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They Might Be Giants

SF Giants Prospect Roundup: The Dominican Summer League Begins It’s 2019 Season

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Prospect Roundup Cover Image Kevin J. Cunningham

The Dominican Summer League Begins

The Giants spent big money in the July 2nd International Signing period last season, so…what can you expect out of the Dominican Summer League team this year?

Well, not so much.

Marco Luciano and Jairo Pomares, two Top 10-ranked signings, appear to be headed to the Arizona Summer League this year, where the former will be one of the youngest players in that circuit. (Pomares is 18, coming out of Cuba.)

The result is a Dominican Summer League team that is missing notable prospects, and a large heaping of brand new signees we know next to nothing about.

Pitchers
New - 12: Jason Bonilla (20 years old), Marvin Brown (18), Luis Castillo (16), Albenis Chango (19), Odue Civada (17), Robinson Escobar (20), Jorge Garcia (17), Melvin Marte (18), Jose Mullings (19), Aaron Peniche (19), Jose Perez (18), Anthony Torres (17).
Returning - 5: Cristian Acosta (19 years old, 2.81 2018 ERA) Rafael Martinez (19, 3.00 2018 ERA), Samuel Quintana (18, 4.74 2018 ERA), Yoniel Ramirez (18, 1.50 2018 ERA), Willian Suarez (21, 13.50 2018 ERA).

Catchers
New - 3: Ronaldo Flores (17 years old), Eduardo Jaramillo (17), Rayner Santana (16)
Returning - 1: Omar Medina (19, .707 2018 OPS)

Infielders
New - 3: Nelson Martin (17 years old), Roberto Monegro (17), Diego Verbel (16)
Returning - 1: Jose Peralta (17 years old, .618 2018 OPS)

Outfielders
New - 6: Victor Bericoto (17 years old), Carlos Cuevas (17), Jesus Liscano (18), Luis Matos (17), Alexander Suarez (17), Adolfo Valdez (19)
Returning - 3: Robert Gomez (18 years old, .564 2018 OPS), Jose Hernandez (19, .531 2018 OPS), Yohan Polanco (18, .524 2018 OPS)

The first thing you notice about this team is that it has a lot of new players. There’s always a share of new signees from the previous signing period, but this is as extreme a group as I’ve seen in recent memory. I included some basic stats for the returnees, but of course baseball among teens in the DSL is a very different thing, so judgments shouldn’t be laid on those stats.

Second is that number of infielders, only four healthy ones. Also, notably, each is listed as either a SS or a 2B. A lot of players shuffle around the field in the minors, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see outfielders or even one or two of the catchers getting time at first base or even third.

The top expected prospect is easily Luis Matos, the third of the three big prospects signed in the July 2nd period from last year. He was 27th on MLB’s prospect list for the signing period, and 37th by Baseball America. That’s not exactly Luciano potential, but it’s something. That said, this is the DSL. You never know what you’ll see come out of these leagues. Alexander Canario was a pretty unheralded guy when he signed. Luis Toribio came out of nowhere.

All this aside, how should you read these young players and their box scores this summer? @giantsprospects sums it up as well as anyone:

We can come back and look at those in September to really see how they do. But these are (mostly) teens who are very raw that are just beginning their baseball journey. Scouting reports are better reads than stats, and as we see them, we’ll share them. But often this will be your first glimpse of some real prospects. Pablo Sandoval came out of the DSL as an intriguing catcher. Reyes Moronta had kinda nice, kinda ‘eh’ numbers as a reliever coming out of the DSL. But it’s where they both started.

Who’s next?

The Draft is Here…

We’ve talked a lot about the draft these past few weeks, so I won’t eat up too much of your time talking further. But let’s take a look at some last minute rumors.

Let’s ignore the craziness that would be Baltimore not taking Adley Rutschman…nothing from that will affect the Giants, even if the Orioles are crazy enough to do that…which they are. Seriously.

