Friday, July 10, 2015

Top 20 Bonuses Paid to Current Prospects in the SF Gigante System

With the Giants spending big on the IFA front, I thought it'd be interesting to see a quick look at the big spending, the performance of the bonus babies (I generally consider $1MM as a bonus baby threshold, but high six figures gets pretty close).

Of note: the Giants current infield has the largest bonus in club history in Buster Posey (with the penalty MLB will exact for signing Fox over slot pool amounts the Fox deal will be the most spent in club history).  They also have a couple of 2011 Million Dollar signees on their roster in Panik and Susac.  They also have a couple of more unheralded types, Belt and Duffy signing for low six figures as well as Brandon Crawford at 375K back in the Posey draft of 2008.

They have also traded off bonus babies, or had them claimed.  Zack Wheeler, Tommy Joseph, Gary Brown, Conor Gillaspie, Tim Alderson.

Of note: the Giants didn't really start spending on development until the 2006 draft with Tim Lincecum, famously dumping picks in 2003-05 as well as not paying big bonuses while competing with Barry Bonds.  While all of these are post-2006 because its a current roster, they are also among the highest bonuses ever paid, as revenues have gone up, so have signing bonuses.

1.  Lucius Fox 2015 IFA $6,000,000
Going to suit up soon
2.  Tyler Beede 2014 14th overall $2,613,200
Highest level: AA Richmond, 104 IP, 2.92 ERA, 2.52 K/BB
3.  Rafael Rodriguez 2008 IFA $2,550,000
Highest level: High-A SJ, 250/301/333 career milb slash in 1559 PAs
4.  Phil Bickford 2015 18th overall $2,333,800
Going to suit up soon
5.  Angel Villalona 2006 IFA $2,100,000
Highest level: AA Richmond, 252/309/418 career milb slash in 2297 PAs
6.  Christian Arroyo 2013 25th overall $1,866,500
Highest level: High-A SJ, 309/357/454 career milb slash in 791 PAs
7.  Chris Stratton 2012 20th overall $1,850.000
Highest level: AAA Sacto,  361IP, 3.77 ERA, 2.28 K/BB
8.  Chris Shaw 2015 31st overall $1,400,000
Highest level: S/S S/K, 270/372/432 career milb slash in 43 PAs
9.  Gustavo Cabrera 2012 IFA $1,300,000
Highest level: Rookie, 249/379/368 in 237 PAs
10.  Aramis Garcia 2014 52nd overall 1,100,000
Highest level: Low-A Augusta, 238/335/423 career milb slash in 383 PAs
11.  Jalen Miller 2015 95th overall $1,100,000
 Highest level: Rookie, 378/452/405 in 43 PAs
12.  Andrew Suarez  2015 61st overall $1,010,100
Highest level: Rookie, 3IP, 0.00ERA, 3.00 K/Bb
13.  Kyle Crick 2011 49th overall $900,000
Highest level: AA Richmond, 322IP, 2.82 ERA, 1.74 K/BB
14.  Ryder Jones 2013 64th overall $880,000
Highest level: High-A SJ, 260/310/383 career milb slash in 1009 PAs
15.  Mac Marshall 2015 126th overall $750,000
Highest level: S/S S/K, 6IP, 4.50 ERA, 8.00 K/BB
16.  Jarrett Parker 2010 74th overall $700,000
Highest level: the Show!, 257/365/438 career slash in 2385 PAs
17.  Dylan Davis 2014 87th overall $650,000
Highest level: High-A SJ, 217/295/318 career slash in 347 PAs
18. Kelvin Beltre 2013 IFA $650,000
Highest level: Rookie, 240/426/427 career slash in 101 PAs
19.  Martin Agosta 2012 84th overall $612,500
Highest level: High-A SJ, 225IP, 4.44 ERA, 2.43 K/BB
20.  Logan Webb 2014 118th overall $600,000 
Highest level: S/S S/K, 29IP, 3.72ERA, 1.80 K/BB

Couple of things - I'm not worrying about inflation, that could tweak a couple of things obviously.  Second, the Giants have a dozen guys over a million bucks in the system currently, and some others who aren't on the list around half a million clams.

So how successful has this been?  Well, Lincecum, Bumgarner and Posey is a great foundation.  The plan is to supplement around the franchise players.  So the emphasis has been primarily college guys, which at the position in the draft the Giants have been picking might not be a bad bet.

