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Wednesday, February 05, 2014

GBB's 2014 Giants Top-20 Prospects: 1-10

In Saturday's post, we listed the Giants top-20 prospects, numbers 11-20, as we see them entering the 2014 season. Today, we'll finish off the list with numbers 1-10.

10) Martin Agosta, RHP: When the Giants drafted him, Agosta reminded me a bit of Tim Lincecum. He's slender with incredible stuff and the only reason he's not ranked higher is because his best role is still a bit undetermined. Right now, he looks like he's going to be solid in whatever role the Giants decide on using him in, starter or reliever. He had his way with Low-A hitters last season, allowing just 57 hits in 91 innings, but he'll be 23 in April and still has some command issues to work out. Should start off in San Jose though could be in Fresno before season's end. Just curious to see whether it's as a starter or reliever.

2013: 18 G, 91 IP, 9-3, 2.06 ERA, 57 H, 43 BB, 109 K, 1.09 WHIP (Low-A Augusta)

9) Andrew Sussac, C: Sussac is one of the rare Giants' hitters who had more success in the AA Eastern League than in the California League, and it wasn't even close. He saw his power really come around, and all his numbers at the plate trend upwards despite playing in the more advanced league where potential impact bats often go to die (see Gary Brown). I had my doubts about the 23 year-old after the sub-par 2012 showing, but 2013 definitely made me a believer. His skills behind the plate are already advanced for his age, and as long as his hitting continues improve, he could jump into the top-5 next year.

2013: 262 AB, 67 H, 32 R, .256 AVG., 12 HR, 46 RBI .820 OPS

8) Calyton Blackburn, RHP: I've always been a big fan of Blackburn's, and it's hard for me not to place him a few slots higher. Although his success at the lower levels points toward a solid future, he doesn't quite have the upside as the arms higher than him on this list. He was in my top-3 just a year ago, and another big season at a higher level could put the 21 year-old right back in the fold. He's got decent stuff and knows how to pitch, but there's some question as to how much better he's going to get. Crick, Escobar, Mejia and Stratton all project hugher at this point, but Blackburn certainly has the makeup to become a quality back-end starter at the next level.

2013: 23 G, 133 IP, 7-5, 3.65 ERA, 111 H, 35 BB, 138 K, 1.09 WHIP (A San Jose)

7) Ty Blach, LHP: The young lefty did nothing but impress in his first full year of pro ball last summer, in the hitter-friendly California League no less. At age 23 and with the collegiate experience he's had, he's a good candidate to move quickly through the system and should start 2014 in AA Richmond. He's got that smooth left-handed delivery that is easy to repeat and has terrific command because of it. He won the 2013 MiLBY Award for best starting pitcher in the minor leagues. Has a bit of a Noah Lowry-type arsenal with his fastball-changeup combo as his bread and butter and could have a similar upside as Lowry should he fulfill his potential.

2013: 22 G, 130 IP, 12-4, 2.90 ERA, 124 H, 18 BB, 117 K, 1.09 WHIP (A San Jose)

6) Christian Arroyo, SS: The Giants surprised a lot of people by taking Arroyo with their top pick in the 2013 draft, a round or two ahead of where he was projected, but there's no questioning the kids talent. His bat is what got him drafted as high as he was, as he's likely the brightest young offensive talent they've taken since taking Posey in 2008 (Gary Brown just hasn't panned out). His defense at short is average, as lacks elite range. He's got a strong arm though and is certainly capable at short, but likely is projected out as a better 2nd basemen at the big league level. It wouldn't surprise me if next year's list has Arroyo in the top-3.

2013: 184 AB, 60 H, .326 AVG, 47 R, 18 2B, 5 3B, 2 HR, 3 SB .898 OPS (Rookie League)

5) Chris Stratton, RHP: After a concussion forced his first pro season to end prematurely, we were able to get a much more in-depth look at Stratton in 2013, and he was very much as advertised. He's very efficient with stuff that grades out above average but he doesn't dominate or strike guys out at as high of rate as you'd think. One area I'd like to see him improve on in 2014 is his free passes. He's got all the tools though, and certainly appears to know how to pitch and approach hitters. Should start 2014 in San Jose, though his experience could make the 23 year-old a quick mover.

