Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Looking At The Kids - With the K/BB

Here's an interesting don't use K/BB ratios article from a couple years back.

The thing is, its an easy to find stat.  You know who has a great K/BB this year?  George Kontos.  We'll see if he can be a big piece of the pen like he was a couple years back, personally I think a lot depends on how major league his slider is.  He leads the pack of minor leaguers with at least 200 batters faced though, with a 5.00 K/BB.  Not quite Sean Doolittle territory, but quite excellent.

Kuery Mella, 286 batters faced, 4.85 K/BB to go with a 8.55 K/9 and 9.36 H/9 and a scouting profile that says he has the 3rd best fastball in the system after Crick and Beede.  Teams will be asking early and often, I have to believe that Mella is easily a top 10 prospect for the Gints and maybe a top 5.

Carlos Alvarado, 231 batters faced, 4.42 K/BB to go with a 8.22 K/9 and a 6.83 H/9, an older scouting profile, he is facing the same batters as Mella in the Sally.  Not quite as exciting, he's much more experienced, he might be carving green batters up with veteran savvy. 

Clayton Blackburn, 242 batters faced, 4.17 K/BB in the big bad Eastern, with injury issues limiting his innings.  7.85 K/9 and a 9.73 H/9, the knocks will continue on Blackburn as the hits get a bit heavier and the K's get a little lighter.  I think he has more in the tank, and I say Stay Strong Clayton!  Maybe being named as trade bait last year will get him mad enough to work out some.

Steven Okert, 207 batters faced in CA/Eastern, 4.00 K/BB with a system high (qualified) of 12.49 K/9 and a H/9 of 8.08.  Okert is looking like the 4th rounder this year after struggling a bit after being drafted in 2012.  Lefties get all the chances, and there's a chance the Gints have a good one here.

Tyler Mizenko, 205 batters faced in SJ, 3.82 with a 7.46 K/9 and a 8.70 H/9.  Mizenko has produced results at every level, but his scouting profile lags, especially when comped to the live arms that sit in the mid 90s.

Christian Jones, 331 batters faced in Augusta, 3.74 K/BB with a 7.67 K/9 and a 7.34 H/9.  There are signs Jones is tiring with his first trip to the bump, the Giants maybe resting him now.  He has dominated a lower level of competition as an advanced college arm.

Mason McVay, 216 batters faced in SJ, 3.65 with a 10.15 K/9 and a 6.22 H/9.  I really like McVay, I still think he should get stretched out, but he is chugging along.  He gets a couple ticks back on where he was throwing in college, he could be a beast.  Great mustache potential to boot.

Kendry Flores, 388 batters faced in SJ, 3.54 K/BB with a 9.76 K/9 and a 8.57 H/9.  Flores is one of my favorite pitchers in the system, he's been giving up home runs in the California, but has twirled off a nice run of starts recently.  Flores had a bad year before busting out in the Sally last year.  It was rumored he might get the bump to Richmond.  He's still getting a feel for pitching, but he has excellent control.  I really like his chances as a back end starter if he gets the mental side of pitching and hits his spots.

Matt Lujan, 420 batters faced in Augusta/SJ, 3.23 K/BB with a 8.56 K/9 and a 8.29 H/9.  Lujan is the UDFA lefty, he's older, and he'll have to prove out every level.  Its interesting so many of these guys pitched the sally, it could be they are just dominating a lower level.  Also most are lefties, which also might add to that bias.  But he's doing his job, and he got the promotion.

Adalberto Mejia, 334 batters faced in Richmond, 3.00 K/BB with a 7.04 K/9 and a 10.57 H/9.  Mejia has been improving, and as long term watchers know Mejia has been roped at every level he's pitched as the youngest cub in the league each time.  Then he gets a plan together, then he improves.  That's all good for the lefty, who might have conditioning issues similar to Blackburn.

This list gets ahold of most the top starters in the Giants system.  Not on the list: Crick, Blach at AA, Escobar at AAA, Gregorio/Agosta at injury rehab/high/lowA.  And Chris Stratton.

So is this a good metric?  I don't know, it might identify a sleeper or two, or it might be nothing.  But high K/9 and high K/BB ratios are not a bad thing.

