2014 Roster Predictions: San Jose

(#) Cove Chatter 100 Ranking | *CC 100 Honorable Mention

San Jose (25)

C: Ben Turner

1B: (22) Brian Ragira

2B: *Trevor Brown

3B: *Mitch Delfino

SS: *Jeremy Sy

LF: (32) Tyler Horan

CF: (33) Jesus Galindo

RF: (37) Chuckie Jones

DH: *Brandon Bednar

Bench: Eric Sim

Bench: *Joey Rapp

Bench: *Shawn Payne

SP: (9) Chris Stratton

SP: (12) Kendry Flores

SP: (13) Martin Agosta

SP: (14) Joan Gregorio

SP: (28) Nick Vander Tuig

SP: *Pat Young

RP: *Jorge Bucardo

RP: (31) Mason McVay

RP: (47) Ian Gardeck

RP: (40) Steven Okert

RP: (39) Tyler Mizenko

RP: (26) Stephen Johnson

RP: (27) Dan Slania

Top 50: 15

Honorable Mention: 8

Thoughts: You can almost always count on San Jose to have a stacked roster, and this year shouldn’t be any different. Backstops Turner and Sim are the only two guys listed here that didn’t make the Cove Chatter 100, and Turner likely should have for his excellent defense. I think he could have a nice season in the Cal League. So, 15 of the top 50 prospects in the organization, right here. That’s a good looking group.

If you didn’t know anything about Kyle Crick and last year’s stacked San Jose rotation, you’d think this group of arms could form one of the top staffs in the minors… and honestly, they still might. While the rest of the baseball world watches the every move of the Richmond rotation this summer, Stratton, Flores and the rest of the San Jose starting pitchers could turn out to be just as dominant. If I had to pick a staff ace, I don’t think I could do it right now. It certainly could be Stratton or Flores, but I wouldn’t sleep on Agosta or Gregorio either (if they’re healthy). All four of those guys can hit 95 on the gun. And Vander Tuig, the ace for National Champ UCLA last year? He comes in 5th on this group. Pretty impressive.

On the offensive side, we’ve got the three top college hitters from the 2013 draft (Ragira, Horan and Bednar). It’s not a lock that all of them will end up in San Jose, but I just don’t see any significant talent blocking them from an aggressive assignment. Ragira is the toolsy guy of the bunch, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Horan do his best Mac Williamson impression. The average may not be great, but a 20-HR season wouldn’t shock me. Horan’s got crazy power. The other guy to watch for here is Sy, who will likely start in Augusta if Matt Duffy returns to the Cal League on Opening Day. If the organization does decide to get aggressive with those two, I’ll be very intrigued to see how Sy holds up in High-A. The former Sun Belt MVP looks ready for a challenge.

San Jose was a pitching-led squad last year, and the 2014 team should continue that trend. With a potentially loaded staff (from the starters to the bullpen), they should be a fun group to watch. If all of these relievers get the promotion from Augusta, it will be exciting to watch them work together again. Between Johnson, Gardeck, McVay and Okert, that’s a lot of heat and nastiness. Slania is the 2013 draftee, and I could see him starting in the SALLY, but I’d like to see him go right to San Jose as the closer. This year is all about challenges for me, as the competition for roster spots increases throughout the system. San Jose is usually a playoff team, and I’d expect them to be right in the hunt again this year.

(RHP Pat Young/Photo Courtesy of SJGiants.mlblogs.com)

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