The 2017 San Francisco Giants Top 10 Prospects

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1. Tyler Beede, RHP                                          
Born: 05/23/93 Age: 24 Bats: R Top CALs: Carlos Hernandez, Rafael Dolis, Deunte Heath, Paul Clemens, Matt Anderson
Height: 6-3 Weight: 210 Throws: R

Year Age Level IP W L ERA FIP K/9 BB/9 K% BB% HR/9 LOB%
2015 22 A+ 52.1 2 2 2.24 3.43 6.36 1.55 17.20% 4.20% 0.34 67.00%
2015 22 AA 72.1 3 8 5.23 4.21 6.10 4.35 16.00% 11.40% 0.50 58.30%
2016 23 AA 147.1 8 7 2.81 3.48 8.25 3.24 22.10% 8.70% 0.55 74.80%

Background: Fun Fact Part I: Between 2009 and 2013, the Blue Jays failed to sign three first picks – James Paxton (2009), Tyler Beede (2011), and Phil Bickford (2013). Fun Fact Part II: Two of those selections, Beede and Bickford, were chosen by the Giants with their most recent top picks. Fun Fact Part III: Heading into last season, I ranked the duo as the top two prospects in the Giants’ system. Beede, who would eventually head to Vanderbilt University after declining Toronto’s overtures, turned in a good, sometimes dominant, sometimes frustrating three-year career with the Commodores. In 52 games, 47 of which were starts, the strapping right-hander threw 286 innings with 287 punch outs (an average of 9.03 K/9) and a whopping 148 free passes (4.60 BB/9) en route to tallying a decent 3.56 ERA.

The Giants grabbed the 6-foot-3, 210-pound hurler with the 14th overall pick three years ago – seven selections earlier than when the Blue Jays originally came calling.

After a very Tyler Beede-like debut – he threw 15.0 innings with an 18-to-7 K/BB ratio – the hard-throwing right-hander turned in a very unexpected sophomore campaign as he split time between San Jose and Richmond: his control improved drastically (3.2 BB/9), but his propensity to generate swings-and-misses plummeted all the way down to 6.2 K/9.

San Francisco decided to keep him back in the Eastern League for 2016. And, lo and behold, the control proved to be a repeatable skill but his strikeout rate rebounded. In 147.1 innings with the Flying Squirrels – what a great name, by the way – Beede fanned 135, walked 53, and tallied a 3.48 FIP.

Projection: Per the usual, here’s what I wrote about Beede heading into the 2014 draft:

“One of the best collegiate arms available in this year’s class, particularly coming from the rotation, Beede has the makings of a #2-type pitcher, though that depends upon how he [commands] the strike zone at the next level. His control has wavered in the earlier parts of his career, and he’ll need to continue to show that this season’s strong showing is more than just an aberration. Outside of N.C. State’s Carlos Rodon, Beede has [ceiling as] high as any collegiate hurler. That, of course, comes with a little more risk.”

And I followed that up with the following in last year’s book:

“Beede certainly looked the part of a potential upper-rotation caliber arm at points throughout his full-season debut last year: he fanned 11 and walked one in seven innings in his final start in the California League immediately comes to mind as does his seven inning two-hitter in his first start with the Squirrels. But the strides he made in reducing his walk rate quickly dissipated in Class AA; of his 13 starts with Richmond, Beede walked at least three batters nine times.

San Francisco develops arms as well as any organization in baseball, both in terms of pure development but also their uncanny ability to keep hurlers healthy, so Beede still has a shot to reach his #2-type peak. But after last year’s run in the Eastern League he looks more like a mid-rotation arm.”

So let’s update that a bit, shall we?

Beede’s control was particularly good over his first 14 starts last season, walking just 2.30 hitters every nine innings. But his walk rate ballooned to 4.57 BB/9 over his final 61.0 innings. The major difference between the two seems to be his strikeout ability. Meaning: when he’s missing far fewer bats, like in his first 14 starts, his control is sharper.

Beede still has a shot to become a Matt Cain-esque type pitcher if everything comes together. But he’s now entering his age-24 season, so those odds keep getting slimmer and slimmer. He’s more likely to slide into a very comfortable mid-rotation spot.

