Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Roster Construction

Jim Callis has a nice breakdown on all the playoff teams makeup - draft, IFA, trade and free agent.

Joe Ritzo has a nice breakdown on the debuts of the Giants farm, especially those who went through San Jose. 

The Giants are being a tad cagey about how they'll throw out the one game roster.  I would put Gary Brown on for 2 reasons - first, he's fast as hell and second, there isn't a MLB book on him the way there is with Juan Perez.  Unpredictability is the Gints best asset.

If you don't want to click the Ritzo link, here's the shorthand:
1. Seth Rosin, Texas Rangers, March 31 debut
2. Joe Panik, San Francisco Giants, June 23
3. Adam Duvall, San Francisco Giants, June 26
4. Andrew Susac, San Francisco Giants, July 26
5. Matt Duffy, San Francisco Giants, August 1
6. Edwin Escobar, Boston Red Sox, August 27
7. Jackson Williams, Colorado Rockies, August 27
8. Hunter Strickland, San Francisco Giants, September 1
9. Gary Brown, San Francisco Giants, September 3
10. Chris Dominguez, San Francisco Giants, September 3
11. Chris Heston, San Francisco Giants, September 13

Big year for the Kids debuting.  Most since 2008.  This is some good stuff!  15 SJ Giants debuted in 2008, the last year of horrid play for the French Vanilla before things turned around.

On the 40-man, here is the breakdown of where they came from:
Homegrown International Signing 5 total, 4 with Ehire on the 60-day: (quick note on this - impatient fans who want the Giants to do better - the Dodgers lead with 4 on their 25, but there are only 16 players with IFA backgrounds on all 10 playoff rosters - its hard as hell to get a win in the highly volatile international market - although I can't tell how many IFA "free agents" there are, comped to FAs through the draft, the Giants would most likely have 5 IFA "free agents" for example).

Kendry Flores, Ehire Adrianza, Pablo Sandoval, Angel Villalona, Daniel Carbonell

Homegrown Draft 18 total, 17 with Cain on the 60-day: Brett Bochy, Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain*, Chris Heston, Mike Kickham, Tim Lincecum, Sergio Romo, Buster Posey, Andrew Susac, Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Matt Duffy, Adam Duvall, Joe Panik, Gary Brown, Chris Dominguez, Jarrett Parker, Juan Perez

Trade 6 total, 5 with Scutaro on the 60-day (and Pagan out): George Kontos, Javier Lopez, Jake Peavy, Marco Scutaro*, Angel Pagan, Hunter Pence

Free Agent Signing 13 total: Jeremy Affeldt, Santiago Casilla (IFA), Erik Cordier, Juan Gutierrez (IFA), Tim Hudson, Jean Machi (IFA), Yusmeiro Petit (IFA), Ryan Vogelsong (Giants Draft), Guillermo Quiroz (IFA), Joaquin Arias (IFA), Travis Ishikawa (Giants Draft), Gregor Blanco (IFA), Michael Morse

Waiver Claim (power of one): Hunter Strickland

Not sure who Callis has on/off - Lopez, Peavy, Pence and Strickland are the guesses for Trade/Waiver.  Pablo is the IFA.  The Giants lead with 10 Free Agents, but it should be noted that 2 have come back via the ET beacon.  Of the free agents, 6 came through the draft, 7 through IFA.  Of these, only 3 were major league contract, blue chip type FAs:  Affeldt, Hudson and Morse.  The others were reclamation projects.  The Giants are among the league leaders in that department.

It takes a combo of factors, you can't build through the draft alone.  You need savvy trade (and if you do get those trades, you need to re-sign - looks likely Peavy will follow Lopez/Pence/Pagan/Scutaro in that factor).  You need to build though IFA, the Giants weakest department.  And you need reclamation projects, your scouts have to find talent toiling in others farm systems, finding small tweaks in the game (Blanco is a big win, Vogelsong was in the wilderness for many years). 

Giants could use a couple of big wins.  One with IFA, and one with the 1st round draft pick.  Or one more free agent.  But you can't complain about their home growns nor their reclamation.  Good core group of players. 

EDIT: And here is the list of all the former SJ Giants to make debuts, and their debuting clubs.  I'll shorthand the non-Gigantes at time of debut. 
Juan Guerrero, Scooter Tucker, Kevin McGehee, Mike Myers, Chad Fonville, Brent Cookson, Rick Hulsman, Jimmy Myers, Ken Grundt, Deivi Cruz, Mike Caruso, Joe Fontenot, Bobby Howry, Jim Stoops, Clay Bellinger, Chris Singleton, Lou Pote, Lorenzo Barcelo, Frank Charles, Adam Hyzdu, Troy Brohawn, Ken Vining, Chris McGruder, Kevin Joseph, Erasmo Ramirez, Nate Bump, Joe Horgan, Clay Hensley, Francisco Liriano, Boof Bonser, Brian Burres, Joe Coutlangus, Brian Buscher, Alberto Castillo, Alfredo Simon, Jason Waddell, Jesse English, Joe Paterson, Henry Sosa, Antoan Richardson, Scott Barnes, Ryan Verdugo, Thomas Neal, Tyler Graham, Zack Wheeler, Seth Rosin, Edwin Escobar, Jackson Williams

San Jose goes back to 1989, so it dovetails pretty nicely with Greybeard #1's tenure.  See many household names?  All teams hang onto their talent pretty well.  I would say the Giants do exceptionally well.  Of course you can make the crack that they don't have much talent to begin with, but since 2006 that hasn't been the case, with results on the field to back it up.  48 names, I did this because Antoan Richardson is the trivia answer to Jeter's last RBI at Yankee Stadium.  (Who scored the last ever?) 

