Thursday, August 13, 2015

49 Miles to Go, Gotta full tank of gas, a half pack of outfielders, its dark...

And we're wearing sunglasses...

So Hit It.

Saw the Nats get eaten up by Kershaw last night live.  He was good.  I think the Gigantes might want to look at the guy who took the bump against him this offseason though, that could tie the room together pretty good.

I've been busy, got a new house, a honey do list, all kinds of silliness to deal with, and to cap it off i broke my laptop.  Now I have other computers, but the one I like to blog with, that has all my stuff, so to speak...

No excuse not for blogging though!  Thanks for the comments and best wishes, I'll start cranking things out again soon.

Go Giants!  Streakiest team in memory needs to get a couple breaks, get a couple guys healthy, get some starting pitching, get some bullpen pitching and point that fearsome offense where it needs to go. 

I like our chances, this is a great position to be in right now.  If the OF can hold together.  And Joe Panik gets back.  No likey the Utley rumors, but Panik's possible return might keep him away, as he wants guaranteed starting time.  Might have to fire up some of the 2010 NLCS for the hell of it before tonights game.

Go get em Vogey!

Friday, July 10, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Update: I put in some stats for these players.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Comings and Goings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

End the Skid! 

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

Best Guys To Root For

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

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

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

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

New Giants Bloggers!

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

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

dream big, dream Giant (carmot)

Wrenzie Blogs Giants (Wrenzie)

I put up links to them on the left.

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

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

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

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

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