Cove Chatter 100 Honorable Mention: Catchers and Infielders

The final honorable mention post. I’ll try to get a recap post up a little later with all of the HM players in one place. So, 50 down, 50 to go. We’re half-way done, although we squeezed the first half into 6 quick posts. We’ll take a closer look at each player in the top 50. It seems to be prospect ranking season all of a sudden, with Fangraphs and Baseball America releasing their lists this week. At this point, the Cove Chatter list is what it is… it ain’t changin’, and I like how it stacks up with the others (I actually like it more, but of course I am biased). If I have a chance this weekend, I’ll try to do a little review of the FG and BA lists… After researching this system tirelessly, I’ve definitely got some opinions for each of their rankings. Maybe that will be a nice transition into my own top 50, which I’ll likely begin at the start of next week. If you’ve been following along so far, thank you. Your thoughts are always appreciated, and I’m pretty excited to start getting into the meet of the organization. Stay tuned!

Alberto Robles | SS, 22 yo, 6-1, 155, BR TR | IFA 2009 VZ | (A) 62 G, 217 PA, .304/.746, 1 HR, 21 RBI, 13 SB, 13 BB, 22 K

Venezuelan middle infielder who does a little bit of everything. Solid defense, good plate approach, speed and a strong work ethic. He missed the season’s first two months before bursting onto the scene in late May… can he sustain that success over a full season?

 Robles Article:

Jeremy Sy | SS, 23 yo, 5-8, 180, BR, TR | 2012 Draft – 12 | (A-) 46 G, 202 PA, .294/.909, 8 HR, 41 RBI, 13 SB, 26 BB, 44 K

A little old for the NWL, but he was drafted as a college senior anyway. Had a very nice summer at the plate in Salem-Keizer in what was his first taste of pro ball. He’s a shorter guy with nice pop and some speed to go along with it. Was the Sun Belt Player of the Year in 2012 at UL Monroe. The Giants seem to like these guys who earn it on the field rather than in the scouting report, and Sy is a great example of that. We should know more about him by this time next year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he earns an aggressive promotion.

 Sy Article:

Ydwin Villegas | SS, 23 yo, 5-10, 180, BR, TR | IFA 2007 VZ | (AAA, A+) 55 G, 170 PA, .245/.602, 0 HR, 16 RBI, 1 SB, 10 BB, 51 K

Villegas is one of the Giants’ top defensive prospects, but like many other elite defenders his bat has never caught up to his glove. He’s still pretty young, but he’s never played more than 79 games in a season since debuting in the DSL in 2008. Is he a career backup infielder, or is there more to his game than that? At this point, I’m really not sure.

Villegas Article:

John Polonius | SS, 22 yo, 6-1, 160, BR, TR | UFA 2012 | (A+, A-) 65 G, 270 PA, .251/.664, 2 HR, 32 RBI, 7 SB, 16 BB, 50 K

Skinny shortstop was drafted by the Brewers in 2011 but didn’t sign; signed with the Giants after going undrafted the next year. He’s a gifted defender, but very raw at the plate. He’s not very old, but he may need to show something with the bat next year if he wants to stick around.

 Polonius Interview:

Travious Relaford | SS, 21 yo, 5-11, 160, BR, TR | 2011 Draft – 44 | (A, A+, AA) 92 G, 308 PA, .201/.556, 2 HR, 26 RBI, 10 SB, 31 BB, 71 K

Young defensive shortstops are going to get a longer leash in development most of the time. Drafted late in 2011 out of a JC in Georgia (where he was the defensive player of the year), he’s only played 133 total games in two professional seasons. His reputation with the glove got him all the way up to Richmond this year, but he struggled mightily at the plate. He can take a walk and steal a bag, but I think he needs a full year at one of the lower levels to gain some confidence as a hitter.

Relaford Video:

Ryan Jones | 2B, 23 yo, 5-10, 175, BR, TR | 2012 Draft – 13 | (A-) 42 G, 173 PA, .336/.849, 0 HR, 23 RBI, 9 SB, 22 BB, 25 K

Repeated Salem-Keizer and had much more success this year. Had quite the collegiate hitting pedigree at Michigan State, but hasn’t shown much power as a professional. He’s on the older side, so maybe the Giants challenge him with an aggressive promotion to the Cal League next season.

Jones Article:

Trevor Brown | 2B/C, 22 yo, 6-2, 195, BR, TR | 2012 Draft – 10 | (A, A+) 111 G, 485 PA, .240/.608, 3 HR, 44 RBI, 10 SB, 31 BB, 62 K

Utility guy from UCLA who plays infield and catches. He didn’t have a particularly strong season at the plate in Augusta, but the Giants promoted him to San Jose for the playoffs. I think there’s more in his bat than what he showed this year, but he’ll have to prove he can make more contact in 2014. Versatile players are very valuable, and I see him as a jack of all trades type if his offense comes around.

Brown Video:

Mitchell Delfino | 3B, 22 yo, 6-2, 210, BR TR | 2012 Dft – 20 | (A) 122 G, 522 PA, .270/.737, 13 HR, 76 RBI, 4 SB, 35 BB, 76 K

First full season for the 3B from Cal ended quite well, with a .319, 5 HR August earning him a promotion to San Jose for the postseason. Really only had one poor month at the plate all year (May), and his 13 HR in the pitcher-friendly SALLY is a pretty impressive feat. He’s big and strong, and has some sneaking power, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see an offensive explosion in San Jose next year.

 Delfino Video:

Jeff Arnold | C, 25 yo, 6-2, 205, BR, TR | 2010 Draft – 26 | (A+) 97 G, 396 PA, .251/.793, 13 HR, 61 RBI, 4 SB, 38 BB, 116 K

He doesn’t do anything special, but I’ll go out on a limb and say he finds himself on a MLB squad as a backup someday. Former Louisville Cardinal has spent the last two seasons in Augusta and San Jose catching and mentoring some of the most heralded minor league arms in the organization. He should have a chance to catch them again next year in Richmond, too. Had a nice season at the plate with 13 HR, although he only hit .251. He does his best work with the gear on… a career .992 FLD% and 38% CS ain’t too shabby.

PS: If you haven’t clicked on many of the links in these profiles, you HAVE to check out Arnold’s interview with Connor at Giant Potential. Great insight on Crick and Blackburn, with a little bit on Blach and Mejia as well. Arnold seems like an intelligent, laid-back guy who understands his role as a mentor in the organization… I like the guy a lot.

Arnold Interview:

Leo Rojas | C/DH, 23 yo, 5-11, 180, BR, TR | 2012 Draft – 15 | (A-) 17 G, 68 PA, .306/.835, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 2 BB, 12 K

Originally from Venezuela, drafted in 2012 out of Miami Dade CC (same as Derek Law, I believe). He’s known more for his offense, but he’s got some catching up to do after sitting out most of the season with a 50-game suspension for PED’s. Next year should give us a pretty good picture of his potential, as he’s only played in 38 professional games.

Rojas Article:

In Squirrels’ win, Relaford makes impactful first impression

Travious Relaford


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