Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (19) | 2013 (28) | 2012 (21) | 2011 (24) | 2010 (29)
2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [88-74] NL West
AAA: [68-76] Pacific Coast League – Fresno (2015: Sacramento)
AA: [79-63] Eastern League – Richmond
A+: [73-67] California League – San Jose
A: [62-76] South Atlantic League – Augusta
A(ss): [38-38] Northwest League – Salem-Keiser
Joe Panik, 2B
The Giants won their third World Series title in five years thanks in part to an impressive performance from home-grown lefty Madison Bumgarner. Both Bumgarner and graduated prospect Joe Panik were first round picks for the organization. It’s mostly pitchers in the top ten here, but the Giants have been good at developing young arms to this point. Pitching in AT&T Park also helps their fantasy value if in fact they do make it to the major leagues. Two or three of the pitchers listed could see time in the majors in 2015. While the system is light on bats with potential fantasy impact, three position players did still find their way onto this list – led by the potential successor to Buster Posey behind the plate. San Francisco will have a new Triple-A affiliate in 2015 (Sacramento).
Top Ten Fantasy Prospects
1. Keury Mella, RHP | Age: 21 | ETA: 2017
Mella signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2011 and might have the most potential in the Giants’ system. Not only does he have two plus pitches in his fastball (a sinker) and curveball, but he has good command of his arsenal. He’s still developing his changeup. Mella pitched most of the year in the South Atlantic League as a 20-year-old and posted a 1.8 BB/9 and 8.5 K/9 in 66 innings there. The catch is that he injured his rotator cuff and missed time. He did come back from it in August and pitched well in the Northwest League for six starts. Dynasty league players should consider adding Mella if he is still available. Playing up the injury may land him at a discount.
2. Kyle Crick, RHP | Age: 22 | ETA: 2015
You could make a case for Crick to be number one in this system, but the lack of control scares me off. Crick is a first round draft pick from 2011 and has a plus plus fastball and a plus slider. That’s been good enough to rack up the strikeouts to this point in his career with 10+ K/9 in each of his first four minor league seasons. The blemish is the walk rate. It hasn’t dipped below 5.0 BB/9 in any one season and his walk rate in Double-A this year was the highest mark since his debut. Crick is only 22, and obviously there is still time to get that control under…well…control. But dynasty owners may have a future reliever on their hands if he can’t.
3. Tyler Beede, RHP | Age: 21 | ETA: 2017
The Giants selected Beede in the first round of the 2014 draft (14th overall). He jumps straight to the top of this farm system thanks to three solid offerings – fastball, curveball, and changeup. Beede’s fastball sits in the low to mid 90s and he is built like an innings eater. Like Crick, he has some red flags with his control. Scouting reports suggest that his delivery is inconsistent, and that would explain his inability to find the strike zone at times. If the Giants can help him iron out those kinks he should reach his potential as a #3 starter.
4. Andrew Susac, C | Age: 24 | ETA: 2015
There aren’t many bats with fantasy upside in this system, but Susac is arguably the best of them. He has above average power that could yield anywhere from 15-20 homers at the major league level and he is a good enough catcher to stick behind the plate. Susac has also shown a knack for getting on base – posting OBPs of .350 or higher at every stop in his minor league career. He will be 25 years old this March and has already spent time in the majors, hitting .273/.326/.466 with three home runs in 88 big league at bats in 2014. Susac should start 2015 with the Giants as a backup to Buster Posey.
5. Christian Arroyo, MI | Age: 19 | ETA: 2017
A first-round pick in 2013, Arroyo has played both shortstop and second base so far in his career. He suffered a thumb injury this season but still managed to log 125 plate appearances in the Sally. While his time there didn’t go so well (.203/.226/.271), he was one of the youngest players in the league. He performed much better in the Northwest League once he got healthy and hit .333/.378/.469 in 58 games there. Arroyo is the kind of offense-first middle infielder we like in fantasy. According to scouting reports, he makes good contact with an above average hit tool and fringe-average power that is more gap to gap at the moment. Arroyo will turn just 20 years old this May and there is still some physical projection left, meaning more power may come later. He’ll get another shot at the South Atlantic League in 2015.
6. Clayton Blackburn, RHP | Age: 21 | ETA: 2015
Blackburn has three average pitches in his fastball, curveball and changeup. Yet he keeps chugging along and posting solid numbers in the minors. In four seasons, he has posted an ERA under 3.00 with a 9.2 K/9 and a 1.7 BB/9. Still just 21 years old, he pitched most of the 2014 season in Double-A before a rib injury cost him a month of the season. One of the highlights of his season was allowing only one home run in his 98 innings pitched. Blackburn might not have the high ceilings of the arms ahead of him, but he may just be the safest bet of the bunch. He’ll likely start 2015 back in AA and could see the majors later this year.
7. Ty Blach, LHP | Age: 24 | ETA: 2015
Blach is more of a command/control lefty than a strikeout artist, so his fantasy value is limited. However, his age and polish make him one of the closest arms to the majors in this system. Blach has moved through the ranks quickly thanks to that polish. His 141 innings at Double-A Richmond came just two years after being drafted in the 5th round in 2012. He’ll likely start the season in Triple-A and, like Crick and Blackburn, could see time in the majors this year. Most Giants pitchers are worth a look in fantasy thanks to the pitcher-friendly home park. If the lack of strikeouts isn’t a concern then Blach makes a nice pickup.
8. Luis Ysla, LHP | Age: 22 | ETA: 2017
Ysla’s arsenal features a plus fastball with an average slider and a developing changeup. He was signed in 2011 out of Venezuela and has spent two seasons in the minors. 2014 was his first taste of full-season pro ball but he could see time in Double-A as soon as 2015. He’s pretty similar to Mejia (#9) even though he is older, which is why I clumped them together in the rankings. If the changeup comes along you could see Ysla moving up on prospect lists. If it doesn’t he could end up as a reliever.
9. Adalberto Mejia, LHP | Age: 21 | ETA: 2017
Mejia will start the 2015 season serving a 50-game suspension for a stimulant commonly used for weight loss. He has a fastball that sits in the low 90s and an average slider and changeup. The suspension will cost him some time, but Mejia spent the entire year in Double-A as a 21-year-old so it shouldn’t be a major setback. It would be nice to see better strikeout numbers for fantasy, and that could come in time as he develops his secondary pitches. While he doesn’t have the ceiling of frontline starter, Mejia would be somebody to check in on in deeper dynasty formats now that his stock is down.
10. Mac Williamson, OF | Age: 24 | ETA: 2016
Williamson has plus power that could translate to 20+ home runs in the majors if everything breaks right. He missed most of 2014 thanks to Tommy John surgery though, so it’s hard to rank him too highly. Already 24, Williamson loses a big chunk of development time with this injury. It could present a buy-low opportunity in dynasty leagues, but I’m cautious since he hasn’t had any time at Double-A yet and his big power numbers came in the hitter-friendly California League last year. He is most likely a fit in right field thanks to his big frame and plus arm. Once healthy he should move quickly as long as he shows he can handle more advanced pitching.