Tha Sports Junkies 101

Prospect Profiles: San Francisco Giants

San Francisco Giants image via sportsgraphics36


A look at the farm system of the San Francisco Giants

Despite a brief post-season run last season, the San Francisco Giants are in a pretty good position to contend once again. After some key additions to the squad, Mark Melancon the most noticeable, the need for prospects seems to be in the back of the Giants front office’s minds, and rightfully so.

With their current team, the G-Men have highly favorable odds of contending for the next 3-6 years, assuming all whose contracts end within that time frame.

But there comes a time in every organization to take a step back and look at the whole picture, the whole organization. As a whole, the Giants could use some upgrades in their farm system.

Their focus on MLB talent has led them to be somewhat low on this list of the best farm systems compared to other major league franchises.

Christian Arroyo, INF

Ranked 79th in the MLB Top 100, Arroyo looks to make his big-league debut this year, it makes sense for Christian Arroyo to focus on playing more than one infield position. With the presences of Brandon Belt, Joe Panik, Brandon Crawford and Eduardo Nunez/Conor Gillaspie in the infield, it would be wise for Arroyo to develop into a platoon, utility player to see some playing time in the Bay Area.

In 119 at-bats at AA Richmond, the 21-year-old hit an impressive .274/.316/.373. That consistent offensive presence he brings could help an often flip-flop hot/cold Giant lineup. Hitting only 3 home runs in that span, Arroyo isn’t really a big-power hitter, but the consist barrel-on-the-ball game he brings helps his case for being brought up mid-season for some extra support.

ETA: September 2017

Tyler Beede, RHP

Coming in at 99th in the MLB Top 100, and second in the Giant organization, Tyler Beede rejected the Toronto Blue Jays 21st overall pick in 2011 to go to school. Beede was apart of the 2014 College World Champion Vanderbilt Commodores, Beede was drafted 14th overall by the Giants after that run.

Posting an impressive 2.81 ERA in 147.1 innings at AA Richmond last season, at 2017 debut seems inevitable, but there are some concerns regarding his put-away pitches.

Despite having an advanced – for his age – fastball that can range anywhere from 90-95, he has had difficulty finding the strike zone with his changeup and curveball. Showing these signs, even in 2014 with Vanderbilt, the 23-year-old has grown and showed clear improvement in overall control. In 2015, the righty walked 44 in 124.2 innings of work (0.35 walks per 9), then very subtly worsened that number in 2016, walking 53 in 147.1 (0.36 walks per 9). That’s if you want to get picky, but a .01% increase in walks per 9, keeping in mind, he threw about 23 more innings, is actually good.

If Beede can learn to be more precise with those necessary put-away pitches, then he has a real shot of pitching well when welcomed to the show.

ETA: 2017

Chris Shaw, 1B

As the 31st pick in the 2015 draft, the Giants selected a player who has already made a name for himself. In one season of work, Chris Shaw is 6th in the MLB’s Top 10 first basemen.

Starting out 2016 on A+ San Jose and finishing in AA Richmond, Shaw put up .285/.335/.484, which is a nice output to see from the 23-year-old first baseman. Oh yeah, and he hit 21 home runs, driving in 85 in 502 at-bats.

Being held back by the likings of the Baby Giraffe starting for the Giants, and the fact that the NL doesn’t have the DH position for situations like these, the path to the show for Shaw seems to be difficult.

For Shaw to play in the majors, the Giants must part ways with Belt. Or trade Shaw away to a team in need of a first baseman (or DH). Possibilities of a position change to third seems unlikely, but can be something Bruce Bochy can explore. With one or two more minor league seasons under his belt, Shaw can be MLB ready.

ETA: 2018

Bryan Reynolds, OF

Bryan Reynolds, the 22-year-old was just drafted in the second round in the latest draft, the Giants first pick because of the surrendering of their first rounder for Jeff Samardzija.

As San Fran’s second 2014 Vanderbilt alumni, the direction is clear that the Giants want players who can handle big stages like the College World Series.

Last season, in low A-Ball, Reynolds hit an impressive .313 along with again impressive .343 on-base percentage. Despite only hitting six home runs, with 38 RBIs, the fact that Reynolds gets on base pays dividends for the young outfielder.

Reynolds power seems to be nonexistent at times, but he can run and play the field pretty well.

It’s no question Reynolds is a prospect poised for the MLB, he’s going to take a couple years in the minors to really develop into the player he has the potential to become.

ETA: 2019

Sam Coonrod, RHP

Rated as the 5th prospect in the Giants organization, Sam Coonrod is the 2nd among pitchers, which is not the way to win in this league today, but that’s not the point of this. The point is the fact that the Giants lack depth in the pitching department. Yeah, they’re all good with Madison Bumgardner and Johnny Cueto right now, but in 3-6 years when one or both of them begin to decline, the need for arms will be dire, and all they have to look at is Coonrod, the 24-year-old out of Southern Illinois University.

Not to say Coonrod isn’t good, he is, but the Giants are going to need more than 2 pitchers in their top 5 to keep up with today’s standards of strong pitching, but we’re getting off topic here…

With A+ San Jose and AA Richmond, Coonrod threw a 2.55 ERA in 141 innings. Coonrod holds a decent BB/SO ratio, 60:94, Coonrod may be on the path to take the ranks of ace when Mad-Bum’s time is done.

