Wednesday, November 26, 2014

About This Lester Meeting...

So the Giants are supposed to host Jon Lester next week.

If they are serious, he doesn't leave town.  Period.  B/R Link will show that he's a horse.

2008 Age 24 210 IP 144 ERA+
2009 Age 25 203 IP 136 ERA+
2010 Age 26 208 IP 134 ERA+
2011 Age 27 192 IP 124 ERA+
2012 Age 28 205 IP 87 ERA+
2013 Age 29 213 IP 110 ERA+
2014 Age 30 220 IP 155 ERA+

Starts like clockwork.  1596 IP on his arm already.  His BB/9 has trended down.  His H/9 spiked in that 2012 season, but is generally sub 8.00.  His K/9 waivers between 7-9, around 8.00.

This is all pitching at Fenway.  A nice little move to a big park with good defense and throwing to the pitchers spot?  That could be a nice look.  Does he want a competitive team?

The Cubs have offered him 6/130MM.  That's roughly Matt Cain's contract.  It carries more risk because Lester is older than Cain was when he signed.   The Cubs are not a competitive team.  Lester should be smart about this, the Giants are built to win RIGHT NOW, the Cubs will scuffle around for the next 3-5 as prospects mature and struggle. 

There are two advantages as I see it: first, you don't have to cough up the draft pick (#20 currently, roughly a 15% chance of a useful player), and second, you get a 2nd lefty.  That could be a serious, serious weapon.

I prefer Lester over Max Scherzer and his max effort delivery.  Scherzer will be slow-played by Boras, he costs the draft pick, and the Yankees loom.  I also prefer Lester over James Shields after watching both pitchers post season performances.  Small sample, I know. 

If you're serious about this noise, putting Pablo Sandoval's earmarked money to good use, Lester is the way to go.  Blow the doors off him, don't let him shop an offer.  Make him feel a part of the family, and get it done.  The Giants have the advantage they did not have for Pablo - a new start, and Lester was insulted by the Red Sox offer.  Right back at you.  That Red Sox front office is a snaky bunch.  It'd be a really nice shiv to snag Lester.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Pablo Is Shipping Up To Boston

Pablo Can Rake
Pablo Sandoval will be a Boston Red Sock.  Get used to lots of coverage from this joint.

This has been hashed, rehashed, reheated and refried.  I'm glad its over.

I thought chances were low for a re-sign, I pegged it at 33% when the sides weren't talking during the 5 day exclusive negotiation period.  So I'm not really surprised at all.  Most of the time when a team doesn't lock up out of spring training, the player tends to get some distance, hang out with the agents, other players, and usually happy feet result.

So let's go through some things a tad different:

1.  Did Bobby Evans get played?  On some level, yes, Bobby Evans got played.  Bobby Evans is the man.  Was he led astray by Pablo's sketchy agent?  Yes, and no.  Evans has to go be the public face of the Giants, say the right things, be sympathetic - and he did a stellar job on that front today.  Did Pablo's camp mean to do things this way?  It was just bizarre, "vehemently" denying what major national sportswriters were reporting.  My take is that the BoSox did what they always do: leak like mofos.  He wasn't ready for it, and hadn't made a courtesy call.  But the cold hard fact is you can have it out there publicly that you want to match an offer, the other team knows this, and they will close hard.  Decision already was made. 

2.  Did the Giants close hard?  Hell no.  They played it slow, and tight, and they lost.  5/95MM is a big time offer though.  Most likely he needed a 6th year to stay, that was the cost of woo'ing.

3.  What was Pablo insulted about?  What was the disrespect comment?  I still think it was Michael Sandoval warning the BoSox not to put no stiiinkin' weight language in the contract offer.  But obviously 3/40MM at the start of the year was a lowball.  And it stuck in Pablo's craw.  Was it past talk?  Or Sabean's typical gruff "I'm at the end of my rope".  We don't know if its PR damage control from the G's, but they claim they got near the Pence in the end, during the spring.  But as you might recall, it wasn't clear if Pablo wanted the 5/90 or that was the start of things.

