Zimm

Michael Roth, South Carolina: 7 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 K's. ERA=0.69. South Carolina came within 1 out of a no-hitter in this game.

Matt Price, South Carolina: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K's. ERA= 1.80.

Kyle Hansen, St John's: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K's. ERA= 1.80.

Brett Mooneyham, Stanford: 8 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 7 K's. ERA= 2.57. I would say Mooneyham's stock rose with this game.

Mark Appel, Stanford: 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 10 K's. ERA= 3.29.

Michael Wacha, Texas A&M: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 11 K's. ERA- 0.00.

Senior Ryan Arrowood of Appalachian State raised some eyebrows with a 1-0 shutout of LSU with 10 K's. He's got nice size. No scouting reports.

Tommy Coyle, 2B, of North Carolina is off to a good start: .357/.424/.536, 2 2B, 3B, 3 SB.

Any other lines catch your eye? Dan Gulbranson had a tough weekend. I didn't see a line for Adam Brett Walker but he's hitting just .200 on the season so far.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Down on the Farm: Honorable Mention Part VIII

Luis Angeles, RHP. 6'0", 165 lbs. BD: 12/15/1989.

2-1, 7.43, 23 IP, 7 BB, 19 K's.

Smallish RHP out of the DSL. Had a 1.85 ERA there last year. Actually improved his K rate in Arizona in a small sample size.

Paul Davis, RHP. 6'2", 210 lbs. BD: 1/29/1990.

Rookie AZL: 0-0, 3.44, 36.2 IP, 11 BB, 27 K.
Short Season: 1-0, 1.64, 11 IP, 3 BB, 9 K's.
College(Florida Atlantic): 10-1, 2.87, 100.1 IP, 34 BB, 73 K's.

Successful college starter with decent peripherals.

Brian Maloney, LHP. 6'0", 176 lbs. BD: 10/4/1988.

Rookie AZL: 1-0, 3.55, 12.2 IP, 5 BB, 21 K's.
Short Season: 0-1, 18.00, 5 IP, 11 BB, 7 K's.
College(Franklin Pierce): 8-4, 1.52, 88.2 IP, 24 BB, 115 K's.

Small college pitchability LHP with FB topping at 88 MPH. Struggled after promotion to Salem-Keizer in small sample size.

Derek Law, RHP. 6'3", 218 lbs. BD: 9/14/1990.

Rookie AZL: 0-0, 2.50, 18 IP, 2 BB, 19 K's, 4 Saves.
Miami Dade JC: 8-5, 2.35, 92 IP, 16 BB, 121 K's.

Terrific ratios despite reports of rough arm action and a hard delivery. FB goes 89-93 MPH. Probably profiles as a setup man.

Danny Sandbrink, RHP. 6'2", 195 lbs. BD: 6/23/1989.

Rookie AZL: 1-0, 2.53, 21.1 IP, 3 BB, 21 K, GO/AO= 1.92.
College(Stanford): 4-1, 3.39, 61 IP, 15 BB, 45 K's.

42'nd round pick out of Stanford. No scouting report. Seems to be an excellent control pitcher. AZL not much of a test.

Ryan Bean, RHP. 6'4", 225 lbs. BD: 3/9/1990.

Rookie AZL: 2-1, 4.15, 21.2 IP, 15 BB, 28 K's.
Low A: 0-0, 5.40, 3.1 IP, 2 BB, 4 K's.

Thanks to a reader for the tip on Bean who looks like a beast in the video I was able to find. It shows him doing an interesting workout regimen followed by some pitching in a cage. Mid 90's heat? Drafted out of JC ball in 17'th round, 2010.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Spring Training Update: Baer Baits the Pitchfork Mob

It was obviously a slow news day in Scottsdale, so when Larry Baer showed up to spring training, the reporters were asking questions and breathlessly trying to interpret the tea leaves. Matt Cain had been asked about contract negotiations and said he was looking for "fair market value." His agent said he wouldn't accept a "hometown discount." When Larry Baer was asked about whether the Cain and the Giants could agree on "fair market value." He somewhat clumsily replied, "to be determined, to be determined" after a long pause.

OK, listen up here team! Yes, it's unfortunate that negotiations are starting to leak into the press, but there is absolutely no surprise here. Nobody in their right mind who is involved with negotiations at this level is going to capitulate in the press before the deal is cut. Nobody in this business gives or gets a hometown discount. Does that mean Matt Cain is going to hit the road if he does not get the full amount he could get if he becomes a free agent? Yes, that is possible, but in no way a metaphysical certitude, as John McGlaughlin would say.

Matt Cain is not a free agent for one more full season of play. A lot can happen in 1 season, especially to pitchers. There are no guarantees that he will be the same pitcher at the end of the season he is today. That is the reason why Matt Cain might want to accept a "discount." Not because he has warm fuzzy feelings for the Giants. It's not a "hometown discount." It's a security discount! It is also the reason why the Giants have every reason to not accept a deal that extends Cain at full "fair market value." If that's what the Giants have to pay, well, they can pay that just as well next offseason after they know Cain's arm has survived the rigors of another season. The Giants are offering the security of a multi-year extension and taking on the risk of Cain getting injured or having a decline in production. They have every right to expect a discount in return for that.

Of course, the risk for the Giants, if Cain is wanting full open market value, is that if they don't meet that, they could lose him altogether. They then have to weigh that risk against the risk of overpaying on yet another big, long term contract and consider the alternative ways they could re-allocate the money they otherwise would have spent on Cain's contract.

That's a lot of weighing to do for both sides, and yes, the monetary and emotional cost of relocating has to be a factor for Matt Cain. The complexity of those calculations are why so many of these deals end up not getting done even when it seems like a win-win. My guess is that both sides, in this case, want to get a deal done, and want it badly enough, that it will happen in a way that satisfies everybody. The more that gets said to the press, though, makes it more likely someone will say something that offends the other side and make a deal more difficult to get done.

There was also more intrigue regarding the A's desire to move to San Jose. Baer was asked if the issue was down to negotiations over compensation. After another long pause, his answer was "no, I wouldn't say that," or something to that effect. The extended silence on this issue is certainly odd and really makes you wonder what's going on behind the scenes. If Selig's mission on his visit to the Giants was to tell them that it's a done deal, you would think it would have been wrapped up by now. You have to think the Giants must have a hole card of two that is preventing MLB from pulling the trigger. It wouldn't shock me at all if this stalls out until the Dodger sale is complete and then MLB moves to find a buyer for the A's. Then again, it wouldn't shock me if they announced the San Jose deal tomorrow.

Stay tuned. The plots are thickening!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Spring Training Update: Random Thoughts

From what I've read so far, I'm starting to think Freddy Sanchez is a longshot to start the season anywhere but on the DL. As I've said before, I'm not convinced Freddy plays even one game all season. A platoon of Theriot and Fontenot(love those two names together. Sounds like a country song or something) seems like the most likely backup plan. I wouldn't be at all against an experiement using Emmanuel Burriss and try for a "speed" lineup. What about Pagan, Burriss and Melky as 1,2,3 on the order with Pablo cleanup and Buster hitting #5? The obvious worry is whether you get enough OBP with Burriss, but he could be useful bunting a bit, putting the ball on the ground on hit-and-runs, taking some pitches to let Pagan steal.

I'm encouraged by what I hear of Brian Wilson's throwing. Sabes pretty much slapped down any thought of an early extension for BWeezy. Sabes: "We're still in the evaluation stage." Translation, "we're not sure he's healthy and he's getting very expensive."

Hector Correa reportedly lit up the bullpen he was throwing in yesterday. Don't count Correa out as a starter option should a backup plan become necessary. He got stretched out to 4 innings at the end of last season and handled it well.

Apparently Bochy and Sabes have been spending a lot of time standing around where Seth Rosin is throwing. Sabes? I like that he is apparently personally scouting some of his younger players in camp. As for Rosin, it seems he felt very comfortable in he bullpen last year. Everybody, including him, seems to agree that he can kick the FB up a notch or two out in shorter outings. He had a pretty good changeup out of college but he rarely used his curveball. He's now junked the curve and is working on a hybrid slider/cutter that rags and the Giants coaches seem to favor.