Top 10 ERA list with 200 plus batters faced:
Okert
Alvarado
Luis Ysla
Tyler Rogers
Lujan
Mizenko
Kontos
Stephen Johnson
Joe Kurrasch
Ty Blach

The biggest reason to look at the ratios is that sometimes the defense and the fields themselves behind the pitcher aren't the spiffiest.  But they can control the walks and strikeouts themselves.  You have to be a bit careful putting down advanced stats on the minor leaguers.  Its still a lot about the profiles, but results matter too.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Lightning... Lightning in a Bah-hah-toll

Gotcha Forearms Right Here photo:fanshare
You knew it was coming.  After riding the poor man's Dan Uggla through the first 3 months of the season with Brandon Hicks, the Giants decided to take the real thing for a low-risk spin.  Hank Schulman and Alex Pav on the calls.  Its a AAA deal, with an out clause of call-up on August 1st or nussing!  Nussing!

Uggla has been flat out terrible for the Braves.  I wonder how enraged the Braves interwebz gets about their bad contracts.  BJ Upton and Uggla have been below replacement guys.  All you'd hear about for ages was Zito and Rowand, alls the time.  Kind of nice that is gone.  Kind of nicer they won TWO rings with that stank on their balance sheet.

This is Sabey Sabes hedging against all those GMs looking to take all his precious pitching off his hands.  So the Giants are going to ask on Daniel Murphy, Ben Zobrist, Asdrubal Cabrera, Mike Aviles, Chase Utley, and maybe even Gordon Beckham - although Joltin' Joe Panik has him covered in the stat department.  But if they get their lightning they can sit tight.

I listened to the Marlins feed yesterday, they actually weren't half bad.  They discussed Uggla, a former Marlin.  They thought he might end up in Balto with his old hitting coach.  Sometimes a change of scene can do wonders.  There is an achilles heel to Uggla though - his defense is flat out terrible.  I just don't see the Giants trusting this if things are getting tight in September.  But as a depth signing, it is what it is - the pursuit of DingerZ.  Lighting in a bottle.

The Braves are responsible for all the contract but the major league minimum.  Its a risk free signing that might turn out.  First Uggla has to prove out in Fresno.  I can just see him getting up in time for the Dodger series.  I can already hear Vin Scully laying down about the Swedes.  That's going to be awesome.

Transactions Big And Small

So the Gigantes have 23 of 40 on their draft.  In case you missed, here's my draft review.

What else?  According to BA's milb transaction tracker, the Gints have signed Mitchell Boggs, who got cut from the White Sox on July 1st. 

Cuban OF Daniel Carbonell is now in Arizona, working out.

The Giants are in on another Cuban, Rusney Castillo, with a lot of teams in pursuit

Brandon Belt to the DL, Adam Duvall back up.

Speaking of debuts for second, only two Giants debuts so far, covered them both: Joe Panik and Adam Duvall.  Their signing scouts: John DiCarlo for Panik and Kevin Christman for Duvall.  Seth Rosin was on the opening day roster for the Rangers, he was signed by Lou Coletti.  All 3 were under the John Barr scouting reign.

The list of UDFA: 1B Chase Compton (NDFA—Louisiana-Lafayette), 1B Scott Price (NDFA—Tennessee), SS Evan Potter (NDFA—San Diego State).  They also signed Christian Lichtenthaler as SS from Concordia and Clayton Miller, a C from Armstrong Atlantic State.

The list of FA: RHP Robert Ramer (Evansville (Frontier)), 3B Sam Mende (released by Rockies, June 25), RHP Mitchell Boggs (released by White Sox, July 1)

Trades: Adalberto Santos from Pirates for cash.

IFA signs: Jose Rivero, SS (VZ) (250K), Francisco Medina, SS (DR) (115K), Sandro Fabian, OF (DR) (500K), Bryan Pena, OF (DR) (425K)
Giants have more cap space, I'm sure they're out looking for older pitchers to sign.

That's about it!

EDIT: Nope, that's not it.  Needed something Big.  And... Matt Cain to the 15 day with Elbow inflamation.  That's just about as big as you can possibly get.  Cain was getting rested, 5th starter out the gate for the 2nd half.  It appears its more than that.  This is really bad, bad news. George Kontos gets called up, Petit takes Cain's start.