4.  Here's what I think: the jackass agent, and the entourage have been talking to everybody, and they had the expectation that he was getting PAID.  As in 7 years, 140MM.  Imagine the crush when the door isn't being beaten down?  I think that Boston finds him attractive because they can hedge his position 3 ways (DH, 1B, 3B) AND he won't cost because of his weight and inconsistency.  They didn't have to go pay that 7/140. 

5.  Pablo in Boston: the Good: AL East bandboxes, the monster, a fresh start.  I can't help but think he's thinking about getting his career numbers up, and it most likely will be easier then in the NL West.  The Bad: I hope this doesn't happen, but between the fans, the press and most importantly that ownership, I can see some hurt for the Panda, who is a sensitive soul who wants to be loved.

6.  The Giants: I don't think its that hard to replace part of what Sando brings.  His stats have been declining.  He is a station to station runner.  The defense depends on his fitness commitment.  Don't forget he was 40% of the sinking in 2013.  Truly horrid play.  A defensive 3B who can run, hit a little?  The Giants can find something, and pretty cheap or young at that.  Not the worst thing in the world.  Sandoval and Posey in the middle of the order really makes the Giants a one dimensional team as far as basepath hijinx.  Sandoval and Pence as the hackers makes the Giants a streaky team.  I think they'll miss him a ton at first, no doubt.  But I think in the long run this is a good pass for the franchise.

7.  Doesn't make it easy though.  Panda put a jarring whack on a miserable 2008, came correct for real in 2009, and was fun as hell.  He had some amazing moments.  For some reason him almost hitting for the cycle on September 15 2011 brings a smile to my face.  The two Yogi Berra Hardball Times best bad ball hitter awards.  He can hit anything, and it confounds pitchers.

8.  Bottom line - damages were done, and longstanding.  Two way street, double edged sword.  This is a pretty amicable split.  Its not like Will Clark, where the Giants cheaped out.  Its not like Jeff Kent, where there were too many cooks in the kitchen.  It hurts to lose a home grown hero though.  It hurts a lot.  You think of all the good times.  And I'm gonna leave it right there, because its no fun to go gloom and doom.  Panda had all the right in the world to go explore the free agent market, make his choices and go where he wanted and was wanted.  He's a Good Giant for life.  I choose to remember Sandoval at his deadly seriousness - he has his helmet cocked, his eyes narrowed, and that bat is ready to rock.  Go kick some ass, take some names...  just not against the French Vanilla if you please. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

On Pablo Sandoval's Splits

Checking out the latest stories on Sando... which are pretty stale... Came across the Boston Globe's Cafado and you have a quote that is fun in its absoluteness:

In 17 years in San Francisco, Sabean, who loves wearing black and remaining low-key, has done it his way, which is better than anyone else.
When you mention Sabean, the response usually is, “He’s the best.”
Yet teams don’t adopt the Giants’ model because it’s not slanted enough toward analytics. Sabean has a staff of analysts, too, but they are not in front of the room, they’re in the back.

Yep

And...

 While the rest of baseball staffs tend to be ages 30-40, Sabean’s is more 50-60, people who have seen and evaluated a lot of baseball, as opposed to the younger, Ivy League generation, who are terrific at team-building through analytical models.

Yep

And...
“I think the best thing I do is delegate,” Sabean said. “I trust the people I have working with me to do their job and I put my trust in them.” 

Yep

So happy for Ron Wotus not to end up in a bad situation in Tampa.  That team is going down, not up. 

Anyways... there's a blurb on Sando.  Here it is:
From the Bill Chuck files — “Over the last five seasons, from the right side of the plate Pablo Sandoval has 45 extra-base hits (12 homers), 48 walks, and 116 whiffs.”