Here's the highlights from SJ (173 have made the show, 125 in the French Vanilla):
MVP
Buster Posey, 2012, San Francisco Giants
Cy Young
Tim Lincecum, 2008, San Francisco Giants
Tim Lincecum, 2009, San Francisco Giants
Rookie of the Year
Buster Posey, 2010, San Francisco Giants
World Series MVP
Pablo Sandoval, 2012, San Francisco Giants
Perfect Game
Matt Cain, San Francisco Giants, 6/13/2012 vs. Houston
No-Hitters
Jonathan Sanchez, San Francisco Giants, 7/10/2009 vs. San Diego
Francisco Liriano, Minnesota Twins, 5/3/2011 vs. Chicago White Sox
Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants, 7/13/2013 vs. San Diego
Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants, 6/25/2014 vs. San Diego
Regular Season Batting Champions
Bill Mueller, 2003, Boston Red Sox
Buster Posey, 2012, San Francisco Giants

Here's to Joe Panik getting a batting championship in the next six years!

Early Thoughts On The Play-In

1.  Madison Bumgarner needs to pitch around Josh Harrison.  Harrison had a career day against him at PacBell.  Be very, very careful with him, great hitter, good swing against lefties.

2.  Giants have to stay out of double plays.  The Pirates are wizards, and Edinson Volquez induced 18 GIDP this year.

3.  Giants have hit Volquez pretty well historically, but not all are on the team anymores.  He has a 288/365/410 slash against, 26BB/60K.  He's 2-2 with a 5.72 ERA.  But they didn't face him this year once the Pitcher Whisperers of the Pirates got ahold of him. 

4.  Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval have to wake the hell up, or its going to be a long walk off a short pier.  This doesn't bode well for the Giants, as they are overanxious hackers who might be tempted by the first pitch, making some weak contact.  At least that's been the story for September.

5.  Here's who has seen Volquez the most:
Pence, 41 PAs, 194/293/556 - 3 HRs versus 16 Ks
Blanco, 22 PAs, 263/364/263 - 3 BBs versus 9 Ks
Crawford, 20 PAs, 150/150/150 - 7 Ks
Belt 18 PAs, 444/444/667 - HR versus 4 Ks
(Ryan Theriot had a 385/529/385 slash - oh, to have a fiesty Cajun...)
Sandoval 13 PAs, 462/462/692 - 3 2Bs versus 1 K
Posey 12 PAs, 556/583/778 - 2 2Bs, BB versus 2 Ks
Ishikawa 6 PAs, 250/500/250 - 2BBs
Panik - N/A

The Giants are looking good, unless you buy into this awesome Pitch Framing capability that Russell Martin will take on the FA market this year.  Who do we hate?  Russell Martin! 

Looks like the key is Sandoval, Belt and Ishi getting quality lefty at-bats against him.  Posey isn't intimidated.  The Giants will send Six, count em Six lefties up.  Crawford has struggled, Blanco has worked counts and Panik is a complete unknown.  Volquez has a pretty neutral career split:
Righties: 248/339/398, 67 HRs in 2451 PAs
Lefties: 257/353/402, 42 HRs in 2145 PAs

This year:
Righties: 235/307/327, 7 HRs in 459 PAs
Lefties: 236/326/402, 10 HRs in 350 PAs

To me it looks like the Giants kept Pablo Sandoval around for exactly this type of situation instead of trading him off.  He needs to jump on the ball, and whack it hard.  Volquez succeeds in getting weak contact, he's going to have a good day.  Belt has been hitting well, he is the other key, his awesome eye versus Martin's awesome pitch frame capability.  Hunter Pence will most likely be flailing and grounding the ball, he at least runs hard, and fast.   

Martin will be playing.  Don't believe a single story about a sore hammy. 

6.  Minimize the damage the MVP of their team can do: McCutchen is the truth!  One of the absolutely best players to watch, it'll be fun just for that. 

7.  Goes without saying, but the Giants have to play great defense, mistake free baseball.  That includes YOU Gregor Blanco, no bonehead moves on the basepaths please.  The Pirates OFs have good arms Mr. Flannery, please choose wisely when you send runners.

Pirates are a good young team.  They have the advantage of being hot and being at home.  The Giants have the edge in Starters, IF Bumgarner can get out of the first clean.  He's had his big game yips from time to time.  They also have the advantage of being able to turn a lot of lefty bats loose.  Will their hacker rep aid them or hinder them?  It all depends on the type of contact they generate. 