A new pic of Pablo is out. Yeah, he still has a bit of a belly on him, but he really wasn't exactly skinny in ST last year. It only seemed that way in comparison to 2010. I think he looks good and in about as good a shape as we're going to get from Pablo.

How embarrassing is it for Angel V to be denied a visa because he doesn't appear to be an "elite athlete?" This is the first I've heard of a chronic medical condition. Asthma? Type II Diabetes already? Hypertension? Lose some weight, kid!

I thought the full squad didn't report until tomorrow, but it sounds like the they had a full squad workout today. Hope Boch sticks with his plan for a OF alignment of Cabrera in LF, Pagan in CF and Nate in RF. Assuming Huff is the starting 1B, that would seem to leave Brandon Belt on the bus headed to Fresno. I have this suspicion that the Giants are going to try to trade Huffster before opening day.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Down on the Farm: Honorable Mention Part VII

Jose Cuevas, 3B. 6'2", 190 lbs. BD: 4/5/1988. B-R, T-R.

Rookie AZL: .337/.403/.639, 9 HR, 9 SB.

Cuevas was drafted in round 29, 2010 draft out of NAIA Lee University. He only got into a few games that summer with unimpressive results. He returned to the AZL in 2011 and won the league MVP award. He was way old for the league, but coming out of such a small school, it may have been an appropriate placement. He was a SS in college, has a strong arm, excellent range some speed and power. Odds are against him, but stranger things have happened. He does seem to have some tools.

Cristian Paulino, 3B. 5'10", 168 lbs. BD: 9/4/1991. B-R, T-R.

Rookie AZL: .277/.379/.438, 1 HR, 10 SB.

Paulino seems like kind of a dynamic player out of the DSL with solid plate discipline, a hint of power and some speed. His numbers were not as impressive as Cuevas', but he was much more age-appropriate for the league. He was red hot at the end of the season hitting .345 over his last 10 games including one huge game where he went 5 for 6 with 3 doubles and 2 SB's. Who starts at 3B for Augusta this year, Buechele, Cuevas or Paulino?

Christian Diaz, OF. 6'1", 170 lbs. BD: 7/15/1993. B-L, T-L.

Rookie AZL: .231/.375, .308 in 13 AB.

Diaz was one of the Puerto Rican contingent drafted by the Giants last year. He really only made a cameo appearance. I would expect to see him back in the AZL this year after extended spring training. He would still be very age-appropriate for the league.

Edwin Escobar, LHP. 6'1", 185 lbs. BD: 4/22/1992.

Rookie AZL: 2-4, 5.09, 46 IP, 17 BB, 42 K's.

VWL: 0-1, 5.73, 22 IP, 11 BB, 12 K's.

Escobar took a step backwards last season as he had pitched decently in Salem-Keizer in 2010. His K and BB ratios weren't bad though and he's still fairly young. His lefthandedness will buy him some extra time too.

Miguel Ferrer, RHP. 6'3", 168 lbs. BD: 8/7/1990.

Rookie AZL: 6-1, 1.53, 29.1 IP, 7 BB, 36 K's, GO/AO= 1.48.

Ferrer pitched well in his first time pitching in the USA after laboring for 3 seasons in the DSL. ERA= 0.49 over his last 10 appearances. I would expect to see him in Augusta this season.

Down on the Farm: Honorable Mention Part VI

Mike Merganthaler, OF. 6'4", 210 lbs. BD: 1/6/1989. B-L, T-L.

Rookie AZL: .388/.476/.592, 4 HR, 5 SB in 103 AB.
College(Richmond): .307/.390/.496, 7 HR, 18 SB in 228 AB.

Merganthaler was drafted in round 32. He was too old for the Arizona League, so you can discount those numbers, but he's got a projectable frame and enough athleticism and speed to steal bases and play CF. A sleeper to watch in 2012.

Kelby Tomlinson, SS. 6'2", 180 lbs. BD: 6/16/1990. B-R, T-R.

Rookie AZL: .357/.417/.543, 10 2B, 5 3B, 2 HR, 11 SB in 140 AB.
College(Texas Tech): .307/.415/.372, 21 SB.

Again, too old and advanced for the Arizona League, but can play SS and has some projection left in his body.

Eric Sim, C. 6'2", 215 lbs. BD: 1/3/1989. B-R, T-R.

Rookie AZL: .352/.438/.586, 6 HR, 5 SB in 145 AB.

Another AZL greybeard, he hit just .108 there in 2010 in just 37 AB. Will have to prove it at higher levels now.

Christian Otero, SS. No info


Part of the Puerto Rican HS contingent drafted in 2011. Projected as more likely to stick at SS than Jean Delgado. Possibly a weak bat.

Major Elliot Blair, OF. 6'1", 181 lbs. 2/3/1988. B-R, T-R

Rookie AZL: .333/.421/.500, 8 2B, 4 3B, 1 HR, 6 SB in 114 AB.
College(Oklahoma): .333/.405/.485, HR in 33 AB.

Blair is a bit of a mystery. In 4 years of college ball, he only got a total of 111 AB's, but hit .359 with 7 HR and 11 SB's. He tore an ACL in sophomore season and had a concussion his junior season. He came off he bench his senior season. The Giants drafted Garrett Buechele from Oklahoma, so I presume the guy who scouted him saw something he liked in Blair. Another intriguing sleeper candidate.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Down on the Farm: Honorable Mention Part V

Garrett Buechele, 3B. 6'0", 200 lbs. BD: 10/23/1989. B-R, T-R.

Rookie AZL: .308/.325/.513, 2 HR in 39 AB.

Short Season: .235/.288/.350, 5 HR in 200 AB.
College(Oklahoma): .317/.383/.461

Buechele has a baseball pedigree being the son of Steve Buechele former 3B for the Texas Rangers. My first inclination is to look at Buechele's numbers from last year and write him off, but looking over his college stats, he hit .353 and .359 in freshman and sophomore years. I'm going to give him a mulligan for last year as he first had to adjust to the BBCOR bats, which I've been told were truly awful, then readjust to wood bats in the pros in addition to college + pro being a long season. Let's see where he goes and what he does in 2012.

Leonardo Ochoa, OF. 6'0", 180 lbs. BD: 10/20/1989. B-L, T-R.

Short Season: .265/.330/.451, 5 HR.

Signed as an undrafted FA late in 2008. Showed a bit of power in Short Season ball. No clear where he fits in the Giants OF depth chart. May not have quite enough power for a corner OF and not enough speed and athleticism for CF.

Chris Gloor, LHP. 6'6", 255 lbs. BD: 3/7/1987.

Rookie AZL: 1-1, 8.44, 5.1 IP, 3 BB, 5 K's.

Short Season: 1-0, 2.45, 22 IP, 7 BB, 26 K's.
High A: 1-0, 0.00, 2.1 IP, 1 BB, 5 K's.

I assume Gloor was coming off some type of injury accounting for the stint in Arizona and the low IP totals. He's a big lefty who has put up good numbers when healthy. Good chance of making it as a future left specialist out of the pen.

Jack Snodgrass, LHP. 6'6", 216 lbs. BD: 12/10/1987.

Short Season: 4-1, 3.59, 47.2 IP, 14 BB, 44 K's, GO/AO= 2.77.

Older college draftee. Put up nice ratios with dominant GB tendencies. Pitched well in 3 of 4 starts at the end of the season. Kind of a sleeper type right now.

Steven Shackleford, RHP. 6'1", 185 lbs. BD: 5/5/1989.

Short Season: 2-2, 5.21, 46.2 IP, 19 BB, 41 K.

Regressed a bit in his second pro season, but his K and BB ratios were acceptable.

Keith Bilodeau, RHP. 6'4", 195 lbs. BD: 9/17/1989.

Rookie AZL: 1-0, 0.00, 8 IP, 2 BB, 7 K's.
Short Season: 0-0, 0.00, 6 IP, 2 BB, 8 K's.
College(Maine): 10-2, 2.87, 84.2 IP, 34 BB, 77 K's.

