OF Scouting Reports

June 30, 2008

Two scouting reports of signed draftees courtesy of Baseball America:

OF Ryan Mantle, 19th round:

Outfielder Ryan Mantle has the most intriguing bloodlines in the state, as he’s a third cousin of Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle. Ryan piques the interest of scouts with his athleticism as well. He’s a 6-foot-3, 205-pounder with power, speed and arm strength, but his tools never have translated into performance and he’s still susceptible to breaking pitches. A redshirt junior, Mantle was passed over despite being eligible for the last two drafts.

OF Damon Wright, 25th round:

Dartmouth center fielder Damon Wright is a good athlete who had his best year offensively as a senior, batting .397/.466/.682 with nine homers and 39 RBIs. He’s got occasional power and average speed, but his swing is long and his approach is suspect, despite an 18-17 BB-K ratio in 151 at-bats this spring.


Injury Reports

June 30, 2008

According to the Statesman Journal, Caleb Curry has sustained some sort of injury and Michael Ambort has reinjured his previously injured arm. Ambort’s injury is supposed to be minor, as he was available to play last night. No word on Curry’s however.

A couple of days ago, I had linked a scouting report of Caleb Curry from PG Crosschecker. Here’s a short one from BA:

Caleb Curry stole an Iowa-record 45 bases as a senior, ranking third nationally in that category entering NCAA regional play. He’s a plus runner with good instincts on the bases and in center field, and he also gets the job done at second base. Though he’s just 6 feet and 175 pounds, he has a little pop and isn’t just a slap hitter.

In non-Volcano news, San Jose Catcher Elio Sarmiento was demoted to Augusta presumably to make room for Jackson Williams. Elio was an unheralded international signee and I’ve never read a scouting report on him. He’s always been young for the league he’s been assigned to which tells me that the Giants think highly of his catching ability. I saw him in person, and he seemed to be solid defensively behind the plate. He threw out a runner at second, but the runner also seemed to have gotten a bad jump. He might be destined to be a roster filler. He’s been treated like one so far.


Minor Blog Notes

June 30, 2008

Some bits of housecleaning:

- I fiddled around with some of the doodads here so that posting comments will be easier. Thus far the blog has had only two, which– according to recent polls– is two more than I expected. Thanks! now I know my readership is not all spambots.

- I’ve been testing out some of the other WordPress templates for this blog. I like this one just fine, but it smacks too much of an OMG I JUST SAW SARAJ ESSICA PARKER BUYING A SQUASH!!!! HERES PIX!!!1!! kind of a blog. If you see new colors and a wider frame, breathe, center yourself and go to your happy place. Everything will be just gravy, baby.

- I’ve added some more links to the right. They are all quality and I visit them all regularly.

- Those of you who have been reading the blog for a while might remember that I’m currently back in the Bay Area visiting family and friends. What that means of course is that posting has been sporadic– especially since it seems my younger brother is taking internet downloading to new heights– and I apologize for that.

- But anyway, this is just a short state of the blog type deal. I will now slink back to my dark corner. But thanks for visiting! Take a load off and make yourself at home! Why not try the veal?


Prospect Watch 6/29/08

June 30, 2008

Fresno defeats Las Vegas 8-4.

2B Eugenio Velez: 0 for 3, 2 BB, 2 K (.315/.372/.503)
RF Nate Schierholtz: 2 for 5, 3B, K (.292/.343/.529)
1B Travis Ishikawa: 2 for 5, 2B, K (.323/.371/.677, 31 AB)
LF Matt Downs: 1 for 3, BB (.240/.269/.440, 25 AB)
SP Brad Hennessey: 8.1 IP, 7 H, HR, 3 BB, 6 K, 3 ER (5.12 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 58 IP)

Connecticut whomped Binghamton 14-5.

CF Antoan Richardson: 3 for 5, BB (.220/.345/.287, 23:4 SB:CS)
LF Eddy Martinez-Esteve: 4 for 6, 2B (.297/.386/.375)
C Adam Witter: 2 for 4, 2 BB (.211/.335/.339)

RF Ben Copeland: 4 for 6, K (.249/.329/.402)
Ben is hitting .390 in his last ten games. He is OPSing .768 on the road and .692 at home.

