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They Might Be Giants

SF Giants Prospect Roundup - Injuries and Resurrections

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Joey Bart goes down, but a few old names are on the rise

Prospect Roundup Cover Image Kevin J. Cunningham

It’s been a quiet week on the system (don’t even look into that doubleheader that Richmond had), so let’s kick things off with the grandson of a hall of famer covering some serious range in the Sacramento outfield.

A Broken Hand Derails Joey Bart

Obviously, the big news of the week was that #1 prospect Joey Bart had his hand broken by a pitch that hit it on Monday, April 15th. Here’s the pitch that broke his hand, notably not even called a HBP by the umpire. The fracture specifically is in his second metacarpal of his left hand.

The diagnosis is pretty straightforward. He’ll be in a cast for a couple of weeks (so he’s almost halfway through that), and then will be re-evaluated. The initial estimates is that he will be out four to six weeks.

Giants fans have had to deal with their history of broken hands this decade. Last season, Evan Longoria broke his fifth metacarpal on his left hand on June 14th. He began his rehab assignment on July 20th and returned on July 26th, exactly six weeks after his injury. Madison Bumgarner also broke his fifth metacarpal on his left hand last season, having it broken on March 23rd and returning to the Majors June 5th, a little more than 10 weeks for the pitcher.

In 2017, Christian Arroyo had his third metacarpal broken on July 2nd, 2017, and he missed the rest of the season, although his break was initially described as “really broken” by Bochy, something Bart has avoided. And of course, Brandon Belt has had various hand and wrist issues, missing about 7 weeks in 2011 with a hairline fracture of his wrist, and nearly 9 weeks in 2014 with a broken thumb.

It’s hard to make direct comparisons between Bart, a catcher, and any of these other injuries, but the best thing is that for almost all of them, they returned to full health relatively quickly and began performing again. So hopefully, for Bart, we’ll see him back right around the start of June or soon thereafter. But the most optimistic timelines of his advancement, particularly those predicting he’ll be in the Majors by the end of the season, should be tempered. While he should come back relatively fast, missing nearly two months is a lot, especially in Single-A.

Regardless, here’s a speedy recovery and a lack of lasting effects. Heaven knows Giants fans have high hopes for the young man.

More Injury News - Ray Black

Ray Black is back on the IL, getting lifted in his last game after throwing a pitch in the dirt on Thursday. But the diagnosis of a Pronator Strain is pretty much as far from what some fear most for the Tommy John survivor. As Baggarly says above, he’ll be shut down for 7-10 days, and begin working to return.

Ray Black is electrifying, at least when he’s healthy, and a big part of the bullpen plans for the future. If the Giants do move forward with some trades from their bullpen, one would have to think that Black is part of the depth that would motivate such a move. Hopefully, if his injury is not serious, it allows the Giants to make such a move.

Looking Ahead To The Draft

Fangraphs updated “The Board”, their draft prospect rankings, which allows us a new kind of peek at the draft. As opposed to other draft rankings, such as MLB Prospect Watch, Fangraphs has short scouting reports but does have a “Future Value” ranking on a 20-80 scale.

There is only one ranking of 60, the consensus top pick, catcher Adley Rutschman. Behind that are eight players with a 50 ranking, filling out the top nine picks.

The Giants, naturally, draft at #10.

Now, with nearly two months until the draft, draft rankings may change. And even if they don’t, it’s very possible a team ahead of the Giants will have a draft board that differs. But it is a very Giantsy thing to sit just on the lower end of the verge of a draft tier. But hey, I need to fill some space, and it was a weird week, so I have five names that interest me and could interest the Giants at that #10 spot.

  • Hunter Bishop, LF, Arizona State - He ranks 9 on Fangraphs, 8 on BA, and doesn’t rank on MLB’s. He plays center but is likely to head to a corner, has very good speed, but now is showing the ability to hit, and is having a bonkers season, which makes him a late riser. He is a left-handed power hitter, which is cruel in SF, but if he does fall, the Giants should find their next Hunter here.
  • Matthew Allan, RHP, Seminole HS (FL) - One of the original highest ranking players, and still considered one of the top high school pitchers. He would be almost too much of a throwback to past Giants top picks, with a live fastball that has control issues, but he would strengthen a weak pitching farm.
  • J.J. Bleday, OF, Vanderbilt - Both the Giants and Zaidi’s Dodgers have gone to the Vanderbilt well, and Bleday checks off the Cape Cod League box. Bleday is another left-handed hitter, and has the range and arm that fits AT&T Park’s right field.
  • George Kirby, RHP, Elon - A small school RHP with a fastball in the mid-nineties touching 97, Kriby has been trending up on draft boards. His secondary offerings need to be sharper, but he’s got a starter potential all over him.
  • Maurice Hampton, CF, Memphis University HS, (TN) - A 70-speed center fielder who divides scouts, ranking #15 on Fangraphs, #27 on MLB and #32 on BA. He is a 2-sport star, but has both speed and power, and if any outfielder has a ceiling that the current layout of Oracle Park plays for, he could be it.

Resurrections

This week highlighted what looks like the resurrections of two older prospects that have had a bad 2018 into a hopeful 2019.