Ceiling: 2.5-win player

Risk: Moderate

MLB ETA: 2017



2. Chris Shaw, 1B                                        
Born: 10/20/93 Age: 23 Bats: L Top CALs: Matt Clark, Mark Hamilton, Christian Marrero, Steven Hill, Jose Osuna
Height: 6-4 Weight: 235 Throws: R

Year Age Level PA 2B 3B HR AVG OBP SLG ISO BB% K% wRC+
2015 21 A- 200 11 0 12 0.287 0.360 0.551 0.264 9.50% 20.50% 156
2016 22 A+ 305 22 0 16 0.285 0.357 0.544 0.259 9.20% 23.00% 136
2016 22 AA 256 16 4 5 0.246 0.309 0.414 0.168 7.80% 21.50% 99

Background: Pop Quiz #1: Name the only hitter that was selected out of Boston College earlier than Chris Shaw at #31. The answer: the infamous Tony Sanchez, who was widely criticized as a reach. Pop Quiz #2: Prior to Shaw’s selection in 2015, name the last collegiate first baseman the organization used a first round pick on. The answer: Will “The Thrill” Clark, all the way back in 1985. Shaw, who stands a hulking 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds, put a rough – and I do mean rough – freshman season behind him to become one of college baseball’s most feared sluggers over his final two years with the Eagles: after batting a lowly .165/.266/.305 in his first season, the lefty-swinging first baseman hit .329/.393/.502 as a sophomore and upped the ante to an even more impressive .319/.411/.611 during his final season.

After a brief – and dominant – stop in short season ball during his debut, San Francisco aggressively challenged Shaw by pushing him straight up to High Class A to begin last season. He proceeded to batter the California League pitching to the tune of .285/.357/.544 with 22 doubles and 16 dingers in just 72 games. The organization bumped him up to the Eastern League in late June. And after a dreadful start, Shaw, who batted .211/.264/.352 over his first 33 games, quickly regained his footing by bashing .288/.362/.490 over his final 27 contests.

Overall, he finished the year with an aggregate .267/.335/.484 triple-slash line, with 38 doubles, four triples, and 21 homeruns.

Projection: Here’s what I wrote about him heading in to the 2015 draft:

“He has a surprisingly strong knack for making contact, especially for a potential middle-of-the-order bat. [He owns] above-average to plus-power potential with the ability to slug 20- to 25-homeruns in a full professional season. It’s also important to point out that the Eagles’ home park, Eddie Pellagini Diamond at John Shea Field, is incredibly pitcher-friendly. Good, though far from great, eye at the plate.

Shaw looks like a solid, better-than-average first baseman who, once he’s further removed from the hamate injury [suffered in 2012], should surprise people with his minor league production.”

His overall production – especially his numbers in the Eastern League – are deflated quite a bit by his first month-plus of action with Richmond. But it’s important to remember that prior to reaching Class AA, Shaw had just 118 professional games under his belt. Obviously, there’s going to be a learning curve at the minors’ toughest challenge.

And just as I wrote two years ago, Shaw has the chance to be a middle-of-the-order bat: he flashes above-average or better power, decent contact rates, solid eye at the plate, and shows no platoon splits. In terms of offensive ceiling, he looks like a .265/.330/.450-type thumper. But because he’s currently limited to only first base, I wouldn’t count on him earning much more than 2.5-WAR in a season at his peak.

Ceiling: 2.5-win player

Risk: Moderate

MLB ETA: 2017/2018



3. Christian Arroyo, 2B/3B/SS                   
Born: 05/30/95 Age: 22 Bats: R Top CALs: Jorge Polanco, Abiatal Avelino, Franklin Barreto, Yairo Munoz, Didi Gregorius
Height: 6-1 Weight: 180 Throws: R

Year Age Level PA 2B 3B HR AVG OBP SLG ISO BB% K% wRC+
2013 18 R 209 18 5 2 0.326 0.388 0.511 0.185 9.10% 15.30% 145
2014 19 A- 267 14 2 5 0.333 0.378 0.469 0.136 6.70% 11.60% 135
2015 20 A+ 409 28 2 9 0.304 0.344 0.459 0.155 4.60% 17.80% 117
2016 21 AA 517 36 1 3 0.274 0.316 0.373 0.099 5.60% 13.90% 89