Nice size. Drafted out of an up and coming baseball program. Nice numbers in very small sample size pro debut. Watch for Jeffrey Gibbs from same school in this year's draft.

Monday, February 20, 2012

College Corner: Batting Lines for Draftable Players

Victor Roache, OF, Georgia Southern: 4 for 10, 2 HR, 3 BB, HBP. (BTW, Chris Beck's pitching line was 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 8 K's.).

Brandon Thomas, OF, Georgia Tech: 2 for 15, 2 BB, 1 HBP.

Mike Zunino, C, Florida: 5 for 12, BB, SB.

Preston Tucker, 1B, Florida: 6 for 11, 2B, BB, SF.

Nolan Fontana, SS, Florida: 2 for 10, 2 BB, HBP.

Christian Walker, 1B, South Carolina: 4 for 11, BB.

Dan Gulbranson, OF, Jacksonville: 2 for 10, 2B, 3B, 3 BB, SB.

Adam Brett Walker, 1B, Jacksonville: 2 for 12, 2B, BB, SB.

Patrick Wisdom, 3B, St Mary's: 2 for 13, 3B, 5 BB, HBP.(4 games, looks like they might have been pitching around him.)

Kenny Diekroeger, 2B/SS, Stanford: 5 for 12, 2 BB, HBP.(not a great sign that Stanford seems to prefer Lonnie Kauppila at SS).

Stephen Piscotty, 3B, Stanford: 4 for 14, 2B, 2 HR, HBP.

Jake Stewart, OF, Stanford: 5 for 11, 2 2B, 2 BB, 2 HBP, SF. (Sleeper alert! Plus defensive CF). (BTW, Brett Mooneyham: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 8 K's).

Peter O'Brien, C, Miami: 7 for 15, 2B, 2 HR, BB.

Kevin Plawecki, C, Purdue: 5 for 13, 2B, 3B, BB, HBP, SB.

Deven Marrero, SS, Arizona State; 3 for 11, SB.

Joey DeMichele, 3B, Arizona State: 3 for 9, 2B, SB.

Chadd Krist, C, Cal: 5 for 13, 3 2B.

Tony Renda, 2B, Cal: 6 for 11, 2B, 4 SB.

Jeremy Baltz, OF, St. John's: 2 for 11, 3B, HR.

Tyler Naquin, OF, Texas A&M: 6 for 11, 2 2B, 3 SB.(Naquin would fit the pattern of the last 2 Giants first round draft picks as would Travis Jankowski whose team(Stony Brook) did not play this weekend.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Down on the Farm: Honorable Mention Part IV

Cameron Lamb, RHP. 6'3", 195 lbs. BD: 5/29/1989.

Short Season: 4-6, 5.09, 74.1 IP, 15 BB, 58 K's, GO/AO= 2.16.

ABL: 5-1, 1.89, 28.2 IP, 8 BB, 29 K's, GO/AO= 2.80.

It seems like forever ago that Lamb was signed as a 17 year old out of Australia. His progress has been painfully slow. He did show an ability to keep the walks down and the ball on the ground. He's starting to get a bit on the old side for a prospect this low in the system, though.

Lorenzo Mendoza, RHP. 5'10", 190 lbs. BD: 8/6/1991.

Short Season: 5-5, 4/19, 73 IP, 16 BB, 68 K's.

Mendoza has a nice K/BB and has age vs level still on his side.

Reiner Roibal, RHP. 6'2", 215 lbs. BD: 1/19/1989.

Short Season: 1-4, 3.74, 67.1 IP, 17 BB, 58 K.

Roibal was signed out of Cuba to some fanfare in April of 2010 to some fanfare. He's not particularly young and he has not exactly dominated. He did show some decent ratios for Salem-Keizer.

Brandon Allen, RHP. 6'6", 190 lbs. BD: 8/15/1991.

Short Season: 2-8, 6.04, 56.2 IP, 22 BB, 25 K's.

The Giants have established a pattern of drafting and signing at least one HS pitcher in the low single digit or teen rounds of the draft. Allen was drafted in the 18'th round of the 2010 draft and only pitched 5.2 innings that year. He was on the young side for Salem-Keizer and held his own and even improved as the season went along putting up a 4.86 ERA with better ratios over his last 10 starts. I would expect to see him in Augusta in 2012 where he might find the competition less challenging than at S-K.

Matthew Graham, RHP. 6'4", 225 lbs. BD: 5/1/1990.

Low A: 0-0, 5.32, 22 IP, 18 BB, 10 K, GO/AO= 3.00.
Short Season: 2-2, 8.35, 36.2 IP, 22 BB, 31 K's, GO/AO= 1.44.

It's been a tough row to hoe for Graham since being drafted out of HS in the 6'th round of the 2009 draft. The Giants knew he was a project. He's got a hard sinker and knows how to put the ball on the ground, but he's struggled with his control and presumably with secondary pitches. He's still raw but probably worth being patient with.

Spring Training Update: Odds and Ends

Spring training has officially begun as the pitchers and catchers completed their first day of workouts. Here's some early observations and thoughts:

I've ready multiple references recently, mostly in fantasy related sites, about Pablo Sandoval gaining 30 lbs and other references to him being overweight and thus possibly a risk to draft for your fantasy team. It seems that people are referencing something Bochy said at Fan Fest that seemed to me to be referring to the early offseason or even end of last season. It's also well known that Pablo skipped going to Venezuela to spend more time on the same workout regimen as last offseason. I'll just say that I've seen several pictures of him that appear to be very recent in which he looks darn good! He is definitely redistributing his body weight and I agree that it looks like he may have truly gained muscle mass. His mid-section has a noticeably smaller diameter while he appears to have put on a slab of muscle across the chest and into the shoulders. Yup, Pablo is looking good! He ain't the Panda anymore!

Ryan Vogelsong tweaked his back and will miss the first 10 days of workouts. Hope that's all it is. You don't like to read news like this about a players who is already a risk for regression.

Marc Kroon retired. Glad he got a chance to earn some financial security in Japan and to experience some thrills over there. I thought there might be some team that could use him in the bullpen last year. Unfortunately for him, it's crazy hard to crack the Giants bullpen, especially right now.

I've got a new link up to CSN Bay Area. I decided I better put it up now that Baggs is reporting from there. Still got Extra Baggs up. I really like Alex Pavlovic a lot. In some ways, I think he's a better reporter than Baggs although Baggs seemed to have a nose for breaking a story. They are going to change the name of the blog. Not sure if I'll need a new link or what. Hopefully they give us the new web address so we don't lose track of it.

Lot's of coverage of Buster Posey's first workout. Man, just reading about the BP dingers and the crowd reaction brought tears to my eyes. I ran into a lot of Giants fans in the days and weeks following Buster's injury. Man, it was just like a death in the family. The most common expression I heard, time after time, was "I'm in mourning." He looked terrific in pictures today. He sounded in mid-season form at his presser. Great to read about him bouncing around the field like nothing happened. There was still a bit of edge of bitterness over Cousins though. When they asked him about Bochy's edict regarding not blocking the plate, Buster reminded everybody he wasn't blocking the plate on the Cousins play. His answer to the question about whether he believes Cousins is sorry, was pretty terse as was his response to whether he has talked to Cousins. No!

There's a lot of manager-speak and double talk about the reserve catching situation as well as the 1B/LF situation. Is it just me or has Huff worn out his welcome and now the Giants don't quite know what to do with him? It sounds to me like they would really, really like both Belt and Hector Sanchez to make the team, but then what do you do with Huff and CStew/Whiteside. I'm not sure why Whiteside is even in the discussion, for that matter.

It's shaping up to be an interesting spring. It's off to a great start with Vogey's back being the only real downer so far.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Down on the Farm: Honorable Mention Part III

Brett Krill, OF. 6'4", 195 lbs. BD: 1/24/1989. B-R, T-R.

Short Season: .304/.350/.488, 16 2B, 6 HR, 4 SB in 207 AB.

