Midseason Prospect Update: Giants

The Midseason Top 10 Prospect lists are compiled from conversations with front office officials and scouts from all 30 teams. Players who have exhausted prospect eligibility or were in the Major Leagues as of June 22 are not eligible. Draftees from the 2016 draft and July 2, 2016 signees are also not eligible.

SEE ALSO: Midseason Top 100

The Giants haven’t developed a homegrown pitcher of note since Madison Bumgarner, a 2007 first-round pick. But what a note.

C Buster Posey
1B Brandon Belt
2B Joe Panik
3B Christian Arroyo
SS Brandon Crawford
OF Steven Duggar
OF Jarrett Parker
OF Mac Williamson
No. 1 Starter Madison Bumgarner
No. 2 Starter Phil Bickford
No. 3 Starter Tyler Beede
No. 4 Starter Adalberto Mejia
No. 4 Starter Sam Coonrod
Closer Joan Gregorio

Besides, they’ve been too busy drafting and developing all-star position players, winning three World Series championships in 2010, ’12 and ’14 and developing one of the most loyal—and profitable—fan bases in sports.

The team’s on-field and financial successes make San Francisco a welcome destination for free agents, and the Giants took advantage by adding free-agents Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija to the rotation behind Bumgarner. Cueto in particular has shined while Bumgarner had the best first half of his career, giving the Giants a strong foundation for another even-year run at the World Series.

It’s an enviable, stable model with team president Brian Sabean, general manager Bobby Evans and future Hall of Fame manager Bruce Bochy steering the ship. No team has better homegrown franchise cornerstones than 2007 first-rounder Bumgarner and 2008 first-rounder Buster Posey. Scouting director John Barr and his staff have filled in expertly with position players from Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Matt Duffy and Joe Panik, and more prospects are coming.

Giants farmhands were having a strong 2016, with four 2015 draftees already having reached Double-A Richmond. First baseman Chris Shaw was having the loudest season, and lefthander Andrew Suarez was brilliant in high Class A before hitting a speed bump in Double-A. But 11th-round shortstop C.J. Hinojosa and sixth-round outfielder Steve Duggar had been revelations and look like potential factors for the 2017 big league roster, or at the very least strong trade chips.

Sabean and his staff have been bold in the past, acquiring the likes of Hunter Pence and and Jake Peavy when needed. They have more ammunition if a move is needed in July 2016, as the farm system has had a strong first half.


1. Phil Bickford, rhp

A two-time first-rounder, Bickford signed with the Giants after dominating the junior-college ranks in 2015, and he’s risen to high Class A in his first full season. Like many Giants top picks, he also performed well in the Cape Cod League where he relieved and was pitching at 94-96 mph. He’s had less velocity as a pro, sitting 90-92 mph in the Futures Game but 89-94 at his best this season with deception and late life. As a starter must, he gets swings and misses with his fastball in the strike zone, though he must locate better at higher levels. His breaking ball has improved as a pro as well; next up, the changeup.

2. Tyler Beede, rhp

Like Bickford a two-time first-rounder, Beede has regained his old Vanderbilt velocity, at times pitching at 94-97 mph. His four-seamer and two-seamer can both be plus, as can the changeup. His breaking ball, an asset as an amateur, continues to lag behind. He’s a strong athlete who also was 4-for-13 at the plate this season.

3. Christian Arroyo, ss/2b

The Giants’ top prospect entering the season, Arroyo is a solid, not spectacular athlete with baseball instincts and a feel for hitting. He is young for Double-A but has the confidence and polish to handle the level. His power will continue to play almost solely to the gaps until he learns a bit more selectivity, which could give him more over-the-fence pop.

4. Chris Shaw, 1b

Shaw is a rarity among Giants draftees as a bat-first, athlete-last profile. He’s confident and polished in the batter’s box with premium, plus lefthanded power. He’ll have to tighten his grip on the strike zone against better pitching, which he’s already experiencing at Double-A. He’s nothing to write home about defensively or in terms of speed.

5. Adalberto Mejia, lhp

A physical lefthander, Mejia is the Giants farmhand most ready to come up and help the team in the second half. He’s reached Triple-A and has starter traits analytically—he doesn’t give up home runs, he’s stingy with walks and he has a durable frame, averaging six innings per start, making him an iron man in today’s game. His fastball sits at 92-93 mph, he pitches inside and knows how to use his slider and changeup, which both can be above-average as well.

6. Sam Coonrod, rhp

Yet another member of Double-A Richmond’s club, Coonrod earned his promotion with a sterling first half at high Class A San Jose. He gave up one or no earned runs in eight of his 11 starts there, getting plenty of ground balls with his 91-95 mph two-seam fastball that is his bread-and-butter. Coonrod’s slider is his best secondary pitch and he’ll need to better locate his changeup to keep Eastern League lefthanded hitters honest.

