Cove Chatter 100: #35

John Riley2013 Draft – 31 | (AZL) 21 G, 78 PA, .200/.321/.292, .613 OPS, 0 HR, 8 RBI, 12 BB, 25 K 

Don’t let his draft position fool you – Riley was an All-American prep catcher from San Jose who the Giants took a shot on late in 2013. Like Christian Arroyo and Ryder Jones, Riley put up video game numbers in his final high school season (.337/.491/.735, 8 HR). It took $400k and some persuading from Dave Raghetti to break him away from his Cal commitment. Baseball America ranked him in the top 150 among all draft prospects this summer, and the Giants supposedly liked him as early as the 2nd round. He’ll be a project, but I really like his upside in his bat. Another very nice late round pick.

They said it: “Said MLB.com of Riley: “(He has) good actions behind the plate and a strong arm. He was a Max Preps All-American in 2012, and the Giants are probably hoping a local connection will convince Riley to forgo college.” ~ John Murphy, prep2prep.com

Riley Video

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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.