Mac Williamson is on a mini-tear, with a 6-game hitting streak, and three straight with multiple hits. While the season is still young, the recently DFA’d outfielder is now batting .341/.364/.537 in 10 games at Sacramento, with two doubles and two home runs. It’s not the hottest that we’ve seen from Mac, but he’s looking more like that Mac that dominated in April of 2018 and forced a promotion, than the Mac that finished 2018 after a concussion.

Meanwhile, Tyler Beede escaped the troubles his team has faced against Las Vegas, and finished this week with five shutout innings against Salt Lake. The first round pick from 2014 now has 28 strikeouts and eight walks in 17.2 innings, and just a .180 batting average allowed. This is an extremely different Beede than the one that had a 7.05 ERA in Triple-A last season.

GPT gives us an interesting overlay of Beede’s fastball and changeup, which is a good example of tunneling.

Now, this is all a very, very small sample size. We aren’t even through April, and Williamson himself got a late start in the wait to see if another team would claim him. But it’s a nice sign for both of them that they were not showing false sides of themselves either last spring or this one.

They both need to keep it up to be considered a part of the Giants future once again, and not just two players that missed their chances. But in a season that needs to show hope, these two are showing some.

Top Prospect Updates

Joey Bart

Season: 10-for-37, 7 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 3 BB, 6 SO, 0 SB, 1 CS - .270/.341/.541

Still Injured :(

Heliot Ramos

Week: 6-for-20, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 4 BB, 6 SO, 1 SB, 1 CS, 2 HBP - .300/.461/.500

Season: 13-for-54, 10 R, 3 2B, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 13 BB, 17 SO, 2 SB, 2 CS - .241/.408/.519

Ramos may have been a little jinxed in regards to the strikeouts he was keeping down, but all-in-all, it wasn’t a bad week for him. The batting average isn’t great, but the other numbers are.

Shaun Anderson

Week: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO, 1 HR - 3.60 ERA, 1.20 WHIP

Season: 13.0 IP, 14 H, 9 R, 7 ER, 15 SO, 3 BB, 2 HR - 4.85 ERA, 1.31 WHIP

Anderson is trending upwards, with a solid if short start this week. Anderson isn’t the best starter in Sacramento right now, but he still has a good ceiling.

Logan Webb

Week: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER,1 BB, 4 SO, 1 HR - 6.00 ERA, 1.33 WHIP

Season: 16.0 IP, 14 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 6 BB, 12 SO, 1 HR - 2.81 ERA, 1.25 WHIP

Webb took a tough start against Hartford. The strikeouts have not quite been there yet (he had 100 in 104.2 IP last season), but he can still keep runs away from the scoreboard.

Jake Wong

Week: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO - 1.80 ERA, 0.60 WHIP

Season: 10.2 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 11 SO, 1 HBP - 4.22 ERA, 1.13 WHIP

Wong, still overcoming a difficult first start, had his best start of the young season. He’s not overwhelming, but he will soon have numbers that will look good in Augusta.

Sean Hjelle

Week: 10.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 10 SO, 1 HR - 2.53 ERA, 0.75 WHIP

Season: 19.2 IP, 17 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 19 SO, 1 HR - 2.75 ERA, 1.02 WHIP

The Tall Man continues to do well this season. His strikeout rate isn’t the most overwhelming, but he’s not hurting himself with walks and he’s got an excellent WHIP.

Henry Ramos

Week: 6-for-20, 4 R, 4 HR, 6 RBI, 1 BB, 4 SO - .300/.333/.900

Season: 15-for-56, 9 R, 2 2B, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 3 BB, 13 SO - .268/.305/.518

Ramos had a big week in the home run column, with all of them coming in three games in a row late in the week.

Chris Shaw

Week: 6-for-17, 4 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 1 SO - .353/.421/.706

Season: 10-for-36, 5 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 5 BB, 6 SO - .278/.381/.528

Shaw had a quiet week for such a good week, piecing together a series of extra base hits. Also, perhaps more importantly, Shaw is keeping the strikeouts down, notable after posting 125+ strikeouts each of the last three seasons.

Solomon Bates

Week: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 9 SO - 3.38 ERA, 0.94 WHIP

Season: 11.0 IP, 13 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 16 SO - 3.27 ERA, 1.18 WHIP

Working out of Augusta’s bullpen, Bates is putting together an interesting season. He’s given up a share of hits, but he has an impressive strikeout rate, and an even more impressive walk rate of zero.

Sunday’s Lines

Sacramento Litter Box

  • Tyler Beede had another good start, five shutout innings with 6 strikeouts and one walk. That gives him 34 strikeouts in 22.2 innings with nine walks this season.
  • Abiatal Avelino used to hit in the leadoff spot for the River Cats. Now, he has been moved to the ninth spot, and collected three hits today, and the key RBI for the River Cats.

Everyone else was off for Easter Sunday

The Wrap-Up:

Let’s finish this with something light-hearted…Richmond’s weirdest giveaway yet.

Wow. Um…you know, I’m pretty happy I didn’t get that one. I bet it would itch.