Brett Krill first caught my eye as a college player at UCLA. I think John Klima showed a video and gave a somewhat favorable scouting report. At first glance, Krill looks kind of big and clumsy but he moves surprisingly well for a big guy. For some reason the comp I keep coming up with is Michael Cuddyer. He had a fine season for Salem-Keizer, but he's on the older side so will need to keep moving up. I would like to see what he can do for San Jose in 2012.

Ben Thomas, 1B. 6'1", 240 lbs. BD: 6/3/1989. B-L, T-L.

Rookie AZL: .346/.380/.569, 6 HR in 130 AB.
Short Season: .302/.340/.417 in 96 AB.

Ben Thomas is a classic Moneyball type player. Bad body good bat. He will go as far as his bat takes him.

Joe Staley, C. 6'1", 235 lbs. BD: 5/8/1989. B-S, T-R.

Short Season: .280/.383/.490, 8 HR, 4 SB in 157 AB.

Staley seems to have a pretty good hit tool with excellent plate discipline and some power. BA draft scouting report says he is a fair defender.

Mike Murray, C. 5'11", 205 lbs. BD: 4/24/1988. B-L, T-R.

Short Season: .326/.394/.459, 6 HR in 242 AB.

Another older catching prospect with a hit tool. Murray is going to try to diversify his defensive value and then let the bat carry him as far as it takes him.

Dan Burkhart, C. 5'11", 215 lbs. BD: 3/6/1989. B-L, T-R.

Rookie AZL: .217/.265/.261.

Short Season: .285/.329/.438, 4 HR in 144 AB.

Burkhart was yet another older catcher for Salem-Keizer last year. The Giants are ridiculously overloaded at the catcher position. Some of these guys may increase their value by learning to play more than one position. Some may get caught in a numbers game. It seems to me that the Giants could trade one of two of them to catching poor organizations for lower level prospects at another postion, but we don't see too much of that sort of thing in baseball.

College Corner: Friday Starts

College teams generally put their best pitcher on the mound on Friday nights, the first game of a 3 game weekend series. Friday box scores are a good place to look for outstanding pitching performances and get a handle on how draft eligible pitchers are performing. Here's a quick rundown from last night's college games with some of the pitchers I'm interested in following this season:

Michael Roth, LHP, Sr. South Carolina: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 K's. vs VMI.

Mark Appel, RHP, Jr, Stanford: 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 K's. vs Vanderbilt.

David Starn, LHP, Sr, Kent State: 8 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K's vs Georgia Tech.

Brady Rodgers, RHP, Jr., Arizona State: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K's vs Western Michigan.

Eric Erickson, LHP, Sr(6'th yr), Miami of FL: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K's. Coming off TJ surgery.

Kurt Heyer, RHP, Sr., Arizona: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 7 K's vs North Dakota State.

Kyle Hansen, RHP, Jr. St Johns: 4 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 9 K's vs Michigan State.

Justin Jones, RHP, Jr. Cal: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K's vs Pacific.

Joey Wagman, RHP, Jr., Cal Poly: 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K's vs Oklahoma State.

Dane Quist, LHP, Sr., UC Davis: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 12 K's, vs Utah.

Kyle Zimmer, RHP, Jr. USF: 4 IP, 1 H, 0, 0 BB, 3 K's vs. San Jose State.

Kyle Kraus, RHP, Sr. Portland: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K's vs. Stephen F Austin.

Martin Agosta, RHP, Jr, St Mary's: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 8 K's vs Southern Utah.

Pat Light, RHP, Jr., Monmouth: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 K's. 6'6", 200 lb RHP reportedly hitting 96 MPH in the first inning.

As you can see, the picking are a bit slim for college pitching this year. Jake Barrett of Arizona State, Chris Beck of Georgia Southern and Jeffrey Gibbs of Maine are 3 more names to watch for in future games.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Down on the Farm: Honorable Mention Part II

Kelvin Marte, LHP. 6'0", 180 lbs. BD: 11/24/1987.

High A: 12-6, 2.47, 147.2 IP, 47 BB, 84 K's., GO/AO= 1.75.

I saw Marte pitch last year and was more impressed than I thought I would be. His FB peaked at 93 MPH. He had a nice breaking ball and changeup to go with it. He kept the ball on the ground. Physically, he reminded me a lot of Odalis Perez. Should get a promo to Richmond for 2012.

Ydwin Villegas, SS/2B. 5'10", 180 lbs. BD: 9/1/1990. B-R, T-R.

AAA: .143/.217/.143 in 21 AB.
Rookie AZL: .180/.226/.280 in 50 AB.
Low A: .210/.212/.239 in 134 AB.

From everything I've read, Villegas is a magical fielder. He also has a magic bat that disappears when the pitch approaches the plate! Hey, at least he proved he can't hit at multiple levels! At age 21, he still has time, but he's going to have to hit at some point.

Chris Lofton, OF. 6'1", 175 lbs. BD: 5/20/1990. B-L, T-R.

Low A: .237/.323/.292, 22 SB, 14 CS.

Lofton is a toolsy OF drafted out of JC ball in 2010. He hit .292, .281 and .299 in May, June and July respectively, but then he slumped badly in July and August. Fatigue? Injury? Pitchers getting a book on him? I would think Shawn Payne and Jesus Galindo have passed him on the depth chart and he may have a tough time getting AB's in 2012.

Carlos Willoughby, 2B. 5'10", 170 lbs. BD: 11/12/1988. B-S, T-R.

Low A: .240/.341/.308, 33 SB, 10 CS.

Willoughby is another guy who might have hurt his stock by slumping badly in the last 2 months of the season. Still, gotta like the ability to take a walk and steal bases. Might see him in San Jose.

Gaspar Santiago, LHP. 6'0", 200 lbs. BD: 9/23/1989.

Low A: 3-7, 4.47, 94.2 IP, 53 BB, 88 K's.

I don't know too much about Santiago, but I like the K rate.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Down on the Farm: Honorable Mention Part I

The Honorable Mentions are not listed in any particular order. In general, I started with AAA and worked my way down, but even that is not in exact order.

Brett Pill, 1B. 6'4", 210 lbs. BD: 9/9/1984. B-R, T-R.

AAA: .312/.341/.530, 25 HR, 6 SB in 536 AB.
MLB: .300/.321/.560, 3 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR in 50 AB.

Pill had a terrific season last year after a long slow climb through the Giants organization. He was a breath of fresh air in September for the offense. Rightly or wrongly, he's got Aubrey Huff blocking him from above and Brandon Belt pushing from below, or Belt may be a bit above. Pill is an excellent fielder at 1B and can help his stock by being able to play some LF, 3B and even 2B in a pinch. The Giants do need a big RH bat off the bench and Pill just may be able to provide it. Big spring and big season for Pill's future as a player.

Steve Edlefsen, RHP. 6'2", 195 lbs. BD: 6/25/1985.

AAA: 2-4, 5.66, 41.1 IP, 19 BB, 29 K, GO/AO= 1.96, 1 Save.
MLB: 0-0, 9.53, 11.1 IP, 10 BB, 6 K's, GO/AO= 2.07.

Edlefsen was a shortstop in college at Nebraska, but was drafted by the Giants as a pitcher. He has a bit of a funky 3/4 delivery and a sinking two seamer with a lot of movement. He had trouble locating it in his brief MLB stint. He may have already been passed by Hector Correa and Danny Otero on the Giants RP depth chart.

Justin Christian, OF. 6'1", 190 lbs. BD: 4/3/1980. B-R, T-R.

AA: .256/.328/.359, 4 HR, 18 SB in 273 AB.
AAA: .338/.428/.574, 10 HR, 36 SB in 237 AB.
MLB: .255/.376/.459, 5 2B, 3 SB in 47 AB.

Mexican Pacific: .265/.342/.422, 3 HR, 4 SB in 102 AB.

Justin Christian is way too old to be a prospect, but he finally got a cup of coffee at the end of last season and did not embarrass himself against MLB pitching. He even held his own against Clayton Kershaw! He is caught in a numbers crunch and got dropped from the 40 man roster. He passed through waivers, re-upped with the Giants and got a ST invite. They could do a lot worse for a 5'th OF, IMO. Oh, and he's a local boy from the South Bay.