EDIT EDIT: Tony Abreu opts out.  What's the world coming to?  Did he hurt himself signing the papers?  https://twitter.com/FresnoGrizzlies/status/491345366743134208
 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Giants Open 2nd Half In Style - Take 2 of 3 from Marlins In Miami - Series Rundown #31

Posey's Getting Warmed Up For The Stretch Photo: Getty
The Giants took 2 of 3 from the dreaded Marlins, and came a Timmy hanger away from a sweep.  Great way to open up the bidwack of the 2nd half.  They re-took the NL West for the moment, as well as the best record in the national league, but that's up in the air until night scores, and really doesn't matter until late September.

July 18 Giants 9, Marlins 1
July 19 Giants 5, Marlins 3
July 20 Marlins 3, Giants 2

Shank's Keys to the series: the Marlins have been playing excellent OF defense.  They have good hitting.  Their pitching is suspect, but that doesn't matter, the Giants are coming to town!  The Marlins always punch the Giants about 3 classes above their weight.  Its a terrible place to start the 2nd half.

The Giants played like the team they should be, as did the Marlins.  Good to know that sometimes things are OK in the world.  There was a casualty though, Brandon Belt got a concussion from a thrown ball hitting his face during BP.  He's going on the 7 or 15 day DL and Adam Duvall will get the call.  No bueno, the Gigantes need Belt's defense and bat badly.

Good hitting: Pablito, Posey and Pence

Bad hitting: the Giants have a hole in 2B they need help with, and they need to find a way to rest Michael Morse 1-2 days a week.

Good pitching: Indeed

Bad pitching: Timmy pitched well without his good stuff, just made a couple 2 strike mistakes and got Cained.

Onto the Big Bad Phillies.  Remember when Cliff Lee signed after 2010 and they were going to be unstoppable for the next five years?  Franchise fortunes have a habit of shifting.

Vogelsong/Lee (Back from the DL to get showcased)
Cain/Hernandez
Bumgarner/Burnett
Hudson/Hamels

Keys to the series: Apparently the Giants are going hard for Chase Utley - maybe - he does have a big meaty slash line of 289/347/441 on the season.  But he's getting old and creaky.  Plus Sabean has been swearing up and down his budget is his budget.  I'm skeptical.  Still - who knew this one - Utley lives in SF.  If there's a team that will convince him, its the Gigantes with the big home crowds, the nice CA weather and the chance to take down a ring.  Amaro Jr won't decide whether to buy or sell though, it would most likely be an 11th hour thing.  But talk about a dramatic flight out of Philly if they could get him?  Mano!  Keys?  Hit some home runs Hunter Pence, make them Philly fans even more angry about your series of trades.  Just 3 years ago this would be a huge matchup, right now its kind of a mellow buzz.  It'd be nice to win two games at Citizens.

Series Rundown Recap:
Giants have 18 series wins on the year, 11 losses, 2 splits.  4 series wins have been sweeps, 3 series losses have been sweeps

Giants Scoping Cleveland Middle Infielders - Trade Targets

According to Fox Sports Jon Morosi the Gigantes are chatting up the Tribe a bit for their middle infielders. 

Asdrubal Cabrera is a free agent at the end of the year.  He is being paid 10MM.  He will be 29 years old for 2015, most likely looking for a 4-5 year contract.  Cabrera has a 270/332/412 career slash line with 82 HRs.  He runs a little bit, and now has a bit of a tarnished defensive rep at short.  The Indians would most likely not offer a Qualifying Offer, and they don't want to block uber prospect Francisco Lindor.  Cabrera is in a down year (as are most the Tribe hitters), putting up 249/309/396 with a BABIP of 286.  His career BABIP is 311 if you get hopped up about those things.

Mike Aviles is a journeyman utility guy with a team option for 2015, 3.5MM with a small buyout.  He will be 34 for 2015.  He can play 2B, SS and 3B as well as a bit of LF.  The Giants always want one of these around, any team that carries a big bullpen can place extra value on a IF/OF guy.  Aviles has a 272/302/397 career slash with 51 HRs.  He doesn't run much either.  Aviles currently hits 267/285/354 with a BABIP of 301.  He has a rep as a hacker.  Who do we know that doesn't have a problem with hackers?  Hmmm... His career BABIP is 295. 