But let’s touch on Keoni Cavaco, who is such the helium balloon of this draft that if I ever see him interviewed I expect a crazy squeaky high voice to come out of him. Two months ago, I was hoping he’d slip to the Giants at 51, but thinking he would go in the lat 30’s to early 40’s. In mock drafts this week, he’s suddenly getting pushed so high that he’s being mentioned with the Giants at #10.

The quick blurb on Cavaco: He’s a right handed third baseman with power and speed, mostly known early for the former, but has risen with reports of showing off great speed lately. He’s also got all the tools to be a plus defender at third, and possibly be able to play shortstop. There are some questions about being able to hit enough to tap the power. He wasn’t a part of the usual summer high school scouting, which is why he’s had the late emergence.

Would the Giants take him? Well, A, it’s not like anyone knows with the new front office. But he brings a tantalizing ceiling over some risk, but legitimate tools. He’d be in for a longer development span, probably on a timeline just a tad faster than Marco Luciano. But he’s also got a far higher possibility of being a bust, or falling far short of his ceiling, than a lot of names the Giants are looking at.

As for my feeling…I like this risk. That said, if Hunter Bishop makes it to #10 (and recent mocks are suggesting he could), I think the Giants should take him, no question. And if he’s gone, I’d waffle between Cavaco and pitcher Jackson Rutledge as the second option I’d go for. I’m leaning Rutledge as I write this…but ask me again at draft time.

Alek Manoah Draft Comparison….oof

Yeah…maybe you shouldn’t read that.

Looking Ahead to 2020

Blaze Jordan is a hell of a baseball name, even if he doesn’t run like I’d expect a Blaze to.

I don’t know that he’s the #1 overall pick in 2020, and if he is, I doubt the Giants will get there…but next year’s draft will certainly be another high draft pick, probably higher than this year’s. And hey, that’s worth looking forward to, right?

Goodbye to Mac

Mac Williamson cleared waivers for the second time this season. Since it was his second time, he got a choice over his fate…and he chose free agency. I don’t blame him.

I hate to see him go. I was really rooting for him, and he had a lot of people believing in him after last season, even with the concussion that turned things the wrong way for him.

I wish him luck on his next stop. I hope he can be more than what he got to be with the Giants.

Further Listening

There’s always great stories up and down the farm system, from guys who are long shots to make the Majors. I loved this one from Randy Norris, in an interview with San Jose’s Joe Ritzo.

And speaking of stories, here’s a nice story on Jeffry Parra and the things he’s gone through to become a GreenJackets catcher and an important member of the clubhouse.

And if you weren’t up early watching the Giants’ pregame, here’s Dalton Johnson talking Giants prospects…but not Bart in this video, despite the description.

Top Prospect Updates

Heliot Ramos

Week: 8-for-22, 3 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 7 SO, 1 CS, .364/.416/.636
Season: 25-for-85, 15 R, 5 2B, 7 HR, 14 RBI, 16 BB, 27 SO, 2 SB, 3 CS, .294/.421/.600

Yay, Heliot’s back! Ramos had no rust to shake off in his return, looking as hot as ever. The strikeouts aren’t great, but it’s hard to argue with the contact.

Jake Wong

Week: 12.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 10 SO, 1 HR, 2.25 ERA, 0.83 WHIP
Season (Overall): 56.2 IP, 39 H, 18 R, 16 ER, 3 HR, 2 HBP, 16 BB, 50 SO, 2.54 ERA, 0.97 WHIP

A good week for Wong, who was a tad higher than desired on walks but generally did well. He picked up two wins on the week and is adjusting to San Jose nicely.

Sean Hjelle

Week: 5.0 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO, 7.20 ERA, 2.20 WHIP
Season (Overall): 51.2 IP, 55 H, 24 R, 17 ER, 3 HR, 2 HB, 12 BB, 54 SO, 2.96 ERA, 1.30 WHIP

On the other hand, a big ouch for Hjelle, giving up a ton of hits this week. Hopefully, he can shake this week’s start off.

