2014 San Francisco Giants Top 10 Prospects

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Update: The 2014 Prospect Digest Annual finally hit e-book shelves. Check it out!!!

After a long delay – something measured in the months, not days –  I have a bit of an announcement to make: I will be publishing the first ever Prospect Digest Annual sometime late January/early February.

The Prospect Digest Annual will feature each organization’s Top 30 Prospects, ranking the farm systems, and several additional articles.

Until the big day happens, I will be posting each organization’s Top 10 Prospects, starting with the Arizona Diamondbacks and working through alphabetically. Enjoy!

For more Top Prospects click HERE

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1. Kyle Crick, Position: RHP, Age: 21

Level

IP

ERA

SIERA

K/9

BB/9

K%

BB%

HR/9

GB%

A+

68.2

1.57

2.87

12.45

5.11

33.8%

13.9%

0.13

41.1%

Profile: The 2011 supplemental first round pick missed a significant portion of the year battling an oblique injury. But when Crick pitched he was lights out, totaling a tidy 1.57 ERA and a 2.87 SIERA. In 68.2 innings of work in the Cal League, the big right-hander punched out 95 and walked 39.

Analysis: The ability to miss bats is a premium talent for Crick, who’s now punched out 29.2% of the hitters he’s faced throughout his career. The problem, though, is his poor control; he’s walked nearly 14.5% of the batters he’s faced. If you squint hard enough there is a slight silver lining: Over his last 35 innings, Crick walked just 15 batters.

Despite making just 14 starts last in high Class A last season, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Crick in the Class AA to start next season. Elite-type potential – if he can post halfway reasonable walk rates.

Ceiling: 5.5- to 6.0-win player

Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Low to Moderate

 

2. Edwin Escobar, Position: LHP, Age: 22

Level

IP

ERA

SIERA

K/9

BB/9

K%

BB%

HR/9

GB%

A+

74.2

2.89

2.44

11.09

2.05

29.3%

5.4%

0.36

35.8%

AA

54.0

2.50

3.03

9.00

2.00

24.9%

5.5%

0.33

40.9%

Profile: The Venezuelan-born lefty continues to improve as he moves up the minor league ladder. After punching out 122 and walking just 32 across 130.2 innings in the Sally in 2012, Escobar upped the ante as he split his time between high Class A and Class AA, averaging a combined 10.2 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9, both career bests.

Analysis: In the conversation for top lefty pitching prospect, Escobar has the build (6-foot-2 and 200 pounds) and the peripherals to suggest front-of-the-rotation-type ceiling. It wouldn’t be out of the question to see the southpaw called up sometime mid-2014.

Ceiling: 5.0-win player

Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Moderate to Above-Average

 

3. Clayton Blackburn, Position: RHP, Age: 21

Level

IP

ERA

SIERA

K/9

BB/9

K%

BB%

HR/9

GB%

A+

133.0

3.65

3.07

9.34

2.37

25.2%

6.4%

0.81

45.4%

Profile: Lost in the shadow that has become Kyle Crick, Blackburn once again turned in a quietly, underappreciated season bordering on brilliant. The then-20-year-old right-hander made 23 starts, throwing 133.0 innings while striking out 138 and walking just 35. All of which came against the older Cal League competition.

Analysis: Prior to last year I wrote, “As a prospect Blackburn is a really underappreciated. He dominated older competition, showed poise beyond his years, and generated a lot of weak contact. He won’t be a star, but he could be a solid #2/3-type guy.”

Well, after another year of dominating older competition Blackburn’s ceiling moved a bit closer to the #2. Very solid pitching prospect.

Ceiling: 4.5-win player

Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Moderate to Above-Average

 

4. Adalberto Mejia, Position: LHP, Age: 21

Level

IP

ERA

SIERA

K/9

BB/9

K%

BB%

HR/9

GB%

A+

87.0

3.31

3.11

9.21

2.38

25.1%

6.5%

1.14

36.4%

AAA

5.0

3.60

7.40

3.60

3.60

9.1%

9.1%

3.60

16.7%

Profile: Missed about six weeks early in the season, Mejia still managed to post the best strikeout rate of his career, 8.9, while posting another above-average walk rate. For his career, the 6-foot-3 southpaw has struck out 241 of the 1138 career hitters he’s faced.

Analysis: Not on the same level as Escobar and Crick, Mejia is sort of the left-handed version of Clayton Blackburn, another solid pitching prospect with mid-rotation-type potential. His control has been slightly declining along each stop, probably the result of some offspeed offerings that need polished, but he has a track record of success against older competition.

Ceiling: 3.5- to 4.0-win player

Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Moderate

 

5. Mac Williamson, Position: RF, Age: 23

Level

PA

wRC+

AVG

OBP

SLG

BB%

K%

ISO

2B

3B

HR

SB/AT

A+

597

129

.292

.375

.504

8.5%

22.1%

.212

31

2

25

10/11

Profile: A third round pick out of Wake Forest two years ago, Williamson made the jump from the Northwest League two years ago. It was a pretty nice showing, .293/.375/.504 with a 129 wRC+, considering the large leap in competition.

