Friday, April 18, 2014

Giants Beat Bums 2-1 - Series Rundown #5


I don't care what none of yall say I still love her Uribe.

The Gigantes took down another series from the Hated Ones.  They were hard fought close games, as they will be all year.  The good: the Dodgers might have more talent, but the Giants have more heart.  The bad: closing out sweeps hasn't been the 4tay of Bochy led squads.  Not sure if Arias leading off is sending the killer instinct message.  Oh well, its a long season.  Getting to Jansen a bunch is good stuff.  In a bad stat, the Giants have not been able to punish The Beard.  Adrianza's was the first hit off of him.  Not good. 

April 15 Giants 3, Dodgers 2 (12)
April 16 Giants 2, Dodgers 1
April 17 Dodgers 2, Giants 1

If you're keeping track, that's 7 straight 1 run games.  The NL West is always a dog fight.  Also, that 12 inning game was the 2nd longest in Giants-Dodgers history, which is a bit crazy.  I blame Chicken Bucket Beckett.

MVP of the series: The Giants pen.  Why not?  They have been aces, they need some recognition.  The starters that have been squirrelly stood up tall, and then the Gints Ace can't close it out.  That's baseball for you, unpredictable as ever.

Shank's Keys to winning the series: The Dodgers are back in 1st place.  It happened quickly, and they don't have their Ace.  They are stinging the ball early (as everybody seems to be).  Lincecum needs to find a way, and fast.  The Giants need to get to Beckett making his first start of the season.  Same key with Ryu as last series: when you get opportunities, you have to take advantage and crank his pitch count, plate the ducks.  Greinke is tough, he beat Cain last sunday night.  The Giants have two very shaky starters and a big series coming.  Pence and Pablo need to get hot, Belt and Posey haven't been so hot either, and the Crawford/Pagan connection, while extremely nice, won't win games.  The middle of the order needs to produce.  Games often hang on one play.  Dodgers will play tough.  Adrian Gonzalez is scorching hot, the starters need to find a way to neutralize him.  Dee Gordon and Juan Uribe lead the Bums statistically early.  Puig is sitting on a 237/326/368 slash early, and it'd be nice to wake up friday morning and see it the same or worse.

The Dodgers slipped soft tossing lefty Paul Maholm into the mix, and he gave the Giants fits, as soft tossing lefties are apt to do.  They did not get to Beckett.  They did not get to Ryu.  I guess the honeymoon is over for the Dinger led offense, its back to Torture.  That means every play counts, and Brandon Hicks needs to field to the best of his ability.  Dee Gordon continued his hot ways, and Juan Uribe tried and almost succeeded in single handedly killing the Giants.  Puig played like Puig - not running out a fly, possibly getting benched for it, and getting some knocks against the Giants.  My opinion is he's going to figure it out and be big-time.  We'll see.  The Dodgers have some leadership problems, and too many OFs (Joc P is raking in AAA as well). 

The middle of the order did not come through.  The Giants scored a total of 6 runs, just in the right order to win the series.  Pablo had a key hit (finally) after an IBB in front of him.  I don't like when Bochy pairs free swingers Pence and Pablo back to back.  Yet again though, they went 2 for 7 with a BB on wens, Pablo getting the hits and Pence scuffling.  Then they went 2 for 7 with a BB again yesterday, Pence getting on base with Pablo scuffling.  Just a little thing I'm keeping track of, lets see if a small criticism of Bochy plays out or is bunk.

Good hitting: not much.  Pence is warming but not hot, Posey and Belt are maintaining - Belt should get mention for his key hit to get to Jansen to tie the first game up and send it to extras. 

Poor hitting: lots, especially with the bases juiced.  16 runners left on first game, 17 more the next two.  Mike Morse and Brandon Hicks got AT&T'd but good.

Good pitching: Timmy and Vogey have possibly righted the good ship.  We'll see, but Timmy not walking anybody is a good sign, and VSG's game was awesome.  The pen, especially the amazingly athletic Jean Machi, has been lights out.  Affeldt had a good 2 inning welcome back without any gascan.

Bad pitching: Bumgarner didn't have his A game, and it would have sent the Bums out in 2nd place.  Oh well, we'll take the series win.