San Jose defeated Modesto 4-3.

SP Tim Alderson: 7 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 ER, 12/3 GO/AO
A dominant game for big Tim, as he lowers his season ERA to 3.13. His groundout ratio in this game is uncharacteristically high, as his season rate is a very even 1.11. Tim’s performance this season has been very impressive, especially when you remember that he is only 19 years old, the youngest player on his team. I still maintain my prediction for Tim as a solid #3 starter. I expect he will start at Connecticut next year, but the Giants have been known to fast track pitcher who are near their ceilings. If he continues to keep the ball down and strike out batters at a decent rate, you might see him in Connecticut at the end of the season. My personal preference would be for him to finish the year in San Jose and play all of next year in Connecticut. Because of his age, he’s got plenty of time to refine his curve ball into a more dominant pitch.

Augusta lost to Hickory 6-4.

2B Nick Noonan: 1 for 4, K (.301/.330/.452)
1B Angel Villalona: 2 for 4, K (.238/.292/.417)

SP Waldis Joaquin: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 ER
I approve of this decision to start Waldis and hopefully it’s a permanent decision rather than a spot start due to yesterday’s double-header. Waldis throw mid-90s heat with a hard slider. Waldis has been especially effective of late, striking out 20 batters over 14.1 innings in the month of June. I had joked last time about Waldis finding his control. If he has indeed managed to figure out how to control his great stuff, you will see him move quickly up the minors, maybe finishing his season in San Jose as a starter or Connecticut as a reliever.

Salem-Keizer defeated Everett 8-6.

LF Casey Bond: 2 for 3, 2 2B, BB, K (.260/.339/.429, 51 AB)
Casey (no relation to Brock) was drafted in the 25th round last year and spent the early part of this season in extended spring training. At 23 years old, he is old for the league.

RP Eric Stolp: 3 IP, 1 H, 3 K
Eric was drafted in 14th round of the 2006 draft. He works in the mid-90s, touching 96 with his fastball. His offspeed stuff is still raw, and he has problems controlling his pitches. He’s still got a long way to go and unfortunately, he’s already 23 years old so he doesn’t have much time.

The Giants lost to the Padres 9-3.

1B Craig Ziegler: 1 for 3, HR, BB (.407/.452/.889, 27 AB)

CF Wendell Fairley: 1 for 5, 2 E (.214/.273/.286, 28 AB)
I believe the phrase is raw as rain.

RP Mario Rodriguez: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 ER
A 19 year old LHP from the Dominican, Mario has spent the last few season in the DSL, putting up good numbers. It’s too early to make any judgments of course, but he’s on my list of players to watch.


Minor Survey: Fresno Pitchers

June 30, 2008

You’ve waited a long time for this. When I stated my intent to start a series of posts in which I ask probing questions, then answer those questions in a haughty and cavalier manner, you thought, “Yes, MY GOD, yes! Finally a series of posts I can get behind!” Well– *clears throat, adopts Darth voice*– You Shall Wait No Longer.

Fresno Pitchers

The strength of the San Francisco Giants farm system in recent years have been pitching. If you look at the pitchers on the major league roster, all but two members of the staff (Yabu and the 126 million dollar man) came through the farm. This year alone, Giants fans saw Merkin Valdez, Alex Hinshaw, and Billy Sadler lose their prospect status. Good news for San Francisco, but bad news for Fresno. The pitching graduations coupled with a couple of weak 2003-2005 drafts have led to a Fresno staff almost barren of pitching prospects. How exciting!

True Prospects

There are no true pitching prospects in Fresno at this time.

Fringe Prospects

SP Nick Pereira

A local kid from Fremont, Nick was drafted in the tenth round of the 2005 draft from USF. He was a middle infielder until his sophomore year, when he converted to pitching. On draft day, BA reported him as throwing a 92-93 mph sinker and a good slider. Recent scouting reports, however, indicate that he works in the 87-89 range, touching 90 on occasion. He still has his slider and has added a change and curve to his repertoire. In 2006 he had a breakout season at San Jose, and the Giants decided to promote him midseason to Fresno. At Fresno, Nick flopped. His walk rate jumped from 1.89 to 5.47, and his home run rate similarly soared from 0.11 to 1.14. What happened here? The likely answer is that the 92-93 mph sinker was a draft day mirage, and his high 80s fastball and offspeed stuff which dominated San Jose couldn’t cut it in Fresno.

