Cove Chatter 100 Honorable Mention: The Outfielders

Chris Lofton | CF, 23 yo, 6-1, 175, BL, TR | 2010 Draft – 9 | (A+) 120 G, 446 PA, .258/.705, 4 HR, 41 RBI, 23 SB, 45 BB, 105 K

Athletic outfielder who played football and baseball at Jones County JC in Mississippi before the Giants drafted him in 2010. For a guy who’d never been purely a baseball player, he’s shown some nice tools on the field, but hasn’t made enough contact to advance quickly. He’s been very consistent in his first 3 full seasons as a professional, showing strong defense, plus speed on the bases, and the ability to take a walk. He’s also prone to strikeouts, and has been caught stealing 39 times in his career. He should be moving up to Richmond after spending two years in San Jose.

Lofton Article:

Andrew Cain | CF, 23 yo, 6-6, 220, BR, TR | 2012 Draft – 24 | (A) 110 G, 401 PA, .240/.711, 9 HR, 44 RBI, 20 SB, 32 BB, 94 K

The Giants have taken some very interesting players outside the top 20 rounds of the draft in recent years. Add this guy to that list. He hit .322 with 12 HR and 23 SB at UNC Wilmington in 2012 after passing on a 12th round pick by the Brewers in 2011. Despite the speed, pop and CF defense to go along with his 6-foot-6 frame, he dropped to the Giants in the 24th round last summer. While he struggled to hit for average this season in Augusta, he was quietly one of the team’s most productive hitters. He logged 9 HR and 8 3B, and stole 20 bases while playing all three outfield positions for the Greenjackets. I’ll say this now: if this kid can make some adjustments at the plate, look out.

Cain Article:

Ben Leslie | OF, 19 yo, 6-1, 185, BL, TL | IFA Australia 2012 | (AZL) 15 G, 32 PA, .348/.966, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1 SB, 9 BB, 9 K

Leslie was a top Australian prospect who signed with the Giants last year at age 18. He only got a small taste of pro ball this summer in Arizona, but showed the ability to take a walk in his limited AB’s. He’s an intriguing player to watch going forward, as he’s young, powerful, and quite an unknown commodity.

 Leslie Article:

Devin Harris | OF, 25 yo, 6-3, 225, BR, TR | 2010 Draft – 48 | (A+) 563 PA, .258/.810, 23 HR, 84 RBI, 41 BB, 123 K

Drafted in the 8th round in 2009 by Baltimore but didn’t sign… and it cost him. He fell all the way to the 48th round in 2010 for the Giants. He’s solidly built, with some big power in his bat. His 24 HR this year were 2nd to only Mac Williamson among all Giants farmhands. The big question for Harris is, can he make enough contact to get past AA at a reasonably young age?

Harris Video:

Shawn Payne | OF, 24 yo, 6-1, 190 | 2011 Draft – 35 | (A+, A) 109 G, 487 PA, .239/.333, 5 HR, 50 RBI, 27 SB, 55 BB, 91 K

Payne has the on-base skills and speed of a leadoff hitter, but his stock took a big hit this year in San Jose. Not only did his batting average drop off, but his outfield defense was shockingly bad as well. He was sent back to Augusta after hitting .229 with only 1 HR in 73 games with San Jose. The plus speed is still there, but he has a much longer road ahead of him now than originally anticipated. He was a middle infielder in college… maybe the Giants should think about moving him back to the infield to see if his defense plays there.

Payne Video:

Devin  Harris led the league with 40 doubles and also hit 23 home runs this season

Devin Harris

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3 thoughts on “Cove Chatter 100 Honorable Mention: The Outfielders”

  1. Payne went to the same HS as Brandon Phillips, and idolizes him, playing 2B in HS. I’d love to have him give a shot at it again. Payne has to grind through, but I wouldn’t give up yet.

    1. I added Payne to the list pretty late. Originally, I wasn’t going to include him, but that 2012 was just so tantalizing. If he can hang in the infield, I say go for it. No way a guy with his skillset is going to make it without a position to play. Hopefully he can get back on track next year.

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