Go Giants!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Giants Final #s, Plans Made, Plans Ran Amook

I put up stats yesterday which were from a minor league site, they didn't have the big club #s right.  So how about a quick review.  (All #s from the more reputable fangraphs, yes, I'm shunning OPS+ for once...)

Hitting

Power: the top 5 in ISO:
Bumgarner, 78 PAs, 212
Belt, 235 PAs, 206
Morse, 482 PAs, 196
Susac, 95 PAs, 193
Posey, 605 PAs, 179

Pence had a 168, Crawford a 143, Sandoval a 136

Durability: the top 5 in PAs:
Pence, 708 PAs, 123 wRC+, 4.5 WAR
Sandoval, 638 PAs, 111 wRC+, 3.0 WAR
Posey, 605 PAs, 144 wRC+, 5.7 WAR
Crawford, 564 PAs, 102 wRC+, 2.6 WAR
Morse, 482 PAs, 133 wRC+, 1.0 WAR

Blanco and Pagan got in the 400s, Panik, Hicks, Belt and Arias got in the 200s.  Sanchez, Colvin, Perez and Adrianza in the 100s.  Susac, Ishikawa, Duvall and Duffy (and the starters) in the 50s.

Was this the plan?  No.  Belt was supposed to be in the 500s.  Pagan in the 600s.  Morse is obviously a superior hitter (when healthy) but he comes at a cost.  A third amigo to pair with Posey and Pence could really tie the room together.  Belt could have been that Amigo.  Sandoval didn't get there, I fear its nothing but downhill from this point for the Panda, and I hope the Giants don't end up pulling the freight for it.

Pagan and Blanco both end up with a 1.9 WAR score.  Joe Panik ends up with a 1.5 WAR.  The only guy to be paid significant sums and not hit the WAR score is Scutaro.  Pagan gets close to his value, with the back healthy he would most likely be providing a lot of surplus.  Blanco yet again is a valuable commodity for Los Gigantes.  Morse gets to his contract, and also gets to the prediction of bad health and bad defense.  But look at who the Giants are playing.  They know what they have with Blanco.

A role player who can play the IF/OF would tie the room together as well.  A 3.0 WAR player who plugs in a couple places is extremely valuable.  Go get one of those!  (Easily said, hard to fill).

Pitching
IP Bumgarner 217, Hudson 189, Vogelsong 185, Lincecum 156, Petit 117, Cain 90, Peavy 79
Pen: Machi 66, Gutierrez 64, Casilla/Romo 58, Affelt 55, Lopez 38

WAR score paints an ugly picture for the staff: Its Bumgarner 3.6, Hudson 1.7, Petit 1.6, Peavy 1.3, Vogelsong 1.0.

The highly paid duo of Lincecum and Cain are in negative WAR, as are the highly paid bullpen duo of Romo and Lopez.

HR/9 over 1.0: Romo 1.4, Cain 1.3, Lincecum 1.1.  Coincidence?  Mira... I don't think so.

H/9 was pretty good, the only reliever over 8.0 was Gutierrez at 8.5.  Hudson was the only starter above 9.0, at 9.5.  

ERA under 3.00: Casilla 1.70, Peavy 2.17, Affeldt 2.28, Machi 2.58, Kontos 2.58, Bumgarner 2.98

Its no exaggeration to say that Peavy and Petit saved the Giants season.

Relievers LOB%: Casilla 82.0, Affeldt 80.2, Machi 79.0, Lopez 77.2, Romo 75.2, Gutierrez 70.4

BB/9 over 3.00: Javy Lopez 4.54 (BAD JAVY!  Actually Bochy had him walk a couple intentionally and that might be enough to skew #s - looked it up, 6 IBBs, most on staff), Lincecum 3.64, Cain 3.19, Kontos 3.06

K/9 over 8.00: Petit 10.23, Romo 9.16, Bumgarner 9.07,

Where the hell are our STRIKEOUTS!  The Giants have had success being a strikeout team.

Basically in a nutshell Cain/Timmy have regressed, giving up home runs instead of strikeouts.  Its a big gaping hole in the pitching.

My recommendation: time to say goodbye to home grown, fan favorite, good guy, big character guys Sergio Romo and Pablo Sandoval.  It sucks, but their stats are regressing down at the same time they hit the open market and demand serious cashish outlay.  There are cheaper ways to fill these holes.

Hudson might need more rest next year, he faded big time in the 2nd half.  Peavy looked reborn out there.  Petit is quite valuable but is always a hard call because he needs his pinpoint control to get the results.

Giants need another big strikeout guy to change the look of the staff.  The pen looks to be getting changed with the emergence/arrival of Hunter Strickland.  There could be more arriving soon with Derek Law.

Giants pitching success has been all about big strikeouts, low home run totals.  Walks have never been that big an issue.

On the hitting side, 3 big boppers, a couple average ones and a couple place setters and you're in business.  But injuries do happen, every year, the depth needs to be improved.  Hopefully without weakening the defense.