Of these players in this top 20 though - 12 of them are being/were being picked as shiny yoots (counting the JC guys Bickford and Marshall as yoots).  Having the college successes of Panik/Susac graduate does change the list slightly.  Obviously the chances of success with Rodriguez and Villalona at this point are looking slim.  The big move to secure Fox is a new look, and its quite possible there is a Cuban or two in play right now that would change this list again.

Of note: BA released their top 10 midseason Gigantes.  the Link (pay and written by Baggs) is here.  The intersections of that list and this list: Beede, Arroyo, Garcia, Crick and Ryder Jones.  There are 5 guys with more pedestrian bonus slots that are highly thought of.  Of course 6 guys on this list are newly minted, the spending keeps going up and up.   We'll see what's what with them soon. 

And that's the rub.   Once you're in the system, no matter the bonus, you have to grind like everybody else.

NOTE: I maybe missing an IFA bonus or two.  But I checked my lists before I published.  The big missing component in development has been IFA, not only in the bonus lists but also the prospect top 20s.  Maybe Sabean and CO paying more attention will balance this out over time.  Lucius Fox is definitely a bold big move in that direction.

Update: I put in some stats for these players.

Giants drop 2 of 3 at home to the Mets - July Looking Disaster-ish - Series Rundown #28

Giants fall to 5.5 back on the Dodgers, the D-backs of all teams have caught up with them in the NL West, and July is suddenly a complete disaster with hurt outfielders, a very shaky bullpen and a team that is really, really scuffling.

Mets 3, Gints 0
Gints 3, Mets 0
Mets 4, Gints 1

Not enough offense.  Bullpen not shutting down things.  Just a big ol mess.  Giants continue to struggle at home, which shouldn't happen.  18 runs scored in July.  The Giants all-star duo of Crawford and Panik are struggling right now.  Angel Pagan continues to dip his AVG and OBP to poor levels.  Matt Duffy is scuffling as well.  Justin Maxwell is at the Mendoza line. 

Hunter Pence's return should help some.  The timetable on Aoki's return is unclear.  Blanco has been given 200 PAs and responded like a champ: 309/375/433. 

Jean Machi should not be on the 25 man roster.  George Kontos and Hunter Strickland have really stepped up, but the "Core 4" of Lopez, Affeldt, Romo and Casilla look long in the tooth and tired.  And injured.  Sabean needs to go work his mojo magic and get some new arms for the pen. 

As much as it'd be fun to dream on Johnny Cueto, the reality is the Giants have a logjam of veteran grit at the starting pitching position.  They will most likely hang with them and live and die with them.  Right now, they're a .500 team, and I do think looking at the overall stat lines of those pitchers tells the story.  Chris Heston has been completely league average, Bumgarner has been good but not great, and the Tims and Vogelstrong have been pretty shaky.  Peavy and Cain may breath new life into the staff, but it could be more of the same.

This current team is very streaky, and has had 3 different big losing streaks already.  Its still early enough to turn it around, but this losing streak in July has been fall on face worthy.  then again, some of these losses have been extremely and frustratingly close. 

Series Rundown Recap: 12 series wins (4 sweeps), 9 series losses (5 sweeps), 7 Splits

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Comings and Goings

The Giants made huge news taking down Lucius Fox, the switch hitting Bahamian dream-boat of a short stop for huge moneys (6MM for Fox, another 4MM in penalty box chump change to MLB).  The Dodgers were the rumored destination, so this is a pretty big coup for the Greybeards.

This makes some sense - the Giants have to pick their timing, but they have the financial muscle to go toe to toe with the Bums.  Whether they should in most cases?  That's another story.  Fox is definitely a big big name in the July 2nd sweepstakes, he's generally listed as the 3rd-5th best prospect in the class.   So its a big time get.

Goings: the Giants have released the following players in the past 4 weeks: Juan Gutierrez, John Bowker, Casey McGehee, Javier Herrera, Travis Ishikawa, RHP Kirk Singer, 1B Nick Jones, OF Carlos Cartagena, OF Nicoll Parra, OF Steven Neff.

Comings: the Giants have signed the following: RHP Ryan Koziol (NDFA—Illinois State), their draft picks 1-11th round (omission: Hector Santiago, 12th rounder is going to college).