Now it’s two years later, and Nick is back in Fresno. He is still allowing more than a hit an inning, but he has cut his walk rate to 3.76. If Nick can regain that mythical 92-93 mph sinker through a complicated ritual involving a live steer and mardi gras beads, then he has a chance to be a back of the rotation starter. The more likely scenario, however, is that he learns how to keep the ball down and continues to improve on his control. If that happens, he may be a #5 pitcher/ spot starter.

RP Geno Espineli

Geno was drafted in the 14th round of the 2004 draft. A 6’4 lefthander, he threw in the high 80s when he was a starter. He was converted exclusively to a reliever this season, and he has thrived in the role, lowering his walk rate and increasing his strikeout rate. Through 43.2 innings this season, he has not yet allowed a homerun. His improvements are all the more impressive when you consider that this is his first season in Fresno. What does the future hold for Geno? The knocks against him are his age (he will turn 26 in September) and his stuff. While I don’t think his 7.63 k/9 ratio will hold in the majors, I think his 2.21 GO/AO ratio will. If called up tomorrow, his role in the bullpen will be as a lefty specialist.

Next up, Connecticut hitters!


Prospect Watch 6/28/08

June 29, 2008

Fresno lost to Las Vegas 7-4.

CF Clay Timpner: 2 for 4, HR (.250/.316/.342)

RF Nate Schierholtz: 0 for 5 (.290/.342/.542)
– Nate’s been slumping in his last five games, hitting .194 in 31 AB’s. His line is still good, but not great when you consider that he is repeating the league.

1B Travis Ishikawa: 2 for 5, 3B, 2 K (.308/.367/.692, 26 AB)
– Travis has 6 strikeouts and 3 walks in 26 at bats.

LF-2B Matt Downs: 0 for 4 (.227/.227/.455, 22 AB)

Connecticut lost to Bimhamton 5-4.

RF Ben Copeland: 2 for 4, 2B
– Ben’s been hot, hitting .315/.360/.489 for the month of June. At 24 years old, he can’t afford to stall at a level. If he puts up a decent line this season, the Giants may consider him as a 4th’5th OF for next year’s team.

C Pablo Sandoval: 2 for 4, 2B (.267/313/.333, 15 AB)

SP Ben Snyder: 3.1 IP, 7 H, 1 BB, 4 K, 5 ER
– Ben’s first appearance in AA was lackluster. It’s still SSS, but I’m sticking to my projection that Ben will turn out to be a Pat Misch type pitcher, a 5th starter/ long reliever.

San Jose lost to Modesto 7-4.

LF Bobby Felmy: 2 for 2, 3B, 2 BB, CS (.287/.340/.388 )
-A 24 year old lefty in his first year in A+, Bobby seems to have lost his power this year. Last year in Augusta, he put up a .281/.348/.447 line. Unless he surprises everyone and has a breakout season, Bobby will be destined to be a roster filler in his future.

DH Andy D’Alessio: 2 for 4, BB, K (.300/.350/.502)
-Andy’s got the power, but he’s also struck out 83 times in 70 games. He will turn 24 in September. He’s the type of player that will stall in AA.

CF Mike McBryde: 3 for 3 (.275/.367/.369)
Mike has 24 stolen bases on the season with a 75% success rate. A good base stealer with a decent on base mark is a valuable bench player to have around. If he can hit at AA next year, Mike may find himself in the majors in a couple of years. The lack of power, however, may spell doom for him in the upper minors.

SP Jesse English: 5.1 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 ER (2.45 ERA, 1.15 WHIP)

Augusta swept its doubleheader with Hickory, winning the first game 6-3 and the second game 9-1.

SS Charlie Culberson (combined): 4 for 7, 2 E (28 ) (.232/.280/.316)
– Charlie continues his good June, and unfortunately also continues to make errors at an alarming rate.