So let's take a look, year by year, for Sandoval and them there splits:
Versus Lefties, Batting Right Handed
2008:  237/268/289 - 41PAs, 2 2Bs, 2BB/3K - Small Sample Size, indeed
2009: 379/428/600 - 159 PAs, 14 2Bs, 6HRs, 12BB/15K (392 Babip)
2010: 227/284/305 - 155 PAs, 6 2Bs, 1HR, 12BB/25K (265 Babip) (FatPanda1, Benched for Uribe)
2011: 281/296/427 - 99PAs, 3 2Bs, 3 HRs, 2BB/19K (324 Babip) (Hammate 1)
2012: 299/336/409 - 137 PAs, 6 2Bs, 2HRs, 8BB/18K (330 Babip) (Hammate 2)
2013: 270/341/345 - 167 PAs, 8 2Bs, 1HR, 15BB/25K (315 Babip) (FatPanda2)
2014: 199/244/319 - 205 PAs, 6 2Bs, 5 HRs, 11BB/31K (210 Babip) (WALK YEAR)

Like Panda himself, its all. over.  the.  place. 

Questions:
1.  Did teams force him a lot more to bat Right Handed?  He jumped up at least 45 PAs from his other numbers, although you have the injuries in the other years.  His career #s of 270/317/391 definitely does not set the world on fire.
2.  He only has 18 career homers from the right side period.  45 doubles, 4 3Bs, 69 extra base hits in 963 PAs, with 62 BBs/136 Ks.  Does this matter going forward?
3.  The babip tells a story, especially with his 2009 high point, as well as the 2010 and 2014 struggles.  Should this be factored in?  Dismissed?  He does have a smaller sample each year.

I'm not a big fan of the lefties who have horrible platoon splits: Andre Ethier is the posterboy, Shin-Soo Choo is the bad idea signing and I believe Jason Heyward is the next on the horizon.  Most lefties do struggle against lefties though.  Ryan Howard has a 225/303/430 split as an example.  But he's also posterboy #1 for bad contract.

So have I found a hidden red flag here?  Are Sandoval's struggles and lack of power against lefties relevant?  

Here's a quick look at the lefty bats in MLB last year, ranked by SLG, qualified at-bats: Anthony Rizzo, David Ortiz, Michael Brantley, Justin Morneau, Adrian Gonzalez, Lucas Duda, Freddie Freeman, Matt Adams, Adam LaRoche, Kyle Seager, Robinson Cano, Kole Calhoun.  That's the cutoff, my arbitrary point of 450 SLG.

Lefty Bats In MLB last year by AVG: Brantley, Morneau, Cano, Ben Revere, Darren Span, Adam Eaton, James Loney, Dee Gordon, Daniel Murphy, Matt Adams, Charlie Blackmon, Freddie Freeman and Rizzo, who managed 286 and that's my cutoff.

Do any of these guys have even splits?  I'm just looking at the best left handed hitters last year, with no regard to defense or position.  Rizzo has miserable splits.  Ortiz has decent splits.  Brantley has OK splits.  Morneau's are not impressive.  Gonzalez' are decent.  Duda's are miserable.  Freeman's are OK.  Adams are miserable.  LaRoche's are not impressive.  Seager's are not impressive.  Cano's are decent to almost excellent.  Calhoun, in small sample, are decent. 

So you have 4 guys in the top 12 of slg lefties with decent, 2 OK, 3 not impressive, and 3 miserable.  That's only one year, but it does have a selection of some of the best lefty hitters in the game. 

So does it matter?  For Zee Panda?  I think its another reason to hold the line, but you're bidding against the open market, and that's the rub.  I don't think he is as bad against lefties as he played in 2014, but I do think he'll never be completely comfortable batting right handed, and its much more about hitting up the middle, as he did in the series, than driving the ball.

And that's the rub with all the lefties.  They get a huge advantage batting against the Right handed pitchers, but they can also be neutralized in big moments to some extent.  Or in the case of certain players, a large extent.  You can shift your odds hugely with those left handed specialists. 

More data to come as I get time.

The Astros Even Mess Up The Nerd Moves

The hot stove has cooled, as everybody waits on Pablo Sandoval to make a decision.  "Are you ready to make your commitment to your team?"  The Giants are looking strong, lots of returning starters, returning lettermen, looking strong, looking tough...

Here's the Houston Beat Writer's dissection of a relatively small time move, naming the players to the 40-man in anticipation of the Rule 5 draft.  My take: the Astros being stats over scouts, had no intention of protecting the live armed Feliz, then reacted to the ranking list community, particularly the BA guys, and protected him under the guise of "making a trade that didn't happen".

