Hey guys welcome to the next installment of the SAL team preview series. I’m excited to get these rolling again.
Today I’ll be talking about the 2017 Augusta Greenjackets as I continue alphabetically around the league. The Greenjackets are the minor league affiliate of the San Francisco Giants.
Previously I wrote up the Asheville Tourists
For those not familiar with the SAL team preview series, I scour the rookie levels of each organization and speculate on who might be coming to the Sally in 2017. And wherever possible I try to include a scouting report. I’m going to be wrong a lot but it’s a fun exercise and I learn a ton from it. The official rosters won’t be available until April. As always once I see these players live you can expect write ups on many/most of them.
At Notes from the Sally it’s all about live look scouting reports. A quick look at the 2017 Greenjackets schedule shows they’re are only coming to my area (Asheville, Greenville, Hickory) once in the 1st two months of the 2017 season (May 5-8 at Greenville). I’ve set a personal goal to see all 14 teams in the Sally twice in the 1st half (April 6th through June 18th). So I’m planning to take a run down to Columbia on opening weekend to get that 2nd look at both Columbia and Augusta. There’s plenty of time to get into all of that though.
In putting this preview together I studied the 2016 rosters of the the Augusta Greenjackets, Salem-Keizer Volcanoes and the AZL Giants.
Each team has there own nuances when it comes to player development in the low minors. The Giants recent college draftees often skip Augusta or just get a quick cup of coffee on there way to San Jose. Particularly the higher drafted position players and I think that will be the case for the 2016 Salem-Keizer starting OF: 2nd rd pick, Bryan Reynolds, 3rd rd pick, Heath Quinn and 6th rd pick, Gio Brusa. I think they all start 2017 in the California league and they could be joined by 5th rd pick, SS Ryan Howard.
There still projects to be a lot of interesting pieces in Augusta in 2017 lets have a look at the notables.
RF) Sandro Fabian- Age on opening day 19, listed 6’1″ 180 lbs, bats and throws right. Fabian was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2014. Fabian had an excellent season in his 1st look at Stateside rookie ball. For a scouting report here’s what Wrenzie over at Giants Perspective wrote about him:
“Fabian has five-tools with average or better potential in the works with his promising OF D and potential solid bat but he’s still very far from his ceiling. The signs of improvement though are evident and his first showing in America is a success.”
I enjoy reading Wrenzie’s work, for much more on Fabian and many other scouting reports click here http://giantprospective.blogspot.com/2016/09/sr-2016-azl-giants.html#more
LHP) Matt Krook- Age 22, listed 6’4″ 195 lbs, bats and throws left. Krook was drafted by the Giants in the 4th round of the 2016 out of the Univ of Oregon. This is plucked from the mlb.com top 30 Giants prospect list http://m.mlb.com/prospects/2016?list=sf
“The 35th overall pick in 2013. Krook agreed to a $1,587,700 bonus before a post draft physical raised concerns about the elbow. Miami withdrew the offer and Krook went to the U of Oregon and dominated as a freshman before succumbing to Tommy John surgery. He was unhittable in his return in Spring 2016 but severe control problems dropped him to the Giants in the 4th round.”
“Krook’s fastball works 92-94 with outstanding life, he also has a devastating power curveball that can be a double-plus offering at it’s best. He also flashes solid sliders and changeups. In terms of stuff he has everything you need to become a frontline starter.”
“Pitchers often need time to regain there control/command after reconstructive elbow surgery and that has been the case with Krook. He has had to dial back on the velocity in order to find the strike zone and he has had trouble maintaining his high 3/4 release point. He does have an easy delivery and SF excels at polishing pitchers so there’s hope for him.”
I have no insider information but I suspect Krook will start in Augusta. He continued to struggle post draft with the command/control issuing nearly 1 walk per inning. Probably not a candidate to skip a level to get to the extreme hitters parks in the California league. I’m looking forward to seeing him.
2B Jalen Miller- Age on opening day 20, listed 5’11” 175 lbs, bats and throws right. Miller was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2015 draft out of high school in Sandy Springs Ga (Atlanta Metro). Miller played all of 2016 in Augusta and struggled offensively like many prep bats do. I got multiple looks and I liked Miller, he’s a little raw offensively particularly with pitch recognition but he’s got quick wrists that generate above average bat speed and the ball jumps off of his bat. He’s an above average runner and shows good hands and feet at 2nd Base. I think he comes back at least for the 1st half of 2017.
3B Kelvin Beltre- Age 20, listed 5’11” 170 lbs, bats and throws right. Beltre was signed by the Giants out of the Dominican Republic in 2013. He spent all of 2016 with Augusta and missed significant time do to injury (he broke his arm the day before I got my 1st look at the Greenjackets). He’s had difficulty staying on the field thus far in his career and he’s missed some vital development time but at 20 he’s still at an age appropriate level so if he can stay healthy and get 500 at bats in 2017 he may put himself on the map in prospect circles. Everything I’ve ever read about Beltre suggests he’s raw but toolsy, hopefully he can start putting things together in 2017.
