Today I will continue my proud tradition of not watching football and instead focus on the most notable fantasy prospects in the San Francisco Giants organization. As usual, they don’t have a true blue chip prospect. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t players on this farm who will develop into good fantasy pieces. In fact, over the past few years the Giants have been pretty good at bringing guys up that weren’t on the prospect radar and presto-changeo they are suddenly on everybody’s fantasy team. Matt Duffy comes to mind. Joe Panik is another. The pitching-friendly home park and the Giants’ success in developing arms also makes the pitching prospects a little more interesting than they’d normally be.
Tier 2: Floorboreds
Lacking the “star” upside. They might have some warts, but their ETAs are on the horizon.
Christian Arroyo, SS | Age: 20 | ETA: 2017 | 2015 Level: A+
2015 Stats: 409 PA, .304/.334/.459, 9 HR, 5 SB, 5% BB, 18% K
If you follow along with a lot of minor league stuff, you’re probably aware of how hitterish the California League can be. It’s for that reason that we usually take stats from that league with a grain of salt. Arroyo hit over .300 and showed a little pop and speed, but the scouting grades don’t point to anything too exciting. It’s a well-rounded package, but one that doesn’t really have any stand out tools. If he doesn’t stick at short, there will be even more pressure on his bat to be productive.
Tyler Beede, RHP | Age: 22 | ETA: 2017 | 2015 Level: A+/AA
2015 Stats: 124.2 IP, 3.97 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, 6.7 K/9
Beede split time between High-A and Double-A in 2015 and struggled with the upper level assignment. He walked more than four batters per nine in his 72 innings in the Eastern League and only struck out 49 batters. Beede was a first round pick in 2014 and there’s still plenty of upside here, but it will obviously take some more polishing before he’s ready to join the rotation. With three potentially plus pitches, Beede still has the highest ceiling of the pitchers listed here.
Jarrett Parker, OF | Age: 27 | ETA: 2016 | 2015 Level: AAA/MLB
2015 Stats: 504 PA, .283/.375/.514, 23 HR, 20 SB, 12% BB, 33% K
Outside of the age and strikeout rate, Parker looks like a decent gamble. There’s obviously some power and speed here, but you’ll have to look at him as more of a finished product and not a projectable prospect with a lot of room for improvement. The strikeouts could limit him to a fourth outfielder/bench bat, but if your team’s competitive window is still open, this is a guy who could give your dynasty outfield some depth.
Mac Williamson, OF | Age: 25 | ETA: 2016 | 2015 Level: AA/AAA/MLB
2015 Stats: 517 PA, .273/.368/.433, 13 HR, 4 SB, 10% BB, 21% K
Williamson is similar to Parker in age and proximity. He lacks the speed of Parker, but quickly closes that gap with a better strikeout rate and two fewer birthdays. Williamson spent only half of 2015 in Triple-A, so there’s a good chance he’ll return there for more seasoning to start the year. His above-average power should work in a corner outfield spot if he can hit enough to stick. Both Williamson and Parker had double-digit walk rates, which is a good sign.
Clayton Blackburn, RHP | Age: 23 | ETA: 2016 | 2015 Level: AAA
2015 Stats: 123 IP, 2.85 ERA, 2.3 BB/9, 7.2 K/9
Blackburn has appeared on these lists for a while, and after spending all of the 2015 season in Triple-A we should finally see him surface in the majors this year. I don’t really understand why he doesn’t get more attention. He may not check all of the boxes on the scouting reports for his “stuff”, but in five minor league seasons his walk rate never rose above 2.5 BB/9 while his strikeout rate was always 7.0 K/9 or higher.
Adalberto Mejia, LHP | Age: 22 | ETA: 2016 | 2015 Level: AA
2015 Stats: 51.1 IP, 2.45 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, 6.7 K/9
Mejia served a 50-game suspension in 2015, which delays his progress a bit. In a system full of right-handed pitchers, he stands out as a southpaw with mid-rotation upside. It’s more likely that he’s a BORP with decent ratios and ho-hum strikeout numbers though. That’s a more exciting profile in mono formats or deeper mixed dynasties. He’ll look to get back on track in the upper levels to start the season and could be in the mix for some MLB innings later in 2016.
Hunter Cole, OF | Age: 23 | ETA: 2017 | 2015 Level: A/A+/AA
2015 Stats: 499 PA, .301/.358/.474, 9 HR, 7 SB, 8% BB, 20% K
Cole played a little second base in 2015, but pretty much transitioned to the outfield in the upper levels. It would have been better for his fantasy value if he stayed in the middle infield, and he’s likely a utility guy in the majors with a chance for double-digit power. It’s hard to see where he fits on the big club right now, so it’s more likely he spends all of this year in the upper minors and sees the bigs sometime next season.