Background: With Brandon Crawford locked up for the foreseeable future thanks to his six-year, $75 million pact, San Francisco decided to move Arroyo around the diamond for the first time since 2014. So maybe – just maybe – the infield musical chairs carried over into his at bats. Because Arroyo, the 25th overall pick in 2013, finished the season with the worst Weighted Runs Created Plus total in his four-year career: a disappointingly low 89 wRC+. His next lowest mark, for comparison’s sake, was a solid 117. In a career high 119 games, Arroyo batted .274/.316/.373 with 36 doubles, one triple, and three homeruns. His overall production, according to Weighted Runs Created Plus, was 11% below the league average mark. For his career, he’s sporting a .294/.337/.423 triple-slash line, with 99 doubles, 11 triples, 20 homeruns, and 16 stolen bases (in 25 attempts).

Projection: Arroyo’s 36 two-baggers were enough to lead each of the three Class AA leagues. In fact, since 2006 there have been just four other shortstops under the age of 22 to hit at least 36 doubles in Class AA: Orlando Arcia, Arismendy Alcantara, Trevor Plouffe, and a pre-bust Brandon Wood.

Arroyo’s never shown a whole lot of patience at the plate – he’s walked in just 5.8% of career plate appearances – or speed on the base paths. The bat has a chance to be an average or better tool and his power has flashed average numbers over the course of his career, albeit not consistently.

Arroyo’s offensive ceiling is going to settle between slightly below-average to average, with the capability to post a .265/.320/.400 triple-slash line.  Defensively, according to Clay Davenport’s metrics, he’s been spectacular everywhere he’s played.

Ceiling: 2.5-win player

Risk: Moderate

MLB ETA: 2017



4. Andrew Suarez, LHP                                
Born: 09/11/92 Age: 24 Bats: L Top CALs: Brandon Workman, Anthony Descalfani, Matt Chico, Mark Melancon, Ryan Mullins
Height: 6-2 Weight: 205 Throws: L

Year Age Level IP W L ERA FIP K/9 BB/9 K% BB% HR/9 LOB%
2016 23 A+ 29.2 2 1 2.43 2.91 10.31 1.52 28.60% 4.20% 0.61 78.00%
2016 23 AA 114.0 7 7 3.95 3.72 7.11 1.89 18.60% 5.00% 0.87 67.30%

Background: The thrice-draft southpaw finally found a home in San Francisco’s farm system after bypassing overtures from Toronto as a ninth round pick coming out of high school and as a second round selection of the Nationals three years later.  The Giants grabbed the 6-foot-2, 205-pound lefty in the second round following arguably his finest collegiate season in 2015. And after blitzing through three levels during his professional debut, the Giants’ front office once again aggressively challenged Suarez: he made five starts back in the California League before spending the rest of 2016 twirling quality start after quality start for the Flying Squirrels. He would finish the year with a 143.2 innings while fanning 20.6% and walking just 4.8% of the total batters he faced.

Projection: Per the usual, here’s what I wrote prior to the 2014 draft:

“Suarez has been one of the biggest risers this spring. He’s still not missing a whole lot of bats yet – just 6.82 K/9 this season. The control is a reliable, above-average skill, but he’s also been quite hittable too – 11 doubles, four triples, and three homeruns, the most extra-base hits surrendered by any of Miami’s top three starters. Solid backend rotation-type arm, peaking as a fringe #3 but should settle in as a solid #4/#5.”

 And I followed that up with this scouting report after his return to Miami:

“Well, nearly 12 months removed and there’s virtually no new data to analyze. When he’s healthy – which hasn’t been the case very often – Suarez does well in limiting walks, will miss a handful of bats, but tends to be a bit too hittable.

I’m still sticking to the original ceiling as a solid #4/#5 caliber arm – if injuries aren’t a concern. It will be interesting to see where a team grabs him, especially considering that he once again has an option to return to school for his senior season.”

Well, I hate to sound like a broken record, but a year later and it’s still the same thing: he limits walks, misses a handful of bats, and is a safe bet to carve out a career as a backend starter. I just don’t see how he’s going to get any type of extended look in San Francisco’s rotation over the next year-plus, though.