Tyler Graham, OF. 6'0, 180 lbs. BD: 1/25/1984. B-R, T-R.

AAA: .273/.337/.338, 60 SB in 414 AB.

Mexican Pacific: .267/.324/.372, 2 HR, 11 SB in 191 AB.

Graham is very fast and an accomplished base stealer. The big question is whether he can hit at all at the MLB level. My guess is probably not.

Johnny Monell, C. 5'11", 205 lbs. BD: 3/27/1986. B-L, T-R.

AA: .249/.334/.394, 10 HR.
PWL: .295/.377/.508, 2 HR in 61 AB.

The herd of Giants catching prospects went thundering past Johnny Monell in 2011. With Sanchez, Joseph, and Susac apparently slated for Fresno, Richmond and San Jose respectively, it's not clear where of how much Monell is going to play in 2012. As a LH batter with some power, I think he has the talent to be a reserve catcher somewhere in MLB. Where is the big question.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Down on the Farm: #50 Jean Delgado

#50 Jean Delgado, SS. 5'11", 150 lbs. BD: 1/5/1993. B-R, T-R.

Rooke AZL: .225/.385/.320, 1 HR, 16 BB, 18 K in 71 AB.

Delgado was the first of 4 Puerto Rican HS players drafted by the Giants in 2011 taken in the 8'th round. Obviously, he is on the small side, but BA reports "that doesn't stop him from taking a big hack and showing solid bat speed as well as good barrel awareness", whatever barrel awareness means. A lack of arm strength may force a move to 2B. He didn't show too much in his pro debut except an ability to take a walk, but hey, it's a place to start and not a bad one at that. That was enough for me to find a place for him at the end of my top 50 Giants prospect list. It wouldn't surprise me if he repeated the AZL in 2012 although low A Augusta is a possibility.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Fantasy Focus: All Sleeper Team

Here's a list of players who I think are worth watching as "sleepers" this season. Sleeper's are players nobody is paying attention to who have a chance to make in impact with their team to the point of contributing to a typical fantasy team. I don't generally recommend drafting "sleepers" as they are almost by definition high risk but since they are unlikely to get drafted, you can put them on a watch list and if the need arises and they are performing well, they make nice mid-season pickups. A few of these might even be draftable if you want to try to punt a position to the end of the draft in order to get better players at other positions earlier. Another thing to remember about sleepers is that as soon as they start getting mentioned, they stop being sleepers because people read about them and start expecting things from them, which means they are no longer sleeping, if that makes sense. I'm assigning sleeper status to these players based on Average Draft Position(ADP) from Mock Draft Central and from various pre-season fantasy ratings. Here's the team:

C Ryan Doumit, Twins. ADP= 237.23. #16 ranked catcher. 2011: .303/.353/.477, 8 HR in 236 PA. Career: .271/.334/.442. Rotochamp projection: .274/.337/.436, 13 HR in 427 PA.

The Hardball Times analysts ranked him even lower at 20 and 21 until I pointed out some things to them in the comments. Doumit is a beast at the plate. He's not a great defensive catcher, but he can play some 1B and LF and, of course, in the AL he can DH. He's coming off an ankle fracture suffered in a home plate collision shortly after Buster Posey's injury. I am under the impression that Doumit's injury was not as serious, so he should be fully recovered. The Twins clearly have big plans for him setting up a C/DH and possibly 1B tag team with Joe Mauer that will enable both players to get more PA's than a typical dedicated catcher. IMO, Doumit is borderline draftable in a 10 team league and definitely in a 12 team league. I thought about Nick Hundley here but it's hard to get too excited about any hitter who plays half his games in Petco Park.

1B Bryan LaHair, Cubs. ADP Not even listed! 2011(AAA): .331/.405/.664, 38 HR. 2011(Cubs): .288/. 377/.508. RotoChamp projection: .262/.335/.395, 12 HR in 436 PA.

Some AAAA players are really major leaguers who just haven't gotten a fair chance. Anthony Rizzo may be the Cubs 1B of the future, but even Jed Hoyer thinks he's not ready yet. LaHair is the likely the opening day starter. It's his big opportunity. He needs to grab it by the throat. 1B is very thin this year. You might not want to draft him, but he should be on your watch list. He may have OF eligibility too.

2B Kelly Johnson, Blue Jays. ADP= .234.66. #19 ranked 2B. 2011(2 teams): .222/.304/.413, 21 HR, 16 SB. Career: .260/.343/.441. Rotochamp projection: .243/.326/.433, 19 HR, 13 SB.

A lot of people look at Johnson's BA from last year and dismiss him out of hand. It's true, you don't want an average killer in your lineup, but look at the HR and SB's. Johnson had similar K and BB rates as in past year which means his BABIP was .277 against a career of .311. He's a good bet to rebound his BA in 2012. 2B is a fairly deep position, but that makes it a nice position to punt on draft day and Johnson would make a decent pick at the end of the draft in a 10 team league and definitely in a 12 team league.

3B Lonnie Chisenhall, Indians. ADP= 253.33. #22 ranked 3B. 2011: .255/.284/.415, 7 HR in 223 PA. Rotochamp projection: .251/.283/.398, 15 HR in 545 PA.

Lost in all the hoopla around Brett Lawrie and overshadowed by teammate Jason Kipnis over at 2B, Lonnie Chisenhall is being virtually ignored. He's a longtime highly rated prospect who showed much better plate discipline in the minors. There's a pretty steep dropoff at 3B after the top 6 or 7 and not every team is going to get one of those guys. I think Chisenhall has a decent chance of bettering his projections. Even if you don't draft him, he's worth following on a watch list.

SS Alcides Escobar, Royals. ADP= 237.25. #20 ranked SS. 2011: .254/.290/.343, 26 SB. Career: .252/.294/.339. RotoChamp Projection: .269/.312/.357, 19 SB.

Escobar may be a post-hype sleeper. At worst he'll give you some SB's. Rotochamp's estimate of his SB's is probably too low. Bill James gives him 27. Escobar was a better hitter in the minors and is at a point in his career where he could take a step forward so a higher BA and 30+ SB's is not out of the question. If you aren't lucky enough to have Tulo on your team, you can make a case for waiting until the end of the draft to take your SS. Escobar is someone to think about if you are considering using a higher pick on Dee Gordon or Elvis Andrus. At least, he's worth putting on a watch list.

OF JD Martinez, Astros. ADP= 242.99. #87 ranked OF. 2011(AA): .338/.414/.546, 13 HR in 370 PA. 2011(Astros): .274/.319/.423, 6 HR in 226 PA. Rotochamp Projection: .293/.341/.444, 14 HR.

I thought Martinez looked like a ballplayer when the Astros took it to the Giants in what might have been the backbreaking series of the season. Looking at his minor league record, he never hit less than .302 at any level putting up BA's of .403, .326, .362, .302 and .338 over 3 seasons at 4 different level with double digit HR's in each season. Bill James has him at 16 HR and I think he can approach 20 if he just puts up the RotoChamp's slash line. I think he's capable of a lot more. Definitely should be on a watch list at minimum.

OF Josh Reddick, A's. ADP= 268.84. #92 ranked OF. 2011: .280/.327/.457, 7 HR in 278 PA. RotoChamp Projection: .271/.321/.447, 14 HR in 548 PA.

Reddick came over from Boston in the Andrew Bailey trade. I made up this list before the Cespedes signing when it looked like Reddick would get the majority of PT in RF for Oakland. Now the A's OF situation is suddenly a bit crowded. Reddick definitely has some Iso Power potential and he's at the right age with just the right number of MLB AB's to think he might be ripe for a breakout. Probably more of a watcher than a draft candidate, but definitely watch him. If he gets the PT, he could put up some numbers. Bill James has him at 19 HR's.

OF Brent Lillibridge, White Sox. ADP= 295.72. #99 ranked OF. 2011: .258/.340/.505, 13 HR, 10 SB in 216 PA. Rotochamp Projection: .240/.318/.455, 11 HR, 11 SB in 223 PA.