2013: 22 G, 132 IP, 9-3, 3.27 ERA, 128 H, 47 BB, 123 K, 1.32 WHIP (Low-A Augusta)

4) Mac Williamson, OF: This guy really looked like the real deal in 2013 in San Jose. Only thing with that is San Jose has been great to a lot of Giants prospects in recent years and they haven't always panned out upon advancing. Williamson will hope to stop that trend in 2014 though as the 23 year-old will look to continue his success in AA to begin 2014. His build and style of play almost remind me a bit of a poor man's Matt Holliday. If he could come anywhere close to that, the Giants will have themselves a valuable asset. At the very least, he becomes a 4th/5th outfielder bringing power off the bench (Johnny Gomes type).

2013: 520 AB, .292 AVG, 152 H, 94 R, 31 2B, 25 HR, 89 RBI, 10 SB, .879 OPS (A San Jose)

3) Adalberto Mejia, LHP: The 20 year-old has made a large climb in a short amount of time. He cracked MiLB's Giants top-20 list last season, his first in pro ball. This year, he's a consensus top-5 on all lists. He's got great command and although he won't blow away hitters with any particular pitch, he's got some deception to his throw and it makes him a tricky pickup at the plate. He kind of reminds me of Jonathan Sanchez, only with much better command. He should start the year off in San Jose, although he made it all the way up to Fresno for a start in 2013, so AA Richmond could be a realistic start point for the youngster. Expect his numbers to be impressive, no matter what level he's at though, as this kid looks like the real deal and a potential mid-rotation arm in the the near future.

2013: 17 G, 92 IP, 7-4, 3.33 ERA, 80 H, 25 BB, 91 K, 1.14 WHIP (A San Jose, AAA Fresno)

2) Edwin Escobar, LHP: Although I have huge expectations for Kyle Crick and still have him ranked at one, Edwin Escobar has quickly become my personal favorite prospect in the system. He's got a heater that reaches the mid-90's and sits around 93, a solid change and a swing-and-miss breaking ball that could use some refining, but looks like it will become a plus pitch. Most importantly, he's got solid command of all his stuff, and has displayed an uncanny ability of knowing the art of pitching for a 21 year-old. You know you have good stuff when you go 128 innings and have more K's than hits and walks combined. Look for him to start in AAA, and possibly be at the top of the list should of the the Giants starting five go down at some point in 2014.

2013: 26 G, 128 IP, 8-8, 2.80 ERA, 112 H, 30 BB, 146 K, 1.10 WHIP (A San Jose, AA Richmond)

1) Kyle Crick, RHP: The big right-hander has A+ stuff, but his command has held him down just a bit early in his professional career. He's good enough to overcome the slight command issue though, and I'm expecting 2014 to be a big year for the 21 year-old Texan. He's built a lot like Matt Cain, and resembles his delivery a bit, but his stuff reminds me more of a Jason Schmidt-type. He's got that hard breaking ball, and the fastball that comes out of his hand so easily and sits in the mid-90's with consistency. After posting a 2.51 ERA in Augusta in '12, he dropped it down to a ridiculous 1.57 in San Jose last year. He's the next big thing expected from a farm system that's produced some pretty great arms over the last several years. Look for him to start in Richmond, or at least spend most of 2014 there.

2013: 14 G, 68 IP, 3-1, 1.57 ERA, 48 H, 39 BB, 95 K, 1.26 WHIP (A San Jose)
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 12:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Pretty good list. How I'd probably have the top-10, but I'd swap Blackburn and Stratton.

  • At 1:07 PM, Anonymous Jason Billingsley said…

    No Heath Hembree? I would have had him in the top-10 for sure. I think he'll push Romo for the closers job this summer...


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