Ceiling: 1.5- to 2.0-win player

Risk: Moderate

MLB ETA: 2017



5. Bryan Reynolds, CF                                          
Born: 01/27/95 Age: 22 Bats: B Top CALs:  Wesley Freeman, Collin Delome, Ryde Rodriguez, Kyle Jensen, Justin Byler
Height: 6-3 Weight: 200 Throws: R

Year Age Level PA 2B 3B HR AVG OBP SLG ISO BB% K% wRC+
2016 21 A- 171 12 1 5 0.312 0.368 0.500 0.188 6.40% 24.00% 141

Background: It’s – completely – unfair to label Reynolds as a breakout player last season, especially after his flashy first two seasons at Vanderbilt when he: (A) batted .338/.395/.480 as a freshman and followed that up with a .318/.388/.462 mark in 2015 and (B) appeared in the Cape Cod and on Team USA. But, in all fairness, Reynolds did have a nice little coming out party last year. In 62 games with the Commodores, the switch-hitting center fielder batted a scorching .330/.461/.603 with 16 doubles, three triples, a career best 13 homeruns, and swiped eight stolen bases. San Francisco grabbed him in the second round, 59th overall.

Reynolds made quick work of the Northwest League, hitting .312/.368/.500, and looked equally impressive in 16 games in the Sally, batting .317/.348/.444. Overall, he finished his debut with an aggregate .313/.363/.484 with 17 doubles, one triple, six homeruns, and a trio of stolen bases in 56 games.

Projection: Here’s what I wrote about him prior to the draft last season when I pegged him as a second round pick:

“Pretty similar to Rhett Wiseman, a third round pick out of Vanderbilt in 2015, Reynolds just doesn’t have a true standout tool to rely on when he eventually transitions into professional baseball. His power is average, especially if he gets pushed into a corner outfielder position; the patience at the plate is solid, but his swing-and-miss tendencies will certainly limit his ability against professional pitchers (he’s fanned in nearly 19% of his career plate appearances). Again, he looks like a backup outfielder – just like Wiseman.”

When a player posts a BABIP north of .425 it’s an easy call that he’s going to face some type of regression the next year. Obviously, Reynolds played like a blue chip first rounder, but I’m not ready to buy into him just yet.

Ceiling: 1.5- to 2.0-win player

Risk: Moderate

MLB ETA: 2018/2019



6. Dan Slania, RHP                                   
Born: 05/24/92 Age: 25 Bats: R Top CALs: Mark Leiter, Ryan Thompson, Brandon Workman, Dan Merklinger, David Rollins
Height: 6-5 Weight: 275 Throws: R

Year Age Level IP W L ERA FIP K/9 BB/9 K% BB% HR/9 LOB%
2014 22 A 58.7 2 5 3.99 4.25 7.06 3.22 18.50% 8.40% 0.77 66.20%
2015 23 A+ 71.1 4 5 3.53 3.20 11.36 1.89 30.10% 5.00% 0.88 66.90%
2016 24 AA 82.2 7 6 2.50 3.23 8.60 2.40 23.80% 6.60% 0.65 73.90%

Background: After missing a tremendous amount of bats at various points in his professional career, including the first half of 2016, the Giants made the prudent – and surprising – move and started to stretch Slania out as a starting pitcher late last season. And the initial results were…quite favorable. In 16 starts between San Jose, Richmond, and Sacramento, the former fifth rounder threw 96.2 innings while fanning 80, walking 30, and posting a 2.42 ERA. Combined with his relief numbers, Slania finished the year with a career best 119.2 innings with a 111-to-35 strikeout-to-walk ratio with a 2.93 ERA.

Projection: I love it! Slania’s a bit old – he’s entering his age-25 season – but he showed some extreme promise as a starting pitcher. He’s going to miss some bats while showing solid control. If the Giants continue to stretch him out as a starting pitcher – which I hope they do – he could be one of the surprise guys in 2017. If not, he’s half-a-year away from becoming a reliable big league setup arm.