Austin Slater, 2B | Age: 23 | ETA: 2017 | 2015 Level: A+/AA
2015 Stats: 483 PA, .294/.334/.381, 3 HR, 5 SB, 5% BB, 19% K
Slater is like Cole in reverse. He’s also likely to be a utility player when it’s all said and done, with limited power and speed upside. But he transitioned from the outfield to second base instead of the other way around. It would take a breakout for Slater to become relevant in shallower dynasty leagues, so for now he’s more of a watch guy in deeper ones.
Sam Coonrod, RHP | Age: 23 | ETA: 2017 | 2015 Level: A
2015 Stats: 111.2 IP, 3.14 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, 9.2 K/9
Coonrod was a fifth round pick in 2014, and his plus heater and slider combo could work in the rotation or the bullpen. The latter is a risk with pretty much any pitching prospect, but Coonrod has something working in his favor. It’s his walk rate, which has been consistently good in each of his first two seasons. I also dig that his name sounds like a big burly guy in Daniel Boone’s posse.
Kyle Crick, RHP | Age: 23 | ETA: 2016 | 2015 Level: AA
2015 Stats: 63 IP, 3.29 ERA, 9.4 BB/9, 10.4 K/9
At this point we can stop wondering and accept Crick for what he is – a reliever. One with a terrible habit of walking batters as well. The strikeouts were yummy, but they came laced with a 9.4 BB/9 in 2015. That’s like getting chocolate chip cookies laced with PCP. Sure they tasted good, but then you ran naked through the streets yelling at mailboxes to give you back your baby. Not really worth it.
Tier 3: Long Shot Lolitas
Sexy ceilings, but these youngsters also come with risks and distant ETAs.
Chris Shaw, 1B | Age: 22 | ETA: 2018 | 2015 Level: A(ss)
2015 Stats: 200 PA, .287/.360/.551, 12 HR, 0 SB, 10% BB, 21% K
Even though he busted his hamate in college, Shaw put up 12 homers in just 200 plate appearances in his first taste of pro ball. The lower first round pick by the Giants (31st overall), he could end up being the better fantasy bet despite being selected 13 picks after Bickford. Shaw’s a big man with plus power and a patient approach. He is likely limited to first base defensively, but there’s enough bat to carry his fantasy value there.
Lucius Fox, SS | Age: 18 | ETA: 2020 | 2015 Level: DNP
2015 Stats: N/A
When Fox isn’t designing planes for Batman, he’s playing baseball. The 18-year-old shortstop should end up somewhere up the middle even if it’s not short. He’s young enough that there’s still some power projection, and scouts like his ability to make contact. The best tool is still his speed though, which is double-plus and should make him an interesting asset in dynasty leagues even if the rest of the package doesn’t come together.
Jalen Miller, SS | Age: 19 | ETA: 2019 | 2015 Level: Rk
2015 Stats: 197 PA, .218/.292/.259, 0 HR, 11 SB, 9% BB, 21% K
Miller’s fantasy value is going to come from his speed and position on the diamond. There are some reports that see double-digit pop down the road and there’s certainly some potential with the bat, but at this point I wouldn’t sweat him in most formats. It’s just a little too early and a little too light an offensive profile.
Steve Duggar, OF | Age: 22 | ETA: 2018 | 2015 Level: A(ss)
2015 Stats: 267 PA, .293/.390/.367, 1 HR, 6 SB, 13% BB, 19% K
Duggar is a toolsy left-handed bat from Clemson that fell to the 6th round for the Giants in the 2015 draft. His best tool is his speed, and there’s enough arm to play any outfield spot. Whether there’s enough power is another thing altogether, and to this point Duggar hasn’t shown much in games. He should move quickly and if the bat holds up he could be an everyday player. If not, there’s at least a speedy fourth outfielder here.
Phil Bickford, RHP | Age: 20 | ETA: 2018 | 2015 Level: Rk
2015 Stats: 22.1 IP, 2.01 ERA, 2.4 BB/9, 12.9 K/9
Last year’s first pick for the Giants, Bickford has a big fastball and a lot of potential in the rest of his arsenal. If he can develop his slider and change, there’s upside for a #3 starter here. If not, he’ll join the small army of pitching prospects turned relievers where his heater will play up even more. With only a handful of rookie-level innings, it’s too early to tell which direction he’ll go which means it’s also too early to invest in dynasty leagues. The fact that he never signed with the Blue Jays in 2013 is a little weird.