I like both these players, at least I liked them a lot 3-4 years ago.  Cabrera hasn't busted out, he was a popular "go get that guy" name on Giants message boards back when Crawford was breaking in.  As in, "we traded for the wrong Cabrera" when Orlando brought his worn out glove to SF back in 2011.  What would you give up?  Well, there isn't really any control on the contract, so its a pure rental situation (unless you get hopped up about Aviles option).  So I wouldn't offer that much.  Mike Kickham?  Maybe Adam Duvall.  Maybe.  I wouldn't dip into the big name pitchers or Andrew Susac, that's for sure.

I imagine the Giants are kicking tires all over the place, after seeing that the price for Ben Zobrist might be high.  I saw a Rays blog post where they were willing to sell off Zobrist for Clayton Blackburn and Joe Panik.  I would bet that the Rays themselves at this point in the trade process are asking for Susac as well, which is a big no way for me. 

The biggest problem is that the AL Central is always winnable, and the Indians started the 2nd half hot.  So this might be a moot point.

A Review of the 2014 San Francisco Giants Draft

You're with the good guys now, son photo: CSNBA
 The theme of the Giants draft for the year was... wait for it... pitching.  With a higher pick than usual, 14th overall, they perhaps had greater odds than usual to dip into the "impact" player segment.  They selected a well discussed and widely rated pitcher from Vanderbilt, a 6'4 righty named Tyler Beede.  They stayed true to their emphasis on college players.  They also made contrarian moves, picking against trends in MLB during certain rounds.  Although they took longer than usual to get their picks signed, there was a good reason: top pick Beede was winning the national championship with Vandy, and they aren't allowed to negotiate with him until the year came to close.  They signed all their top 10 picks, something they are known for, drafting with certainty of getting players into their system, to receive professional instruction and professional competition.

That last point is important.  Teams really should get no credit for picking a guy if that player doesn't sign.  The absolute disaster of the Astros and Brady Aiken not signing is a headline example of this, punting for next year is generally something teams want to avoid and use as a last resort, not treat as a way of doing business or business as usual decision.  Its noteworthy in another way, because Tyler Beede famously stared down the Blue Jays 3 years ago, refusing what eventually became a 2.1MM (source: Peter Gammons) offer.  Beede definitely took heat for his decision, but look at him now: 2.6MM, a Vandy education, a national championship and a winning organization's jersey on his back, an org with a rep for being the foremost pitcher whisperer's in baseball to boot.  That's landing on your feet.

By the numbers: the Giants signed 23 of 40 draftees:
College Guys: 17 (5 RHP, 3 LHP, 2 C, 3 CF, 1 1B, 1 3B, 1 SS, 1 RF)
JC Guys: 1 (LHP)
High School Guys: 5 (2 RHP, 2 OF, 1 2B)

And those who didn't sign:
College Guys: 4 (2 RHP, 1 CF, 1 1B)
JC Guys: 3 (3 RHP)
HS Guys: 10 (4 RHP, 3 C, 2 SS, 1 LHP)

Quick no-sign analysis: the Giants took a few shots at hard-signs, guys who would cost at least 250K but most likely 450-700K.  By round order, they are: 15th rounder Benton Moss, RHP from UNC - Moss is an interesting look, he is a big academic guy, most likely scared a lot of teams off, he must have been at least a 500K price tag.  21st rounder Matthew Crownover is a redshirt sophomore LHP from Clemson, he TJ'd right before the 2012 draft.  He was most likely a 750K guy.  And then the bonus babies: 32nd round Hunter Williams and 34th round Tim Susnara in particular looked like guys the Giants had a small shot with.  Ultimately I think the overslot pool got dried up securing the top ten, in particular Brandon Webb's overslot bonus in the 4th round.  Both players look like 400-500K to sway away from strong college commitments at UNC and Oregon.  And then there was the "hell no" charity pick of 1MM guy 35th round Mitch Hart (USC commit), but that came in the area of the draft when teams start getting silly with attaboys.

Its also probable that a couple of players failed physicals.  16th rounder Kevin Ginkel was rumored to be in the fold, its possible he had something come up.  The Giants are always pretty quiet about this, but every once in a while they do have this happen.  To supplement having a smaller signing class this year, the Giants have been aggressive with UDFA.  I've been putting those up as I find them.  The Giants, like every team in baseball, also use the draft to fill in their organizational needs and field all their teams.  As the new CBA gets ironed out, it appears that teams picking in the top 5 will have enough money if they manipulate correctly to go after more than 3-4 HS kids that have been on the big showcase circuits for big overslot money.