EDIT: Some add on stats comping to league average:
Pitchers BAA: league average is .250, the following starters were above that: Hudson (270), Lincecum (258) and Vogelsong (254).
Pitchers OBP: league average is 313, Lincecum (332) and Vogey (318)
Santiago Casilla led all Gints pitchers with a 177/245/247.  I would really like to take him off of whipping boy of the blog status, but I'm superstitious.
Pitcher SLG: league average is 384, Lincecum (441), Gutierrez (436), Cain (415), Vogey (411) and Huddy (407) didn't make the cut.  

Peavy had a slash against of 231/284/338
Petit  had a slash against of 223/260/375

The Ace of the staff has a slash against of 240/281/372

And finally, its lazy, but QS tells its story:
League Average: 56%
Peavy 67%
Bumgarner 64%
Hudson 58%
Lincecum 50%
Vogelsong 47%
Petit 42%
Cain 40%

And finally, really, the "Cained" Award for the year:
Ryan Vogelsong had 0-2 runs support for 16 games, going 1-13 in those games. 
This put a lot of pressure on his 6th inning (the barometer for that lazy QS):
21IP, 7.40 ERA, the slash against jumped to 311/380/500, 100 PAs for 17 ERs.

Bochy was asleep at the wheel to this development, trying to squeeze out victories and preserve the pen. 

Also, Vogey was nails at home, his ERA jumped from 3.06 to 5.10 on the road, his K/BB running high of 3.70 at Pac Bell to a crater of 1.89 away.

I do think run support pressures pitchers stats when there isn't any.  Vogey pitched better than his stats suggest, and I think I found something in that 6th inning that jibes with what I observed this year.  He was a great low risk signing, I'd like to see him and Peavy back at it next year.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Giants end in style, get ready for one game playoff - Series Rundown #51

That'll do Hunter, That'll do.  Photo:Merc
The Giagantes are headed to the playoffs!  Well, a one game play-in, but its the postseason, and it can lead to magic.

They played loose baseball for the most part, and got the result against the Padres they were looking for the week before. 

September 25 Giants 9, Padres 8
September 26 Padres 4, Giants 1
September 27 Giants 3, Padres 1
September 28 Giants 9, Padres 3

Keys to the series: Win one game.  Play Gary Brown, he can't be as bad as the crew you're trotting out there every night Bochy.  Between Perez/Dominguez almost auto out and the airmailing of throws...  Pen needs to get tight.  Most likely Bumgarner and Peavy will get rested... unless...


They did, they won one.  Didn't need to, the Brew-Crew lost before they took the field.  But the Giants still partied, and I think its good to do that.  Making the playoffs in any form is special.  Gary Brown looked good!   Beat out some singles, caught some balls, had an RBI.  I think he should get the nod, I think its important to have a speed guy ready, unless you like watching the replay of Snow headed home against Pudge...


As far as LF, I would start Ishikawa and have Brown on the bench.  Perez is as close to an auto out as there is, and Dominguez struggles with contact and air mails throws. 


So its onto Pittsburgh. 


Key to the series: Win.  Go play Washington.


Pittsburgh will be tough, at home especially, with some good hitters, good defense and a good pen.  I think the key might be getting to the starter.  He's given the Giants fits in the past, but they've rattled his cage as well a couple times. 


Series Rundown Recap:
Giants have 29 series wins on the year, 20 losses, 2 splits.  6 series wins have been sweeps, 6 series losses have been sweeps

Giants played good ball.  They got swept twice by division opponents, one that put them in the crazy skid, and one that for all purposes cut them out of the NL West race.  They have some needs to address in the offseason, but they've also auditioned some dynamite rookies.

More on the playoff later.  Congrats on being one of the ten!  Here's to playing hard, hoping things turn out well and getting to be one of 8.

Fun With Ratios With The Gigantes Minors Hitters

Now that Frankie Peggs has left the building and Juan Perez got his act together in AAA...

Who are the biggest hackers?  BB%, minimum 150 PAs:
Guillermo Quiroz 3.2% 252 PAs - backup catcher, savvy vet in Fresno
Rafael Rodriguez 3.7% 301 PAs - Mayor of Augusta
Chris Dominguez 4.2% 529 PAs - big Chris had a bunch of HRs and SBs at Fresno
Tony Abreu 4.4% 315 PAs - didn't get a shot this year on the big club, Fresno
Hector Sanchez 4.6% 197 PAs - hope he can come back from bad concussion issues
Joaquin Arias 4.7% 170 PAs - got a lot of heat early in the year as DfArias
Elizier Zambrano 4.8% 208 PAs - another journeyman catcher type Richmond
Nick Noonan 4.9% 426 PAs - Noonan may have to drift around to get a shot somewheres
Ryder Jones 4.9% 512 PAs - Surprised at this one, he's a coaches son.  Jones was overmatched and wore down in his first pro campaign.  Big power.
Brandon Bednar 5.0% 525 PAs - has a low K% to match up.  Don't look at me, I wanted Terry McClure drafted for a couple rounds by this point...

