San Francisco Giants Top 50 Prospects for 2017

In San Francisco,

depth is oft grown from within,

much like a haiku.


Prospects1500 Tiers:

Tier 1: Players with high expectations of both making the majors and playing at an All-Star level for a number of years

Tier 2: Players with an above average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor

Tier 3: Players with an average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor

Tier 4: Players who have the potential of making the majors, or have high likelihood of making the majors but providing minimal impact (e.g. middle reliever, low-ceiling UT guys)

Tier 5: Players who are worth keeping an eye on, but likely to never make a team’s 40-man roster

 

Tier 1
None


Tier 2
1. Tyler Beede, RHP
Age: 23 (DOB 5/23/1993)
Beede improved in every way during his first full year at AA Richmond. Plagued by an inability to consistently throw strikes for much of his career, Beede demonstrated better control as the season progressed, culminating in a dominant complete game two-hit shutout during which he struck out 11 batters, walked just one, and threw 70 of 94 pitches for strikes. Although he may never become the ace the Giants envisioned when they drafted him #14 overall in 2014, Beede has reestablished himself as a potential #2 or #3 starter and could emerge as a key piece for the big league club as soon as the second half of this year.

Five-pitch repertoire

and an improving walk rate.

Consistency, please.

2. Christian Arroyo, 3B/SS
Age: 21 (DOB 05/30/1995)
The Giants have been churning out prospects like Arroyo in recent years; unexciting, contact-first infielders with little to contribute in the ways of power and speed (e.g., Panik, Duffy, Tomlinson). Arroyo’s shown an ability to consistently barrel the ball better than all of them though, and he’s got the potential to ride a high batting average to a Freddy Sanchez or Martin Prado type career. Blocked at shortstop by the defensive wizardy of Brandon Crawford, Arroyo will slide over to third base where the Giants will have him play exclusively during his first taste of action at AAA Sacramento.

Excellent contact

has him knocking on the door.

Don’t count on pop/speed.


Tier 3
3. Bryan Reynolds, OF
Age: 22 (DOB 01/27/1995)
After posting a .461 OBP as a junior at Vanderbilt, Reynolds seemed to abandon his approach immediately after entering pro ball in 2016. While the swing and miss is concerning, an optimist might attribute the sudden aggressiveness to first year jitters. Reynolds does have enough game power to produce 20-25 HRs annually, and if he’s able to regain his eye, that combination of power and patience could result in a consistently above average OPS. His ceiling is likely that of a more athletic and (presumably) less insane Milton Bradley.

Great eye in college

that disappeared in A ball.

Bring back the patience!

4. Ty Blach, LHP
Age: 26 (DOB 10/20/1990)
In an era when 28% of all active MLB pitchers either have had or are recovering from Tommy John surgery, durable innings-eaters like Blach have become the glue that teams use to hold together rotations. At 6’2″, 200 lbs, Blach profiles a lot like a left-handed version of Joe Blanton or Jake Westbrook in that he will rely more on command and an ability to keep the ball in the ballpark than on overpowering hitters with pure stuff. Much like Blanton or Westbrook, Blach will likely prove to be much more valuable to the Giants roster than to your fantasy team, although those in need of a starter to stream could be rewarded with the occasional gem like the eight shutout innings Blach pitched during last October’s clutch win over Clayton Kershaw.

Will eat up innings

without destroying your WHIP.

Low K per 9, though.

5. Andrew Suarez, LHP
Age: 24 (DOB 09/11/1992)
A second round draft pick out of Miami, Suarez quickly advanced through three levels in  2015 and encountered his first real challenge at AA Richmond, where he spent most of last season. Like Blach, Suarez will likely slot in as a back-of-the-rotation starter, where his genuine feel for pitching will allow his average stuff to play up. The lack of a truly elite offering limits the upside, but if he can stay healthy Suarez’s polish will keep the floor somewhat high.

Back-end starter with

low ceiling and high-ish floor.

Not too far away.

6. Chris Shaw, 1B
Age: 23 (DOB 10/23/1993)
Shaw is the best power hitter in the Giants system, but the concern is that he lacks the athleticism needed to make adjustments to avoid getting exploited by advanced pitching. This was particularly evident during the second half of 2016 after his promotion to AA Richmond. Big bodied, power-only prospects always run the risk of not making enough contact for the power to matter (I’m looking at you, Joey Gallo), but if he is able to adapt Shaw will make regular deposits into McCovey Cove.

If he can adjust,

get the kayaks ready for

McCovey Splash Time.