Lillibridge was once a highly rated prospect with the Braves. He's never really broken through at the MLB level, but put up some very interesting numbers for the White Sox last year. He's still probably slated to be a utility guy but the White Sox have enough serious question marks on the team that there's a good chance Lillibridge will be starting somewhere for them before the season is done. If you project last year's numbers and this year's projection to a full season's worth of PA's, you have a 30/30 guy! Definitely have this guy on a watch list and if he gets a starting gig, he is eminently rosterable.

SP Hector Noesi, Mariners. ADP not available. 2011: 2-2, 4.47, 56.1 IP, 22 BB, 45 K's. RotoChamp projection: 8-6, 4.73, 120 IP, 47 BB, 96 K's.

Noesi was a little noticed player in the Pineda/Montero trade, but he may have some serious fantasy potential with the move to Seattle. He put up these numbers in one of the most hitter friendly ballparks in the toughest division to pitch in in baseball. All he has to do is pitch as well and his ERA will likely drop into the mid 3's. He should get a chance to be a fulltime starter for Seattle which gives him the opportunity to rack up a lot of K's with a decent WHIP. He had startlingly low BB/9 rates in the minors: High A: 1.1, AA: 1.6, AAA: 2.7. I like to use my bench as an extended starting rotation and most of the guys in my league do the same so pitching gets a bit scarce even in a 10 team league. Noesi is on my list of possible late round draft picks for a bench starter. I guarantee he will at least be on my watch list.

SP Henderson Alvarez, Blue Jays. ADP not available. 2011: 1-3, 3.53, 63.2 IP, 8 BB, 40 K's. RotoChamp Projection: 10-7, 3.42, 150 IP, 19 BB, 66 K's.

If you want to read an extremely interesting and educational article, look up The Next Michael Pineda(Part 2 of 2) on Fangraphs. The basic thesis is that a combination of high velocity and low BB/9 is a very good combination with a high predictor of future success. Alvarez' power sinker gets up into the mid 90's and his walk rates are astonishingly low. As a contact GB pitcher he won't give you a lot of K's, but you don't need that many if you extend your rotation to 9 or 10 pitchers by using your bench. He will do wonders for you WHIP. He's slated to be in Toronto's rotation to start the season. He's a definitely rosterable in a league like mine that goes deep into starting pitchers.

So, there it is. My All Sleeper Team! Who do you have pegged as a sleeper in 2012?

Down on the Farm: #49 Demondre Arnold

#49 Demondre Arnold, RHP. 6'3", 208 lbs. BD: 3/18/1992.

Rookie AZL: 1-0, 1.69, 26.2 IP, 8 BB, 32 K GO/AO= 1.47.

Demondre Arnold was drafted out of JC ball in round 25 of the 2011 draft. Great looking player with ideal size for a pitcher. BA has him throwing in the low 90's. Their comment was that he is quite raw, but his K and BB ratios from his pro debut look like they're from a guy who knows how to pitch. Looks like the Giants got excellent value for a round 25 pick and Arnold is somebody worth watching for in his first full season of pro ball. I would think Augusta would be a logical placing for him. Most likely out of the bullpen.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Hot Stove Update: A's Sign Yeonis Cespedes. Wait! What?

Billy Beane is one of the more polarizing figures in major league baseball, which may or may not be his fault. On the one hand, he has a dwindling crowd of worshipful followers who think he is the smartest GM in baseball, who continues to battle the odds with virtually no money to work with, and who almost never makes a bad decision. On the other hand, there is a growing cadre of skeptics who see his dogmas as being increasingly discredited and his decisions increasingly erratic. While the truth probably lies somewhere in between, I have to say I lean heavily to the latter view.

Yeonis Cespedes embodies virtually everything Billy Beane should stay away from if you subscribe to any notion of him having a coherent philosophy of how to build a team. I can almost see Billy sparring with his scouts in the movie Moneyball:

Scout: He's a five tool player. Billy: Can he hit?

Scout: Look at this scouting video! Billy: He's not actually playing any games in it!

Scout: He's the best looking player I've ever seen. Billy: We're not selling jeans here!

Billy Beane just spent the better part of this offseason dumping players who could help the A's win over the next few years for prospects who will likely be not up to full speed as major leaguers much sooner than 4 years from now. He seemed to be looking ahead to yet another "window" when he could create a perfect storm of talent that might have a chance to win it all before being dismantled for the next "window" another 4 or 5 years into the future. Then he goes out at signs a guy who is the antithesis of everything Moneyball is purported to be a 4 year contract no less!

Look, Cespedes may turn out to be a great player. After all, he does have the tools for it. The problem is, even if he does, Billy Beane just got through decimating his team in exchange for a chance to win AFTER Cespedes contract runs it's course! The probability, based on everything I've read and the experience of other Cubans who have come to MLB, is that Cespedes is way overhyped and overvalued. I mean, there is just no way that Cuban defectors have been an undervalued commodity over the years and Cespedes certainly does not look like a guy who is going to break the pattern.

If someone has an explanation of how this is Billy Beane thinking on a higher level than the rest of us mere mortals, I'd love to hear it. Bring it on!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Down on the Farm: #48 Emmanuel DeJesus

#48 Emmanuel DeJesus, LHP. BD: 1/6/1994.

DSL: 4-2, 1.74, 46.2 IP, 20 BB, 59 K.

Ordinarily, I don't include DSL guys in the top 50 prospect list. I have a separate category I call Dominican Dandies. I made the exception this year for Adalberto Mejia and Emmanuel DeJesus. I ranked Mejia a lot higher based on the fact I had heard of him before from the announcement of his signing bonus and he has more ideal size for a pitching prospect. You could make a case for DeJesus to be ranked every bit as high based on his performance in the DSL which was spectacular.

DeJesus made two initial appearances in relief and allowed 6 ER with 8 BB and 3 K's in 3.2 IP. He then moved to to rotation and absolutely dominated allowing just 3 ER over his next 43 IP with 12 BB against 56 K's. In his final start he allowed just 2 hits in 7 IP with 9 K's and 0 BB.

I don't really have a scouting report on DeJesus. He was signed out of the Dominican Player Development League which seems to be where the Giants are vetting the international prospects they are interesting in signing. I found a note that he signed for a $35 K bonus. I found a thread on a website called Baseball Fever by a guy who tracks international signings with a BoSox orientation who commented he really liked the DeJesus signing by the Giants. All I know is if he pitches like that as an 18 yo in Arizona this season, he will shoot WAAAY up next year's list.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Fantasy Focus: Pablo Sandoval vs Brett Lawrie Smackdown

I find fantasy baseball hard to write about because the universe of possible topics is so huge. Right now, I'm working on my draft board for my Savvy Vets fantasy team and find myself scratching my head over a situation involving our very own Panda, Pablo Sandoval. Savvy Vets plays in a 10 team keeper league H2H, 5X5, snake draft. We get to keep 3 position players and 3 pitchers. 3B is a position I will need to fill via the draft. In looking over last year's end of season rosters, it looks like there is a good chance both Sandoval and Brett Lawrie will be in the draft. My draft strategy is to make a list of the top 20-25 players available regardless of position(although position scarcity plays factors into the ranking). I follow that list for the first 2 rounds(remember, there are already 30 hitters and 30 pitchers off the board in round 1). I then segregate my draft board by position, kind of eyeball my positional needs and position scarcity and draft by those criteria taking the BPA weighted by need and availability for the rest of the draft. I usually save the last spot or two for sleepers or breakout candidates who have flown under the radar. Those first two picks tend to be hitters and I then tend to draft heavy on pitching in rounds 3-10 after I've got my 3 position keeper plus 2 BPA hitters in the draft.

Back to Sandoval vs Lawrie. I'm thinking that both of these guys might well be in my top 20 BPA list and I'm having an endless debate with myself over which one to rank higher. We all know Sandoval's story, but I'll list last year's stat line as well as his 2012 Rotochamp projection from Fangraphs:

2011: .315/. 357/.552, 23 HR, 2 SB in 466 PA.