SP Madison Bumgarner: 5 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 ER (1.77 ERA, 0.97 WHIP)
– I’ve been spoiled by Mad Bum’s dominance, as I was disappointed when I saw this line.

SP Craig Clark: 6 IP, 2 H, 4 K (4.00 ERA, 1.20 WHIP)
– That ERA seems unusually high for that WHIP. Maybe it’s an aberration,

RP David Mixon: 2 IP, 2 H, BB, 4 K (0.00 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 3.2 IP)
– David has 9 strikeouts in 3.2 innings, good for a wacky 22.09 K/9. Last year David was a groundball pitcher. This year (SSS) he’s been a strikeout pitcher. At 23 years old, I’d like to see him in San Jose to finish the year. If he continues to dominate, he may be in Connecticut next year.

Salem-Keizer lost to Everett 9-4.

RP Kelvin Marte: 2 IP, 1 H, 3 K (4.15 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 4.1 IP)

The Baby Giants crushed the Baby Athletics 13-0.

2B Vladimir Frias: 2 for 3, 3B, BB (.421/.435/.526)

SS Ehire Adrianza: 2 for 4, 2B, HR, BB (.286/.375/.500)
– Ehire Played in the DSL last year, putting up a line of .241/.351/.325. He had 41 walks to 31 strikeouts, but there were few indicators that he was going to break out. It’s still early in the season, so I would wait before I anoint him as the next hot prospect.

SP Jose Casilla: 5 IP, 5 H, 4 K (0.90 ERA, 0.80 WHIP)
His GO/AO through two games is 4.75. He also showed a tendency to induce groundballs last season in the DSL. Worth keeping an eye on.


Prsopect Watch 6/27/08

June 28, 2008

Fresno lost to Las Vegas 5-4.

2B Eugenio Velez: 2 for 5, K (.317/.367/.504– 139 AB)
1B Travis Ishikawa: 1 for 4, 2B (.286/.360/.667– 21 AB)
LF Matt Downs: 0 for 5, K (.278/.278/.556– 18 AB)
-Left field? I guess the G’s want to add some versatility to Matt’s defense.
RP Erick Threets: 1 IP, K (16:13 K/BB in 23.2 IP

Connecticut defeated Binghamton 4-2.

C Pablo Sandoval: 2 for 3, BB, K (.182/.250/.182– 11 AB)
LF Eddy Martinez-Esteve: 1 for 4 (.289/.381/.364– 225 AB)
RP Kelvin Pichardo: 0.2 IP, K (32:17 K/BB in 36.1 IP)

San Jose defeated Modesto 6-2.

C Jackson Williams: 2 for 3, 2 BB
-Jackson was drafted in the supplemental first round last year as a defensive. Thus far, his bat has not played up to par, as he hit only .179/.275/.263 in Augusta this season. The Giants decided to promote him after a hot June, a decision that is probably influenced by Pablo’s promotion to Connecticut. This may be a temporary promotion, but this move probably won’t set back his development any.

2B Brock Bond: 3 for 5, K
-Recently promoted from Augusta, Brock put up a .333/.401/.393 mark in low A. A 5’10 switch-hitter, Brock will turn 23 in September. He’s never hit for much power, and it may be interesting to see how his contact ability will hold up against advanced pitching especially if pitchers start challenging him to take them yard.

Augusta’s game was postponed due to rain.

Salem-Keizer defeated Eugene 6-5.

CF Caleb Curry: 3 for 5, K (.311/.404/.356– 45 AB)

SP Wilber Bucardo: 5 IP: 6 H, 3 ER, K
Only one strikeout, but it looks like Wilber had the sinker working, as he induced 10 groundouts to 4 flyouts in the night. He has a 2.70 GO/AO ratio for the season.

AZL Giants defeated the Rangers 8-4.

CF Wendell Fairley: 1 for 4, K (.217/.286/.304– 23 AB)
2B Vladimir Frias: 3 for 4
– Drafted in the 30th round this year as a SS from Tennessee Wesleyen, Frias hit .411 in the NAIA. He’s another player whose statistics you should take with a grain of salt especially since he is facing weaker competition. He will turn 22 in September


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