7. Sandro Fabian, OF
Age: 18 (DOB 03/06/1998)
A bat-first corner outfielder signed out of Dominican Republic in 2014, Fabian ate pitching in the Rookie-level Arizona League to the tune of a .340 AVG and 143 wRC+. He possesses a natural bat-to-ball ability and although there are some questions surrounding his power potential, Fabian is just shy of 19 years old and will likely continue to fill out as he gets older. If he continues to hit, the Giants may chose to move him aggressively, and he could end 2017 as one of the youngest players in the South Atlantic League.

Under-the-radar,

big potential with the bat.

Keep an eye on him.

8. Jae-gyun Hwang, 3B/SS
Age: 29 (DOB 07/27/1987)
The undisputed bat flip champion of the world, the 29 year old Hwang hit .335/.394/.570 with 27 HRs and and 25 SBs last season in the hitter-friendly KBO. Despite approaching the tail end of his physical prime with little projection left, Hwang’s willingness make adjustments to his approach – he nearly doubled his BB/K ratio from 0.39 to 0.73 last season – leads one to believe the skill-set could translate to a degree of success at the Major League level. Unless he hits the cover off the ball this spring, look for Giants to get Hwang regular ABs in the high minors.

Armed with a bat flip

that would make Joey Bats blush.

How will he translate?

9. Joan Gregorio, RHP
Age: 25 (DOB 01/12/1992)
After spending most of 2015 coming out of the bullpen, Gregorio was shifted back to the rotation last season. Despite a 5.28 ERA in 107 innings at AAA Sacramento – maybe the result of an inflated BABIP in the notoriously tough pitching environment of the Pacific Coast League – the Giants seem content give the 6’7″ behemoth another few months in the AAA rotation to work out mechanical issues with his delivery and develop a much-needed changeup. If the changeup continues to lag behind or an injury forces a change of plans, Gregorio’s fastball/slider combination could be a valuable weapon for Bruce Bochy in the late innings this year.

A starter’s body,

but without a third pitch he’s

destined for bullpen.

10. Steven Okert, LHP
Age: 25 (DOB 07/09/1991)
Okert is your prototypical low-slot left-handed relief pitcher. He generated a high percentage of swing and misses during his late 2016 debut, using his low-to-mid 90s fastball and cutter to set up his plus slider. Okert is slated to open 2017 as the second lefty option in the big league bullpen, with the potential to move into higher leverage situations and rack up holds as he demonstrates he can be trusted to get hitters out from both sides of plate.

Decent strikeout rate

and sleeper source of holds

(if your league counts those).

11. Heath Quinn, OF
Age: 21 (DOB 06/07/1995)
Quinn posted a .343/.452/.682 line with 17 HRs during his junior season at Samford, which was enough for the Giants to select him the 95th overall pick in the 2016 draft. He continued to rake after signing, adding another 9 HRs during his first stint with the A- Salem-Keizer Volcanoes. The strikeouts will likely always be there, but he has the power to hit 25-30 HRs at peak with enough walks to be a bench OF option in deeper fantasy leagues, much like Josh Willingham. Just try not to overreact when the Cal League makes him look like a stud.

Three-true outcomes guy:

could hit 30 bombs a year

with loads of walks/K’s.

12. Steven Duggar, OF
Age: 23 (DOB 11/04/1993)
Duggar tallied just 10 HRs and 15 SBs in 130 games between A+ and AA last season, but while those counting stats aren’t particularly exciting for a fantasy target, he did impress with attractive AVG and OBP rates. Duggar will return to AA Richmond in 2017 and look to build on his 2016 success. If the counting stats spike, he’ll be much more interesting this time next year.

Good AVG and arm

will carry him to the bigs,

even without pop.

13. Chris Stratton, RHP
Age: 26 (DOB 08/22/1990)
Stratton is major-league ready after having spent four full years in the minors. He’s likely to begin the year at AAA Sacramento but will be among the first call-ups if and when a fill-in starter is needed. Stratton profiles similarly to Shaun Marcum, who logged a 4.26 FIP and 7.3 K/9 in over 1,000 serviceable innings during his 9 year career.

Limited upside,

little left to prove on farm.

Starter or long man?

14. Reyes Moronta, RHP
Age: 24 (DOB 01/06/1993)
Although a bit old for the level at age 24, Moronta seemed to finally pull things together at A+ San Jose last sesason, where he set new career bests in IP (59), K/9 (14.19), BB/9 (3.05), and ERA (2.59). Moronta used his plus fastball/slider combination to sit down over 38% of the total batters he faced, good for the 7th highest K% of all minor league pitchers with at least 50 IP last season.

A bringer of heat.

Is he a future closer?

Sky high K per 9.