And then the question becomes: when is this worth it?  After studying this off and on for a couple of years, I can't really shake the feeling that most of the bonus baby chasing is going after the B-list talent, the guys that teams have passed on once, twice or maybe three times.  Advisers can float high bonus demands, and only a few teams have those budgets, and that might drive a few names down the draft, but there are also just not that many impact arms.  A lot of guys from HS get the "go to college, I'll check back on you" from scouts.  The obsession with youth is another thing.  After looking at this one, I have to say that Mike Trout and Mike Stanton's being draftees that "dropped" has driven a ton of obsession in recent years with finding the next one.  Is this an easy thing to do?  Is this a needle in the haystack?  That's one question I have as I muck around with all this prospectin' stuff, and my answer right now is: most HS kids bust just as easily or even easier.  Most studies look at rewards over the downsides.

So... onto the Gigantes HS Kids:
4/118 Logan Webb RHP, CA HS
9/268 Stetson Woods RHP, CA HS
13/388 Luis Lucen CF, PR HS
14/418 Kevin Rivera 2B, PR HS
25/748 Byron Murray RF, FL HS

This is nice and neat.  You have two California Righties, you have two Puerto Rico hitters, and the last minute edition of Murray, who is 5'8 and looks a tad like Ray Durham to me, he puts on a nice show in BP.

First question: is Logan Webb that different on the talent scale than any of the bonus baby overdrafts?  Here's a list of the top bonuses from BA, everything down to one Miiiilllion dollars.   Let's list out all the RHP's from HS for the hell of it: Kolek, Touissant, Holmes - that would be Tier 1, by both bonus and draft position.  Flaherty, Blewett, Ortiz, Kopech - that would be Tier 2.  Cease, Adams, Gatto, Reid-Foley, Castellani, Hockin, Varga - is an interesting tier, a mix of overslot and draft position.  Keller, Fulenchek, Supak, DeCarr - those are the 1MM on the nose guys.  Is Webb that different?  He throws harder than a lot of these guys, he's a "pop up" guy, meaning he wasn't quite as well known on the bonus baby circuit.  A guy who was better known, Mitch Hart, went unsigned.  In fact, the Giants most likely were at the game where they faced off, and they might have come across more impressed with Webb with better chances of getting him to sign to boot.

Webb has a rep as a humble guy.  He is also the HS QB, meaning he's been a two sport star and hasn't gone down the rabbit hole of showcase baseball completely.  That means his arm should be relatively fresh, and obviously its a very strong arm.  96 on the radar guns, put him in pro instruction and see what's what.  Yes, he will be raw, there will be no change up, so its going to be a long development process.  Webb was ranked by BA as 214 in the nation, 41 in CA.  Right behind him was Hart at 222 and 42 in CA.  The Giants went local this year to some degree, they have six CA kids in their incoming class.  It's pretty nice to have a kid from Rocklin on the Giants.

Woods is a very tall guy, the Giants seem to go after the Giants.  I'm skeptical of the chances of success for tall pitchers, the coordination and ability to repeat delivery mainly.  They like the 1% lottery odds, and that's what I think Woods is.  I really like the Giants continuing going after an underutilized area of the draft: Puerto Rico.  Lacen seems extremely athletic, and has been off to a hot start in rookie ball.  Lastly, one of my pet peeves with the Giants is they are not very aggressive about drafting African-Americans.  This is the team of Mays and McCovey.  Well, the Giants drafted two African-American OFs this year.  I hope they continue to work on this.

Lefties!  My favorite type of draftee, the Gints generally get their fair share.  This year they didn't go heavy though: Matt Gage, picked in the 10th round for full slot bonus out of Sienna.  Caleb Smith in the 17th round out of USC Aiken, sporting a big time arm with big time control problems.  Mark Reyes out of Crowder College (MO) same as the Giants current Fresno lefty Mike Kickham.  Instead of going to 4Y like Kickham did, he's a Gigante.  And finally Nick Sabo, coming straight out of Long Beach State!  Sabo will be forever linked to the Padres publicity stunt of drafting Johnny Football.  Right after that your heroes took Sabo with the 838th pick.  I love this pick.  He's got a great pitchers frame, he doesn't have a lot of velocity by the standards of the day, but he's pitched well for the Dirtbags. And that's it.

