Update, Update, Update…

August 14, 2008

One of the “perks” of living three hours east of Pacific Standard is by the time big news hits, I’m well off to snorestown. I am of course referring to signings of Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, and Juan Carlos Perez (thanks Ryan). These signings round out the bunch of draftees I’d most like the Giants to sign.

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Just heard

August 13, 2008

via a poster on MCC that Ryan Rohlinger has been called up. Should be interesting. I think you could see John Bowkerish production out of him (250/300/400), albeit at a more difficult defensive position. Apparently the Giants are also thinking about using him at 2B and SS. Most scouting reports say he doesn’t have the range for SS, but he could have quite a bit of value at 2B.

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Addition, Subtraction, and other fun activities

August 9, 2008

If there is one thing that General Managers Brian Sabean and Billy Beane have in common, it’s that both buck convention. Billy Beane does so with the flair of a virtuoso– he sees the ghost in the machine, the numbers within the numbers, like Hoffman’s idiot savant from Rainman, when the chips are down, he makes it rain (or so I’m told– I never could sit through that movie in its entirety).

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Draft Signing

July 28, 2008

According to Baseball America, the Giants signed 9th round draft pick LHP Ryan Verdugo from LSU. Ryan’s repertoire includes a fastball with good movement that ranges from the low 80s to the low 90s, touching 92. He also offers a average change-up and 12-6 curveball. Scouts have also praised his ability to “compete.” (Gamer Alert! Gamer Alert!) Ryan’s the kind of pitcher who you can expect to do well against younger competition and struggle in AA. He needs to develop a plus plus pitch or refine his command in order to succeed at the major league level. You can find BA’s scouting report of Ryan Verdugo here and PG Crosschecker’s here.


Quick Notes

July 26, 2008
  • The Hardball Times has a mechanical analysis of Giants draftee Conor Gillaspie. Alex Eisenberg, the writer of the article, praises Conor’s swing, but would prefer him to play second base. You and me both Alex.
  • And somewhat related, Andy Baggerly counsels patience and says that “it’s a 99 percent certainty that all four [top draft picks] will agree to terms before the Aug. 15 deadline.” His message sounds familiar.

Draft Signings (Update III)

July 8, 2008
5 Edwin Quirarte RHP Cal State Northridge Calif.
6 Eric Surkamp LHP North Carolina State N.C.
7 Aaron King LHP Surry (N.C.) CC N.C.
8 Scott Barnes LHP St. John’s N.Y.
11 Justin Fitzgerald RHP UC Davis Calif.
12 Ari Ronick LHP Portland Ore.
14 Caleb Curry OF Iowa Iowa
15 Daniel Cook 2B Florida Atlantic Fla.
16 C.J. Ziegler 1B Arizona Ariz.
17 Brian Irving RHP Yale Mass.
18 Brooks Lindsay SS Lower Columbia (Wash.) JC Wash.
19 Ryan Mantle OF Missouri State Mo.
21 Mike Eifel RHP Dominican (Ill.) Ill.
25 Damon Wright OF Dartmouth N.H.
26 Ryan Lormand 2B Houston Texas
27 Kyle Woodruff RHP Chico State (Calif.) Calif.
28 Shane Kaufman RHP San Diego State Calif.
29 Rob Flanigan 1B North Georgia College and State Ga.
30 Vladimir Frias SS Tennessee Wesleyan Tenn.
33 Ryne Price OF Kansas Kan.
38 Chris Wilson RHP Trinidad State (Colo.) JC Colo.
44 Aaron Lowenstein C UC Irvine Calif.

I’m not too worried that the top picks haven’t signed yet. If you look at last year, Bumgarner and Fairley were both signed in August and Alderson signed in late July. One reason for these late signings may be Ned Coletti’s departure as he was reportedly the executive in charge of contract negotiations. It is more likely, however, that players are taking longer to sign because more money is being negotiated. This year even supplemental first rounders are receiving seven figure signing bonuses. I’ll be more concerned if the top four don’t sign by August 1st.  For now, there’s not need to fret.


San Francisco Giants 2000 Draft Review

July 1, 2008

With all of recent draft happenings, I thought it would be interesting to look at the results of a past Giants draft. This was mostly a research project that entailed typing in the names of the players into Baseball Reference and logging what was spit out. I choose to look at the 2000 draft because it’s recent enough to still be relevant to today’s team and enough time has passed so that we can evaluate what happened. Here are the results:

RD POS PLAYER NOTES
1 RHP John Bonser Part of the trade that shall not be named. Started 60 games for the Twins.
2 3B Lance Niekro Collected 500 at-bats with the Giants. Could not hit right-handed pitching.
3 RHP Brion Treadway Plateaued in AA.
4 LHP Ryan Hannaman Part of Sidney Ponson trade. Highest level was High A.
5 RHP Kyle Gross Could not control his mid-90s heat. Highest level was High A.
6 RHP Chad Ashlock Did not get past Salem-Keizer.
7 LHP Erick Threets Bouncing between AAA and the San Francisco bullpen.
8 CF Nicholas Wilfong Highest level was High A.
9 SS Edwin Maldonado Highest level was High A.
10 CF Adam Shabala Picked up 15 at-bats for San Francisco in 2005.
11 RHP Jackson Markert Plateaued in AA.
12 SS Elliot Strankman Did not get past low A.
13 C Justin Knoedler Did not sign. Drafted and signed by the Giants in 2002. Has 18 AB’s in the Majors.
14 RHP Jason Farmer Highest level was High A.
15 RHP Matthew Faas Did not get past Salem-Keizer.
16 RHP Anthony Pannone Plateaued in AA.
17 RHP Rafael Rigueiro Highest level was High A.
18 RHP Luke Anderson Injury; plateaued in AAA.
19 LHP Daniel Padgett Highest level was High A.
20 RHP Jeff Clark Plateaued in AA.
21 SS Steven Gendron Did not sign. Drafted in 2004 by Marlins, highest level was High A.
22 CF Jason Ellison Has over 500 AB’s in the Majors. Currently with the Reds.
23 RHP Robert King Did not get out of the AZL.
24 RHP Ralph Harrelson Did not get past Salem-Keizer.
25 LF Daniel Trumble Highest level was AA.
26 RHP Matthew Larson Did not sign. Drafted later by Tampa Bay. Did not get past short season ball.
27 LHP Rejino Gonzalez Could not find him. Presumably did not sign.
28 LHP Alex Hinshaw Did not sign. Was drafted a few more times before he signed in 2005.
29 LHP Dennis Hernandez Could not find him. Presumably did not sign.
30 CF Jason Pekar Did not get past Salem-Keizer.
31 LHP Brian Burres Selected by the Orioles in Rule 5 draft. Has a 5.47 ERA through 200+ innings.
32 RHP Todd Uzzell Plateaued in AA.
33 C James Lunsford Highest level was AAA.
34 RHP Jonathan Albaladejo Did not sign. Drafted by the Pirates in 2001. Pitched for the Yankees this year.
35 1B Matthew Keating Highest level was High A.
36 1B Matthew Gibson Could not find him. Presumably did not sign.
37 RHP Jeremy Schmidt Did not sign. Drafted again in 2002. Highest level was AA.
38 RHP Elgin Graham Did not get past low A.
39 SS Gregory Stone Did not sign. Drafted again in 2002 by the Red Sox. Highest level was High A.
40 RF Mark Walker Plateaued in AA.
41 C Michael Cox Could not find him. Presumably did not sign.
42 RF Bryan Carter Plateaued in AA.
43 RHP Craig Molldrem Did not sign. Drafted again by Florida in 2004. Highest level was AAA.
44 RHP Jason Daily Could not find him. Presumably did not sign.
45 3B Calvin Fugett Could not find him. Presumably did not sign.
46 SS Austin Allen Could not find him. Presumably did not sign.
47 2B Bryan Gann Did not get past low A.
48 SS Lou Colletti Nepotism pick? Did not sign.
49 C Nick Conte Another nepotism pick. Did not get past Low A.
50 C Bennett Elder Could not find him. Presumably did not sign.

By my count, there were five signed players who have played or will play a significant amount of time (by significant I mean losing their rookie eligibility) in the Major Leagues: Boof Bonser, Lance Neikro, Erick Threets, Jason Ellison, and Brian Burres. The best of the bunch is probably Boof who John Sickels had regarded as an overdraft on draft day, not because of his pitches, but because of his mechanics and a possibility of weight problems. Thus far that assessment has held true. My guess is that none of these players will be in the majors in five years.

Here are some numbers.

Breakdown by highest level (at least 1 PA or IP):

MLB- 7
AAA- 2
AA- 8
A+- 8
A- 5
ssA- 4
AZL- 1
Did not sign/Could not find- 15

Breakdown by position:

RHP- 20
LHP- 7
C- 5
1B- 2
2B- 1
SS- 6
3B- 2
LF- 1
CF- 4
RF- 2

And of course:

Nepotism picks that amounted to something- 0
Nepotism picks that amounted to nothing- 2

By any measurement this was a terrible draft for the Giants.


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.


Draft Signing

June 26, 2008

According to Baseball America, the Giants have signed their 6th round draft pick LHP Eric Surkamp from North Carolina State. Once again, a scouting report from PG Crosschecker:

SCOUTING REPORT (3/1): Surkamp worked in tandem with his former Moeller High pitching mate Andrew Brackman at the front of the N.C. State rotation last season before Brackman, who was drafted in the first round by the New York Yankees, was sidelined with a sore arm that led to Tommy John surgery. Surkamp struggled to win games when Brackman went down and ended up with a 4-5, 3.47 record with 84 strikeouts and 27 walks in 96 innings. Despite his big, strong frame—and, in stark contrast to Brackman, who topped out at 99 mph—Surkamp does not throw particularly hard and his stuff is considered marginal by pro standards. His fastball is just in the 86-89 mph range though will touch 90, but he has an advanced feel for pitching and can keep hitters off balance with a three-pitch mix. He rarely throws consecutive pitches at the same speed or to the same location. He went 2-0, 1.85 with 26 strikeouts in 24 innings for Orleans of the Cape Cod League last summer, before being added to Team USA’s roster for the latter part of its international schedule. If Surkamp can somehow increase the velocity on his fastball even 2-3 mph, it would help his stock considerably in the draft, but most scouts believe he is what he is and project he’ll be a 5th-10th round pick in 2008. He has a good changeup and an average breaking ball but needs to spot those pitches, along with his fastball, consistently to be effective.—ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): Surkamp was pretty much what he was a year ago—a big lefthander with a good feel for pitching but ordinary stuff. He went 5-2, 4.39 with 82 strikeouts in 70 innings as one of N.C. State’s two primary starters. He pitched better late in the season, raising hopes he’ll be drafted closer to the fifth round than the 10th.—AS

Sounds like the kind of player who will dominate the lower minors but hit a wall in the upper minors. If everything goes well maybe a Pat Misch clone?


San Francisco Giants Draft Signings (Update II)

June 25, 2008
5 Edwin Quirarte RHP Cal State Northridge Calif.
7 Aaron King LHP Surry (N.C.) CC N.C.
8 Scott Barnes LHP St. John’s N.Y.
12 Ari Ronick LHP Portland Ore.
14 Caleb Curry OF Iowa Iowa
15 Daniel Cook 2B Florida Atlantic Fla.
16 C.J. Ziegler 1B Arizona Ariz.
17 Brian Irving RHP Yale Mass.
18 Brooks Lindsay SS Lower Columbia (Wash.) JC Wash.
19 Ryan Mantle OF Missouri State Mo.
21 Michael Eifel RHP Dominican (Ill.) Ill.
25 Damon Wright OF Dartmouth N.H.
26 Ryan Lormand 2B Houston Texas
27 Kyle Woodruff RHP Chico State (Calif.) Calif.
28 Shane Kaufman RHP San Diego State Calif.
29 Robert Flanigan 1B North Georgia College and State Ga.
30 Vladimir Frias SS Tennessee Wesleyan Tenn.
33 Ryne Price OF Kansas Kan.
38 Chris Wilson RHP Trinidad State (Colo.) JC Colo.
44 Aaron Lowenstein C UC Irvine Calif.

Here is a scouting report of Scott Barnes, courtesy of PG Crosschecker:

SCOUTING REPORT (3/1): Barnes has made a lot of strides in his evolution as a pitcher since he was offered $200,000 to sign out of a Massachusetts high school in 2005. He went 7-2, 2.93 with 99 strikeouts in 95 innings as a sophomore at St. John’s. He sought to continue his development during the summer in the Cape Cod League but left in the middle of his second start with tendonitis and was shut down for the season. Tall and lanky with a loose, quick, power arm, Barnes’ fastball explodes at 90-93 mph with slight tailing action to the first base side. He also has a slurve-like breaking ball but still needs to refine his circle changeup. He maintains a good arm slot and speed on the pitch, but it lacks fade or sinking action. Barnes’ three-quarters delivery also needs cleaning up as he throws with a slinger-like arm action. He has a focused, confident, high-energy approach to pitching with good pitchability and projects as a starter in pro ball—providing his changeup continues to develop.—ALLAN SIMPSON
UPDATE (5/15): Barnes’ velocity was up and down most of this spring, ranging from 87-91 mph, but he started throwing his fastball by hitters more consistently later in the year when it reached 92-93 mph. His command of the pitch was better, too, and he mixed in a near-average slider and a fair change, which he didn’t throw very often. As the leader of St. John’s deep pitching staff, he went 7-3, 3.69 with 45 walks and a team-high 90 strikeouts in 90 innings. Long-time area scouts compared his frame, stuff and approach to pitching to former St. John’s lefthander and ex-big leaguer C.J. Nitkowski, the ninth overall pick in the 1994 draft. While there were questions early in the season whether Barnes justified his status as the state’s top prospect, he solidified himself late in the season as a solid second- or third rounder—possibly even a sandwich pick of his home-state Boston Red Sox, if that club makes drafting a player with local ties a priority.—AS

A second round talent drafted in the eighth round? I’ll take ten please.

Here’s another one of Caleb Curry:

SCOUTING REPORT: With Iowa’s unusually harsh winter weather keeping scouts away until later in the spring, Curry quietly had one of the best unrecognized seasons in college baseball this spring, hitting .396-7-65 and stealing a school-record 45 stolen bases, despite batting third or fourth most of the season. Curry’s background is just as obscure as he’s originally from Minnesota and spent two seasons at Minnesota State Community Technical College before transferring to Iowa. Curry’s best tool is his speed. He’s a plus runner with 6.6 speed and a quick first step. He played both center field and second base for Iowa, and is probably best suited for center field at the next level.—DAVID RAWNSLEY

And if you missed it, here is a link to scouting reports of Quirarte, King and Ronick.


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