Ceiling: 1.5- to 2.0-win player

Risk: Moderate to High

MLB ETA: 2017/2018



7. Heath Quinn, RF                                           
Born: 06/07/95 Age: 22 Bats: R Top CALs: Chad Huffman, Cory Vaughn, Adam Milligan, Kelvin Encarnacion, Jesus Solorzano
Height: 6-2 Weight: 190 Throws: R

Year Age Level PA 2B 3B HR AVG OBP SLG ISO BB% K% wRC+
2016 21 A- 239 19 1 9 0.337 0.423 0.571 0.234 10.90% 20.90% 175

Background: Samford University, has churned out a pair of toolsy outfielders over the past couple of years: 2013 first rounder Phil Ervin and Quinn, whom the Giants grabbed in the third round, 95th overall, last June. Quinn had a stellar three-year career for the Bulldogs, leaving the school with a .334/.424/.599 triple-slash line with 48 doubles, four triples, 44 homeruns, and four stolen bases – just for good measure. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound corner outfielder tore apart the Northwest League pitching to the tune of .337/.423/.571 before getting a crack – and succeeding – against the California League for four games. Overall, he slugged a robust .344/.434/.564 with 21 doubles, one triple, nine homeruns, and three stolen bases.

Projection: Here’s what I wrote prior to the draft:

“Far better overall production than [Phil] Ervin throughout their respective collegiate careers with the added caveat that his plate discipline numbers are definitely worse; Quinn has plenty of power, perhaps peaking in the 20- to 25-homerun range in professional ball, with an improving eye at the plate. The problem – or perhaps the question – will always be whether he can make enough contact. 

He’s not as athletic as Ervin, so don’t expect him to go in the opening round, but Quinn could be a nice little gamble in the supplement and/or second rounds.”

Ceiling: 1.5- to 2.0-win player

Risk: Moderate to High

MLB ETA: 2018



8. Aramis Garcia, C                                                   
Born: 01/12/93 Age: 24 Bats: R Top CALs: N/A


Height: 6-2 Weight: 220 Throws: R

Year Age Level PA 2B 3B HR AVG OBP SLG ISO BB% K% wRC+
2015 22 A 363 15 1 15 0.273 0.350 0.467 0.194 9.60% 21.20% 131
2016 23 A+ 160 6 0 2 0.257 0.323 0.340 0.083 8.80% 26.30% 83

Background: The former Florida International University standout – and Conference USA Player of the Year – had a rough go of it in 2016. With expectations riding high for the former second round pick, Garcia, who was coming off of a solid showing in Low Class A, got off to a nice little start with San Jose last season, batting .298/.359/.369 through his first 25 games. But a facial fracture, courtesy of Tim Locastro’s knee on a double-play ball, forced the offensive-minded backstop under the knife and onto the disabled list for more than two months. After Garcia returned he hardly resembled himself, hitting a lowly .205/.256/.289 with just five extra-base hits in 23 games. For his career, Garcia is sporting a decent enough .255/.328/.393 with 32 doubles, one triple, and 19 homeruns in 178 games.


Projection: Per the usual, here’s what I wrote about the FIU stud prior to the 2014 draft:

“Garcia’s offensive peak should reside somewhere near .290/.340/.440 with 15 or so homeruns and solid defense behind the plate. The lone knock, though, has been his level of competition and a rather sparse showing in the Cape [Cod Summer League] following his sophomore season.”

As I humbly admitted last year, I was wrong – incredibly wrong. Garcia no longer looks like a solid bet to develop into a league average starter. He’s not going to kill a team offensively, but he’s not going to be a force either. But he controls the running game exceptionally well (he’s thrown out 34% of would-be base stealers in his minor league career).

