We’re going through a bit of downtime in the “hot stove” department, so why not take a look at my successes and downfalls from last offseason’s Cove Chatter 100 prospects list. Just a note, the original list can be found here.
For some reason, the “bottom 50” honorable mention links aren’t working right now, so I can only review the top 50. There is one name outside the top 50 that really stands out to me, so much so that I even remember the exact ranking I gave him.
#83: Chris Heston, RHP – I’m always learning lessons in this prospect evaluation business. I don’t think there was any way before spring training (even during spring training?) of predicting Heston’s impact on the MLB team last season. It was definitely apparent in March that he’d taken a big step forward, but the lesson here is any player who makes the Majors at all should probably be considered a top 50 prospect from here on out. Lesson learned. Status: Graduated
#50: Kelby Tomlinson, 2B – Mechanical adjustments to his swing may have saved Tomlinson’s career. In one summer, he went from a fringe-prospect with elite speed to a legitimate MLB second baseman. I’m glad I found a spot for him! Status: Graduated
#49: Hunter Cole, OF – Surprise later-round signing from the 2015 draft had a breakout offensive season for San Jose & Richmond. The college 3B was shifted to a corner OF spot. He doesn’t offer big power at the moment, but seems to have that Giants ability to put bat to ball going for him. Status: Stock Up
#48: Martin Agosta, RHP – Former 2nd round logged 100 IP for the first time in his injury-riddled career. His K and BB rates were excellent in San Jose, but he had trouble limiting runs in the hitter-friendly Cal League. Status: Stock slightly up
#47: Josh Osich, LHP – The big, hard-throwing southpaw shook off two injured/inconsistent seasons at AA in a big way. A year later, Osich & his 98 mph fastball appear to have a job in Bruce Bochy’s bullpen all but secured. Stock: Graduated
#46: Chase Johnson, RHP – One of the biggest risers in the system, right here. Johnson’s second full season starting saw him holding his mid-90’s velocity late in games. He made it to AA late in the year, and now looks like one of the top arms in the organization. Status: Stock way up
#45: Sam Coonrod, RHP – Like Johnson before him, the Giants converted Coonrod from college closer duties to a starter’s role in Augusta. His numbers were consistent all season, but scouts and opposing managers were blown away by his high-90’s fastball. MLB Pipeline ranked him #5 in the system, and SAL managers voted him Pitcher of the Year. Stock: Way up
#44: Chuckie Jones, OF – Former toolsy prep draftee returned from a 50-game suspension, spent the second part of the year in Augusta, and voluntarily retired at season’s end. Status: Retired
#43: Byron Murray, OF – Young Bahamas native is a project, but his tools intrigue me. I’ll probably rank him around #50 again this winter. Status: Stock stable
#42: Jonah Arenado, 3B – The Giants challenged him with a full-time job in Augusta, where he held his own despite suffering through a few lengthy slumps. He should be ticketed to replace Ryder Jones at 3B in San Jose, but I wonder if he’s not a 1B long-term. Status: Stock stable
#41: Dylan Brooks, RHP – 6-ft-7 Canadian righty was suspended 50 games for a “drug of abuse” before spending his second summer in Arizona. His numbers aren’t bad, but it’s time to see if he can succeed above rookie ball. Status: Stock stable
Thoughts: Comapre #’s 41-44 with 45-50. Holy smokes, that back-end group looks more like a top 10 list at this point! It just goes to show, no matter how much time you spend watching and researching these guys, prospects ALWAYS surprise you.
I’ll try to keep working on these throughout the month, as well as the roster series… so stay tuned. Thanks for reading!