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The Prospect Roundup, 6/4/17

Just how bad are things for the farm this year, and why?

Prospect Roundup Cover Image Kevin J. Cunningham

An abbreviated Roundup this week, as we prepare for a draft special next Sunday!

Why Is The Giants Farm So Bad?

Andy Baggarly put up an article this week, pointing out that every farm team the Giants have are in last place, and the system having a lack of impact prospects. It’s a good read, and you should read it. But, let me give you the bullet points of what he gives as the reasoning:

  • Aggressive promotions was the big point, coming straight from GM Bobby Evans. “And we’re also pushing some of our draft picks and trying to stay younger in the leagues overall. Those are some of the areas that put us at a disadvantage,” he said, among other comments. He also cited, aside from the pitching, Bryan Reynolds as a player how struggled early after a big push.
  • There is a suggestion of poor drafting. The 2013 draft is brought up, as only the first round pick Christian Arroyo from that draft has made it to the majors, and Austin Slater is only the first one from the 2014 draft. Later, after brining up John Barr’s early praises, it’s mentioned that he missed in some later drafts.
  • Similarly, that is mentioned about International signings. No current big leaguers are Latin American signings from the Giants; the only one who has been on the roster this season was Reyes Moronta, who got one day and no appearances.
  • There was a brief mention of the Giants’ penalty for signing international free agents that has been in place for both 2016 and 2017. There’s also a sentence given to sacrificing the 2016 draft pick to sign Jeff Samardzija.

So, let’s take this a step further. Did Baggarly miss anything?

I think that the biggest thing that Andy missed was injuries. The Giants farm system has been affected by a number of injuries to top players, including Triple-A level outfielders Mac Williamson and Steven Duggar, Single-A outfielder Heath Quinn, and young starting pitcher Garrett Williams. The ones who have come back from injury (which is now everyone but Duggar) have been excellent. San Jose in particular got quite a boost from Quinn’s return. Meanwhile, some of those players who had aggressively been promoted got sent back down to Augusta, and have mostly performed well. I don’t know that those players would have made last place teams into first place ones, but they would have made the teams more competitive, and given fans more names to follow.

Behind that, I think the current hole in the system (as I’ve written before) stems strongly from the trades and penalties incurred recently, and how that has affected the influx of top prospects. A key to a good draft may be the later-round drafting, but there’s no denying that first round picks and top international signings provide the biggest impact young players. The Giants traded away their two big names from 2015 (Phil Bickford and Lucius Fox), and then the penalties incurred cost them their top pick from 2016 and any top international players for 2016 and 2017. That puts a hole in the lower parts of the system, one that is undeniable.

That puts pressure on this 2017 draft pick, at #19 overall. The Giants have had higher picks the last two seasons (#14 in 2014 (Tyler Beede) and #18 in 2015 (Phil Bickford)), but they could get similar talent levels out of this year’s draft.

That said, there may be another way to help fill in some of the farm system with young talent. Young talent that won’t take years to develop.

But I don’t think as fans we are ready to discuss that just yet… Maybe in 30 days.

A Triple Play

The Flying Squirrels certainly have had quite a rough season, but this was certainly one of the highlights of any season.

There’s part of me, the part that thinks things could always be better, that wonders why this wasn’t unassisted. Rando Moreno catches the line drive, steps on second base to get the runner that had been on second…but before Rando gets to second, the runner from first is already there! All Rando needed to do was reach out and tag him!

In the end though, it’s still one of those rare, remarkable achievements. The kind that the MiLB app sends notifications out to everybody about. And congratulations to Moreno, first baseman Ryan Lollis, and the Squirrels for getting it.

Hwang’s Upcoming Opt-Out

It’s coming up, and Henry’s take on the outfield/third base situation is not wrong. But Hwang’s also getting quite a bit of time at first base, and when Christian Arroyo comes back to Sacramento, that third base playing time could get interesting. Makes one wonder about the future of the guys at third base and first base in the Majors. After all, June 30th is just one of a few deadlines coming up.

Hitter of the Week - Tim Federowicz

Tim Federowicz capped off a monster week by going 5-for-5, and his week definitely was 5 by 5.

The free agent catcher signed this offseason was 11-for-20 this week, with a pair of doubles and a pair of home runs, giving him a franchise-leading .550 average on the week and a .950 slugging percentage.

Although Federowicz hasn’t gotten into a majority of games, like most catchers won’t, he’s batting .356/.414/.515 in 27 games at Sacramento, with 2 of his 3 home runs coming this week. He also has 7 doubles on the season. Federowicz did sniff the majors earlier this year when Posey was on the DL, going 0-for-2 with a walk in two appearances at San Francisco.

Pitcher of the Week - Garrett Williams

Since coming back from injury, the 22-year old Williams has continued his dominance of the South Atlantic League.

This week, he threw his first scoreless outing this season (out of four games), going 6.1 innings, and giving up just four hits and two walks while striking out 9.

On the season, Williams has a 0.93 ERA with 21 strikeouts against 6 walks in 19.1 innings. Williams has easily positioned himself at the top of Augusta’s pitching talent, and if he continues to pitch this way, he’ll be in line to get a promotion to San Jose before the season is over.