Analysis: Sort of a Hunter Pence-type guy. Williamson showed impressive power, especially considering the HR-deflating ballpark of San Jose, and the eye is OK. Solid everyday player.

Ceiling: 3.5-win player

Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Moderate

 

6. Christian Arroyo, Position: SS, Age: 19

Level

PA

wRC+

AVG

OBP

SLG

BB%

K%

ISO

2B

3B

HR

SB/AT

RK

209

145

.326

.388

.511

9.1%

15.3%

.185

18

5

2

3/5

Profile: Easily the most debated – and by debated, I mean criticized – pick in the opening round of the draft last season, Arroyo proved his detractors wrong – at least temporarily. He batted .326/.388/.511 while topping the Arizona Summer League average production by 45%.

Analysis: I don’t analyze high school players heading into each draft for, well, a multitude of reasons. So I can only go off of his draft slot and debut production. With that being said, Arroyo dominated the lowest level of stateside minor leagues. The BABIP, .377, is a going to fall, but the power will play well at the position.  

Ceiling: Too Soon to Tell

Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: N/A

 

7. Joan Gregorio, Position: RHP, Age: 22

Level

IP

ERA

SIERA

K/9

BB/9

K%

BB%

HR/9

GB%

A

69.2

4.00

N/A

10.85

2.20

28.9%

6.1%

0.41

32.6%

Profile: Gregorio, a lanky, rail-thin right-hander out of the Dominican Republic, battled some oblique and blister issues last season, limiting him to just 69.2 innings in the Sally. But they were 69.2 really, really impressive innings.

Analysis: First, he needs to have a cheeseburger. Then, he needs to have another dozen or so. Gregorio, who is 6-foot-7 and just 180 pounds, has some room to grow. He’s just another lively-armed prospect toiling away in the lower minors. Gotta love the size and peripherals though.

Ceiling:  3.0- to 3.5-win player

Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Low to Moderate

 

8. Andrew Susac, Position: C, Age: 24

Level

PA

wRC+

AVG

OBP

SLG

BB%

K%

ISO

2B

3B

HR

SB/AT

AA

310

129

.256

.362

.458

13.5%

21.9%

.202

17

0

12

1/1

Profile: Susac went from a league average bat in the Sally two years ago, his first stint in pro ball, to topping the Eastern League average production by 29% in 2013. The former Oregon State backstop also threw out 40% of would-be base stealers too.

Analysis: A good, not great, catching prospect. The patience at the plate is impressive, as is the power for the position. But I’m a bit concerned on the overall hit tool, possibly pushing Susac into a Three True Outcomes hitter with some defensive value.

Ceiling:  3.0-win player

Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Moderate

 

9. Martin Agosta, Position: RHP, Age: 23

Level

IP

ERA

SIERA

K/9

BB/9

K%

BB%

HR/9

GB%

A

91.2

2.06

3.14

10.70

4.22

29.3%

11.6%

0.39

34.7%

Profile: The club went college players early and often in the 2012 draft, selecting eight straight collegiate players at the opening of the draft. Sandwiched between Christ Stratton and Mac Williamson is the right-hander out of St. Mary’s College of California.

Agosta, who showed improvement in each of his three collegiate seasons, spent the year teaming with Stratton in the Sally, giving Augusta one of league’s top one-two punches. Aogsta was hampered by a blister problem, forcing him to miss a sizeable portion of the year.

Analysis: Agosta gets the nod above fellow draftmate (and teammate) Chris Stratton. The former St. Mary’s hurler flashed glimpses of dominance at points, striking out 10 twice and at least eight on four other occasions. Still, though, he was old for the level. Another mid-rotation arm.

Ceiling: 2.5- to 3.0-win player

Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Moderate

 

10. Kendry Flores, Position: RHP, Age: 22

Level

IP

ERA

SIERA

K/9

BB/9

K%

BB%

HR/9

GB%

A

141.2

2.73

2.74

8.70

1.08

24.9%

3.1%

0.70

34.1%

Profile: Perpetually hampered by poor luck, or at least for the last few seasons, Flores finally pitched up to his peripherals last season, posting a nearly matching ERA and SIERA to go along with strong strikeout and walk rates.

Analysis: Backend starting arm, maybe a #3 if everything breaks the right way. Flores has always shown an above-average feel for the strike zone and with intruiging strikeout totals. He’s a bit fly ball prone. A name to remember, nonetheless. 

Ceiling: 2.5-win player

Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Low to Moderate

 

 



About

After serving as a video scout/analyst for Baseball Info Solutions, Joe Werner began writing at his original site, ReleasePoints.com. He’s since transitioned into his current niche, prospect analysis, at ProspectDigest.com. He has been fortunate — and incredibly blessed — to have some of his work published and mentioned by several major media outlets, including: ESPN, Cleveland.com and the Baseball Research Journal. He can be reached at: JosephMWerner@yahoo.com.


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