Yes, it’s the end, so let’s start off with this:
A GIANT thank you to all of our fans for another amazing season. Your constant support to our players and staff are what makes this organization what it is. We will see you all again next season! pic.twitter.com/MsV8Lax8vS— San Jose Giants (@SJGiants) September 4, 2018
And that’s a big thank you to all of you readers as well. Without you, neither I or Roger, or Bryan or Sami or Carmen or Doug or Brady or Kenneth or our other guest stars would be here. I ain’t going to lie, this site is different this year…but you’ve stuck with us and that means the world to us.
Thank you for reading, and please keep reading!
2018 SF Giants Minor League All-Stars
Now that the season is done, let’s take a look back at the Giants’ 2018 season, and review the top performers. I’ve come up with my completely arbitrary look at the organization’s All-Stars, based on performance. These are not necessarily the top prospects at each position (I’ve got that below), but these are the guys who starred this year.
I judged based strictly on the position played most by players, though I used overall stats. I also valued level as a tie-break in some cases, but some judgement as well.
What’d I find? Well, Salem-Keizer was one of the top performing
C - Joey Bart (Salem-Keizer, AZL) - .294/.364/.588 with 13 HR overall
Honorable Mentions - Andres Angula (AZL Orange), Rodolfo Bone (DSL Giants)
No surprise here. There were a lot of low-level catchers with fine performances, but none had the power that Bart displayed.
1B - Wander Franco (Salem-Keizer) - .314/.351/.519 with 24 2B and 5 HR
Honorable Mentions - Jerry Sands (Sacramento, Richmond), Beicker Mendoza (AZL Orange)
Yep, that Wander Franco. Franco led the Northwest League in doubles, and was one of the most consistent hitters in the strongest Giants minor league lineup.
2B - Kyle McPherson (Salem-Keizer) - .312/.370/.489 with 23 2B and 7 HR
Honorable Mentions - Jalen Miller (San Jose), Miguel Gomez (Sacramento, Richmond)
Potentially the shallowest position in the system, the 26th round pick from 2017 had a nice, well-rounded performance in the NWL.
3B - Luis Toribio (DSL Giants) - .270/.423/.479 with 13 2B and 10 HR
Honorable Mentions - Yorlis Rodriguez (AZL Black), David Villar (Salem-Keizer)
A pretty close race, but Toribio’s hot start to the DSL season gave him the edge in this one.
SS - Ryan Howard (Richmond) - .273/.336/396 with 32 2B, 39 BB and 55 SO
Honorable Mentions - Manuel Geraldo (Augusta), Orlando Calixte (Sacramento)
Another weak position in the system, but Ryan Howard’s breakout season in a tough environment helped him.
RF - Austin Slater (Sacramento) - .344/.417/.564 with 24 2B, 5 HR, and 8 SB in 10 attempts
Honorable Mentions - Mac Williamson (Sacramento), Mikey Edie (Salem-Keizer)
Injuries and promotions meant that the two best right fielders came from Sacramento, but Slater’s doubles and batting average help him stand out.
CF - Johneshwy Fargas (San Jose) - .288/.354/.421 with 47 SB in 63 attempts
Honorable Mentions - Steven Duggar (Sacramento), Heliot Ramos (Augusta)
Fargas and Duggar ended up with nearly the same OPS, and while Duggar’s defense and level nearly gave him the edge, Fargas’ extraordinary speed gives him the nod.
LF - Heath Quinn (San Jose) - .300/.376/.485 with 24 2B and 14 HR
Honorable Mentions - Chris Shaw (Sacramento), Diego Rincones (Salem-Keizer)
Quinn’s breakout, well-rounded season puts him over the edge, with the power-hitting Shaw and the average-hitting Rincones behind him.
RH Starter - Logan Webb (Richmond, San Jose) - 2.41 ERA, 100 SO, 47 BB, 104.2 IP
Honorable Mentions - Jason Bahr (San Jose, Augusta), Jake Wong (Salem-Keizer)
Webb’s innings were limited as he came back from injury, but it worked for him. He was dominant in San Jose, although he was just okay in Richmond later in the season.