Who are biggest moneyball types, for those who worship the OBP, minimum 150 PAs:
*the Giants don't appreciate these types, they like them there hackers*
Robert Antunez (DSL - 18 Yrs Old) 16.0% 175 PAs - Some coach in that DSL program is preaching a ton of plate discipline.
Skyler Stromsmoe 15.6% 372 PAs - new candidate for the Mayor of Richmond
Anthony Gomez (DSL - 19.5 Yrs Old) 15.4% 184 PAs - old for the league, repeating
Skyler Ewing 14.8% 271 PAs - Ewing has a 1-1 BB/K, among the lead in ISO, and looks like a big time sleeper to watch.
Hengerber Medina (DSL - almost 20) 14.1% 156 PAs - One of the best names in the system has stalled
Ryan Jones 13.9% 252 PAs - Jones had great #s coming from Michigan State.  Unfortunately he has not moved fast at all, got to Augusta after repeating S/K.
Richard Rodriguez (DSL - Almost 22) 13.6% 279 PAs - the Giants are stacking their DSL team with vets to help win, I have to come to that conclusion.
Mark Minicozzi  13.6% 404 PAs - Great story, maybe he gets a shot next year in September
Richard Amion 13.5% 163 PAs - Great rookie ball start to the speedster
Tyler Hollick 13.4% 164 PAs - Hollick is not yet 22, playing S/K
Best on the big club: Brandon Crawford, 11.1%, mostly hitting ahead of the pitcher.

Who strike out the least?  Minimum 150 PAs:
Ben Turner!  8.6% 430 PAs - SJ Catcher is a interesting sleeper
Richard Rodriguez 9.0% 279 PAs
Jean Angomas (DSL - 19 Years Old) 10.2% 235 PAs
Juan Ciriaco (Fresno 30 years Old) 10.3% 165 PAs
Joe Panik 10.4% 518 PAs
Ryan Lollis 10.5% 343 PAs
Tony Abreu 10.5% 315 PAs
Hengerber Medina 10.9% 156 PAs
Rafael Rodriguez 11.0% 301 PAs
Buster Posey 11.2% 527 PAs
Joaquin Arias 11.2% 170 PAs

Angel Pagan is right up there as well.  The underrated part of the Giants "put the ball in play" philosophy.

And the one you're dying to know.  The biggest whiffers in the org!  150 min as usual:
Ryan Tuntland 32.3% 235 PAs - Viking Warrior swing bat!  Smash!
Brandon Hicks 32.1% 392 PAs - Hicks taking Kershaw deep was fun stuff
Hector Sanchez 29.4% 197 PAs - But have you seen his RBI ratio?
Shilo McCall 28.2% 188 PAs - doesn't bode well for the yoot (S/K)
Chuckie Jones 27.4% 547 PAs - had a great 2nd half in SJ, but contact remains the big challenge
Chris Dominguez 27.0% 529 PAs - the combo of low BB and high K is a killer
Devin Harris 27.0% 492 PAs - 26 years old now, climbing the ladder
Tyler Colvin 26.9% 323 PAs - didn't quite catch the lightning
Brandon Belt 26.4% 231 PAs  - hard to tell, lots of start stop this year/rust.  But also a determination to swing for the fences more.  And to work counts, sulk when umps ring him up. 
Eric Sim 26.4% 201 PAs - backup catcher type

What's an acceptable K%?  Hard to tell these days, K's are way up across MLB. 
Of note: Angel Villalona cut his to 23.0%, Ricky Oropesa cut his to 22.8%, Adam Duvall's was 21.7%.  On the big club Pence was 17.8%, Sandoval's was 13.6%.  Those two gentlemen have reps as foremost hackers in the game, but they have the athletic ability to make contact with the baseball.

ISO!  One of my favorites:
1.  Adam Duvall 273 ISO 460 PAs
2.  Brandon Belt 242 ISO 231 PAs
3.  Ty Horan 237 ISO 534 PAs
4.  Mario Lisson 201 ISO 451 PAs
5.  Michael Morse 198 ISO 477 PAs
6.  Andrew Susac 196 ISO 308 PAs
*did not qualify but am too excited not to mention: Williamson, Mac 188 and Carbonell, Daniel 187*
*did not qualify either but he is awesome so here it is: Bumgarner, Madison 187*
7.  Hunter Pence 186 ISO 624 PAs
8.  Jarrett Parker 185 ISO 507 PAs
9.  Chris Dominguez 185 ISO 529 PAs
10.  Brian Ragira!  184 ISO 506 PAs
11.  Skyler Ewing 183 ISO 271 PAs

Posey was 180, Panda was 146, Crawford was 140 if you're curious

Only 4 Gints farmhands reached over 20 HRs: Duvall, Horan, Dominguez and Ragira.  Williamson would have threatened if healthy, and Skyler Ewing would have reached it in full season.  Susac sports a 4.2 HR %, he might have reached with full action as well.