For me, its just another sign of total incompetence.   I cannot emphasize how much getting hacked and revealing the inner workings showed off a team that has a general plan of collecting as many high profile prospects (who have horrible failure rates) over the present.  They have seriously pissed off current MLB players with their tactics, they have the lowest payroll in baseball, and no team really wants to deal with them because they are that guy in the fantasy league that always asks for impossible unreasonable trades.

With the muffling of the Brady Aiken negotiations, coupled with the fact that Carlos Rodon is looking like a complete stud, the Astros are looking like they've missed two years in a row at the top (Appel over Bryant).  A lesser incident is they are so in love with youth potential they gave up too early on JD Martinez, who went off for the Tigers after getting claimed,  Now every team had a shot, but they had control on his contract when this was happening

Here is BA's top 10 for 2014, pre-season.  Feliz was ranked #9 overall.  While Correa is definitely a Blue Chip prospect, beyond that it gets a lot less impressive, quickly.  George Springer is going to go into his sophomore campaign, he has a lot of swing/miss to his game, the adjustments will be brutal and he will have to respond.  Mark Appel has been rushed through a couple of levels now, he had a decent AFL.  I don't think he's had enough seasoning and he's set up for failure at this point.  Beyond that though?  I'm not seeing a ton of depth.

On their current roster, they have a expensive piece in Dexter Fowler (276/375/399), who is putting up awful defensive numbers.  They have a nice 2B in Altuve (341/377/453) (who they tried to hold out to protect his BA title, even though they shun BA as an org).  They have Springer, who hit 231 with 20 HRs and 114 Ks in 345 PAs.  They have Chris Carter who hit 227 with 37 HRs and 182 Ks in 572 PAs.  Those are their 4 hitters in positive offensive territory.  Jon Singleton might have been the smart one on that lockup he signed: he hit 168/285/335 with a mind boggling 134 K's in 362 PAs.

They desperately need some veterans to balance out all this youth, but that's where they are doing something different.  Nobody wants to go play in Houston, the atmosphere is toxic.  They'll get desperate Tier 3 FAs and nothing but.  Or they'll have to start overpaying.

I'd say tick tock on the BP guys and Luhnow.  They've made an absolute mess.  Can Correa pull them out?  Maybe!  But I'd expect some more silliness over solid baseball moves.  And I'd expect more losing, and more top 10 picks.  This is not an organization on their way up.  This is mediocrity and hope springing eternal.  I guarantee agents and players are praying they don't get drafted by the Astros.  One things for sure, Brady Aiken isn't going to be signing a waiver to let them re-draft. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Strength and Weakness In The Giants System

Sickels has his SFG discussion up and the preliminary prospect list

For us prospect hounds, its a time of year to reflect on the good and bad of the previous season.  There are definite strengths, and there are definite weaknesses.

First, the bad: the heralded pitching prospects didn't catch fire.  From the top of Sickels top 20 for the start of 2014: Kyle Crick still has the BB bug, he didn't get a lot of innings because of pitch counts knocking him out early.  Innings are a big deal for GMs.  Big deal.  Just being able to eat 200 innings has a ton of value.  Edwin Escobar struggled in the PCL - again, a big test for pitchers, not a quick finishing school - and was traded for Jake Peavy.  Adalberto Mejia continued his pattern of early struggles followed by good adjustments in AA.  Clayton Blackburn had to battle injuries, he pitched pretty well when healthy, but has a soft tosser label to live down now.  Chris Stratton had a pretty meh performance including a 5 plus ERA in the California, got a promotion to the Eastern.  Heath Hembree continued to be hit for the 3rd straight year in the PCL, got traded for Peavy. 

The next guys are Ty Blach, who had a very low K/9 but finished 5th in ERA in the Eastern.  He also had the most IP of any highly rated pitcher.  Martin Agosta battled injuries and struggled.  Joan Gregorio did as well, and ended back down in Augusta again, doing well against inferior competition.  Keury Mella flashed plus potential with one of the best fastballs in the system, but also had injury concerns.  Derek Law wasn't quite his shutdown self, it turned out he needed TJ.  Josh Osich pitched OK at Richmond, missed some time.  Kendry Flores proved hittable in the California, took a step back but still has a stellar K/BB (although down from his amazing 2013 #s).  Gave up a lot of HRs, it happens in the CA. 