Of note, the Giants decided to pay Gage full slot.  The only underslot pick they made was Seth Harrison in the 7th round, with the 208th pick of the draft.  Harrison is a redshirt senior, he had one more year left, but wanted to start his pro career.  He was on a very good Louisiana-Lafayette team.  Gage made the Cape Cod All-Star team what really stands out about him though is his good K/BB ratios, once his leftiness comes into consideration.  So while more than half of baseball was drafting senior signs for short money in the 9th and 10th, the Giants went over slot and took a HS arm for 175K (one of only 3 HS guys drafted in the 9th) and a redshirt senior for slot in the 10th (one of only 5 picks in the 10th to meet or exceed slot).

A note on age: I'm not a believer in that age study, but here's a rundown by BA of some highlights for the class.  BA missed the fact that Logan Webb is the youngest pitcher in the entire class.  Dylan Davis is the 9th youngest college position player.  Tyler Beede is actually youngest than Kyle Crick, they pitched showcases together.  The Giants drafted a few redshirt guys, they tend to do this.  At first glance, I didn't see any TJ survivors this year.  They did take one of their favorite profiles in the 11th: Greg Brody is a converted infielder now pitching.  I'm pretty sure he was a redshirt senior with one more year of eligiblity as well.

Hitters.  The Giants get an unfair rep for not being able to develop homegrown hitters.  I'd point out that the double whammy that competing does for you - first, you have a lower on the totem draft pick and second, you don't have time to develop your own.  That was the story for the early years.  Since 2008 the Giants have trotted out Sandoval, Posey, Belt and Crawford.  They had to trade Conor Gillaspie because they had no room for him and he was out of options, he's doing pretty well in Chicago.  Joe Panik is getting his cup of coffee right now.  Its an old tired argument in my opinion.  The best bet guesses were invested most the time in pitching.  And they did it again this year.

The Giants ended up with 12 hitters.  The 3 yoots up above.  2 catchers: 2nd round pick Aramis Garcia profiles as the 2nd best college catcher in the draft after Max Pentecost.  There were only 2 bonus baby catchers this year, Blake Anderson and Chase Vallot, they were both taken in the supplemental first.  Garcia has a line drive stroke, a major league body and a major league arm.  This isn't the "sexiest" pick in the world but its really solid.  He will need to work on his defense.  One thing to note - catchers often struggle with learning the position professionally and it leaks out onto the hitting cycle.  The only other signed catcher was Deac Deacon, a senior from Fullerton.  The Giants love their catchers, they drafted 3 HS guys in the 30s, but most likely ran out of moneys to go overslot to land one.

OF.  The elephant in the room.  The Giants again do not prioritize OF, they were rumored to be hot and heavy on Derek Hill, the Sacto prep who is a burner and most likely the best defensive CF in the class already.  He ended up with the Tigers 9 picks later.  Here are the OFs they got signed: Dylan Davis was the 17th OF off the board.  Davis profiles similar to his HS/College teammate Michael Conforto, whom the Mets picked 10th overall, 2nd OF off the board.  Davis also pitches quite well, with a 97 MPH heater.  The MLB show focused on his pitching highlights - that tells you something.  Then the Giants snagged Harrison in the 7th and Stanford's Austin Slater in the 8th.  Slater is a very interesting profile, and I could see him being the steal in this draft.  He was set to go large, best prep in Florida from the Bolles school when he broke an ankle, had to miss his senior year of HS.  He has been good but not great with Stanford.  Like we've never heard THAT one before.

Richard Amion is a burner, the Giants took him in the 19th round.  He's been near the top of runs scored in the NCAA, he tailed off his SB totals for this year after being on fire the year before.  He is a true leadoff candidate.  Overall, the Gints took 6 OFs, at least officially.