RHP) Melvin Adon- Age 22, listed 6’3″, 195 lbs, bats and throws right. Adon was signed by the Giants out of the Dominican Republic in 2014. Adon has an electric arm and he frequently gets clocked in the triple digits. He was not a name I was familiar with until I started researching for this piece. Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs recently wrote this about Adon:
“Adon was touching 100 during extended spring training, but struggled to find the strike zone. He was so undercooked for a 22-year-old that scouts anticipated an assignment to the AZL despite his age. He was sent to the Northwest League and struggled there. When he came back for instructional league, Adon’s body looked better than it had during the spring and he flashed better strike-throwing ability before things fell apart in an instructional-league finale that included four walks and a hit batter in two innings. Things unravel for Adon when his arm action gets long and his slot drops down to a near sidearm level. When he’s driving the ball down a bit more his fastball sits 95-98 with late arm-side action and is nearly unhittable when he locates. His slider and changeup are both below average and I think the changeup has more potential as Adon doesn’t really show the natural ability to get around the baseball and spin his slider. He projects as a reliever for me. He’ll be 23 in June, hasn’t even pitched above the Northwest League, and hasn’t had on-paper success anywhere. He’s worth following because the arm strength is so incredible and because he showed signs of strike-throwing life during instructional league.”
For the rest of Longenhagen’s piece ranking the top Giants prospects click here.Prospect Reports: San Francisco Giants
Around the Diamond
C- There’s no obvious choice here but any of: Adam Sonabend, Zack Bowers or Matt Winn could be back in Augusta and newcomers: Dylan Manwaring, John Riley, Connor Sabanosh, Ryan Matrange could make an appearance. There’s also Cody Brickhouse and Jeffrey Parra but they’re still teenagers and probably staying in rookie ball. We’ll see if anybody emerges from this group.
2B- Jalen Miller
2B- Kevin Rivera- age 20, listed 5’11” 170 lbs, bats both, throws right. Rivera was drafted in the 14th rd of of the 2014 draft out of HS at the Carlos Beltran Baseball academy PR/FL. Rivera had a very good year as the starting 2nd baseman in Salem-Keizer in 2016.
SS- Hector Santiago- age 19, listed 6’3″ 185 lbs, bats and throws right. Santiago was drafted in the 12th round of the 2015 by the Giants out of high school in Salinas, Puerto Rico. I haven’t found much out there at this point. I love the size for a SS prospect assuming he has enough agility to handle the position. He hasn’t hit as a pro yet but he’ll spend all of the 2017 season as a 19 year old. Time is certainly on his side.
There’s not a lot of SS depth in the low minors so if the Giants decide to give Santiago another year in short season than one of MIller or Rivera will likely see some significant time at short in 2017 (Miller was a high school shortstop).
Other candidates in the middle infield: Manuel Geraldo could be back, he saw time at 2B, 3B and SS in 2016. Tyler Brown missed a large chunk of the season but when healthy he saw time at 2B, 3B and SS. Richard Amlon played both 2B and SS. Brandon Van Horn is another player who might see playing time at SS in 2017.
1B- Ryan Kirby- Age on opening day 22, listed 6’2″ 180 lbs, bats left throws right. Kirby was draft in the 12th rd of the 2016 draft out of the Univ of San Diego. There’s not a lot out there on Kirby right now.
3B- Kelvin Beltre-
Manuel Geraldo may also be a factor at 3rd
Other candidates for the Corner Infield Positions: John Riley, Catcher may also see time at 1st base, Nick Hill saw time at both 3B and all three OF spots. Robinson Medrano was the primary 1st baseman in the Az league and Nathanael Javier played 3rd.
LF- Gustavo Cabrera- Age on opening day 21, listed 6’2″ 190 lbs, bats and throws right. Cabrera was a high profile signee out of the Dominican Republic in 2012. His career was in jeopardy the next year when a freak accident nearly cost him his hand. He saw his 1st significant action in 3 years in 2016, I missed Cabrera’s brief run in the Sally last season but he’s a player that I’ve been waiting to see for a long time.
LF- Jacob Heyward- Age 21, listed 6’3″ 210 lbs, bats and throws right. Heyward was drafted in the 18th round of the 2016 draft out of the Univ of Miami.
CF- Johneshwy Fargas- I think there’s a good chance he comes back for a 3rd season. Bryan Reynolds will likely be the starting CF in San Jose. And there doesn’t appear to be another logical fit unless they deem Mikey Edie as ready to make the jump.
RF- Sandro Fabian-
It’ll be interesting to see if both Cabrera and Heyward make the trip and how the playing time is divvied up.
Other OF candidates- Ashford Fullmer could be back, he played all 3 OF spots in 2016, Juan Rodriguez, Woody (Roger) Edwards, Julio Pena, Malique Ziegler, Jose Layer, Luis Lacen, Byron Murray
LHP Matt Krook-
RHP Melvin Adon-
LHP- Mac Marshall- Age on opening day 21, listed 6′ 181 lbs, bats right and throws left. Marshall was drafted in the 4th round of the 2015 draft out of Chipola Junior College. He got a cup of coffee late with Augusta and struggled to find the strike zone. That’s been a persistent issue so far in his career
These guys made up the bulk of the starting rotations for the 2 rookie ball levels it’ll be interesting to see who gets the the last 2 spots: Matt Solter, Victor Concepcion, Raffi Vizcaino, Garrett Williams, Caleb Baragar, Alex Bostic, DJ Myers, Stephen Woods.
I thought the 2016 Augusta Greenjackets were in the upper echelon talent wise. This team probably falls more mid pack but there are quite a few players I’m looking forward to seeing. As always once I see this team there will be write ups on many of the players. I hope you got as much out of this as I did. Cheers
I’ll be back soon with a look at the 2017 Charleston Riverdogs (Yankees).