SB%, minimum 20 attempts:
Matt Duffy 81.5%, 22 SBs
Kelby Tomlinson 80.3%, 49 SBs
Cristian Polino 80%, 20 SBs
Gregor Blanco 77.8% 14 SBs
Randy Ortiz 77.4% 24 SBs
Manuel Geraldo 75.0% 15 SBs
Darren Ford 74.5% 35 SBs
Tyler Graham 73.1% 38 SBs
Rando Moreno 73.0 27 SBs
Chris Lofton 72.4% 21 SBs

As I know you want to know: Gary Brown had a 64.3% on 36 SBs, Jesus Galindo got 70.5% on 31 SBs, Chris Dominguez got 68.8% on 22 SBs.

Only 11 farmhands had more than 20 SBs.  They are all listed here.  In general, theory is you need at least a 70% success rate for SBs to be "effective".  Shawn Payne, Chuckie Jones got close to 20.  Ty Horan was a surprising 15/22, big linebacker body.

Best Grinders: Most PAs in the minors this year: AKA the 500 PA club:
1.  Gary Brown 597
2.  Mitch Delfino 571
3.  Chuckie Jones 547
4.  Ty Horan 534
5.  Chris Dominguez 529
6.  Brandon Bednar 525
7.  Joe Panik** 518
8.  Ryder Jones 512
9.  Blake Miller 511
10.  Jarrett Parker 507
11. Brian Ragira 506

Without promotions to the show Matt Duffy and Adam Duvall would have got there too.  Blair, Tomlinson and Harris just missed.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Three Tiers of Clubs - Shaking Out The Draft Picks for 2015

2 games left, there is a pretty clear division of teams though.

I really like to divide MLB up into 3 quadrants, and then a up/down among those 3 divisions.  For example, the Rays/A's have good management, no doubt, but they do get overrated as "best in baseball" a lot of the time.  The Greybeards deserve to be in that upper tier, and maybe in the up version of the up/down.  Anyways...

The Losers - Some Quite Deliberate:
By reverse order standings (current, with 2 to play): Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Texas Rangers, Minnesota Twins, Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies, Cincinnati Reds

Second Tier - The not-quite Good, not-quite Bads:Tampa Bay Rays, Miami Marlins, New York Mets, San Diego Padres, Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Seattle Mariners

Third Tier - Playoff Bound: San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics, Kansas City Royals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers, Washington Nationals, Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Angels

There is a little play here and there - the A's can still choke into a playoff with Seattle for example - but this is a pretty decent division.

So the Red Sox go from Champs to Chumps (2nd time in the lottery in 3 years).  The Rays and Rangers played each other for the play-in game, the Rangers would most likely be 2nd tier if not for the injuries.  The Indians were the play-in to the play-in, they seem on the verge of busting through to the playoff bracket with their good young starting pitching.

Oakland and Detroit are back at it, with the GMs making dueling headline trades to fortify.  The A's will have to play-in though assuming they win one more game or Seattle loses one.  The Angels have played to their payroll this year, best in baseball.  The O's are back in after a down year in 2013.  And the biggest story of all is the Kansas City Royals ended the longest playoff drought in MLB.  How you like the James Shields trade now?

In the NL, the Dodgers, Cards and Pirates are back at it.  The Pirates are most likely looking at another play-in game, this time with the Giants instead of the Reds.  The Braves bowed out, the Nationals are back at it after a down year in 2013, similar to the O's.  The beltway is playing up again!

National league teams with the biggest collapses: Brewers, Braves and Reds.
American league teams with the biggest collapses: Red Sox, Rangers and Rays.

Perpetual losers: most top ten draft picks in the last two years and next year:
2013: Astros, Cubs, Rockies, Twins, Indians, Marlins, Red Sox, Royals, Pirates*, Blue Jays, Mets
2014: Astros, Marlins, White Sox, Cubs, Twins, Mariners, Phillies, Rockies, Blue Jays, Mets, Blue Jays*
2015: D-backs, Astros*, Rockies, Rangers, Twins, Astros, Red Sox, White Sox, Cubs, Phillies, Reds

All 3 years (plus some): Astros, Cubs, Rockies, Twins
2 of 3: Marlins, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Phillies, White Sox, Mets

The Red Sox have a ring in between, but its worth noting they've had two sinker seasons.  The Twins are quietly one of the most mediocre franchises around.  The Rockies should really consider completely different management.

Getting out of the losing bracket, as soon as possible, should be a goal of all GMs.  There are two hyped saber types in Houston and the Cubs who might start getting major heat soon from their fanbases.  Of course the Cubs have major built in excuses, curses and all.

Sometimes that 2nd Tier is even more frustrating though: not good enough to lose, not good enough to win.  The entire tier have farm systems that aren't top 5 right now, and won't be getting an impact player from the next draft, at least as a percentage play.

The 3rd Tier has had rated farm systems at some point in the near past, except for the Dodgers, who built up a different way.