Next series: at the Padres:
Cain/Ross
Hudson/Stults
Timmy/Erlin

Keys to series: missing Andrew Cash is nice.  Padres are at 7-9 on the year.  Our old buddy Xavier Nady is leading them in HRs, and Everth Cabrera is the leading hitter stat-wise, followed by pesky Chris Denorfia.  The Pads always play tough with a scrappy non-descript offense.  Cain needs to build on his last game, Hudson needs to work, and hopefully Good Timmy shows up.  The Panda rakes at Petco, hopefully the crew will plate some ducks this time out.  Posey has been slipping his BA down some.  Morse is sitting on 306/382/510, not too shabby.  A couple well placed hits this series would be nice.  The Giants are without the services of Juan Perez currently, so its 4 OFs, which alters some of Bochy's stratagums just a tad.

Series Rundown Recap:
Giants have 4 series wins on the year, 1 loss, no ties.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

2014 MLB Draft - Want This/Take This Edition

So its getting to be draft time pretty soon now.  The draft class is stacked with young talent, this could be the best draft in half a decade easy.

So how about a Want This/Take This deal?  The point is that you don't always get what you want in the draft, just ask the Greybeards about Michael Wacha.

Want a HS Lefty?  As of right now, you won't be hearing Brady Aiken's name, he's going top 5.  Mac Marshall is a less heralded Georgia Prepster lefty.  Top shelf potential, Fastball to 93, good curve and a Team USA guy.  This guy reminds me of the guy the Giants should have drafted instead of Stratton: Lucas Sims of the Atlanta Braves.

Want a college lefty?  Despite getting beat up a bit, Carlos Rodon is going to go top 5 as well.  Here you have several excellent options: Kyle Freeland from Evansville knocks a lot of branches on the Giants tree: he excelled in the Cape, he has insane K/BB ratios, he has a big 6'4 frame with room to fill out at 190, and his fastball is touching 96.  Yes, I'm ignoring some favorites like Brandon Finnegan or sleeper Cal Poly dude Matt Imhof.

College righty?  Jeff Hoffman and Tyler Beede will most likely be gone, you have a couple of SEC righties who are boss: LSU's Aaron Nola and FSU's Luke Weaver.  The Chris Stratton show might give pause, but both of these guys are dealing, have advanced pitches but might not be the best raw talents.

HS righty?  Kolek will be gone, maybe Grant Holmes is gone as well.  Holmes would be a great choice if he's on the board, everybody is whining about no projection left.  Well, he doesn't need any projection, he's built like a tank and can spin up to 97, is going to be the fastest HS mover in the class.  But if you need another.... TOUKI!  TOUKI!  TOUKI!

Alright, enough about all these pitchers.  Let's go to... Catcher.  Max Pentecost is in a league of his own, and finally busting out with the bat.  12 for 23 in the past week, 2 HRs, 3 2Bs, 2 SBs, he's upped his game to a respectable 380/435/572 now, 5 HRs, 15 2Bs, 15BB/18K.  Dude can rake, can stick at catcher but is fast and athletic enough to play a bunch of places.  For people in love with Kyle Schwarber's power, back off that pipedream, look to the whole player, a gap hitter with room for more who can run and field.

1B?  Naw, I'm not rec'ing any 1B.  Leave that to other teams.

2B?  Alex Blandino?  In the 2nd?  Unfortunately 2Bs get no love in the draft.  I'll do my annual scrapper preview for sure though.

3B?  All about Michael Chavis, who is just barreling up balls all over the place.  You know the guys who like to see that right?  6.68 60, 5'11 will knock him down a bit.  But he could play 2B, good chance of it in fact.  Hello Jeff Kent.  Through 20 games in HS, he's at 579/671/1158 with 6 2Bs, 9 HRs, 13 SBs.  Forget the dreaming of talent in HS, I want to see video game results.  You miss out on Jacob Gatewood at the 14 most likely, Chavis could be a tasty consolation prize.  I'd prefer Chavis, and I know the guys in love with raw tools would rage, but this is baseball, you gots to hit the pill, and that's the hardest thing to do in sports.

