Cove Chatter 100: #22

Brian Ragira | 1B/OF, 21 yo, 6-2, 185, BR, TR | 2013 Draft – 4 | (AZL) 7 G, 29 PA, .357/.379/.464, .844 OPS, 0 HR, 1 BB, 6 K | (A-) 47 G, 213 PA, .263/.371/.391, .762 OPS, 3 HR, 26 BB, 54 K

The top college hitter taken by the Giants in the 2013 draft. Didn’t generate as much hype as Stanford teammate Austin Wilson, but he might have just as much potential. Like Christian Arroyo, Ragira is a former Team USA guy who stands out for his bat and arm. Ragira is an interesting case. You read one scouting report and your mouth waters. Read another and you get the opinion that his results will never match the potential. One example of that is his power, which he never really tapped into at Stanford, but came to life in the Cape Cod League two summers ago…the Giants really seem to take notice of Cape standouts. He’s an athletic kid who once played CF, but the reports I’ve read say he’s mostly looking at a pro career at 1B. So, which guy will show up – The one with the athleticism and power to stick at a corner outfield spot, or the 1B whose results on the field don’t match the expectations? Only time will tell, but I’d say his upside matches that of almost any position player in the organization.

They said it: “His best tool is his righthanded power potential and he has pure hitting ability, yet… scouts aren’t sure how much he’ll be able to tap into his considerable bat speed and strength. He lacks discipline at the plate, leading to high strikeout totals… He has lost some athleticism and probably is limited to first base. He has the hands and arm strength for third base or an outfield corner, but not the speed or range.” ~ Jim Callis, Baseball America

Ragira draft video:

Ragira at-bat:

Brian  Ragira

(Conner Penfold/Giant Potential)

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Arroyo Named MVP

Giants’ 2013 first round pick Christian Arroyo was named MVP of the Arizona Rookie League today. 2nd round pick Ryder Jones, catcher Fernando Pujadas and 21 year-old lefty Luis Ysla were also named to the AZL All-Star team, while Giants’ skipper Nestor Rojas took Manager of the Year. The Giants, led primarily by young 2013 draft picks, finished first in the regular season standings at 41-14 this summer. They earned a bye into the AZL semi-finals, which will be played tomorrow. I don’t know exactly how rookie league playoffs are formatted, but having a bye certainly doesn’t hurt.

If I’m Arroyo, I accept that MVP award with a hearty “F-You” to the draft scouts who called me the biggest reach of the first round. That “reach” logged a .326/.388/.511 line with 2 HR, 18 2B and 39 RBI in 45 games this summer while manning shortstop for the first-place Giants. According to MiLB.com, his OPS (.898), doubles and RBI were best in the AZL this year. He also tied the league lead in slugging. If you want to read the brief article, you can find it here.

We know the Giants have plenty of pitching depth in the lower levels of the system. But I don’t think many people realize the Giants are also starting to build a nice base of position player talent as well, although many of those guys are very far off. We can hope that Jones and Arroyo, the gems of this year’s draft, continue to push each other (if they are assigned to the same level next year). The same goes for international babies Gustavo Cabrera and Nat Javier, college bats Tyler Horan, Brandon Bednar and Brian Ragira, as well as 2013 high school draftees like Jonah Arenado and John Riley.

The Giants may have gambled on some of these guys, but I think Arroyo’s play this summer shut a lot of people up, and hopefully showed some “experts” that Bobby Evans, Brian Sabean and crew may know a thing or two about scouting talent. Keep those bats coming, fella’s.

Mid-Season Top 40 Prospects (26-30)

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#26. Cody Hall – RHP, 25 yo, AA: Bullpen arm, pumps a mid-90’s fastball. Having a monster year in SJ; Allowed only 5 ER with 42k/7bb in 30 innings this year. Stellar closer with 21 saves for Low-A Augusta in 2012.

#27. Chris Heston – RHP, 25 yo, AAA: Command pitcher drafted in the 12th round (2009). He’s stopped at nearly every level in the system, his best year by far coming a season ago in AA. A 5.30 EA through 15 starts in Fresno has prevented him from getting the call.  The Giants could sure use him if he turns things around in the second half.

#28. Jarrett Parker – OF, 24 yo, AA: Former 2nd round pick from UVA, can hit for power, knows how to draw a walk, and can swipe a bag. Strikes out a ton, but I’m keeping a close eye on him after hitting 8 HR this May.

#29. Brian Ragira – 1B, 22 yo, SS-A: 4th round pick in 2013, he was the third player drafted out of Stanford. Has a chance to hit for contact and field his position well. Could turn out to be a draft steal if he can hit for power.

#30. Steven Okert – LHP, 21 yo, Lo-A: Big, hard-throwing lefty reliever. He was the Giants 4th round pick in 2012. 3.19 ERA (but 14 walks) in 31 innings pitched this season.