2012 Rotochamp: .302/.356/.513, 24 HR, 84 R, 92 RBI, 2 SB in 585 PA.

As we all know, Panda missed almost 2 months with the wrist fracture and still put up those remarkable numbers last year. His MLB average slash line is .307/.356/.501 despite pretty bad numbers in 2010, so it seems reasonable that he can keep it going or even improve. I think the power numbers in the Rotochamp projection may be low as Pablo is still likely in the upward trajectory of his career and his 2011 projects to 28 HR's over 580 PA's. Not only that, but Pablo put up 633 PA in 2009 and 616 in 2010 so the 585 PA projection seems very conservative.

Brett Lawrie has been a highly rated prospect in Milwaukee's organization for several years. He was traded to Toronto for Shaun Marcum before the 2010 season and was called up last year by Toronto. Although it is a small sample size, his stat line certainly deserves attention as did Pablo's 41 game trial in 2008 did:

2011: .293/.373/.580, 9 HR, 26 R, 25 RBI, 7 SB in 171 PA.

2012 Rotochamp: .281/.366/.519, 26 HR, 80 R, 85 RBI, 25 SB in 590 PA.

Lawrie did not show that kind of power until he got to AAA Las Vegas which is a launching pad, but his body is just now maturing strengthwise and he's always been projected to have solid power. He did steal 30 bases in AA so the speed is for real.

Sandoval will start the 2012 season at age 25 while Lawrie is 22. Pablo's body habitus and conditioning will always be a concern, but he seems to be dedicated to staying in shape. Lawrie had some pics leak out onto the internet a couple of years ago showing him apparently involved in some immature activities and there was some thought that immaturity might have been in factor in Milwaukee's willingness to trade him, but he seems to have stayed out of the news since then. I would rate both players health and attitude risks to be about equal and minimal going forward. Sandoval, of course, has a longer MLB track record that has been up and down, but surprisingly much more up than down despite the bad 2010.

What it comes down to is they will give you approximately equal power numbers. Pablo will likely help you more with BA while Lawrie gives you those 25-30 steals from a position where you normally don't get very many.

Despite my Giants bias and loyalties, I have to say I'm leaning toward ranking Lawrie higher due to the SB's he gives you over Pablo's more established track record and likely higher BA.

Which of these two player do you think Savvy Vets should rank higher on draft day and would you take them in round 1 or round 2? Or would you look elsewhere in rounds 1 and 2 and try to pick up a 3B later in the draft?

Down on the Farm: #47 Cody Hall

#47 Cody Hall, RHP. 6'4", 220 lbs. BD: 1/6/1988.

Short Season: 3-1, 2.63, 27.1 IP, 19 BB, 42 K's, GO/AO= 1.29, 4 Saves.

College(Southern): 4-2, 3.41, 60.2 IP, 18 BB, 62 K.

Cody Hall was drafted in round 19 out of Southern U in 2011. He started 9 games out of 15 appearances for Southern U. The Giants assigned him to closer duties with Salem-Keizer where he finished 20 games out of 23 appearances. His K rate was spectacular, but he also walked a lot of batters. His walk rate in college was much lower though.

Hall has a lot of talent, but is raw. He had never thrown a pitch until he walked on as a freshman at Baton Rouge CC. He got a scholarship to transfer to Southern U, but Southern had no pitching coach. Giants minor league instructor Lee Smith and former All-Star Dave Stewart volunteer as pitching coaches there for 1 week out of the year each. Hall has a FB that reaches the upper 90's. He also has added slider that shows promise as well as a second off speed pitch, maybe a splitter if Stewart was involved? He has a tendency to overthrow when he gets fired up on the mound.

Baggs has commented that he's heard really good things about Hall from the organization and thinks he is a real sleeper.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Scouting the Draft: Matt Smoral

Matt Grabusky has his site, MLB Draft Guide back up to full speed after that awful hack attack. If you haven't visited for awhile while he was rebuilding, go back and check it out. He has a link to a mock draft on another site called Minor League Rundown that seems pretty reasonable. This one has HS LHP Matt Smoral going to the Giants at #20. Now, Smoral is somebody I could get really excited about and could easily see the Giants drafting him and he has a reasonable chance of being available at #20.

Smoral is a big guy at 6'8" who seems to have better command than most big guys and most HS kids. In his picture on Perfect Game, he bears an uncanny resemblance to Madison Bumgarner. The PG scouting report has him at 94 MPH with easy arm action and a sharp breaking ball. There is a draft video on BA where if you didn't know who it was, you'd definitely think it might be MadBum. He doesn't bring his arm quite as far back as Bumgarner on the windup but has a 3/4 arm slot that looks a lot like Bumgarner's delivery. Also like Bum, there are concerns about his low arm slot causing the breaking ball to flatten out. There are a couple of YouTube videos out there too. Mock Draft has him at #22 to the Rays. Matt Garrioch at has him as the #9 HS prospect which would put him somewhere around #20 in the draft. BA has him ranked #13 on their Top 100 draft prospects, so it's possible he might go before #20. If he's there, I could really see the Giants jumping all over him with visions of Madison Bumgarner dancing in their heads.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Down on the Farm: #46 Ray Black

#46 Ray Black, RHP. 6'5", 225 lbs. BD:

College(Pitt): 1-1, 6.62, 18 IP, 24 BB, 30 K's, 4 Saves.

Ray Black is another big, strong fireballing college bullpen guy. He had TJ surgery coming out of HS and redshirted his freshman year. He then hurt his knee and only pitched 17 innings in 2010. He didn't pitch a lot of innings in 2011 either, probably because of walk rates that make Bryce Bandilla look like a finesse pitcher by comparison. His FB sits at 94-97 MPH with a slider in the mid 80's. The 7'th round of the draft is a great place to take a risk on a guy like this. He's probably a longshot to ever get his stuff under control, but if he ever does, the Giants have themselves a dominant bullpen arm.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Down on the Farm: #45 Bryce Bandilla

#45 Bryce Bandilla, LHP. 6'4", 237 lbs. BD: 1/16/1990.

College(Arizona): 5-3, 3.66, 46.2 IP, 36 BB, 48 K's, 1 Save, BAA= .213.

Bandilla(I understand the L's are pronounced L rather than Y) is from Sacramento. He's a beast on the mound who's FB sits at 92-95 MPH and has touched 97. He also has an advanced changeup. He has a slurvy breaking ball that he throws in the bullpen but not in games. Drafted by the Giants in round 4 of the 2011 draft on the strength of his exceptional size and velocity for a LHP. He signed too late to get in any games so will make his pro debut in 2012. He'll have to get a frightful walk rate down to be successful in the pros.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Down on the Farm: #44 Edward Concepcion

#44 Edward Concepcion, RHP. 6'3", 190 lbs. BD: 10/3/1988.

Low A: 1-1, 3.61, 52.1 IP, 36 BB, 62 K's, GO/AO= 1.50.

Concepcion has some of the best raw stuff in the system, but he's had a terrible time controlling it. He seemed to find a bit of a comfort zone in the bullpen for Augusta last year. He still walked a lot of batters, but the K's and a moderate GB tendency made compensated for the walks and he was a solid contributor. He throws 96 MPH heat and with a sharp breaking ball. He should move up to San Jose. His ceiling is probably a long/setup man out of the bullpen at MLB level. He's not exactly a young prospect anymore, but power bullpen guys often figure it out late.

Down on the Farm: #43 Kentrell Hill

#43 Kentrell Hill, OF. 6'0", 180 lbs. BD: 10/27/1990. B-R, T-R.

Rookie AZL: .256/.316/.360

College(JC): .402/.482/.698, 11 HR, 36 SB in 203 AB.

Kentrell Hill is a true 5 tool player. His hitting stats from JC ball speak for themselves. He has also runs a 4.47 40 and has been clocked at 90+ MPH from the mound and OF. The Giants drafted him in the 10'th round of last year's draft. He signed quickly enough to get in some time in rookie ball. His line doesn't look to exciting but over his last 10 games he put up a line of .320/.393/.520. The big concern is with is quality of competition so far. I would think the Giants will take it slow and keep him in extended spring training and then on to Salem-Keizer for the 2012 season.