SS?  Nick Gordon will most likely be gone.  There is a fair amount of evidence from Trey Turner's performance that he's getting knocked down the draft.  How far down does a guy with 80 speed go?  Is this a Gary Brown situation?  Ti'Quan Forbes is sitting out there, not hyped yet. 

OF?  If you want a raw toolsy athlete type, Monte Harrison is getting a lot of hype.  WR for football, baseball might be his better sport and he's got a solid 6th tool.  Huge arm strength to boot, he has a decent chance of being able to hit, with power to boot.  He's taken over from Marcus Wilson as the #1 drool worthy 5-tool guy.  I just do not like any of the college OFs that much, I'd be pretty bummed if the Giants go fishing in that pool in the 1st or 2nd rounds.  Michael Gettys will most likely be gone, I don't see much of a drop off if any with Monte, and as long as that 6th tool stands tall unlike the Monte with an A the Dubs stole in the draft a few years back...

Half Dozen Others needing serious consideration:
RHP: Scott Blewett, Sean Reid-Foley, Luis Ortiz
LHP: Kodi Medeiros, Justus Sheffield
SS: Josh Morgan

Monday, April 14, 2014

Giants Take Rocks 2-1 - Series Rundown #4

Photo from SFgate, from an article "Tim Hudson: I think I can pitch towards the top of the rotation"...  Indeed.

Giants came within a Caining of a series sweep, and it cost them the co-lead in the NL West, as the Dodgers swept the hapless D-backs.  This is a mini-reminder of what happened last year: the Dodgers marauded against the East/Central teams while the Giants had some major hickups, particularly against the Mets and Marlins, where they suffered series sweeps.  One part of being a good team is beating up on teams that aren't so good.  That's how the D-backs are looking.  But its a long season, and the Giants are playing the NL West strong overall.  Its always a dog fight though, as evidenced by 3 straight 1 run games:

April 11: Giants 6, Rockies 5
April 12: Rockies 1, Giants 0
April 13: Giants 5, Rockies 4 (10)

MVP of the series: Madison Bumgarner and Brandon Crawford.  Crawford is hanging tough, particularly against lefties, and finally elevated above the 24 foot bricks, something he's been flirting with.  I've always thought there was plenty of power in that 6'3 frame, its just a question of being a student of the game instead of being a natural fast bat speed guy.  Bumgarner is awesome, and knocks every silly stereotype of the Giants front office out of the park.  One of the best 5 contracts in the game, the single winningest young pitcher once you get to games that really count, he is an Ace, and he can hit to boot.  He gets bonus points for being as old school as they come.  Speaking of old school, Tim Hudson doesn't tip his cap coming out with a runner on, just like Matt Cain.

Shank's Keys to winning the series: Keep Tulo/Cargo damage limited, stop giving up home runs, play good defense.  Matt Cain needs to figure it out, have a better plan of attack.  Bumgarner and Hudson need to keep the ball rolling, they have been consistent and excellent.  The Rockies are hitting well, they are first in OBP, SLG and BA and 2nd in runs scored to your hometown heroes.  Their pitching... is not.  The Giants bats need to stay hot.  Pence needs to continue to come alive.  Pablo Sandoval needs to get his head in the game.

So close.  The Giants bats didn't stay hot.  Pablo had a HR, he see saws back into the lead of the two cold hackers battle with Pence.  Is Mean Bruce Bochy splitting them up in the lineup?  He put them together for the Caining, they went 2 for 7 with a BB, saw 25 pitches in 8 at-bats, K'd twice.

Bochy is being aggressive about resting Posey early.  I like that personally.   Brandon Hicks is winning the battle of the 2B pretty handily right now.  He reached base all 3 times on sunday, with Crawford hitting well the 7/8 hitters can roll the order, that gives the Giants a nice advantage.

Worry yet?  Brandon Belt is up to 16 Ks to 1BB in 52 at-bats.  Early on, but something to keep an eye on.  Noted hacker Brandon Hicks has 9 Ks in 19 at-bats, to go with 6 walks. 

Good hitting: Madison Bumgarner.  Won't see that every series, a grand slam and a sac fly to the wall.  Brandon Crawford was the only Gigante to get hits in all 3 games.  He started the scoring on friday by hitting a triple and getting picked up by Madison.  Angel Pagan continues to get key hits when the lineup turns, plating 2 at a critical juncture on sunday.