Aaron Phillips

Week: 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 SO, 0.00 ERA, 0.33 WHIP
Season: 43.2 IP, 39 H, 21 R, 21 ER, 7 HR, 1 HBP, 19 BB, 37 SO, 4.33 ERA, 1.33 WHIP

Phillips gets a nod not just for a great game in its own, but for outdueling one of the Rockies top prospects, former first round pick Ryan Rolison for that game. Phillips rose to the occasion, and that’s good.

Mike Gerber

Week: 9-for-22, 7 R, 3 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 5 BB, 4 SO, .409/.535/.818
Season (MiLB): 60-for-171, 33 R, 60 H, 18 2B, 1 3B, 12 HR, 36 RBI, 52 SO, 1 SB, 2 CS, .351/.423/.678

Maybe Mike Gerber is this season’s Mac Williamson, especially after his poor stint in the Majors, but damn, those numbers are good. (But how can you judge in Triple-A)

Frankie Tostado

Week: 9-for-25, 5 R, 0 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 1 BB, 2 SO, .360/.384/.920
Season: 54-for-203, 30 R, 11 2B, 1 3B, 10 HR, 37 RBI, 13 BB, 50 SO, .266/.312/.478

And in the non-Triple-A division, Frankie Tostado is really showing off what he can do. The 19th round pick from 2017 is definitely showing power in a non-power league.

Sunday’s Lines

Sacramento Litter Box

  • Mike Gerber’s two hits extended an 8-game hitting streak. Gerber is 15-for-31 with five home runs during the streak.
  • Zach Green hit his ninth home run of the season, and fifth of the last nine games.
  • Chris Shaw had three strikeouts in his second game at the Triple-A level this season. He’s 0-for-8 with four strikeouts since his callup.
  • Ty Blach allowed just one earned run for the first time since April 24th, and matched a season high with six strikeouts. His ERA dropped from 5.96 to 5.54.
  • Tyler Rogers had his worst game of the season, giving up four doubles in his outing, leading to three runs.

Richmond Nuthouse

  • Brandon Van Horn led the team with a pair of hits out of the team’s four. He got his second double with Richmond, and sixth on the season across all levels.
  • Jacob Heyward collected his seventh double of the season, and third in the last four games.
  • Coming off his best game of the season, Lawson’s strikeouts dropped away, and he had a season-high with three walks.

San Jose Footprints

  • This wasn’t a good game for San Jose. They only got four hits, and three came from hitters under the Mendoza line.
  • Manuel Geraldo got one of those hits, but also picked up a strikeout. He has seven strikeouts over his last five games.
  • Heliot Ramos’ hitting streak of eight games was broken, dating back to before his injury. He did draw a walk, while striking out twice. He has 27 strikeouts against 16 walks.
  • John Gavin had his worst start of the season, by far. His nine hits and eight earned runs were well above his past highs, and his ERA shot up from 3.82 to 5.30.

Augusta Putt-putt Course

  • Frankie Tostado hit his 10th home run of the season, and fourth of the last six days.
  • Jacob Gonzalez collected two hits, raising his batting average to .223 from .217. Gonzalez is batting 10-for-39 (.256) over his last ten games.
  • Diego Rincones had an interesting day. In his first at-bat, he struck out, but advanced to first on a wild pitch, and went to second on a throwing error by the catcher. But he was replaced in the fourth inning by a pinch hitter, for his next at-bat.
  • Mikey Edie replaced Rincones, and had a perfect day on-base, going 2-for-2 with a walk.
  • Seth Corry gave up a pair of unearned runs, but had his first games without earned runs since opening the season with three straight.

Dominican Beach

The DSL Giants had their usual day off.

The Wrap-Up:

I hope you’re tuning in later today.

I’m a little disturbed by the lack of Giants drafts on that list, but I’m okay with name #6…and that absolutely insane lead in WAR he has on everyone else.