Tuesday, January 17, 2017

DrB's 2017 Giants Top 50 Draft Picks: #46 Malique Zeigler

Malique Zeigler, OF.  DOB:  9/8/1996.  B-R, T-R.  6'2", 170 lbs.  Drafted in 2016 Round 22 out of North Iowa CC.

2016 JC:  .395/.490/.726, 16 2B, 22 HR, 31 SB, 35 BB, 43 K, 300 PA.
2016 R:  .290/.384/.419, 4 2B, 2 3B, 4 SB, 13.7 BB%, 20.5 K%, 73 PA.

There are a lot of the Giants 2016 draft picks I really like, but none more than Malique Zeigler.  Do those JC numbers remind you of anyone?  I'll say Juan Carlos Perez, and before you let out a groan, Zeigler is 3 inches taller than Lil Juan P.  Zeigler is a wiry strong 5 tool athlete who looks like he should fill out his frame.  Like a lot of Giants drafted hitters these days, Zeigler has quick, short stroke to the ball. He has shown the plate discipline to draw more than 10% walks while keeping his K's in manageable range.  He's shown speed and power.  Love this kid!

With a glut of OF's in the lower minors and being young enough to not rush him, I expect Zeigler to stay in camp until short season ball starts and then play the summer in Salem-Keizer.

Fantasy Focus: Impact Rookies- Dan Vogelbach

Dan Vogelbach, 1B, Mariners.  DOB:  B-L, T-R.  6'0", 250 lbs.

2016 AAA(Cubs):  .318/.425/.548, 18 2B, 2 3B, 16 HR, 15.1 BB%, 18.4 K%, 365 PA.
2016 AAA(Mariners):  .240/.404/.422, 7 2B, 7 HR, 21.2 BB%, 17.2 K%, 198 PA.
2016 MLB(Mariners):  .083/.154/.083, 7.7 BB%, 46.2 K%, 13 PA.

If you are in a fantasy baseball league that uses OBP as an offensive category, you might want to think about targeting Dan Vogelbach in your draft.  Vogey2, as we will call him, is likely to be at least the left-handed half of the Mariners 1B platoon and he is an OBP machine.  You may remember him as the rotund HS draft pick of the Cubs a few years ago.  John Kruk, Prince Fielder, Pablo Sandoval….there are rotund guys who just know how to hit and Vogelbach seems to fit in that category.  Obvious comp is Joey Votto.

DrB's 2017 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #45 Jacob Heyward

Note:  For those keeping track, I dropped Nick Hill from #45 to #50 and moved #'s 46-50 up a notch which brings us to Jacob Heyward.

Jacob Heyward, OF.  DOB:  8/1/1995.  B-R, T-R.  6'2", 205 lbs.  Drafted in 2016 Round 18 out of Univ. of Miami.

2016 College:  .242/.403/.372, 10 2B, 6 HR, 7 SB, 48 BB, 52 K, 215 PA.
2016 R:  .327/.488/.579, 10 2B, 5 3B, HR, 10 SB, 19.2 BB%, 24.0 K%, 125 PA.
2016 SS:  .286/.444/.429, 2 2B, SB, 16.7 BB%, 16.7 K%, 18 PA.

As I am sure you all know by now, Jacob Heyward is the younger brother of Jason Heyward.  I loved Jason Heyward before the 2007 draft and am I ever happy to have a Heyward in the Giants organization!  Unlike his older bro who was drafted and signed out of HS, Jacob went the college route where he had an up and down career.  After hitting .327 his sophomore campaign, his BA slumped his junior year which is why he was still there in round 18.  He kind of cuts across the grain of a typical Giants hitter in that he draws a ton of walks, which come with a lot of K's.  Just looking at his stat lines, I'm pretty sure the Giants coaches are urging him to be more aggressive early in the count to stay out of 2-strike counts.

On video, the striking thing about Jacob is his massive shoulders and upper chest.  He is otherwise a well proportioned athlete with 6.80 60 speed.  His arm is below average which means he is probably stuck to either LF or 1B.

Jacob put up terrific numbers in Arizona Rookie League, but a good player from a major college program should dominate rookie ball.  The sample size in Salem-Keizer at the end of the season is too small to judge.  One thing he has going for him is his birthdate which makes 2017 his age 21 season.  I'll guess we seem him start the season in Augusta.  It's hard to call him a sleeper because of the name, but so far the name has not gotten him a ton of respect.  He probably does not have much more physical projection, but he has plenty of muscle on that frame now and just needs to polish his approach at the plate to hit and hit for power at high levels.  A full season in Augusta should tell us a lot about how for real he is.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Fantasy Focus: Impact Rookies- Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy, C, Rockies.