LH Starter - John Gavin (San Jose, Augusta) - 2.87 ERA, 139 SO, 47 BB, 122.1 IP
Honorable Mentions - Seth Corry (Salem-Keizer, Augusta)
Gavin was one of Augusta’s first half dominators, as the Bay Area native earned a promotion to San Jose late in the season.
Reliever - Jesus Tona (Salem-Keizer) - 0.87 ERA, 51 SO, 8 BB, 31 IP
Honorable Mentions - Ray Black (Sacramento, Richmond), Tyler Rogers (Sacramento)
Tona dominated the NWL in relief for the Volcanoes, only getting 12 saves but impressing for a player in his first full season as a pitcher.
Top Prospects by Position
Rankings will come in the future, even though I’m not the biggest fan of them. But one thing that’s worth thinking about is who the top prospects are at each position. It might give us an idea of what might be coming in the future. Again, these picks are arbitrary and my own. Feel free to rip me to shreds in the comments.
C - Joey Bart - Well, duh. There’s an interesting amount of depth here at the lower levels, however, and Aramis Garcia retains his prospect status at the highest level.
1B - Wander Franco - Honestly, the better 1B prospects might be players who currently play more at other positions, like Ryder Jones or even Chris Shaw.
2B - Jalen Miller - Miller still has some growth potential, which nudges him ahead of Miguel Gomez. There’s not a lot of top prospects at this spot, nor a lot of shortstops who might end up here.
3B - Yorlis Rodriguez - 3rd base is an interesting spot of bloodlines and potential, with Jacob Gonzalez and Luis Toribio neck-and-neck as well. Rodriguez gets it with a combination of potential and performance so far.
SS - Ryan Howard - This is probably the Giants’ shallowest position, as even Howard isn’t a pure shortstop himself.
RF - Mac Williamson - 10 at-bats short of losing his rookie status, I’m still a big fan of the changes he has made. Hopefully he can come back from his concussion syndrome.
CF - Heliot Ramos - Two of the Giants most talented players are both CF. Ramos gets the nod over Alexander Canario here. Either, or both, could move to RF in the future, though.
LF - Chris Shaw - Though strikeouts are still an issue, no prospect has more power potential than Shaw.
SP - Sean Hjelle - The Giants’ system remains short on starting pitching, with a lot of question marks. Hjelle gets my nod for his incomparable physical gifts and control, but Logan Webb could easily be here, too.
RP - Ray Black - 100 miles per hour and strikeouts are awesome, even if there are some scattered home runs he is providing the power for.
Team Postseason Awards
We’re not the only one handing out season-ending awards. The affiliates are as well. Not all of them, but hey, I’ve got two for you.
In Richmond, Ryan Howard took the top award. Here you go in bullet for, or click here for the story.
- Team MVP - Ryan Howard
- Pitcher of the Year - Dillon McNamara
- Community Service Award - Dan Slania
- Puritan Cleaners Dirtiest Squirrel of the Year - Matt Lipka (I have to admit, creative sponsorship for a cleaner. Nope, it’s not a Tide Ad.)
San Jose posted their picks with videos on Twitter. I’m about to make your web browser cry, I’m sorry:
Congratulations to Wander Franco for winning Bubba Burger Offensive Player of the Year! pic.twitter.com/yu69GPtb69— San Jose Giants (@SJGiants) September 2, 2018
Oh, and finally, how about GPT’s picks:
The Giants minor league season ended yesterday.— GPT (@giantsprospects) September 4, 2018
Best Hitter: OF Heath Quinn
Best Hitter (short season): C Joey Bart
Most Improved Hitter: 2B Jalen Miller
Best Pitcher: RHP Shaun Anderson
Best Pitcher (short season): RHP Luis Moreno
Most Improved Pitcher: RHP Logan Webb
(Click through and read the thread for more names that had good years)
Just In Time - A Season Debut!