Big names and big money have a slightly better chance of success.  I'm going to compile a list of prospects by moneys spent for the hell of it.  Fox is the 2nd most moneys spent in Gints history, after Posey.  With the arcane rules of MLB, he is actually the 1st overall.  Big expectations coming.  Exciting news though.  

Series Rundown Makeup - The July Skid Edition (#s 26 & 27)

Giants have had a combination of tepid play, bad breaks, bad bullpen and a whole lot of frustration that has really put the skids on the race for the NL West. 

The Dreaded Marlins almost injured Posey (innocent on this one, but its the frickin' Marlins) and killed the Giants softly:
Marlins 5, Giants 3
Marlins 6, Giants 5
Marlins 5, Giants 4

If Casilla doesn't have it, what is Bochy doing?  That walkoff was a crusher.

Then the Nats and Bryce Harper did their thing:
Nats 2, Gints 1
Nats 9, Gints 3
Nats 3, Gints 1

Jake Peavy pitched a whole lot better than every Gigante fan expected, that's for sure.  A rare Bumgarner stinker when you really need him to be the stopper. 

Giants are in danger of a huge tail spin.  They have to get their OF healthy and their pen healthy.  Trades might be on the horizon.  Missing Pence really changes the dynamic, and Aoki has been a very pleasant surprise, it was a big blow to lose him.

Maxwell hasn't been getting it done, and its time to face the fact that Angel Pagan hasn't really recovered from this back thing, he is operating at 60%.  It takes away all his threat of power, and pitchers have jumped on that.  So the OF is really missing some oomph.  Brandon Belt is doing the best he can out in LF, but he really shouldn't be out there. 

Giants also need to rest Crawford, Panik and Duffy so they are fresh.  So they need some support.  But without a good pen this is all kind of a fool's errand.  On the plus side, it looks like Osich might be the real deal, Strickland has been very good, and George Kontos has been a rock.  I don't know why Machi keeps getting run out there...

A tough luck loss to the Mets, the Gints are 5 games down, the coldest team in baseball with a 7 game losing streak.  They have to stop the bleeding, then get a win against the Phils, end the first half on a good note.  Bochy needs to manage with some urgency here.  And that starts with pulling his starters before they cough up the game.  But then again, he doesn't have enough of a pen right now, he's trying to squeeze from both ends.  Tough business.  (Bochy was listed by people in the game as the best manager in the game - Joe Maddon won the "want to play for" division, but Bochy got the big prize.)  He's not perfect, he's just very, very good.  He's better when he gets to the short game and starts yanking fools when they aren't performing. 

End the Skid! 

Series Rundown Recap: 12 series wins (4 sweeps), 8 series losses (5 sweeps), 7 Splits

Best Guys To Root For

Are the longshots.  How about a guy drafted in the 48th round?  They don't even draft that high anymore.  Back in 2011 (ahem, aka the Joe Panik draft - that would be All-star Joe Panik...) a Carolina kid by the name of Jake Smith out of Campbell got his name called at the very end, when teams are drafting Agent's sons or brothers, football players, what not...  (The Giants have done both of these, drafting Ben Sosnick the next round as a peace offering to the agent of one Scott Cousins, as well as Golden Tate in the 50th round of 2010). 

Jake Smith is currently toiling in San Jose.  His stats are mind blowingly awesome: 54IP - he's given up 31 hits.  .167 BAA.  14BBs... to 70Ks.  That K/9 is actually BELOW his career average.  He is at 11.6 right now, 11.8 for his career.  His K/BB sits at 5.0, well above 3.13 for his minors.  The blemish is he's been long ball prone, 6 HRs which have ballooned his ERs, 16 allowed and a ERA of 2.65.  The Whip is at 0.828.  Smith has been excellent.

Now there are some caveats - he is 25 now and he has been old for each level of competition.  But he has put up great K/9 numbers, he is a big live arm, and he's definitely a great follow.  Any guy who can limit hits and get strikeouts while avoiding walks is a choice pick for the pen.  So keep an eye on Jake Smith.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

New Giants Bloggers!

Hey now!  There always needs to be fresh ideas, new perspectives and good energy.

Check out a couple new bloggers, who are like me, commentators on various Giant watering holes who are putting up their own sites.  Good luck!

dream big, dream Giant (carmot)

Wrenzie Blogs Giants (Wrenzie)

I put up links to them on the left.