2016 AAA:  .327/.361/.647, 26 2B, 7 3B, 19 HR, 5.0 BB%, 24.3 K%, 321 PA.
2016 MLB:  .273/.347/.659, 5 HR, 8.2 BB%, 38.8 K%, 49 PA.

I already listed OF David Dahl on my all-breakout team.  As if they needed even more firepower in their lineup, the Rockies also have an impact rookie at the catcher position.  Tom Murphy has averaged 33 HR/600 PA in the minor leagues and has hit 8 dingers in 88 PA's as a major leaguer.  The strikeouts may be a problem, and he's not a great defensive catcher.  He also has to win the starting job from the lighter hitting Tony Wolters, but oh my!  You see that kind of power from a guy who is going to play half their games in Coor's Field and as a fantasy baseball owner, you want to jump on it!  The Rockies are probably still short in their rotation and still have problems in their bullpen, but they will definitely score some runs in 2017!

DrB's 2017 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #44 Ryan Howard

Ryan Howard, SS.  DOB:  7/25/1994.  B-R, T-R.  6'1", 190 lbs.  Drafted in 2016 Round 5 out of Univ. of Missouri.

2016 College:  .295/.381/.433, 13 2B, 3B, 5 HR, 10 SB, 29 BB, 33 K, 254 PA.
2016 SS:  .272/.313/.371, 10 2B, 4 HR, 2 SB, 5.3 BB%, 9.8 K%, 246 PA.

The Giants drafted Ryan Howard twice.  The first time was 2015 when he was a draft eligible sophomore in Round 31.  He decided to play for the collegiate Team USA that summer and return to school in the fall.  Then the Giants took him in Round 5 in 2016.  As Giants Scouting Director John Barr put it, "I think we liked him better than any of the other teams."

Howard fits a mold of recent Giants draft picks.  College SS who might be able to stick at the position but could move to other positions with a quick bat that avoids strikeouts like the plague.  Like Joe Panik, Matt Duffy, Kelby Tomlinson, Christian Arroyo and others, Howard has multiple tools, but no single outstanding one.  His arm is considered better than his range at SS.  On video, he has a very short, quick swing on a level plane which looks like it produces more line drives and ground balls than flyballs.  The swing is tailored to a high BA and avoiding K's but probably won't produce a lot of dingers.

I'll guess that Howard gets assigned to San Jose to start 2017 with Brandon Van Horn, another SS prospect drafted later going to Augusta.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

DrB's 2017 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #43 Mac Marshall

Mac Marshall, LHP.  DOB:  1/27/1996.  6'0", 180 lbs.  Drafted in 2015, Round 4 out of Chipola JC.

2016 A:  0-0, 4.60, 15.2 IP, 9.77 BB/9, 8.04 K/9.
2016 SS:  1-6, 4.73, 51.1 IP, 8.42 BB/9, 9.47 K/9.

Marshall is another formerly highly ranked HS prospect whose stock dropped.  Marshall's path to professional baseball took some inneresting turns.  He scared off many teams in the 2014 draft with high bonus demands.  The Astros had the #1 overall pick and thus a big bonus pool to play with and took him on Round 21.  Marshall had a $1.5 M bonus deal in place, but that blew up when first rounder Brady Aiken failed to sign and the Astros lost their first round bonus pool money.  Marshall then enrolled at LSU where he would not be draft eligible again until 2017.  He decided he did not want to wait that long, so withdrew from LSU and enrolled at Chipola JC.  The Giants then drafted him in Round 4 in 2015 and signed him for a bonus of $750 K.

Marshall looks like he should be a great command pitcher with a compact build and a fairly simple over -the-top delivery, but has struggled with extremely high walk rates.  His FB runs up to 94 MPH and he has a curveball and changeup that have gotten solid reviews.  He'll have to iron out whatever is causing all the walks. If he can, he could end up as a #3 SP in MLB.