Hitting?  Mac Williamson had to have TJ, a lost season for the big right handed bat.  Angel Villalona struggled with injuries, contact and the big bad eastern.  Gary Brown put up much the same meh numbers in the PCL.  Juan Perez clocked the PCL by comparison.  The two yoots drafted high in 2013 struggled with Augusta, Christian Arroyo having a hand injury and Ryder Jones wearing down.  Both rallied at S/S S/K, but it was a set back. 

Now the good: Joe Panik happened.  The maligned 1st rounder came up, took over the keystone and the Giants rampaged.  That basically takes all that news up above and shoves it in the recycle bin.  In addition, Matt Duffy came up, took on the hardest role in baseball: pinch hitting, as a rookie, and passed with flying colors.  Andrew Susac turned out to be legit, he isn't going back to the minors.  And Hunter Strickland had a great ease in (with amazing, amazing lacks of BBs) and then ran into a little bit of "welcome to the show" in the playoffs.  Brown had limited action, Adam Duvall hit a couple HRs while not getting trusted with 3B at all, Erik Cordier pitched some in cleanup.

I pegged (loudly) the Giants as a sleeper system.  Well?  Their minor league players arguably had the biggest impact out of all 30 teams.  Where are they ranked?  Sickels generally slots them in the teens, most others put them in the early to late 20s.  So it goes...  Ratings are imperfect.  Despite high profile struggles, the Giants kicked ass this year from the farm.

Sickels has 38 names, I don't have much to argue with on it, I would note that Tyler Horan and Brian Ragira bring power to the table, I'd add Mikey Edie as a must follow, I think that the youngest pitcher in the system doing well in the DSL is worth a note because he posted great K/9 and K/BB, even if those stats should be taken with a gallon of salt.  I like a couple lefties as good deep sleepers, I like a couple of the catchers as good backup candidates, I like some very longshot righties based on their performances and I like a couple randoms. 

Here is the year by year acquisition list:
*= IFA signing, ^=milb FA or waiver, my additions are in bold, my deletions are in strikethrough

2014: Beede, Garcia, Davis, Webb, Coonrod, Ewing, Slater, Carbonell*
2013: Arroyo, R. Jones, Ragira, Horan, C. Jones, Miller, Cordier^, Strickland^, Edie*
2012: Stratton, Williamson, Okert, Blach, Duffy, Gustavo Cabrera*, Mella*, Ysla*, Santos*
2011: Crick, Susac, Black, Law, Tomlinson, Blackburn, Hall, Mejia*
2010: Brown, Parker, Kickham, Duvall, Gregorio*
2009:Heston, Flores*

Big names getting long in the tooth: Angel Villalona, Chris Dominguez, Gary Brown, Jarrett Parker, Adam Duvall.  Villalona and Dominguez have plus power but huge contact issues.  Brown might need to hook up with another org for a breath of fresh air.  That pains me.  Parker has contact issues, I see him going the route of Roger Kieschnick, getting claimed in a couple of days if the Giants try to sneak him off the 40.  Duvall cannot play 3B, which severely limits his value for the Giants.  He could be a interesting trade guy for an AL team. 

The IFA pitching pipeline: Took a step sideways.  Flores gets to AA, Gregorio gets protected most likely, he most likely goes to High-A again, Mejia has to sit out, Mella might get to High-A.  Santos has a chance to zoom.  Ysla goes to SJ as well?  This is a lot of IFA pitching in SJ.  Sleepers I think should get a mention: Victor Concepcion as the youngest (along with Webb).  He's undersized.  As is Eury Sanchez.  Both strike out a lot of batters. 

The IFA hitting pipeline: Gustavo is BACK!  Mikey Edie impressed, look for him in rookie ball.  And Carbonell is most likely in Richmond.  That's 3 exciting fast OFs.  Fun times! 