Bad hitting: Pence continues his slow start.  Morse got 1 hit all series, Belt got none.  And Matt Cain got classically Cained.

Good pitching: Pretty much everybody.  Bumgarner and Hudson didn't have their A game, and Hudson gave up some long balls, but they went deep in the game, as did Matt Cain with his A game.  The pen was solid as well.

Bad pitching: you can't win them all, but Javy Lopez couldn't prevent a runner at 3B from scoring.  They switched out a lefty for a RHH, and that is not Javy's forte.  Hudson might have been gassed late, but he had a low pitch count and he works extremely quickly, something I love in a pitcher.  The opposite of lame ass chicken eating Josh Beckett.

Next Series: Dodgers!  Will there be chicken buckets in the clubhouse garbage?
Beckett/Lincecum
Ryu/Vogelsong
Greinke/Bumgarner

Keys to winning the series: The Dodgers are back in 1st place.  It happened quickly, and they don't have their Ace.  They are stinging the ball early (as everybody seems to be).  Lincecum needs to find a way, and fast.  The Giants need to get to Beckett making his first start of the season.  Same key with Ryu as last series: when you get opportunities, you have to take advantage and crank his pitch count, plate the ducks.  Greinke is tough, he beat Cain last sunday night.  The Giants have two very shaky starters and a big series coming.  Pence and Pablo need to get hot, Belt and Posey haven't been so hot either, and the Crawford/Pagan connection, while extremely nice, won't win games.  The middle of the order needs to produce.  Games often hang on one play.  Dodgers will play tough.  Adrian Gonzalez is scorching hot, the starters need to find a way to neutralize him.  Dee Gordon and Juan Uribe lead the Bums statistically early.  Puig is sitting on a 237/326/368 slash early, and it'd be nice to wake up friday morning and see it the same or worse.

Series Rundown Recap:
Giants have 3 series wins on the year, 1 loss, no ties.



Friday, April 11, 2014

Giants lose first series versus D-backs 1-2 - Series Rundown #3





Feeling the pressure of the expiring contract?

The Giants let one get away last night, and took their first series loss of the year.  While the new additions Tim Hudson and Michael Morse are starting extremely strong, the "bring the band back" guys Tim Lincecum and Ryan Vogelsong are looking quite shaky.  Hunter Pence has decided to beat out the infield hits, and occasionally get that ball to the outfield.  I'm not worried about Pence though, he will have his hot/cold times and will put up numbers in the end.

April 8 Giants 7, D-backs 3
April 9 D-backs 7, Giants 3
April 10 D-backs 6, Giants 5 (10)

MVP of the series: Tim Hudson and Michael Morse.  Hudson went 8 strong in his home debut, just killed it for the victory.  Morse has the team lead in ribeyes, went 5 for 10 with 3 2Bs and a jack during the series.  He's doing exactly what the Giants wanted, and hasn't been exposed yet on defense.  The Beast!

Keys to series according to Shank: "Stepping on the reeling D-backs necks.  Getting to the starters and then the soft bullpen.  Limiting the damage of Giant killers Goldschmidt and johnny-come-lately Trumbo.  We've got all eyes on you for this one Timmy Lincecum.  Getting key hits, protecting the lead or going to get the lead, Angel Pagan style.  Pence and Panda won't stay cold the entire year, they are showing signs and playing excellent defense suddenly.  Hopefully Mean Bruce Bochy doesn't hit them back to back, their similar hacking styles can sometimes get out of wack at the same time.  Spread that out.  Brandon Belt, take a walk once in a while, you damn hacker?! "

A lot of failure here.  Goldschmidt owns Timmy something fierce.  They failed to protect the lead in the finale.  Pablo Sandoval went 1 for 11 with 2 walks.  Belt drew his first walk last night while going 0 for 4 including a key popup with the bases juiced in the 8th.  The Giants definitely did not step on the D-backs necks, and a lot of the blame is on Timmy's bad pitching.  Vogelsong looked shaky, but there are signs he is righting the ship, he battled to 5 innings and left with a chance for the W.

Good Hitting: Michael Morse.  Brandon Crawford.  Buster Posey.  Angel Pagan.  Brandon Belt.