Ceiling: 1.5-win player

Risk: Moderate

MLB ETA: 2018



9. Austin Slater, 2B/OF                                
Born: 12/13/92 Age: 24 Bats: R Top CALs: Brandon Jones, Ryan Rua, Lucas Duda, Kelly Dugan, Jose Osuna
Height: 6-2 Weight: 215 Throws: R

Year Age Level PA 2B 3B HR AVG OBP SLG ISO BB% K% wRC+
2015 22 A+ 265 15 1 3 0.292 0.321 0.396 0.104 3.80% 16.60% 95
2015 22 AA 218 11 1 0 0.296 0.350 0.362 0.065 6.40% 22.00% 108
2016 23 AA 172 8 1 5 0.317 0.413 0.490 0.172 14.00% 20.90% 154
2016 23 AAA 278 12 0 13 0.298 0.381 0.506 0.208 11.90% 19.10% 137

Background: The defensive vagabond finally found a steady home in 2016. Well, sort of. Slater spent at least 15 games at every outfield position. Either way, though, the late-developing eighth rounder turned in his finest season to date. Slater, hailing from Stanford University, batted .317/.413/.490 with eight doubles, one triple, five homeruns, and six stolen bases in 41 games with Richmond. And his production only took a modest step back during his promotion to the Pacific Coast League, hitting .298/.381/.506 with 12 doubles, 13 homeruns, and a pair of stolen bases. Overall, Slater put together a .305/.393/.500 triple-slash line, with 20 doubles, one triple, 18 homeruns, and eight stolen bases. Those 18 dingers, by the way, were nearly four times his previous career total and it was 13 homeruns more than he slugged his entire collegiate career.

Projection: The power really came out of nowhere for Slater last season. But I wouldn’t expect it to return either. Excluding the torrid bashing he did in the offensive-friendly PCL in the second half of last season, Slater slugged just 10 homeruns over his previous 302 games which extends all the way back to his freshman season with the Cardinal. Tremendous patience at the plate, a hit tool that’s capable of .270-ish big league batting average, and gap-to-gap power; Slater isn’t going to be a league average regular, but he could serve as a super-sub for the big league club.

Ceiling: 1.0- to 1.5-win player

Risk: Low to Moderate

MLB ETA: 2017



10. Matt Krook, LHP                                                       
Born: 10/21/94 Age: 22 Bats: L Top CALs: David Perez, Matt Nevarez, Jacob Brentz, Enrique De Los Rio, Mac Marshall
Height: 6-4 Weight: 195 Throws: L

Year Age Level IP W L ERA FIP K/9 BB/9 K% BB% HR/9 LOB%
2016 21 A- 35.0 1 3 6.17 5.54 10.03 8.49 22.40% 19.00% 0.51 65.50%

Background: The Giants did exceptionally well in terms of finding talent outside the first round last June. The front office landed the likes of toolsy Vanderbilt outfielder Bryan Reynolds in the second, Samford slugger Heath Quinn in the third, and former 2013 first round pick – 35th overall, actually – Matt Krook a round later. The Marlins originally drafted the 6-foot-4, 195-pound southpaw out of high school, but a post-draft physical raised all kinds of concerns and red flags so the two sides never came to a successful resolution. Krook, instead, opted to ply his trade at the University of Oregon – which lasted only a handful of starts before he underwent the knife. Tommy John surgery, of course. Finally healthy after missing a season-plus of action, the big lefty made 15 appearances for the Ducks, throwing 53.2 innings with an impressive 68 punch outs, but a whopping 49 free passes. San Francisco grabbed him in the fourth round, 125th overall, last June. Krook made two brief appearances in the Arizona Summer League before spending the rest of his debut hurling games for the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes. In total, he would throw 40.2 innings with a near one-to-one strikeout-to-walk ratio (41-to-35).

Projection: Here’s what I wrote about the lefty heading into the draft last season:

“Such as interesting case. Krook obviously has the pedigree to go in the opening round – again. But will teams be scared off by his surgically repaired elbow? If not, what about his inability to find the strike zone in 2016? Now to be fair, Krook showed solid-average control during his freshman season, so there’s hope that he can bounce back. 

Personally, I like him. Quite a bit. 

And I think Krook is primed to go with a team with multiple first round picks. Assuming the control/command bounces back he could potentially develop into a #2/#3-type arm.”

I was certainly wrong about him finding his way into the opening round of the draft. But I do think there’s tremendous – albeit, quite risky – potential buried in Krook’s left arm. Let’s see if San Francisco can steer him away from the Kyle Crick path…

Ceiling: 2.0-win player

Risk: High to Extremely High

MLB ETA: 2019




Author’s note: A special hat tip the following websites for the use of the their statistics – fangraphs, baseballreference, baseballprospectus, statcorner, and


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