Fantasy Focus: 2017 All-Breakout Team

We've scaled back our fantasy baseball coverage a bit here at When the Giants Come to Town.  I don't think anyone really wants to see one more list of positional rankings.  Lots of people, not just fantasy baseball players, are interested in what players may "break out" next year.  The rules for this are it has to be a player not yet widely recognized as a star and who has "graduated" by BA's standards of at least 130 AB's or 50 IP in MLB.

CATCHER:  Wilson Contreras., Cubs.

2016 AAA:  .353/.442/.593, 16 2B, 3 3B, 9 HR, 11.1 BB%, 13.3 K%, 240 PA.
2016 MLB:  .282/.357/.488, 14 2B, 3B, 12 HR, 9.2 BB%, 23.7 K%, 283 PA.

We all know Wilson Contreras from the Cubs World Series run.  As if the Cubbies need another young star in their lineup!  You see that K/BB from AAA?  That's right about his minor league average. You can expect his MLB numbers to migrate in that direction as he gains experience.  Barring injury, he is going to be a big, big star in MLB for a long time!

FIRST BASE:  Ryon Healy, A's.

2016 AA:  .338/.469/.628, 12 2B, 3 3B, 8 HR, 11.0 BB%, 21.3 K%, 164 PA.
2016 AAA:  .318/.362/.505, 16 2B, 3B, 6 HR, 6.2 BB%, 19 K%, 210 PA.
2016 MLB:  .305/.337/.524, 20 2B, 13 HR, 4.2 BB%, 21.2 K%, 283 PA.

I still remember how a guy named John Klima who ran a scouting website loved Ryon Healy.  Healy had a pretty good college career at Oregon and got off to a slow pro start in his draft year of 2013, but has done nothing but hit the ball and hit it hard since.  I mean, just look at the numbers he put up over 3 levels last year!

SECOND BASE:  Kolton Wong, Cardinals.

2016 MLB:  .240/.327/.355, 7 2B, 7 3B, 5 HR, 7 SB, 9.4 BB%, 14.4 K%, 361 PA.  

2B was the hardest position to find a potential breakout player.  Wong was plagued by a shoulder injury and a .268 BABIP.  Both should improve in 2017 and the result could be a big breakout.  

THIRD BASE:  Alex Bregman, Astros.

2016 AA:  .297/.415/.559, 16 2B, 2 3B, 14 HR, 5 SB, 14.7 BB%, 9.1 K%, 285 PA.
2016 AAA:  .333/.373/.641, 6 2B, 6 HR, 2 SB, 6.0 BB%, 14.5 K%, 83 PA.
2016 MLB:  .264/.313/.478/.13 2B, 3 3B, 8 HR, 6.9 BB%, 24.0 K%, 217 PA.

Long a fave of Shankbone who sometimes comments here and has his own blog, Bregman's MILB numbers were so stupendous, everyone just assumed he would hit the ground running in the majors.  He got off to a slow start and some people stopped paying attention.  He then went on a tear in September hitting .323.  This guy is not going to look back.  He's just too good of a hitter!

SHORTSTOP:  Addison Russell, Cubs.

2016 MLB:  .238/.321/.417, 25 2B, 3 3B, 21 HR, 9.2 BB%, 22.6 K%, 598 PA.  

It almost seems like Russell broke out last year as 21 HR's out of the SS position is pretty darn impressive for any player.  Unfortunately for the rest of the league, Russell probably only scratched the surface of his talent while BABIP'ing .277.  This kid is going to be an absolute monster at the position!

CENTERFIELD:  Byron Buxton, Twins.

2016 AAA:  .305/.359/.568, 11 2B, 3 3B, 11 HR, 7 SB, 6.7 BB%, 27.8 K%, 209 PA.
2016 MLB:  .225/.284/.430, 19 2B, 6 3B, 10 HR, 10 SB, 6.9 BB%, 35.6 K%, 331 PA.

The Twins have had such huge problems getting their prospects graduated to the majors over the years, you have to be wary of Buxton, especially with those K numbers.  He's just too good of an athlete and he did hit .287 in September.  Look for 2017 to be the year he finally breaks through.

LEFTFIELD:  David Dahl, Rockies.

2016 AA:  .278/.367/.500, 21 2B, 2 3B, 13 HR, 16 SB, 11.7 BB%, 25.6 K%, 332 PA.
2016 AAA:  .484/.529/.887, 6 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR, 1 SB, 8.8 BB%, 16.2 K%, 68 PA.
2016 MLB:  .315/.359/.500, 12 2B, 4 3B, 7 HR, 5 SB, 6.3 BB%, 24.9 K%, 237 PA.