Bad Hitting: Pablo Sandoval.  Hunter Pence.  2B is a work in progress.  Brandon Hicks is a good fielder, he needs to settle down out there.  Sandoval blew the game in the 8th, he is flashing all the various Panda tricks in the first 10 games: big flashes of brilliance, inconsistent play, impulsive bad decisions.  I'm very comfortable with the Giants handling of the contract situation.

Good Pitching: Tim Hudson fo sho.  Even though he coughed up the lead, I'm sticking with Santiago Casilla in the GP category, I still don't trust him in crunch time though.  He's been solid.  Machi loads the bases with nobody out and then slips away.  Machi Time!  Javy Lopez has the best strut in the game baby.

Bad Pitching: Timmy.  Timmy.  Timmy.  And Vogey.  And Cain.  The Giants starters are not getting it done.  They need to tighten up their game, and stop taxing the pen.

Next Series: Rockies!  Is Tulo hurt yet?  Probable matchups:
Bumgarner/De La Rosa
Cain/Anderson
Hudson/Chatwood

Keys to winning the series: Keep Tulo/Cargo damage limited, stop giving up home runs, play good defense.  Matt Cain needs to figure it out, have a better plan of attack.  Bumgarner and Hudson need to keep the ball rolling, they have been consistent and excellent.  The Rockies are hitting well, they are first in OBP, SLG and BA and 2nd in runs scored to your hometown heroes.  Their pitching... is not.  The Giants bats need to stay hot.  Pence needs to continue to come alive.  Pablo Sandoval needs to get his head in the game.

Series Rundown Recap:
Giants have 2 series wins on the year, 1 loss, no ties.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Up The Middle Players


Katie Dowd, I don't know you lass, but you took a nice pic via twitter...

Up the middle players.  Live it.  Love it.  Matt Cain, fresh off a 3 HR game, walking bat kid to the mound.  Do the Giants have 2 rings without #18?  No way.

Tim Hudson, fresh off his 2nd start, first in the French Vanilla... Wow, talk about a what if, what if Sabean chased Huddy instead of Zito?  That is a competitive dude my friends.

What is the connection?  Up the middle.  Pitchers.  Catchers.  CFs and MIs.

Pablo and the Gigantes have tabled the talks.  Here's Baggs with the choiciest cuts: and Sabean puts in his usual: “At this point the organization has put its best foot forward and (Sandoval’s agents) have decided it’s not to their liking, and we understand that and that’s the reason it needs to be tabled. He needs to concentrate on baseball right now. I think he might be pressing a little bit because it’s in his head one way or the other."

Sounds like the usual blunt Brian S.  “We’ve given our best shot with good faith intended to try to get him signed and they’ve drawn a line in the sand that we’re not going to beat nor should we meet,”

If the Giants didn't have Posey, Pagan, Belt and Pence... I would be singing a different tune.  I just do not see the rush to go get Panda signed.  He DOES need to perform.  Guess what?  There are very few GMs in the game who have less of a problem paying a guy for past performance than Sabey Sabes.  He's the guy you go to, and he's also the guy who rewards loyalty and likes his guys.

Kneejerk time: When the Pablo camp is quoted as saying "Pence salary as the base"...  I have to think they want the Giants to go beyond.  Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't see the Giants stressing about throwing down 5/90.  I think Sando's agent is stretching here, and like DONNIE, he's out of his element!  You want to roll those dice, you go speed yellow and go big.  I bet the Giants are at 4/60MM with some clauses to stretch, and that's where they're stopping.  That's the KNEEJERK.

Sando has the potential to be a nine figure guy, but he can cock it up in a quick minute.  Playing with fire big time here.

In the meantime, the maligned Morse and Hudson are doing OK.  The old saw is they will be lucky if that one holds through to the end of the year.  The maligned Pence and Lincecum need to step a bit.  Pence is showing signs, lets see Timmy in the friendly confines.  I'm curious to see Dan Haren's 2nd start, he's one of the last guys standing to comp to Timmy Hudson while Josh Johnson nurses his latest strain.  The Giants like to keep their corner guys on a rotation, with the exception here and there for would-be hall of famer types in LF of course.  Pence got his because he was hitting the market at the right place right time, and he proved out big time.  It was still a bit of a stretch though.  Panda may regret not telling his agent to settle with some incentives.  We'll see...