The corners: the Giants also don't prioritize the corners, particularly 1B, very often.  They took a flyer on a very athletic guy in 26th rounder Hunter Cole, who did not have a great junior year with Georgia.  I like this guys profile a lot, the Giants might have gone overslot on him to get him off the Cape (where he was raking) and into the fold.  They say he's a 3B, at least for now.  They did something similar with Rice's Skyler Ewing in the 6th round, who might be a catcher down the line.  Ewing has plus power, a very nice grab at this area of the draft. Finally, the SS they drafted, Jameson Henning in the 12th, has a nice frame, one that might be perfect for 3B in fact.  The Giants have done quite well with sleepers in the teens lately, with Matt Duffy and Blake Miller absolutely raking in Richmond and SJ.

The BA/Rankings Factor:  The Giants generally will be drafting about 20-30 picks before where the ratings guys have these players.  Its mainly about getting your guy.  But they also go back and pick up value.  Here are all the BA rankings for the signed players, by draft order:
Beede #15 (Picked 14)
Garcia #74 (Picked 52)
Davis #93 (Picked 87)
Webb #214 (Picked 118)
Coonrod #136 (Picked 148)
Ewing #168 (Picked 178)
Slater #139 (Picked 208)
Smith #426 (Picked 508)

And finally... the Pitchers!  The Giants got 3 big time sit in the mid 90s top out at a high digit with Beede, Webb and Coonrod.  After more consideration and looking at other teams bounties, I have to say this is a great trio to dream on.  You throw in the fact Davis could actually be a 4th horse, and the Giants did their thing.  Beede is obviously the big time gamble.  I've posted up about him before.  The Giants need to do development here to the best of their abilities.  Like the hitting rep being overblown, I also think the pitcher development is overblown.  But they are good, it is their bread and butter.  The NL West made their choices, now we get to see who was right.  The Giants could really use a big time stud breakout at the top of their draft right about now.

There were also some nice sleepers, the one I really like is Connor Kaden out of Wake Forrest in the 27th round.  He might be more of a pitchibility guy right now, but he has a good frame, he adds a couple ticks of velocity, he could be something big.  Overall the Giants signed 11 pitchers, which is definitely not their usual number.  7 righties, but 3 near the top.  They can line up those 3, with their control issues, with most of the other teams top 3 and come out just fine.

I'm not big on grades, and I do think that there is too much focus on two things: first, the HS showcase circuits, and second, the BA100 or other top ranking lists.  The draft is 1200 players.  It is the biggest draft in pro sports, it is the one with the most daunting odds.  The Giants sent their 100 guys out and about, this is what they came back with.  For better and worse, the Giants play their board pretty straight down the line.  They also don't have mad money to play draft games.  I tend to think that draft manipulations are extremely overrated.  So I'd give the Giants a solid B on this effort, maybe knocking them for not getting a few guys, but they got their first 14 signed, that's the important part of the draft.

The big gamble is of course that Beede is the dude, and the Giants were right.  I'm not sold, but I'm willing to root hard for the lad, he seems like a great guy and he's obviously got three plus pitches he needs to iron out.  I call him Dick Tidrow's greatest project.  And I would also give him the double comp of Matt Cain's body and Tim Lincecum's head.  He's a horse, and he's a thinker.  Buckle up, let's go for a ride!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Draft Tracking

The Giants have half an excuse, as they had to wait on Tyler Beede before their other signings could get done, and Vanderbilt took it all the way to the top.  But we're 4 days away from signing and there are some pretty big holes right now.

I expect all the big names to get signed, the Giants don't have many misses in their top 20s, a few in their 20-30s, and the 30-40s is the attaboy area, they get a couple here and there on that too.

Top 10 Rounds, Unsigned as of right now:
Aramis Garcia 2nd round, Slot: $1,066,900 - Garcia is the 4th highest draftee unsigned after Aiken, Newcomb and Fedde.

Dylan Davis 3rd round, Slot: $622,300

Logan Webb 4th round, Slot: $440,600

Austin Slater 8th round, Slot: $158,400 - I can't help it, just like Timmy reminds me of Wiley Wiggins in Dazed and Confused, I automatically think "Hey Slater you frickin' hippie, sell me drugs"

Stetson Woods 9th round, Slot: $148,000 - Woods is an unusual pick, he's a HS guy in the 9th round.  How many HS guys were picked there?  THREE (3) out of 30.  Here are the other two: Indians took Alexis Pantoja out of PR Baseball Academy for 144K slot.  WANT.  And the Red Sox took Kevin Steen out of Oak Ridge HS TN for 255K.  Is Woods an overslot kid or a slot kid?  He's tall as hell.  I would rather have the slick PR SS meself.