Back in the day there was a lot of cynical stuff out there.  Things do change.  I remember back 10 years ago it was OGC, lefty malo and whiny Grant Brisbee, who occasionally can get a good laugh.  And then some seriously lunatic fringe guys.

It takes a lot of dedication to put up thoughts every day.  DrB's When the Giants Come To Town does an outstanding job getting posts up with stats, analysis and information.

And it takes a lot of youthful energy, as demonstrated by Cove Chatter's (New) blog.

And I always go back to Raising Matt Cain as the model of what a blog should be: a group of friends who root for the team, respect each other's opinions and have fun.

Thanks all for reading through my ebbs and flows.  I love the Giants.  Its been a wonderful few years, and this summer should be yet another fun time.

Five and Five: The Faceplants and the Zoom-Zooms in the minors so far this year

There is enough of a stat line now to look at some of the kids grinding away for Los Gigantes.

First, the faceplants:

Daniel Carbonell started at Richmond through 200 odd at bats, putting up a wretched stat line of 146/173/194, clearly outmatched by advanced pitching.  He was recently transferred back to San Jose, where he had good success last year, he's already homered.  The Cuban is 24 years young now, the rep with him is a big tools guy who is raw.  Even allowing for adjustment from being a switch hitter and the Big Bad Eastern, this is a very big faceplant on a guy who was looking pretty exciting.

Luis Ysla is a favorite of mine, an older lefty with an attitude.  He went from the Sally to the California league and it hasn't been pretty.  He has been demoted to the pen to try and harness some control, but the stat line just hasn't been good.  He is 23 years young, he had 4 starts before being taken off the bump, he's up to 19 appearances now and hitters are teeing off at a 371 clip BAA.  He has given up 38 runs, 34 earned, for a stinky 8.05 ERA.  If you want a silver lining he has 38 K's in 38 IP.  But he also has 26 walks and 63 hits for a dreadful 2.34 WHIP.  Huge faceplant from a guy who was getting helium.

Skyler Ewing had a great 2014 in S/S S/K.  I expected him to go to SJ and I suspect so did he.  He was instead sent to the Sally and Augusta, and it has not gone well.  He is slowly digging his way out of a hole, but I expected him to be the best bat on the team.  He's got a slash of 232/300/313 currently, if you want bright side he does have 18 2Bs, but he is yet to homer this year.  He had excellent BB/K in 2014, right now he is at 61K/23BB in 272 At-bats.

Ty Horan did get the bump to SJ, and is has been an injury plagued 2015.  You have to allow for that in the stat line, but the line isn't pretty: 219/316/409.  18BB/40K in 137 ABs, 6 HRs.  He does have a very low BABIP, 244, and he does have a strong ISO, so this might be a false reading on the stat line.  I was expecting Horan to be in Richmond, sometimes players get jammed by org depth and who is in front of them.  They have to force the issue.  Horan could do that with a strong second half.

It's almost too obvious, but Kyle Crick is the biggest faceplant of them all.  The Giants have possibly invented an injury (bone bruise) to get him off the bump and hopefully get a re-set.  Crick simply cannot harness his control.  He is repeating the Eastern, and he needs to repeat.  He somehow only has a 3.00 ERA, which shows he does know how to get out of trouble at times.  However, he only has 42IP in 11 starts.  That's the damning statistic right there.  Hitters are only squaring it up to a 219 BAA, so his stuff is hard to hit.  41 K's in 42 sounds good.  And... drumroll... 40 BBs.  Only 2 HRs and 33 hits total, but the problem is strong at this point.

So that's the five faceplants... Honorable mention to Eastern 3B grinder Mitch Delfino, who looked like a zoom-zoom with a ST invite.  He is sitting on a 259/309/302 slash and some iffy fielding this year.  But he does have a low, low K rate, a nice BB rate and a slightly depressed BABIP.  Still not the breakout we wuz looking for.