G's are 6-2, leading the league in some categories... life is good.  

Monday, April 7, 2014

Giants Take First Dodger Series 2-1 - Series Rundown #2


 Photo courtesy Daily Dish, here's a new story on "cautious optimism" for a deal to get done.

The old saw that Sabean doesn't know how to build an offense took another nosedive, as the Giants plastered the Boys in Blue for the first two games, and then had a little hickup on national TV in the finale, letting the Bums off the hook on a series sweep.

April 4 Giants 8, Dodgers 4 - ruined opening day for the arch rivals.
April 5 Giants 7, Dodgers 2
April 6 Dodgers 6, Giants 2

MVP of the Series: I'm going with Pablo Sandoval, he flashed the leather well after a shaky first series, he hit a 3-run jack on saturday to change a tense game into a laugh-job, he went 0 for 4 in the opener, but drew the walk that started a 2-out rampage on Ryu early.  The other old saw is that the Giants can't hit in the clutch.  2-out hitting hasn't been a problem so far...

Here's what the keys were according to your friendly scribe: Key to winning the series: controlling Hanley Ramirez, getting the key hit versus Ryu (he lets runners on but is mentally tough, battles and makes his pitches), and not getting drawn in by Maholm's soft tossing craftiness.  Pence came alive last year down in Doyer Stadium, if he wants to start that up again, it'd be a welcome sight.

How'd they do?  Kept Hanley in check til sunday, got key hits on Ryu, and wacked around Maholm's soft tossing craftiness.  Pence is starting to warm up, 2 doubles, and he's gunned 3 guys on the bases, which was another key.  The Giants played excellent defense, and it was one of the keys to the series victory.

Good hitting: Michael Morse doing what Bochy wanted him to do, and staying for all 9 on sunday due to being down in the game.  How do you play catch up?  Sometimes you hit dongs baby!  Angel Pagan stays hot, drawing some walks as well and making plays in the OF.  Brandon Belt continues to hit HRs, still doesn't have a BB and has K'd 10 times.  Interesting.  Posey is being Posey early.  Brandon Hicks finally made a couple of outs.

Bad hitting: Panda and Pence are hopefully starting to warm up.  They're still in the one hundreds, but Pence finally got the ball to the outfield.  Brandon Crawford threw up a golden sombrero yesterday, but was seeing the ball well for the first few games.

Good pitching: Vogelsong was good, then bad.  Is it running out of gas or mechanics?  The pen was extremely solid this weekend, great pitching all around from them.  Madison Bumgarner flashed why he's a top ten pitcher in the NL.  Javy Lopez leads the team in games with 4, he's given up 1 hit so far.  Santiago Casilla leads all relievers in IP with 4.1, he's walked 2 and given up 1 hit.  Both have been nails.

Bad pitching: Matt Cain continues to have problems with dingerz, and its to the guys you want to keep cold, Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez.  He looked good early, but the 2nd time through the lineup was trouble.  Cain has the early lead now on HRs allowed with 3, one stat I keep track of big time.  Gotta keep the ball in the park, Captain!  

Next series: opening homestand!  D-backs, Rockies and Dodgers, 3 games a piece, NL West action and its time to put a stamp on things.  Probable matchups:
Hudson/Cahill
Lincecum/Arroyo
Vogelsong/Delgado

Keys to winning the series: Stepping on the reeling D-backs necks.  Getting to the starters and then the soft bullpen.  Limiting the damage of Giant killers Goldschmidt and johnny-come-lately Trumbo.  We've got all eyes on you for this one Timmy Lincecum.  Getting key hits, protecting the lead or going to get the lead, Angel Pagan style.  Pence and Panda won't stay cold the entire year, they are showing signs and playing excellent defense suddenly.  Hopefully Mean Bruce Bochy doesn't hit them back to back, their similar hacking styles can sometimes get out of wack at the same time.  Spread that out.  Brandon Belt, take a walk once in a while, you damn hacker?! 

Our 2B so far: Brandon Hicks is the hot bat.  He might play himself into a starting job if he keeps it up and makes defensive plays like the turn 2 double play.  Ehire Adrianza has a nice approach, he might get exposed this year.  And Arias looks a lot more comfortable at 3B. 