The lefties who might be loogies: Mike Kickham, Ysla, Mason McVay, Matt Lujan, Christian Jones.  With Escobar traded, Mejia suspended, Ty Blach is the great hope.  But Steven Okert has been progressing huge.  The Giants don't look nearly as strong in the lefty department as they did last year.  They neglected lefties in the 2014 draft.  Need some more, stat!  Weakness

The pen guys: Law, Black, Hall, Cordier, Coonrod, I think Davis eventually.  The Giants have easily a half dozen who could pull a Black or an Okert and come up next year.  This area's covered, and they continue to cover it every year.  Strength

The starters: Crick, Blackburn, Beede, Mella, Blach are the top 5.  Hard to see clearly beyond that.  Need more lefties!  The righties are out of control, but 3 of 4 have great fastballs.

The power: all eyes on Mac Williamson and Richmond. 

The 2011 guys have to be protected, time is up for 2009, almost up for 2010.  We'll see how many of the 2011 guys make the show now, it is looking strong.  The 2012 efforts are pitching heavy, big year for them but ironically the best 2 guys might be Duffy and Williamson.  2013 is too soon to tell but it might be a 2010 type effort where the Giants went with 2 youths instead of 2 OFs.  2014 looks strong, but its early, a lot will change.

Strength: Catchers: Posey/Susac/Hector Sanchez/Aramis Garcia along with sleepers Jeff Arnold, Ty Ross and Ben Turner matches up with MLB and kicks teeth in.

Weakness?  OF?  I don't know, I am pretty excited about the next wave of Williamson, Horan, Carbonell, Cabrera, Edie as well as Austin Slater and a favorite sleeper Hunter Cole.

Strength: Scrappers.  Joe Panik, Matt Duffy, Christian Arroyo backed by Blake Miller, Brandon Bednar and Ryder Jones?  That's a pretty sweet set, even if the Giants did pay premiums at times.

Weakness: Power types.  The Giants take a shot every year.  They generally use their 2nd-4th pick, and it hasn't turned out yet.  All those guys long in the tooth are evidence.  But Williamson is up next, they keep at it and at some point they'll hit.  The newest one Skyler Ewing has great contact rates with his pop.  Horan and Ragira have swing/miss but they did succeed in connecting for good HR totals, as has Duvall.  The 1B only is a tough one, its possible that Ragira will struggle like fellow Pac12 guy Oropesa. 

We have to acknowledge at that draft position its a long shot.  But power is the rarest commodity, and you need to take your shots. 

Weakness: 1B and 3B are undefined right now.  But you have Ragira/Ewing and Jones/Arroyo/Miller (and Matt Duffy right there right now) as well as utility guy Bednar who hit quite well.  You desperately need a win in the OF, and the Starting pitcher.

Strength: lots of ready to slot in: Duffy, Susac, Williamson - you only have 12 spots.  There appears to be a lot of depth.

There are some good follows next year.  Tyler Beede and Kyle Crick with the control.  The OF in the Eastern.  Where Duffy and Susac slot in.  The SJ staff.  The first Sacramento staff.  And seeing how the 2014 guys do into the new season.  Austin Slater is a great deep sleeper, he hit the daylights out the ball.

Overall, same as last year: underrated, sleeper, fun to follow.  You gotta like these kids.

The Lunatic Fringe... And Rule 5 Today

The Giants coaching staff is absolutely awesome.  Think about how many treasures there are: Ron Wotus, who I selfishly don't want going to the Rays this offseason (they are going to interview 10 candidates?  Way to target it up).  I also don't want Wotus to be put into a bad situation, and I think the Rays are headed south fast.

Raggs and Gardner?  Best in the business.  Raggs got asked about being a dynasty, immediately said that the UCLA hoops was one, the Russell Celtics are one.  That's humble, that's correct.  You're just not going to see those types, especially in baseball with so many more teams, talent diluted, competition fierce.  The Yankees of Ruth through Mantle were able to poach most of the best talent to constantly restock.  8 out of 16 from '23 to '39.  2 during the War.  An amazing 10 out of 14 from '47 to '62.  That's 20 of those famed 27, and it was done by snagging the best talent out there.

Since?  2 in the 70s during the Martin-Jackson-Munson years.  The 4 in 5, and then a tack on in 2009 when the Phillies choked and gave A-Rod a ring.