Size, power, speed.  Dahl does it all and he has Coor's Field to help him.  Watch out for the Rockies next year despite their curious decision to sign Ian Desmond to a big contract.

RIGHTFIELD:  Domingo Santana, Brewers.

2016:  .256/.345/.447, 14 2B, 11 HR, 11.4 BB%, 32.4 K%, 281 PA.  

At 6'5", 220 lbs, Santana is a huge physical force.  He needs to cut down on his K's or he'll become a Chris Carter/Mark Trumbo type hitter, albeit a better fielder than either.

STARTING PITCHER:  

Matt Moore, Giants.

2016:  13-12, 4.08, 198.1 IP, 3.27 BB/9, 8.08 K/9.  Average FB velocity 92.8.

This may be cheating a bit as Moore put up an all-star level season in 2013 before going down with a UCL tear.  He's been inconsistent since, and you may not see much in his line from last year to be that optimistic about and his splits do not show a second half surge.  His overall second half numbers were hurt by 2 Disaster Starts in September, but 6 of his last 8 starts were Dominant Starts and he had the Cubs beat in Game 4 of the NLDS before the bullpen melted down in the 9'th inning.  There may still be the occasional disaster start, but I think he's going to dominate in 2017.

Kevin Gausman, Orioles.

2016:  9-17, 3.61, 179.2 IP, 2.35 BB/9, 8.72 K/9. Average FB Velocity 94.7.

I predicted a breakout for Gausman last year too and was disappointed.  He's still go premium stuff, though, and I think the breakout is still coming.  He's up against the bashers and bandboxes in the AL East though.

Jon Gray, Rockies.

2016:  10-10, 4.61, 168.0 IP, 3.16 B%, 9.91 K%.  Average FB Velocity 95.0.

It's probably foolish to think any Rockies pitcher will have fantasy value, but Gray is the type of pitcher who I think might flourish in the Coor's Field environment.

Mike Foltynewicz, Braves.

2016:  9-5, 4.31, 123.1 IP, 2.55 BB/9, 8.10 K/9.  Average FB Velocity 95.2.

Folty was inconsistent last year, but when he was on, he was unhittable.  Just ask the Giants!  He's maturing as a pitcher and has the stuff to be an ace.  Will 2017 be the year he finally does it?

Blake Snell, Rays.

2016:  6-8, 3.54, 89 IP, 5.16 BB/9, 9.91 K/9.  Average FB Velocity 93.5.

Snell's walk rates in the minors tended to be high too.  This one might be a bit of a reach, but he has the stuff to breakout.

CLOSER:  Bruce Rondon, Tigers.

2016:  5-2, 2.97, 36.1 IP, 2.97 BB/9, 11.15 K/9.  Average FB Velocity 97.2.

Big things have been predicted for Rondon, seemingly forever.  Last year, he started showing what he is capable of.  He needs to stay healthy.

HONORABLE MENTION:  Trea Turner, SS, Nationals.

2016 AAA:  .302/.370/.471, 22 2B, 8 3B, 6 HR, 25 SB, 10.0 BB%, 19.4 K%, 371 PA.
2016 MLB:  .342/.370/.567, 14 2B, 8 3B, 13 HR, 33 SB, 4.3 BB%, 18.2 K%, 324 PA.

Turner's MLB debut last year was so stupendous it's hard to say he didn't already break out, but it was only for a half a season, so we'll put him as an HM.  Maybe I will do a post on the worst trades of the last 5 years.  Who did the Padres get in that deal again?

BREAKOUT SLEEPER:  Mac Williamson, OF, Giants.

2016 AAA:  .269/.314/.495, 14 2B, 11 HR, 5.3 BB%, 23.5 K%, 226 PA.
2016 MLB:  .223/.315/.411, 3 2B, 6 HR, 10.2 BB%, 27.6 K%, 127 PA.

Memo to rest of MLB:  Don't sleep on Mac Williamson!  Those numbers may not look too impressive, but Mac was just looking comfortable at the plate when he suffered a shoulder strain that essentially ended his season.  In those 127 PA's, though, he had 6 of the 12 bardest hit balls by exit velocity on the Giants roster including the top 3.  Those 6 HR's project to 29 in 600 PA's.  Please Giants!  Just put Mac in LF and leave him there.  If he stays healthy, he'll be a breakout star of 2017!