The Angels are back in contention for a title, they haven't threatened much since 2002.  The Marlins won in 2003 with Miguel Cabrera.  Since then, the Red Sox have won 3 times, the Giants and Cards twice each.  The White Sox, the Yanks and the Phils.  All big city baseball, all the time.  This year, chances are there will be a new team, unless the Cards can break through again, or Los Gigantes does the improbable.

Giants are looking at a low 20s pick.  Possibly something around 30 as well if Pablo Sandoval is offered a QO and walks.  These are lower percentage chances of success, but always a lot of fun for draftniks to obsess over. 

Giants have picked 20, 25 and 14 in the past 3.  No extra picks.

2012 top ten: Astros, Twins, Mariners, Orioles, Royals, Cubs, Padres, Pirates, Marlins, Rockies
So as you see, the Astros, Cubs, Twins and Rockies have had lots of losing going on.
The Marlins would be the only 3 out of 4 in the lottery, finally making it out this year.

Most 2nd Tier teams, past 3 years (and this one):
Cleveland, San Diego and the Tampa Bay Rays have picked/finished in the middle tier 3 times each.  This might speak to them being "almost" teams over top tier.  They are also some of the small market teams, a hard niche to break out of.  There are 12 teams that have been in this spot 2 times in 4 years, including the Cards, the Dodgers and yes, the Gigantes.

Most Playoff Tier teams, past 3 years (and this one): Tigers and Cards have made the playoffs every year, best in baseball.  The A's and Rangers made 3 of 4.  There a slew of teams including your Gigantes who have done 2 of 4.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Gigantes Prospects - The Hitters

It was an interesting year on The Farm!  There are some good things to note about the hitting, in fact there was much better results with hitting than the vaunted pitching capabilities of the Giants development program.

From the bottom up: 5 guys for each level to check in on.

Dominican Summer League:
1.  Mikey Edie 232 PAs, 298/424/383 (807 OPS), 22BB/30K, 2 HRs, 14SB/8CS
Edie is the youngest player in the Giants system, turned 17 in July.  Excellent plate discipline, battled injuries.  CF, huge follow.  VZ little league team as a yoot.
2.  Kelvin Beltre 93 PAs, 235/430/441 (871 OPS), 22BB/11K, 3 HRs, 7SB/4CS
Beltre got hurt for the 2nd half of the year.  Excellent plate discipline, appears to have pop, most likely a 2B or a 3B.  Dominican.
3.  Mecky Coronado 145 PAs, 289/393/413 (806 OPS), 15BB/21K
OK, what are they putting in the water?  3 young hitters who are taking walks?  Coronado is exciting because he's a catcher.  From VZ, like Edie
Also of note: Robinson Medrano (268/368/373) OF, and Manuel Geraldo's SS play.

Arizona Rookie League:
1.  Byron Murray 75 PAs, 279/347/412 (758 OPS)
Murray was a surprise HS selection in round 25 of the 2014 draft.  Big power potential, reminds of Ray Durham.  CF/LF
2.  Richard Amion 163 PAs, 267/379/385 (764 OPS)
Amion is a college speedster drafted in round 19.  Big SB potential, CF type with little power.
3.  Rodney Price 140 PAs, 3 levels (ARL, SJ, Augusta) 256/350/355 (705 OPS)
Pay attention to guys the Giants send around.  Undrafted FA. 
Also of note: Jonah Arenado started strong, faded some, led with 209 PAs.  Kevin Rivera was second, 18 year old draftee out of PR (14th round) put up 228/281/296 in his first campaign.

Short Season Salem-Kaiser
Wasteland that got reinforced by the draft (all #s just S/K #s, most played rookie ball or Augusta)
1.  Skyler Ewing 228 PAs, 291/417/473 (889 OPS), 8 HRs, 36BB/28K
Ewing was the 6th round selection, might just have a steal of a pick here.  Big time power from the 1B/C who played 1B exclusively with a bit of DH. 
2.  Austin Slater 132 PAs, 347/417/449 (866 OPS), 2 HRs, 7/8 SB/CS, 10BB/17K
Slater started on fire.  8th round pick out of Stanford (gulp!), great athlete who has battled injury.  Could be a big sleeper.  Mainly played RF at S/K with a bit of CF mixed in.
3.  Christian Arroyo 267 PAs, 333/378/469 (847 OPS), 5 HRs, 6/7 SB/CS, 18BB/31K
Arroyo had to deal with a hand injury and some frustrations at Augusta.  The Giants might have used the injury as an excuse to reboot his season.  He responded well.
Also of note: Johneshwy Fargas needs to add strength, intriguing speed/OBP profile.  Hunter Cole might have been gassed after a big CCL season and a surprise signing.  And Ryder Jones was dealing with a hot start/fade due to the pro grind.

Augusta
1.  Ty Horan 417 PAs, 273/350/481 (831 OPS), 15 HRs, 39BB/97K
Horan was the show, in a wasteland.  Was it a... nuclear wasteland?
Also of note: Ty Ross has a good defensive catcher rep.  I can see him hitting enough to make the show.  Brandon Bednar earned a promotion out of the hitting hell that is the Sally.  Or is it just that the Giants skew the odds?

