Dec 9, 2020 • 39M

There R Giants Pod-19 with GPT

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Talking all things related to the SF Giants minor league system.
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Good morning! It’s a big day around the prospect world as we prepare for the Rule 5 draft tomorrow and also anticipate MLB announcing it’s “invitations” for teams to join their new minor league arrangement. We’re going to look at the new affiliate structure on Friday, but today it’s all about the Rule 5 draft.

I got together with the great Giants’ twitter follow, GPT (@giantsprospects) to provide you with a great Rule 5 preview podcast. And to accompany that, I’ve given a quick summary of most of the names we covered in our talk. The links all go to players Fangraphs’ page and the player ages are their “season ages” for the 2021 season.

We’ll also talked about Minor League Free Agents and Giants’ players who are performing in various Winter Leagues. Enjoy and we’ll be back to talk new affiliate structure on Friday.

Minor League Free Agent candidates

James Bourque, RHP, Age: 27

Touches 99 with fastball. Good strikeout rate history and hard to hit. Has made brief major league debut. Possible Arm injury.

Yunior Marte, RHP, Age: 26

Fastball, good slider. Ok control. Good strikeout rate. Hit hard in AAA.

And from the “Old Friends” category:

Cristian Adames, MIF, Age: 29

Solid defensive MIF who can play SS. Switch-hitter with strong walk rates, reasonable contract rates, a little power. Flexible middle infield depth option.

Jose Siri, CF, Age: 25

Toolsy CF with intriguing power/speed skills. Picked up and dropped by Giants during course of 2020, he’s having a strong winter league campaign in Dominican Republic.

And, now… the Main Course:

Rule 5 Candidates

Pitchers (GPT choices)

Trevor Stefan, RHP, New York Yankees, 2021 Age: 26

Funky low-side arm angle. Good fastball-slider combination. Tough on Right-handed hitters. Type of pitcher with two maybe above average pitches and “something weird about them.”

Kade McClure, RHP, Chicago White Sox, 2021 Age: 25

Swing man. Could start. Fastball up to 96, good slider. Has only pitched as high as A+. White Sox like his biomechanical profile.

Marshall Kasowski, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers, 2021 Age: 25

Funky over the top arm angle (think Josh Collmenter). Up to 97 with fastball. Good curve ball. Control issues but Extremely hard to hit. Drafted while Zaidi was GM of Dodgers.

Pitchers (Roger)

Zach Pop, RHP, Baltimore Orioles, Age: 24

70 grade fastball. Extreme velocity reliever with turbo-sinker. Good strikeout rates. Solid slider. Coming back from Tommy John surgery. Drafted by Dodgers during Zaidi’s time as GM and traded to Baltimore as part of package for Manny Machado.

Garrett Whitlock, RHP, New York Yankees, Age: 24

Yankees #18 prospect coming into 2019, also ended season prematurely with Tommy John surgery. Back healthy now and preparing for season. As with Pop, could use rehab stints to get more minor league development in before adding to major league roster. Sinker/slider type, groundball machine.

Dany Jimenez, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays, Age: 27

Last year’s Rule 5 pick is once again eligible. His velocity was down for Giants from what they’d seen previously, but he’s pitching in Dominican Winter Leagues and if velo has returned he might be interesting two-time pick.

Hitters (GPT)

Jose Rojas, 2b/3b, Los Angeles Angels, Age: 28

Versatile LHH infielder had strong offensive season in 2019. Strong walk rates with big power. Not a gifted defensive player but has arm to play 3b and can fit in at 2b as well.

Daniel Pinero, 3b/SS, Detroit Tigers, Age: 27

Big (6’5”) infielder who has experience at SS though most observers think he’s simply to big for position. RHH with elite walk rates. Power ticked up in 2019 though not big HR numbers

Drew Ellis, 3b, Arizona Diamondbacks, Age: 25

2017 2nd round pick. RHH Corner infielder. Had a big spike in fly ball rate in 2019 which might indicate that there’s power coming. Reasonable strikeout rates and great walk rates.

Luke Williams, LF/3b, Philadelphia Phillies, Age: 24

Similar to Ellis but with a little less power and more athleticism.

Brewer Hicklen, OF, Kansas Royals, Age: 25

Two-sport player in college so could be late bloomer. Plus speed, good raw power. Good base stealing ability and ability to stick in CF with a little power. Hasn’t played above A+.

Hitters (Roger)

Chris Betts, C, Tampa Bay Rays, Age: 24

LHH Catcher with plus raw power and elite walk rates. Serious three true outcomes type who put up big strikeout rates in A ball. Doesn’t have upper minors experience.

Buddy Reed, OF, Oakland A’s, Age: 26

Toolsy switch-hitting CF. Plus defensive player, plus speed, sneaky power. Hasn’t performed well in upper minors.

Cody Thomas, COF, Los Angeles Dodgers, Age: 26

Another three true outcomes type. LHH with big power, good walk rates, big strikeout totals. Also another player drafted under Zaidi during time with Dodgers.

Akil Baddoo, OF, Minnesota Twins, Age: 22

Compensation round pick for Twins in 2016 out of High School. Extremely toolsy youngster with plus speed and the bat speed to produce plus power. Isn’t ready to contribute and would need to be hidden and then assigned to minors in 2022 for more development. Missed most of 2019 season after having arm injury. Has only brief A+ experience.

Players Giants Most Likely to Lose in Rule 5:

Tyler Cyr, RHP, Age: 28

Patrick Ruotolo, RHP, Age: 26

Jose Marte, RHP, Age: 25

Daniel Alvarez, RHP, Age: 25

Raffi Vizcaino, RHP, Age: 25

Luis Amaya, LHP, Age: 22

Ricardo Genoves, C, Age: 22

No need to go into too much depth here as all of these players have been discussed a great deal on previous posts, particularly the Instructional League Roster preview. The biggest group of potential draftees are relievers who might be able to fit into a major league bullpen right away like Cyr, Ruotolo, Raffi Vizcaino and the recently signed MiLB free agent Daniel Alvarez. (Technically Vizcaino is also a recently-signed FA, but one we’re long familiar with).

Alvarez has spent his career in the Yankees organization and was at the Yankees Alternate Site this summer, though he never made it to Yankee Stadium for his debut. He throws the Giants preferred combination of a high fastball and a down-breaking curve and picked up tons of strikeouts in AA Trenton in 2019. He’s currently starting in the Venezuelan Winter League though he got knocked around a bit in his last start.

GPT and I also discussed the case of LHP Luis Amaya who has been coming on since missing all of the 2017 season and most of 2018 following Tommy John surgery. Amaya is an arm that both of us have long liked, but it seems a stretch for any team to reach for him in the Rule 5 draft. He might, however, be a strong candidate for the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft, depending on which minor league roster he’s currently being protected on (the minor league portion is extremely byzantine and hard to predict as teams don’t generally reveal their minor league rosters publicly during the offseason).

The one position player we could see being a potential selection in the Rule 5 draft is Catcher Ricardo Genoves who profiles very well as a backup Catcher (and perhaps more) though he is very far away and would have to be “hidden” on a big league roster in 2021 and then sent back to the minors for more seasoning.

Enjoy the podcast! It was great fun finally getting to talk with GPT and we hope it gets you ready for tomorrow’s draft!