7. Andrew Suarez, lhp

Drafted three times before finally signing, Suarez was Miami’s ace in 2015 and has moved quickly in 2016, reaching Double-A. He has some similarities to fellow South Florida product Gio Gonzalez, though he stuff isn’t quite as crisp. He’s a four-pitch lefty who keeps his slider and curveball distinct when he’s at his best, has shown an ability to make adjustments as a pro and can reach 94 mph with his fastball.

8. Lucius Fox, ss/2b

Fox is just 18, making him one of the youngest players in the low Class A South Atlantic League. His wiry athleticism gives him the ability to make adjustments, but he lacks the strength and experience to carry them over consistently at the plate yet. The Giants believe in his speed and athleticism, and their own player-development staff and patience.

9. Joan Gregorio, rhp

Gregorio has thrown well in reaching Triple-A for the first time. He may wind up in the Giants’ bullpen if the club has a need, as he has a knack for getting swings and misses with his fastballs and slider. Both earn plus grades at their best, helping him strikeout more than 10 batters per nine innings. His changeup is still in development, which also may push him to the pen.

10. Steve Duggar, of

A three-year starter at Clemson, Duggar is another Cape performer (.329 in 2014) who controlled the strike zone in college. He’s impressed the Giants as a pro with his athleticism, flashing average or better in all five tools, while reaching Double-A in his first full pro season. He’s patient, leading to a high strikeout rate (21 percent of PA) but also an organization-best 48 walks. He’ll have to improve his basestealing technique to better take advantage of his speed.


Shortstop C.J. Hinojosa is nipping on Duggar’s heels, following an up-and-down career at Texas that included a difficult junior season with an impressive full-season debut. A hero of the Longhorns’ 2014 College World Series run, he controls the strike zone, has pop for a middle infielder and has instincts that help his average tools play up. Hinojosa played better at shortstop away from Texas’ artificial turf … Lefthander Steven Okert has been up to the big leagues and back but still could be a postseason lefty factor thanks to a fastball that can reach 94 mph and an effective upper-80s cutter.


Righthander Clayton Blackburn, still just 23, remains a ground ball machine and could still be a back-of-the-rotation option for San Francisco. However, he doesn’t miss a lot of bats and has to maintain his confidence in the Pacific Coast League. Just 19, second baseman Jalen Miller has struggled offensively right alongside Lucius Fox at Augusta. The Giants still like his athleticism, but he hasn’t quite been ready for the full-season grind.


Catcher Aramis Garcia got off to a strong start at San Jose before taking a knee to the face that fractured bones in his face. He hasn’t played since May 22 as a result … Righthander Michael Santos, who had been low Class A Augusta’s best pitcher after Phil Bickford hasn’t pitched since June 3, when he was injured on a comebacker to the mound … Righthander Ian Gardeck has missed the season with Tommy John surgery.


The debate isn’t yet settled as to who will be the better future regular, but both outfielders Jarrett Parker and Mac Williamson have shown flashes in the big leagues subbing for the injured Pence, with Williamson’s huge righthanded power giving him a slight edge. Righthanders Derek Law and Chris Stratton, a 2011 first-rounder, have earned innings out of Bochy’s bullpen.

COMING ABOARD (Check the Draft Database for more picks)
The Giants’ first five picks of the 2016 draft. (s-supplemental round)

2. Bryan Reynolds, of, Vanderbilt. Reynolds’ swing-and-miss tendencies and perceived high price tag dropped him out of the first round, where the Giants had him evaluated talent-wise. He’s a switch-hitter who may have the speed for center and the power for a corner, though some scouts thought him a bit of a tweener.

3. Heath Quinn, of, Samford. Quickly signed, Quinn brings size and power for a corner spot with solid athleticism and a heavy dose of strikeouts.

4. Matt Krook, lhp, Oregon. A Bay Area prep product, Krook had a rough junior season and has had both shoulder issues and Tommy John surgery in the past. But when he’s on, his fastball is a plus pitch with 70-grade life, and he has flashed two plus breaking balls as well.

5. Ryan Howard, ss, Missouri. The second time was the charm for the Giants, who couldn’t sign the steady Howard last year as a 20th-round pick. He has good arm strength and accuracy and showed solid pop last summer with USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team.

6. Gio Brusa, of, Pacific. A top Cape Cod League prospect in 2014, Brusa had elbow issues derail him in ’15 but bounced back with a strong senior season and has corner-profile power potential.

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