Saturday’s Lines

Saturday’s Boxes

AAA R H E AA R H E High-A R H E Low-A R H E
AAA R H E AA R H E High-A R H E Low-A R H E
Sacramento 13 16 1 Trenton 6 14 1 Lake Elsinore 5 10 0 Augusta 3 7 1
Albuquerque 1 6 1 Richmond 5 5 0 San Jose 3 8 1 Lexington 8 11 0

Saturday’s Hitters

SAC Wynton Bernard CF 6 2 2 1 0 0 2 0 1 0.207
SAC Jae-Gyun Hwang 1B 5 1 3 1 0 0 3 1 0 0.287
SAC Mac Williamson RF 5 2 2 0 0 2 5 0 2 0.261
SAC Chris Shaw LF 5 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.289
SAC Tim Federowicz C 5 3 5 1 0 2 2 0 0 0.356
RIC Myles Schroder 3B 3 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0.314
RIC Jerry Sands DH 4 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 0.250
RIC C.J Hinojosa SS 3 1 1 1 0 0 2 1 0 0.241
SJ Ronnie Jebavy CF 4 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 0.222
SJ Bryan Reynolds RF 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.296
SJ Conor Gillaspie 3B 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.333
SJ Aramis Garcia 1B 4 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 0.275
SJ Heath Quinn LF 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.288
SJ Gio Brusa DH 4 1 2 1 0 1 2 0 1 0.243
AUG Sandro Fabian RF 4 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.233
AUG Kelvin Beltre 2B 3 1 2 1 0 0 1 1 0 0.271
AUG Frandy De La Rosa 1B 4 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 2 0.239
AUG Cristian Paulino 3B 3 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.218

Saturday’s Pitchers

SAC Chris Stratton (W, 1-3) 7.0 6 1 1 0 7 0 5.93
SAC Dusten Knight 2.0 0 0 0 3 2 0 2.50
RIC Andrew Suarez (L, 3-4) 7.0 8 2 2 1 5 0 2.98
RIC Ryan Halstead 1.0 3 3 3 1 0 0 27.00
RIC Yordy Cabrera 1.0 3 1 1 0 0 0 9.00
SJ Jake McCasland (L, 2-5) 6.0 6 4 3 2 2 1 5.91
SJ Carlos Diaz 1.0 1 0 0 0 1 0 2.80
SJ Will LaMarche 2.0 3 1 1 0 1 0 3.12
AUG D.J. Myers 0.1 2 1 0 0 1 0 4.38
AUG Jose Morel 2.1 2 2 2 1 2 1 2.81
AUG Sandro Cabrera 3.1 2 0 0 0 4 0 3.28
AUG Greg Brody (L, 0-1) 1.0 4 3 3 0 2 0 6.75
AUG Wilson Santos 1.0 1 2 2 1 0 1 5.00
  • It’s nice to see Sacramento have a bust-out offensive day, with two 2-HR games and 5 home runs total.
  • As mentioned above, Tim Federowicz was on fire, going 5-for-5 with two home runs and a double. This game was the primary reason for his player-of-the-week status.
  • Mac Williamson also had two home runs, giving him 6 with Sacramento this season. He is just 3-for-15 since coming back, but all three hits have been home runs.
  • Jae-Gyun Hwang continued his recent hot trend with a 3-hit game, including his team-leading 16th double. The 16 doubles are tied for 5th in the PCL this season. He also stole his fourth base of the year.
  • The downside for Hwang, and one of the two big reasons preventing his chance for a call-up, he picked up his 10th error of the season while playing first.
  • Albuquerque is a bit of a hitter’s playground, so it was particularly nice to see Chris Stratton have a strong outing after his recent trend (especially his last start last week, when he gave up 8 runs). This was Stratton’s longest outing of the season, and only the second time this season he hasn’t walked anyone in a start. 7 is also his season-high for strikeouts.
  • Dusten Knight had another solid outing out of the ‘pen. The 3 walks weren’t great, but he added 2 more strikeouts. In Sacramento, he has 16 strikeouts against 11 walks in 18 innings.
  • Richmond waited until the 9th inning to score runs in this game, coming up just short.
  • Andrew Suarez had a solid start, matching a season-high in innings pitched. He’s given up just two earned runs in each of his last three starts, and has given up two or less in eight of his last nine starts.
  • Ryan Halstead made his Richmond debut, and got knocked around a bit. Halstead had only given up 3 ER in 24.1 innings at San Jose (1.11 ERA) before this promotion. He had 27 strikeouts and 2 walks down there, too.
  • Another debut at Richmond was free agent signing Jerry Sands, who was 1-for-4 with a double as DH. The 29 year old first baseman got into 24 games with the Chicago White Sox last season, batting .236 in the AL.
  • Gio Brusa got off back into the lineup as Hunter Pence took a day off before he comes back to SF, picking up his 8th double of the year and his 9th home run. Brusa took back the team lead with the 9th home run, and moved into a tie for 4th in the California League.
  • Conor Gillaspie made his first rehab start since his rehab setback, going 1-for-3, but also picking up an error at third.
  • Aramis Garcias has a team-leading 15 doubles, tied for 3rd best in the California League.
  • Augusta starter D.J. Myers only faced three batters before going down with a reported arm injury. Hopefully he’ll be alright.
  • Sandro Cabrera shined while taking an increased number of innings for the Augusta bullpen. He went a season-high 3.1 IP, and now has 34 strikeouts against 14 walks in 24.2 IP.
  • Meanwhile, Greg Brody was hit hard in his 3rd game back from off the DL. He gave up his first three runs of the season. In 4 IP, he has given up 5 hits and struck out 5, and has yet to walk anyone.
  • 3B Cristian Paulino doubled his stolen base total for the season, steal 3 bases to give him 6 on the year. He stole a career-high 29 bases last season.

The Wrap-Up:

Former Affiliate news here, but I’ve got to say that this is one of my favorite minor league special event jerseys I’ve seen in a couple of years.