Signed: 
Tyler Beede 1/14 for slot 2.6MM
Sam Coonrod 5/148 for slot 330K   
Skyler Ewing 6/178 for slot 247K
Seth Harrison 7/208 for underslot 110K saving 75K towards other bonus
Mathew Gage 10/298 for slot 138K

11-20:
Unsigned: 15/Benton Moss, 18/Edrick Agosto
Maybe signed: 16/Kevin Ginkel. 20/Bret Underwood
Signed: 11/Greg Brody, 12/Jameson Henning, 13/ Luis Lucen, 14/Kevin Rivera, 17/Caleb Smith, 19/Richard Amion
 21-30
Unsigned: 21/Matt Crownover, 25/Byron Murray, 26/Hunter Cole (Tearing up the CCL btw),
Maybe signed: 24/Michael Peterson, 29/Ryon Cruz, 30/Cliff Covington
Signed: 22/Mark Reyes, 23/Jordan Johnson, 27/Conor Kaden, 28/Nick Sabo

31-40
Most likely vanity picks, not going to sign: 40/Riles Mahan, 39/Joe Ryan, 38/Benito Santiago Jr, 37/Garrett Christman, 35/Mitch Hart
Most likely getting a take it leave it offer, and the Giants love their catchers: 34/Tim Susnara, 36/Zach Taylor - one of those two are at least a 50-50 in my book... because the Giants love their catchers.
Signed: 33/Jared Deacon
Unsigned: 32/Hunter Williams, 31/Nick Nelson

This is a new low in signings under the new CBA.  The Giants only have 16 of 40 signed currently.  I expect it increase by about 10 in the next 72 hours.  

The Giants look to continue their stubborn ways - how many teams played the underslot game big time in the 10th round?  21 so far.  How many paid slot?  5 so far (Giants, Angels, Tigers, Pirates, White Sox)  How many teams split the difference?  3 (Astros, Twins, Padres).  One college pitcher is still out there.

In the 9th?  Half of baseball went big underslot.  9 teams went slot or very close.  1 went way overslot (Red Sox), 2 split the difference and 3 are unsigned, including Los Gigantes. 

In the 8th there are some big overslot bonuses, most teams went for slot.  The Giants have the only unsigned 8th rounder by the way...

Here's the source for a lot of this btw - MLB

The Giants have a little bit of cashish to play with, they can spend 250K before going into the penalty that teams avoid, and they have the 75K underslot.  So do they take Woods in the 9th to get a head start on those teams looking to go overslot in the 11th?  Maybe that's the thinking.

Bobby Evans, get to steppin'! 

UPDATE: Step he did.  
The Giants and second-round pick Aramis Garcia, reports Kendall Rogers of Perfect Game USA (on Twitter). The catcher from FIU will receive a $1.1MM signing bonus, which is slightly above the slot value for the No. 52 overall selection ($1,066,900).

The Giants have also inked third-rounder Dylan Davis for a $650K bonus, tweets Jim Callis of MLB.com. That lands just over the $622,300 slot allocation that came with the 87th pick.

Both players ranked in the 70s for most publications on the top 100 scale.  Garcia was 78 for MLB, 74 for BA.  Davis was 74 for MLB, 93 for BA.  

As we've noticed, the merry band of bloggers who get labeled Apologists for being generally pro-front office, the Gigantes have an established pattern of drafting guys a round earlier than their rank.  Its called getting your guy.  Its a good strategy.

UPDATE UPDATE: Step again he did.
Callis: 4th-rder Logan Webb has agreed to $600k from (pick 118 value = $440,600). Calif HS RHP, athletic QB, mid-90s heat.  
8th-rder Austin Slater has agreed to $200k w/ (pick 238 value = $158,400). Stanford OF/INF, athlete w/speed & gap power.  
9th-rder Stetson Woods has signed w/ for $175k (pick 268 value = $148k). Calif HS RHP, 6-foot-9, raw but very projectable  

We'll see how many more from the back of the draft come on down, but Webb is a very nice get, as is Slater.