Tier 4
15. Austin Slater, 2B/OF
Age: 24 (DOB 12/13/1992)
Slater is coming off a great 2016 season in which he slashed .305/.393/.500 with a surprising 18 HRs. He’s done nothing but hit at every level, although scouts are torn as to exactly how well he will do so in the big leagues. Slater also proven he can handle all three outfield positions, as well as second base in a pinch.

Versatile player

who’s hit well at every stop.

Can he keep it up?

16. C.J. Hinojosa, SS
Age: 22 (DOB 07/15/1994)
In Baseball America’s 2015 draft report card, the selection of Hinojosa by the Giants in the 11th round was pegged as the best late-round pick.

A bit of pop and

very good defensively,

but not all are sold.

17. Aramis Garcia, C
Age: 24 (DOB 01/12/1993)
Spent more than 2 months on the disabled list in 2016 after suffering a facial fracture during a routine slide into second.

Cannon for arm, bat 

regressed after injury.

Prove ’15 was real.

18. Matt Krook, LHP
Age: 22 (DOB 10/21/1994)
Originally selected #35 overall by the Marlins in 2013, but failed a physical and enrolled at University of Oregon instead.

Great stuff hamstrung by

post-TJ control concerns.

Year will be telling.

19. Dan Slania, RHP
Age: 24 (DOB 05/24/1992)
Former closer at Notre Dame. Recorded a 2.40 ERA across three levels after moving to rotation last May.

A bulldog’s body

with a bit more bark than bite.

Much improved last year.

20. Clayton Blackburn, RHP
Age: 24 (DOB 01/06/1993)
Fun fact: Blackburn and River Cats teammate Austin Fleet both attended Santa Fe High School in Edmond, OK, which ironically has yet to produce a Major League player.

Underwhelming stuff

often leaves scouts unimpressed.

Numbers look good though.

21. Samuel Coonrod, RHP
Age: 24 (DOB 09/22/1992)
Has conceded only 22 HRs in 508 innings dating back to his freshman year at Southern Illinois.

Throwing the ball hard,

but strikeout and walk rates are

trending the wrong way.

22. Jalen Miller, 2B/SS
Age: 20 (DOB 12/19/1996)
Ended the 2016 season as the 5th youngest player in A ball.

Athlete at second.

Though stats haven’t matched the tools,

there’s still time for it.

23. Cory Taylor, RHP
Age: 23 (DOB 12/14/1993)
Owns a career 10.1 K/9 and a 2.96 FIP across four levels.

Sinkerballer who

induces grounders often.

Richmond’s park will help.

24. Rodolfo Martinez, RHP
Age: 22 (DOB 04/04/1994)
After promotion to AA Richmond, BB/9 rate doubled (2.93 to 5.87).

Control disappeared,

along with the fastball speed.

Something is not right.

25. Jonah Arenado, 1B/3B
Age: 21 (DOB 02/03/1995)
Walked in just 3.3% of ABs, which was the lowest rate in the Cal League and the 35th lowest of 1,506 qualified hitters across all minor league levels.

Like his big brother,

immense power potential.

Dragged down by approach.

26. Johneswhy Fargas, OF
Age: 22 (DOB 12/15/1994)
Has registered exactly 100 SBs since 2015.

Phenomenal speed

will soon bring attention to

the 80 grade name.

27. Gio Brusa, OF
Age: 23 (DOB 07/26/1993)
.232 ISO was third highest among qualified A- hitters. Bonus: teammate Heath Quinn was second at .234.

Built like Paul Bunyan.

Big power from both sides with

lots of swing and miss.

28. Garrett Williams, LHP
Age: 22 (DOB 09/15/1994)
Only gave up 1 HR in 32.1 innings last season.

Former LLWS star.

Mid-90s heat and good curve

have scouts ambitious.

29. Ray Black, RHP
Age: 26 (DOB 06/26/1990)
The last Giants pitcher to top 102mph was Brian Wilson in 2009.

Fact: an arm that pops

103 with 9 walks per

9 is frightening.

30. Jordan Johnson, RHP
Age: 23 (DOB 09/15/1993)
Innings pitched by season since 2012:  6.2, 3.0, 75.1, 59.1 ,120.0.

Limits the walks well,

velocity up and down.

Future spot-starter.


Tier 5
31. Kelvin Beltre, 3B
Age: 20 (DOB 09/25/1996)
Injuries have limited him to just 391 plate appearances since singing in 2014.

Strong upside with bat

and a little bit of speed.

Has to stay healthy.

32. Matthew Gage, LHP
Age: 23 (DOB 02/11/1993
K/9, BB/9, HR/9, LOB%, WHIP, ERA, and FIP all improved during second stint at AA Richmond in 2016.

Likely ceiling of

future lefty specialist.

FIP has been strong, though.