What's my point?  I don't know.  The Giants coaching staff as well as their management core are their huge advantage.  Consistent, experienced, flexible.  And at the heart of that is Bochy and Tim Flannery.  Flannery adapted one of Sabean's best phrases into his band.  Here's his facebook page.  No doubt in my mind Flannery is not only the best 3B coach in the majors, he is also the most colorful.  His last post on ball before he turned to his music resonates: " 8 years ago I came with Boch up here for a last ride, It's not over yet, but I believe I held up my end of the deal.
I want to just say Thank You for all your amazing support, your beautiful words, thank you for knowing my personality when I get nutty, and for understanding, I've given you everything I have, and I'm so humbled, and honored to be part of the best Giant baseball in history, ever."


The Lunatic Fringe were the hard core, and they've been reduced to a puddle.  The Giants have turned out to be the real deal.  I love Flannery's optimism.  You read that site, his posts on failure versus optimism... well, if you read my posts enough, you will know its right up my alley.

Appreciate these guys.  Their dedication and comradeship is a wonderful story.  I cringe when I see calls for Bam-Bam to be fired during one of the Giants patented dead ball era runs.  Roberto Kelly is a fixture at 1B.  Gints coaches are good stuff, and a big part of the success.

Rule 5 today!  Giants roster is sitting at 37.  The guys who may be taken off: Chris Heston, Juan Gutierrez (a likely non-tender).  Mike Kickham's leftyness might keep him on the 40.  I'm not sure if the Giants take Gary Brown or Angel Villalona off.  Jarrett Parker seems like a removal if they need the space.

The Rule 5 is basically dead, only about 1/3 of b-ball takes part in it.  The Giants don't, and they won't - they have all the guys they need on the 25, they're contending for titles, they don't have time to carry that type of rookie.  But what it has spawned is a unofficial supplemental Rule 5 like waiver claim jockey session.  The Giants have taken a few shots in the past 2-3 years, and have come away with Hunter Strickland for their efforts.

Who will they protect?  The big name is Joan Gregorio.  There aren't any guys in the top 20 rankings that need protection yet besides Juan G.  Its 2010 HS guys and IFAs, and 2011 college guys.  

I can't see the Giants protecting Chuckie Jones, but he might be a bubble guy.  Josh Osich is a bubble guy to me, but he's a lefty so that increases his chances.  Derek Law is a no brainer.  Cody Hall should get a 40-man attaboy.  And if the Giants value what they've poached lately, Ray Black is a no-brainer.  Gints gonna stock up their relief guys, the help that is on the way.  Crick/Blackburn have another year because of their shiny HS youth.

Look for the Giants to keep 2 spots open though, for Sandoval or a ham/egg replacement, and one spot open for some reliever they really like.  That's how they roll.  Under cover brothers.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Draft Order Revised, New Mocks

So with the Mets taking Cuddyer as well as the draft gamin' Jays taking Sir Russell Martin... Your San Francisco Giants have moved from the 22nd pick to the 20th pick.  They don't move up with the potential supplemental pick if Sandoval gets respect elsewhere however, both the Rockies and Jays had worse records than them.

Here's a mock already updated with the 20th pick.  DJ Stewart to the Gigantes?  Can't see that happening as a big percentage guess.  I want to know more about UCSB's Dillon Tate.

Here's another mock, a 2 parter.  Part one and Part two

They have the 20th pick as Ashe Russell, prep righty.  The 21st pick as Cody Ponce, college righty and the 22nd pick as Ryan Johnson, lefty bat prep OF. 

Notice the description involving the Gigantes, referencing Gary Brown as well as the Giants weak potential.  And he won't be ready until 2019-2020.  Then go down to the description of Kyle Tucker, mocked to the Dodgers at 28.  He's going to be playing with Joc Pederson, who is lumped with Matt Kemp as a success!  Something doesn't quite lineup here.  But I do think that Tucker and Johnson are a fun comp to check in on.  OFs who are left handed hitting with pop and most likely profile for RF.

Dansby Swanson and Alex Bregman remain my white whales in early going.  And there are a lot of interesting lefties to look at.  The Giants are not usually sold on HS OFs, we'll see how it all shakes out.