There is nice interview with Kentrell on the blog site Giants Cove. If you google image him you'll find some nice pics too. If you squint hard, you can see a young Willie Mays in a a baseball uniform. Gotta say, Kentrell is in the running to be named best looking Giants prospect in a baseball uniform. I don't know if the gangsta pics are of him or someone else. If it's him, I hope he was just messin' around. He seems like a nice country kid in the interview.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Down on the Farm: #42 Shawn Payne

#42 Shawn Payne, OF. 6'1", 190 lbs. BD: 7/13/1989. B-R, T-R.

Short Season: .306/.431/.394, 21 SB, 6 CS, 29 BB, 32 K in 160 AB.

Payne was drafted in round 35 of the 2011 draft out of Georgia Southern which happens to be the same school RHP Chris Beck and OF Victor Roache attend, 2 players who figure to be first round picks in the 2012 draft. But, back to Shawn Payne. He put up a line of .314/.432/.504 6 3B, 6 HR, 33 SB, 3 CS, 38 BB, 13 HBP, 60 K's in 242 AB in college. He signed right away and got in a full summer of short season ball showing exceptional plate discipline and speed to steal a lot of bases. I would think he has a chance to jump over low A ball and be the starting CF for San Jose in 2012. Whether at low A or high A, if these kinds of numbers hold up, he will be moving way up next year's list. He seems to have just enough power to keep pitchers honest so he should be able to maintain his fine OBP going forward. He's a major sleeper.

Down on the Farm: #41 Stephen Harrold

#41 Stephen Harrold, RHP. 6'1", 200 lbs. BD: 3/12/1989.

Low A: 4-3, 1.54, 41 IP, 17 BB, 39 K, GO/AO= 1.73, 16 Saves.

High A: 1-0, 5.48, 23 IP, 13 BB, 24 K, GO/AO= 1.00.

AFL: 3-0, 1.76, 15.1 IP, 5 BB, 15 K, GO/AO= 2.50, 1 Save.

Harrold was drafted out of UNC Wilmington in the 12'th round in 2010. He was almost immediately installed as the closer for Salem-Keizer and recorded 7 Saves in 18 appearances. He started out 2011 as the closer in Augusta and put up nice looking numbers. He struggled a bit after a callup to San Jose but sparkled in a a small sample size in the AFL, a pretty strong hitter's league. I don't have a scouting report on Harrold. Will he be the closer in San Jose or will he move up to Richmond on the strength of his AFL showing?

Down on the Farm: #40 Chris Heston

#40 Chris Heston, RHP. 6'4", 185 lbs. BD: 4/10/1988.

High A: 12-4, 3.16, 151.0 IP, 40 BB, 131 K, GO/AO= 2.20.

Chris Heston was drafted out of college at East Carolina in the 12'th round in 2009. He signed right away and started out in the AZL showing a strong groundball tendency along with solid K and BB ratios. He has maintained the K and BB ratios as he progressed to low A then to high A ball, but progressively increased his GO/AO from 1.80 to 1.90 to 2.20 while dropping his ERA from 4.11 to 3.75 to 3.16. He got even more GB dominant over his last 10 starts for San Jose with a GO/AO= 2.40 while going 5-0 with an ERA of 1.78.

From his numbers, we can easily deduce that his primary pitch is a two seam sinking fastball. I don't really have any additional scouting reports. I found a couple of interviews, one on YouTube with a site call Giants Persona and one with Joe Ritzo on Chris pretty much confirmed that his strategy is to pound the strike zone with his sinking fastball and then try for strikeouts with a breaking ball if he gets two strikes on the hitter.

GO/AO can be used as a rough substitute for GB%. I use a GO/AO>2.0 as a measure of groundball dominance. The problem comes in pitchers trying to maintain that dominance at higher levels where hitters are able to elevate pitches down in the zone and can also force pitchers to elevate their pitches. I looked up the MLB SP leaders for GO/AO and found only 4 with GO/AO>2.0: Charlie Morton, Derek Lowe, Jake Westbrook, and Jhoulys Chacin. First of all, none of them are really dominant pitchers. Secondly, I believe the reason there are so few that fall into this category is that it's so darn hard to consistently force MLB hitters to hit ground balls. So, I don't necessarily view a high GO/AO as a strong positive unless it goes with other signs of dominance. Chris Heston's K and BB numbers are good, but not necesarily dominant.

I expect Heston to put up more good numbers in AA as the EL favors his type of pitching. The big challenge will be when he hits AAA where sinkers don't sink and breaking balls don't break and power pitchers tend to do much better.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Down on the Farm: #39 Justin Fitzgerald

#39 Justin Fitzgerald, RHP. 6'5", 225 lbs. BD: 3/3/1986.

AA: 9-9, 3.51, 146.1 IP, 55 BB, 111 K's.

Justin Fitzgerald is a northern California kid who played HS baseball for Cardinal Newman HS in Santa Rosa. He went to college at UC Davis where he was the closer. He was drafted by the Giants in round 11 in 2008 and has worked his way steadily up the organizational ladder. He was converted to SP in 2010 with San Jose and put up solid numbers which he replicated in Richmond last year.

He pounds the strike zone with a FB that runs 89-92 MPH and compliments it with a breaking ball and changeup. He should move up to Fresno for 2012 where he could be available as a callup should the Giants run into injury problems with their rotation. He'll never be an ace, but he would hold his own as a #4/5 innings eating starter in the majors. His ratios are good, but you'd like to see his K/BB closer to 3.

Down on the Farm: #38 Ryan Cavan

#38 Ryan Cavan, 2B. 5'10", 180 lbs. BD: 6/28/1987. B-S, T-R.

High A: .270/.352/.435, 38 2B, 5 3B, 12 HR, 10 SB.

Ryan Cavan was drafted in the 16'th round in 2009. He has put up similar numbers at each of 3 professional levels since then hitting for a decent average with good plate discipline and some power. He finished off 2011 with a flourish hitting .341 over his last 10 games. He's an older prospect who will turn 25 yo mid-season so he's going to have to prove himself at each stop. The big test in AA should come this season.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Down on the Farm: #37 Chuckie Jones

#37 Charles "Chuckie" Jones, OF. 6'3", 235 lbs. BD: 7/28/1992. B-R, T-R.

Short Season: .218/.322/.315

Chuckie Jones was drafted out of HS in the 7'th round of the 2010 draft. He signed right away and put up good numbers in rookie ball: .279/.360/.461. Naturally, there was a lot of anticipation from Giants prospect watchers going into the 2011 season and he even made some top 10 and 20 Giants prospect lists. He got a late start on the season due to oblique injuries suffered in spring training and was then in and out of the lineup with more injuries. He never really got untracked and put up disappointing numbers. He continued to show good walk rates as well as frightful K rates. Staying healthy will be his first challenge in 2012. If he can do that out of the gate, I would expect to see him in Augusta where he will still be relatively young for the level. He then needs to start making some contact to give himself a chance to put up some numbers. Chuckie is an excellent athlete who still has a high ceiling, and he is young enough that last year should not be a serious setback if he stays healthy and works hard on improving his game.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Down on the Farm: #36 Jacob Dunnington

#36 Jacob Dunnington, RHP. 6'2", 160 lbs. BD: 2/2/1991.

Low A: 3-3, 3.77, 43 IP, 32 BB, 53 K.

High A: 2-1, 2.82, 22.1 IP, 10 BB, 31 K.

Jacob Dunnington was picked up by the Giants as an undrafted FA out of HS in 2009. I don't have a complete scouting report on him but I think I remember he throws in the low 90's. From his numbers, he is an extreme flyball pitcher like many Giants pitchers and prospects. He had a successful pro debut in 2010 with the AZL Giants where he posted 45 K's in 28.2 IP, with a 0.63 ERA. He followed that up with more success at two levels in 2011 with K/9's continuing to exceed 9. He did walk a lot of batters in Augusta, but actually improved his numbers after a promotion to the Cal League. In a recent interview, Giants Farm Director Fred Stanley suggested the Giants may be thinking of sending Dunnington back to SJ, but as a starter.

I may have ranked some of these guys too low, but how great is it that the Giants have prospects like Bochy, Duvall and Dunnington to discuss in the mid-30 range?