33. Miguel Gomez, C/3B
Age: 24 (DOB 12/17/1992)
Slashed .330/.363./.519 with 17 HRs and a 12% K rate between A Augusta and A+ San Jose.

Converted catcher

now trying to stick at third.

Huge year at the plate.

34. Melvin Adon, RHP
Age: 22 (DOB 06/09/1994)
Registered 15 wild pitches in 14 starts last season.

When the radar gun

reads triple digits, the age

gets a longer leash.

35. Hunter Cole, OF
Age: 24 (DOB 10/03/1992)
Hit nearly as many HRs last season in AA Richmond (13) as he did during three years combined at University of Georgia (14).

In a system with

a logjam of outfielders,

he risks losing ground.

36. Jacob Heyward, OF
Age: 21 (DOB 08/01/1995)
Recorded a 18.9% walk rate and 190 wRC+ in after signing in 2016.

Good eye at the plate,

although rest of game is raw.

Closely monitor.

37. Dylan Davis, OF
Age: 23 (DOB 07/20/1993)
Led all Giants prospects with 27 HRs in 2016.

Big arm in RF

and healthy power, likely

aided by Cal League.

38. Orlando Calixte, SS
Age: 24 (DOB 02/03/1992)
Set career bests in BB% (7.6), K% (18.5), and ISO (.163) and played 2B, 3B, SS, LF, CF, and RF while a member of the Royals organization.

Signed as free agent,

value at plate and on base.

Can play everywhere.

39. Mac Marshall, LHP
Age: 21 (DOB 01/27/1996)
Owns a career 9.92 K/9 and 8.18 BB/9.

An athletic arm

hampered by control issues.

Time for the bullpen.

40. Gustavo Cabrera, OF
Age: 21 (DOB 01/23/1996)
Part of the 2012 international signing class that also featured top prospects Amed Rosario and Alex Reyes.

Trying to reset

after near loss of right hand.

One game at a time.

41. Tyler Cyr, RHP
Age: 23 (DOB 05/05/1993)
Struck out 90 batters in 75.2 IP with a 2.38 ERA over two levels last season.

Little love from scouts

at 24 in Hi-A,

and stuck in relief.

42. Ryder Jones, 3B
Age: 22 (DOB 06/07/1994)
Hit 15 HRs in AA Richmond at a notoriously tough HR park.

Slow out of the gate,

much better in second half.

Watch out for big spring.

43. Malique Ziegler, OF
Age: 20 (DOB 09/08/1996)
Hit .395 with 22 HRs, 70 RBI, 87 R, and 31 SBs while during 2016 junior college season.

Fast twitch leadoff type

with superior foot speed.

No need to rush him.

44. Jose Vizcaino, Jr., 3B
Age: 22 (DOB 04/05/1994)
Hit a robust .353/.418/.647 in final 25 games at A+ San Jose before shutdown with ankle injury.

Big bodied athlete

with Major League pedigree.

Could advance quickly.

45. Kyle Crick, RHP
Age: 24 (DOB 11/30/1992)
Owns a 6.17 BB/9 over six minor league seasons.

Time’s running out; in

Double A for third straight year.

Cannot find the zone.

46. Jose Marte, RHP
Age: 20 (DOB 06/14/1996)
Limited opposing batters to a .179 AVG during Dominican Summer League debut.

Mid-90s fastball.

Improvement of control is

a long-term project.

47. Sandro Cabrera, LHP
Age: 21 (DOB 06/22/1995)
Struck out the side in A Augusta debut.

Wiry left who’s

virtually unknown right now.

Second best Sandro.

48. Chase Johnson, RHP
Age: 25 (DOB 01/09/1992)
Once struck out 14 of 22 batters in 6 innings during start in 2015 for A+ San Jose.

Converted starter,

recently back to relief.

Now on 40 man.

49. Chris Falwell, LHP
Age: 21 (DOB 04/14/1995)
Great junior year at Texas A&M Corpus Christi:  2.91 ERA with 9.14 K/9 and 3.01 BB/9.

Interesting pitcher, 

towers on mound at 6’7.

Fastball, splitter, curve.

50. Ryan Howard, SS
Age: 22 (DOB 07/25/1994)
Struck out in just 9.4% of at bats during 2016 debut.

Could stick at SS

if consistency improves.

Returns to Salem.

 

About Tony Morin 3 Articles
Tony is Virginia-transplant who lives in San Francisco and works in Silicon Valley, a short drive from both the Hi-A San Jose Giants and AAA Sacramento River Cats. When not covering the Giants for Prospects1500, you can usually find him reading last night's box scores. If you ever met, he'd hand you a Wiffle ball bat and promptly strike you out. Follow him @tonythekohm.

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