Now the Zoom-Zooms:

Biggest watch is definitely Hunter Cole.  The Giants have been shifting him around, trying him at 2B and the OF.  They took a shot at him in the 26th round, he is one of those dudes who just didn't quite put together strong college numbers but had a great cape cod after being drafted.  The Giants must have made a good selling point, he signed and look at him since:
Sally: 275/370/425, promoted after 40 At-bats
California: 313/373/493, promoted after 217 At-bats
Big Bad Eastern: rain has stopped him from getting going. 3 hits in 5 At-bats.
Cole is a must follow.  I sense the Giants are trying to find him a defensive position and would love to keep him up the middle.  Raw athlete, he can hit.  The Eastern can be a rough mistress though, and I'd look for more of the line like he put up in 2014 in S/K for the rest of the year and take anything else (he put up 239/311/424)

Austin Slater is in the exact same boat as Cole, except he has higher draft pedigree from back in HS as well as in 2014 out of Stanford.  Definitely get the sense he is a natural hitter who will just rake wherever he goes.  Like Cole, the Giants are playing him all over including SS, where he played in HS.  He is currently listed as a 2B in Richmond after promotion.  His line in San Jose: 292/321/396.  He doesn't walk as much, his 10BB/44K in 250 At-bats is still pretty good contact. 

Mac Williamson's stats don't jump out at you, but there are two factors that are important: he is recovering from TJ surgery and the Giants are bringing him along carefully, and the Eastern and specifically Richmond have conspired some against him as far as HRs.  The power is there, big time.  He is a 5-tool player if you squint a bit, because he is so big.  The slash is 293/373/429 which is good but not breakout.  5 HRs in 259 PAs is light, but remember those two points.  He has managed to keep the K's under control, 53Ks and 25 BBs.  Mac is one of the biggest strollers in the Gigante system actually.  The Giants seriously considered promoting him just now to the show, which tells you a lot, but they want him to get more PAs.  So onto Sacramento, one stop away.  I fully expect him to be there in a couple of months, and he's the best hitting prospect in the Gigante system.

But there is another, and you have to be careful with this one because he's a scrappy scrapper but also repeating the Eastern: Kelby Tomlinson's calling card has always been speed.  He stole 49 last year at Richmond.  Tomlinson is 25 years young now, 37 Ks/25BBs in 253 At-bats at Richmond before getting the bump to Sac-to with Mac.  His slash was 324/387/431 was good for batting champion status, not sure if his PAs will qualify him now.  The knock is going to be power, but there is a good chance Tomlinson can be a "utility guy" - the type of player the Giants LOVE.  His slash last year was 268/340/323 - this can go the way of Brock Bond or a number of other Giants farmhands who put up solid numbers but couldn't break through, but he has quietly grinded along and with 1700 plus PAs in the minors might just surprise. 

And I guess I'll end with the big name: Tyler Beede has been excellent, he earned the promotion to Richmond as well as a spot in the futures game.  Beede is the pitcher whisperer's greatest project, and he has been a great student, unlike Crick.  Pitching to contact, throwing the sinker, getting an insane number of ground balls.  The Ks are still there right?  Right?  He has given up 4 HRs this year, 2 in the California and 2 already in the Eastern.  His GO/AO in the CA was a large 2.54.  His ERA was an excellent 2.24, he earned all-star honors.  50 Ks in 75 innings - is it a stat anaomly because of training or is it a warning sign?  I'm going with training at the moment.  The BB ratio has been excellent, only 9 in the CA league, but already 9 in the Eastern... something to watch.  Beede is now the Giants top overall prospect.

Graduates: I find it hilarious how underrated the Giants system was at the start of the year, with Andrew Susac being the only ranked guy.  Matt Duffy has made fools out of everybody, just as Joe Panik did the year before.  And Brandon Crawford before that.  Any other system graduate a starting catcher and 3B?  I don't think so.

Honorable mention: best name in the system Johneshwy Fargas has done quite well in the Sally.  He is currently hitting 301/364/369 with a system high 34 SBs (and a system high 14 CSs).  He is playing CF and making some highlight plays.  16BBs to 34Ks is great, 249 At-bats.  He is 20 years young.  Very exciting guy to watch.  Mikey Edie and Gustavo Cabrera come to mind as a trio of CFs to watch, as well as the new CFs just drafted.  Can't ever have enough CFs.  Fargas gets some meat on his bones, things could turn out well.  Definite big time follow. 

Obviously Arroyo and Jones are doing quite well in SJ as well.  Especially Jones, who has stayed healthy and kept on putting up stats, including controlling the zone with good BB/K.  Arroyo has been a little less consistent, no walks and some injury stuff.  But these other guys have done a lot more, once you're in the system and you're playing you are just the same as any bonus baby.  Matt Duffy knows this, man! 

Baseball reference is wonky, I'll post up some ratio comments when it comes back on line.