San Jose
1.  Ty Horan 117 PAs, 321/376/670 (1046 OPS), 10 HRs, 9BB/31K
Horan didn't stop there, he got sent to Richmond for the playoffs.  Follow?  Yup.
2.  Daniel Carbonell 100 PAs, 344/390/538 (928 OPS), 3 HRs, 7/9 SB/CS, 6BB/19K
Carbonell might be the #1 hitting prospect in the system by the start of next year... or the end of it.
3.  Mac Williamson 100 PAs, 318/420/506 (926 OPS), 3 HRs, 13BB/14K
Mac did that while trying to tough out an elbow that required TJ.  Strong as an Ox baby!
Those 3 will most likely be the LF, CF and RF for the Richmond Flying Squirrels.  That's the most exciting outfield in YEARS for Los Gigantes.
Also of note: Blake Miller might be next years Matt Duffy.  Brian Ragira struggled with contact but had a great second half.  Led the team with 20 jacks.   Youngest on the team Chuckie Jones had a nice second half as well, 15 jacks of his own.  And if you like sleeper catchers as much as I do... Ben Turner put up 298/353/371 - dude is 6'5.  Mitch Delfino was solid as well as a sleeper Cal Bear 3B.

Lots of sleepers at SJ.

Richmond
1.  Matt Duffy 417 PAs, 332/398/444 (842 OPS), 3 HRs, 20/24 SB/CS
Duffy led the Eastern in hitting.  In fact, he led all of AA.  Some killjoys at Sickels pointed out the horrible names of guys who have done that in the past.  Well, I'm an optimist.  Duffy is looking fearless in the show, great hitter.  I said he's got a Ben Zobrist type of game, which causes spit takes, and that's OK.  Great, great drafting gem by Los Gigantes.
2.  Mario Lisson 451 PAs, 266/370/467 (837 OPS), 18 HRs
The Giants have not called up their past two "sleepers" from the VZ Winter League - Neither Lisson nor Javier Herrera got a shot.  Lisson is 30 years old.
3.  Jarrett Parker 419 PAs, 275/370/463 (833 OPS), 12 HRs, 45BB/103Ks
I'm a Parker skeptic.  He got a bump to Fresno, this was repeat the Eastern at age 25 time, but now he's alls caught up with his draft mate Gary Brown.  
Also of note: Blake Miller hit 304/373/402 in 102 PAs.  Kelby Tomlinson stole 49 versus 12 CS.

Fresno
1.  Adam Duvall 394 PAs, 298/360/599 (959 OPS), 27 HRs, 90 RBI
The Giants need an RBI guy in the middle of their lineup.  Unfortunately Duvall doesn't have a sterling defensive profile.  Reminds some of Brett Pill, but might have a bit more game.
2.  Andrew Susac 253 PAs, 268/379/451 (830 OPS), 10 HRs
Susac has held his own big time in the show.  I think he's one of the top catchers in baseball and criminally underrated.  Good for the Greybeards to hang onto him and not trade him.
3.  Joe Panik 326 PAs, 321/382/447 (829 OPS) 27BB/33K
Panik is a lightning rod for criticism.  Utility Guy?  Or .300 hitting sleeper?  My prediction lies in the latter direction.  Joe has had a great start to his MLB career.  And if you go back and look at every level he's hit... only missed 300 once, injury riddled Eastern campaign with bad babip.  You see, I might be a little flippant and breezy at times... but I do pay attention to details.
Also of note: Juan Perez actually had a great season doing the shuffle: 316/372/508.  That might be the ultimate explanation for him playing over Gary Brown.  Parker hit well in limited action, 815 OPS. 

That's the Farm.  Let's see what the Giants have put money on, the big names... I'm talking mid to high six/seven figures here:
IFA: Angel Villalona, Rafael Rodriguez, Gustavo Cabrera, Natanael Javier, Mikey Edie, Kelvin Beltre, Daniel Carbonell
One can hope that the new wave has better luck and results.

Draft: from 2009: Chris Dominguez, Gary Brown, Jarrett Parker, Carter Jurica, Joe Panik, Andrew Susac, Ricky Oropesa, Mac Williamson, Christian Arroyo, Ryder Jones, Brian Ragira and now... Aramis Garcia and Dylan Davis.

That's roughly the top 20 bonuses paid in the past 5-6 years.  You can see where the Giants get some criticism here and there on the hitting, but they just promoted 3 guys with a big chance to stick and a fringe guy in Duvall (and Juan Perez). 

There has been a lot of swing/miss on the big power guys.  As much as I like the guys promoted to the show, and I really like them, I would say that there isn't a guy who will take over a game in the Giants system.  Belt/Crawford don't fit that bill either.  Solid players are great.  If the Giants want to take it to the next level of play, they might need something more. 

The best part of the hitting is that there will be guys competing for the 25 with a good chance to contribute, and that Richmond OF next year.  Unless one of those lads makes more noise than expected of course!