He can get that speedball up to around 91-96 mph. His put away pitch, his slider, can hit at or around the mid-80s, which comes with slight control problems. But not his biggest problem.

His changeup is his weakest pitch, and it will need to be worked on desperately if he wishes to remain a starter. If Coonrod can get that changeup to have a better success rate when finding the strike zone, he’s a likely candidate to get called up in September.

ETA: 2017

Aramis Garcia, C

Unable to get out of low-A ball, seeing Aramis Garcia behind the plate at AT&T Park this year is highly unlikely, but not impossible.

Garcia hit an underwhelming .255/.309/.331 slash. He hit 2 home runs in 47 games, which, again, is underwhelming. He will need to focus on other skills due to the fact that he’s not a good base runner. Garcia has only 1 stolen base, but he’s a catcher, so running isn’t really that important.

The only thing Garcia has going for him right now would have to be his above average arm, but he still gave up 34 stolen bases in 55 attempts. The only reason he has his arm going for him is because we don’t know if the snatched bases are on the pitcher or him, but for the sake of his case, we’ll say about half on the pitcher.

Garcia has been stuck in low-A ball since he was drafted back in 2014. This season Garcia needs to work on putting good wood on the ball and getting on base more. Given a few more years of development, Garcia needs to prove himself to be the successor of future Giant legend Buster Posey.

ETA: 2018

Joan Gregorio, RHP

After spending a little under seven years in the minors, RHP signed in March 2010 Joan Gregorio looks to finally make his major league debut this year, but his consistency might hold him back yet another full season.

Last season apart with AA Richmond and AAA Sacramento, Gregorio put up a disappointing 4.69 ERA in 134.2 innings. But he struck out 152 while walking only 49.

It should be interesting to see how Gregorio plays this spring, especially considering this is needs to be the year he finally emerges. To finally make the Giants 25-man roster, Gregorio needs to solely focus on being a relief pitcher. He was briefly in the minors, and that time turned out alright for him. When he gave up pacing batters and started focusing on attacking them, his true potential revealed itself.

He also needs to gain better control over his slider and changeup. His put away pitches has had problems in the past, and he needs to settle those issues. If he can’t ease these problems, he might see another season in the minors.

ETA: 2017 (hopefully)

Andrew Suarez, LHP

Drafted 61st overall in 2015, Andrew Suarez has blown straight through the Giants farm system and has improved greatly.

With A+ San Jose and AA Richmond, Suarez put up an impressive 3.63 ERA in 143.1 innings of work. Impressive considering his age of 23 (22 when drafted). 2016 Prospect Pipeline states Suarez should be ready to see MLB bats as early as sometime this season, but I disagree, despite his development.

Yeah the young southpaw has shown tremendous development, but his changeup and curve/slider still needs time to work itself out in the minors before facing major league bats, at least one more season. ETA: 2017 – My ETA: September 2018

Jordan Johnson, RHP

Jordan Johnson, 23, spent all of 2016 in A+ San Jose, and put up some less than impressive numbers, despite having tremendous control for his level. He put up a sad 5.32 ERA last season with 11 wild pitches in 120 innings. Not too bad, but still something to keep an eye on.

Johnson also had Tommy John surgery, which set him back two years at Cal State Northridge. Ever since then, his velocity has always been in question. Currently, he ranges about 93-96 mph, once hitting 98, which is impressive for a TJ victim.

If Johnson can develop his curveball to be as threatening as it was pre-surgery, he has a nice shot at being a back-end rotation starter in the next 2-3 years.

ETA: 2018

Steven Duggar, OF

The Giants picked Steven Duggar 186 overall in 2015, but has proven that he should’ve been drafted earlier.

With A+ San Jose and AA Richmond last season, Duggar hit a .302/.388/.448 slash, which is impressive for a 23 year old. More than impressive. Unfortunately, Dugger is not perfect.

Walking 72 times, he struck out 117 times.

Not really known as a power hitter, Duggar can make some nice contact. If he learns better plate discipline, he will learn to lay off garbage.  This is an understandable problem for a prospect of his age/level, but his above average speed and fielding could make him a nice 4-tool player to have in the outfield.

With about one more season of development in the Giants organization, Duggar would be a nice weapon to have on the bench late in a game and possibly even a starter in 3-5 years.

ETA: 2018

Just missed:

Steven Okert, LHP: 3.80 ERA in 47.1 innings at AAA Sacramento. Pitched 14 innings in the MLB in 2016, giving up a 3.21 ERA with no record. With a more developed changeup and increased control of his pitches, Okert can be an effective piece in the improving Giant bullpen. ETA: 2016

Rodolfo Martinez, RHP: 3.35 ERA in 53.2 innings at A+ San Jose and AA Richmond last season. Martinez needs to be more deceive against hitters to get more strikeouts. That would bring down his .255 opponents batting average he gave up with both levels combined last season. ETA: 2018/19


The Giants have a weak pitching farm system, and a semi-thin farm system in general. The San Francisco Giants will base their future around the amount of cap-space they’ll have in a given off-season. Which isn’t a bad thing, necessarily, it just seems sort of dishonest when you sign players who developed in other organizations.

The thin Giants farm could cause some problems in the future, but for the most part, the Giants faithful should just focus on winning and having fun now, savor these moments, in case 4-6 years fly by and that farm is now the starting 9.