Well, a debut for the Giants organization.
Juan De Paula made a Giant first impression during his first start for @GreenJackets while #Angels RHP Griffin Canning settled in with his second scoreless Triple-A start for @SaltLakeBees. More from Sunday: https://t.co/4ZYAG0DrHX pic.twitter.com/jNoLBysKfC— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) September 3, 2018
Juan De Paula, the younger prospect in the Andrew McCutchen deal, got pushed from Short-A ball up to Low-A ball, and looked good. 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 71 pitches.
Granted, this is late in the season in games that mean very little, possibly against a number of other called-up players that might be fading in the late season. But hey, feeling good about additions to the farm system is a nice thing. De Paula will be interesting to watch in Augusta next season.
Obscure Rules and Joey Bart
Did you want to know about an obscure rule? Of course you do! Check this out about having enough qualified PAs to qualify for the league lead in the various averages…and how it helps Joey Bart lead the NWL in slugging percentage!
It's MiLB rule 9.22a time, folks! The rule dictates that a player who did not have the PAs to qualify for a league lead in AVG, OBP or SLG could still be deemed the league leader if he would have led even after going 0-for over the remaining PAs. This year's benefiting players: pic.twitter.com/KzSjThUmZz— Sam Dykstra (@SamDykstraMiLB) September 4, 2018
A Nice Story About Wander Franco…
No, not that one. Wait, not that one either! Yeah, if you didn’t realize it, there is a third Wander Franco, one who isn’t a Giant, and he’s probably the most talented of them.
.@RaysBaseball may be grooming the next teenage phenom in Wander Franco, 17. You might know his father, Wander, or his brothers, Wander and Wander. His teammates call him “Patrón.” He’s also known as the “boss man.” Here’s why:https://t.co/XHFKDo58RQ pic.twitter.com/o6h3jneZR0— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) September 5, 2018
(There’s actually four of them, if you count their father…)
The Tricky League
Last week, I posted a story about the DSL. Not to be outdone, here’s one more by The Athletic, if you have a subscription.
The more I'm around baseball, the more I realize how much I don't know. There's a whole different rung of the minor leagues I didn't know about. The Tricky League. I learned about it -- and the tricky history of the name -- in my trip to https://t.co/pdODmZrIgZ pic.twitter.com/EHhLWh4rj3— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) September 4, 2018
A Little Site News For The Offseason
Was that big enough to catch your eye? No? Okay, then, hold on...
THE 2019 COMMUNITY PROSPECT LIST - DETAILS BELOW
So, there’s a big change for the CPL this offseason. Free F.P. #14 has done an amazing job running the CPLs the past few years, but it’s a lot of work. So this year, Roger and I will take it over, and the posts will be a part of the main feed.
We have ideas that will keep the polls near the top of the page to be easy to find while active, and a container to easily organize all the polls and threads. It’s not all finalized yet, but it will be by the time the Winter Meetings role around. We’ll plan to start not long after the Rule 5 Draft, as we did in the past.
I hope that even with the change, we can count on everyone joining in again this year. This year’s prospect list could be much more interesting than last year’s....perhaps.
As we wrap up this season, let’s finish it up on a note somewhat somber, but one well-worth reading. Hopefully something that will put this thing that we cheer for and complain about in a little perspective and something that I’ve come to realize over the years. It’s why I’ve mellowed from my *ahem* brutal tone over the years, and become soft (as I’ve been accused).
But never forget what it is we are watching more often than not. Click this tweet and read the thread…
On the final day of the minor league regular season for most everyone (I'm looking at you Pioneer League), a reminder of something to remember. For many minor leaguers, today is the final game of their careers.— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) September 3, 2018
Now…I’m off to go finish this damn book I’ve been writing for too long. But I’ll find other things to write in the offseason…
Oh, screw it. This is what we’re walking off on.