Series Rundown Recap:
Giants have 2 series wins on the year, no losses, no ties.

Friday, April 4, 2014

MLB releases Draft Slot Values and IFA Pool Amounts

The new CBA has a structure that is designed to help losing teams rebuild with the choiciest draft slots, the biggest pools of spending cashish, and as a small aside keep the costs down for MLB fat cat owners.  There is an interesting lawsuit filed trying to get more money for minor league professionals idling in the courts now.  I say... fight the good fight!  There is tons of money in baseball, the owners need to spread a little portion of the wealth and pay a living wage to the few thousand men who are trying to live their dream.


What have these owners done recently?  Passed legislation that they cut pensions from long time team employees.  Excuse me, they have the RIGHT to cut pensions.  Each team can decide for themselves.  This is another dirty pool play by greedy owners.  Baseball is awash in cash.  Awash I says.  Not taking care of your people is bad juju.  And trusting these owners to do the right thing is an absolute fool's errand.

BA Link to Draft Pools
Giants are 18th with $5,949,800.  Why so low despite drafting 14?  Partly the CBA mandated draft slots for small market teams, they get extra picks in comp rounds after the 1st and 2nd.  The Giants will never qualify for either of those picks.  But they are leapfrogged by the Royals (Ervin Santana pick plus Comp A), the Red Sox (Jacoby Ellsbury pick), the Reds (Shin-Soo Choo pick) and those damn Cardinals (Carlos Beltran pick and a Comp B for being a "small market" team).  The Diamondbacks have their own Comp B as well as one from trade, they leap ahead in overall pool amount on that as well.

BA Link to Actual Slot Values for all 10 Rounds
Giants get the 14th at 2.61MM, the 52nd, at 1.06MM, the 87th at 622K, the 118th at 440K, the 148th at 330K and the 178th at 247K.  After that you're out of the top 200 players, which is one of the tier structures that is set up.  The 7th round is 208, at 185K, and you're below twice the maximum of 100K past the 10th round.

The way I see it, you have targeted picks for the first 6-7 rounds, then another tier of about another 7-8 rounds that takes you to the top 500.  Beyond that you're in flyer territory, and I don't know if there is a lot of separation in talent.  MLB could most likely do away with another 10 rounds (the current 31-40 rounds) and nobody would really flinch, less than half the players draft, its mainly low odds drafting of HS kids with good college commitments that most likely should go to college to work on their skills.

Here is MLB.com's draft order with the nitty gritty on supplemental picks. 

Here is BA's combined Draft and IFA spending pools.  And here is the slot values they assign to the IFA pools, as they try to enforce some order on the IFA free-for-all.

The Giants have been very good at securing arms on the IFA market, snakebit on high profile hitters, and their best IFA in the last 10 years might be walking next year. 

Here are the IFA "slots" - keep in mind these are a technicality, and the Rays, Rangers, Cubs and reportedly the Yanks this year have all blasted through the glass ceiling on this, spent whatever they pleased and took the slap on the wrist. 

Giants overall IFA Budget is up to $2,455,300.  This is 13th in MLB.
1/13 $893,800
2/43  $407,100
3/73  $274,900
4/103 $179,500

The first 5 "slots" for IFA are over 2MM, then the next 6 are above 1MM.  The slots descend in 200-300K increments.  The difference between the Giants and the last on the list Cards?  Cards have $1,866,300, so its a little less than 600K.  That could be one decent player "get".  If you value a good get at 600K, the Giants get 4 bullets, the Cards would get 3.  Of course, you could go whole hog on a big name bonus baby, or you could spread it further.  These slots and pools don't make a lot of sense.  Some teams are much more active on IFA than others.  Over 25% of the players in MLB are International though, and its an important market.

MLBTR has a nice breakdown of all this as well, with some analysis of what Selig's minions do when you step out of line.  

Bottom line: the Giants have a big money pick and a chance to pick up more with the biggest budget available to them since 2009.  They have towed the line with MLB's rules, and I suspect they will continue to do so.  The best IFA prospects they have currently were all under the radar, 200-400K signings or even less.  Sometimes the less splashy headlines make for the best prospects.