San Francisco Giants Honorable Mention Prospects (Sorted by age for 2016 season)
Note: I chose 25 players for the “honorable mention” group, and have split them roughly in half. The 12 prospects below are age 22 and younger, while the next post will include the remaining 13 players (age 23 and older). This should make for a little easier reading.
Francisco Medina, 3B, Age 18: Skinny infielder signed for $115k in 2014 and took everyone by surprise when he hit 7 HR as a 17 year-old in the DSL last summer. There’s definitely work to be done, as his .243 average, 23% K rate, and 5% walk rate indicate, but it’s truly not often you see a player hit that many homers in the DSL. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him repeat the league regardless.
Victor Concepcion, RHP, Age 19: Smaller righty stayed in the Dominican Summer League (DSL) after posting solid numbers in his age 17 season. He was even better at 18 (2 ER in 43 IP), but he was limited to only 8 starts. 2016 should see him in the U.S., where he looks to have the arm to compete.
Manuel Geraldo, 2B/SS, Age 19: Switch-hitting Dominican middle-infielder raised his average 75 points in his second professional season (both in the DSL), hit 3 HR and stole 18 bases. There should be plenty of competition at shortstop between guys like Lucius Fox, Jalen Miller and Kelvin Beltre next summer, but Geraldo’s skillset is one worth watching as he comes state-side.
Gustavo Cabrera, CF, Age 20: He’s got bat speed and tremendous athleticism, but those things don’t do much for you if you can’t stay on the field. After missing all of 2014 with a nasty hand injury, Cabrera played two games in Arizona last summer and never re-appeared. The former top international prospect needs to get some traction on his career.
Sandro Cabrera, LHP, Age 20: Southpaw with some size (6-2, 175) who signed for 6 figures in 2014. He spent the summer in the Dominican pitching quite well before coming to America for fall instructs (picture here). I wanted to slot him into the top 50, but it’s just hard to do when you’ve never read a scouting report or seen a video of a player. He was a couple years older than the DSL competition, but I think we could have another Luis Ysla-type lefty here.
Byron Murray, OF, Age 20: Stocky young outfielder was a 25th round pick in 2014. He grew up in the Bahamas before playing high school ball in Florida. Nothing about his rookie ball lines from ’14 or ’15 screams at you, but I still think he has some major power potential in a swing that needs some refining. He’s very much on my watch list.
Cameron Avila-Leeper, LHP, Age 20: Timmy-sized southpaw who grew up in Sacramento rooting for the Giants. He spent 2015 dominating opponents at San Joaquin Delta in Stockton (stats here), one of the top JuCo programs in the country. The Giants drafted him in the 17th round last summer. Cool pre-draft article from the SacBee here. Unfortunately, he went under the knife for Tommy John surgery at the end of the year, and it’s very unlikely he competes in 2016. I’m still intrigued enough to include him on the list.
Stetson Woods, RHP, Age 21: 6-ft-8 arm out of Madera was a 9th round pick in 2014. For a prep guy drafted only a summer ago, he’ll already be 21 on Opening Day. That’s not a huge deal, except for the fact he logged only 18 inconsistent innings in 2015. I’m not sure what the hang-up is, but the Giants really haven’t been aggressive with a prep pitcher since Crick and Blackburn in 2011. They’ve got every reason to be patient with Woods, who very well could be throwing mid-90’s in the next couple years with that frame.
Domenic Mazza, LHP, Age 21: Mazza was a mid-week starter for a UC Santa Barbara club that featured Dillon Tate last year. He apparently had an uptick in velocity coming into his junior season, and pitched deep into a number of games, striking out 8 on three occasions. He wasn’t really challenged in the AZL, and will likely be a candidate for a rotation spot in Augusta next spring. He’s certainly not flashy, but lefties who can hit 90 often find a spot in this sport.
Dylan Davis, RF, Age 22: Oregon State slugger fell to the 3rd round in 2014 after he failed to keep up with teammate Michael Conforto’s All-American pace. He threw hard as a seldom-used college reliever, and that arm is still one of his greatest tools. If he can make enough adjustments to keep up with advanced pitching, he’s got some big power potential as well. His .613 OPS in San Jose shows he still has a lot of work to do.
Cory Taylor, RHP, Age 22: The Giants drafted Taylor last summer in the 8th round out of Dallas Baptist, where he had a nice junior season as a starter. He’s built similarly to Clayton Blackburn, but throws significantly harder. The Giants sent him to the bullpen in Salem-Keizer, where he struck out 50 in 33 innings of work. I know little about his off-speed stuff, but he seems like the type of hard-throwing arm the Giants will try to put back into starting role down the road.
John Riley, 1B/DH, Age 22: Former San Jose prep catcher was moved off the position last winter during instructional league in order to focus on his bat. He was assigned to Augusta after spending parts of two seasons in rookie ball, but his offensive improvements couldn’t hold up in the extreme pitcher-friendly South Atlantic League. He turns 22 in a couple months, and will need to get some traction going in 2016.