#9. Gustavo Cabrera – OF, 17 yo, DSL: Cabrera is a right-handed hitting outfielder who signed with the Giants for $1.3 million last season. He hails from the Dominican, and was one of the highest rated international players on the market in 2012. MLB.com ranked him as their #1 international prospect coming into this season. He made his professional debut in the DSL last month, and has all of 26 games under his belt. He’s hitting .207 with 10 SB in 15 attempts on the season. At this point, Cabrera is very young and a huge unknown. Depending on how the rest of his season plays out, he could be a big mover (either up or down) on this list.
What we do know about the kid is that he had scouts absolutely drooling last summer, and his signing bonus shows it. The common reviews rave about his foot speed and bat speed. He’s a 6’2”, athletic kid who should be able to play any outfield position. Like the majority of international prospects, Cabrera’s tools are very raw, but it is believed (hoped?) that he can be an above-average hitter with lightning speed. He spent some time in America playing ball as an amateur, but the Giants decided to assign him to the Dominican Summer League anyway. They’re hoping they picked up a gem here, but you just never know with these young, raw players. It’s probably a long shot, but it’d be pretty cool to see Cabrera, Nat Javier, Christian Arroyo and Ryder Jones get a chance to play together in Salem-Keizer next season.
#23. Ryder Jones – 3B, 19 yo, R: Jones, the Giants 2nd round pick in this year’s draft, broke a commitment to Stanford (which is very rare) to sign a big-league contract. He’s listed at 6’2”, 200 lbs on MiLB.com, and was a highly regarded shortstop and pitcher at Watauga High School in NC. He’s a left-handed hitter and a coach’s son (his dad is the head baseball coach at Appalachian State). Little things like that are big for me, and I imagine Jones being the type of player who’s a leader on the field. He’s an unknown at this point, as the experts considered him a great reach in the 2nd round, but his 11 HR during his senior year are pretty impressive. It’ll be interesting to watch Jones and Christian Arroyo grow together.
#24. Ty Blach – LHP, 22 yo, Hi-A: The San Jose Giants were supposed to have a rotation for the ages this year, with names like Crick, Blackburn, Mejia, and Escobar. But Blach, the one guy who nobody talked about before the season, has been arguably the Hi-A Giants most impressive starter in the first half. The lefty was taken in the 5th round out of Creighton last season, where he was a workhorse in his senior season. He made 21 starts with a 2.69 ERA and 83k/28bb. He’s opened plenty of eyes in his first season of professional ball, posting a 2.67 ERA and a ridiculous 70k/8bb in 77 innings. He throws a low-90’s fastball, a sharp breaking ball, and I think it’s safe to say he’s got above average command.
#25. Joan Gregorio – RHP, 21 yo, Lo-A: Gregorio is a 6’7” international signee and really has a chance to put himself back on the radar if he continues pitching like he has so far this year in Augusta. After a rough go in Salem-Keizer in ‘12, he’s cruising (when healthy) in Low A with 42k/6bb in 36 innings (7 starts). We’ll see if he can sustain these numbers through the second half.