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Going back to his days at Hernando High in Brooksville, Fla., Arroyo has been a player whose ability to play the game impresses more than any one tool. He was the shortstop on USA Baseball's 18U gold medal-winning team at the IBAF World Championships in 2012. He was named the tournament MVP after hitting .387 with 10 RBIs while playing every inning at shortstop. But even then, he was seen as a player whose understanding of hitting, sure hands and feel for the game made up for modest tools. Some scouts wanted to move him to catcher as a pro, but the Giants kept him at shortstop after signing him for $1,866,500 as the 25th overall pick in the 2013 draft. Arroyo played second base in travel ball in deference to future Cardinals draftee Oscar Mercado, and he played primarily second base in 2014 at low Class A Augusta. But he played only shortstop at high Class A San Jose in 2015, a year that included a successful stint as one of the younger players in the Arizona Fall League. He hit .308/.360/.487 with three home runs in Arizona, made the Fall Stars game and made an acrobatic sliding catch to finish the championship game. In each of the past two seasons, Arroyo has been one of the youngest players in his league. In 2014, he seemed to be over his head in an early-season stint at Augusta, but he had no problems in 2015 handling an aggressive promotion to the California League. A wrist injury slowed him down in 2014, and he missed time in April 2015 with an oblique issue, but when healthy, Arroyo has shown he can hit. Arroyo's swing is simple, pure and geared to line the ball to all fields. He has very little extraneous movement in his setup, using a simple toe tap for timing and to get his weight transferred back in his stance. He stays balanced through his swing. Arroyo sees the ball better versus righthanders and has hit them better than lefties. At this point, almost all of Arroyo's power is to his pull side, but as he matures, he has the potential to drive the ball to right-center field as well. Arroyo projects as a plus hitter with 12-15 home-run power and could exceed those power projections, particularly if he becomes a bit more selective. You can find scouts who think he's a future .300 hitter. Defensively, Arroyo is sure-handed and makes the routine play, but he lacks the range to be more than a fringe-average defender at shortstop. His above-average arm will handle a move to third base, while his range limitations would be less noticeable at second base. A few shortstops in the big leagues have less range than Arroyo, but the Giants have Gold Glover Brandon Crawford signed through 2021 so if Arroyo is going to play in San Francisco it won't be at shortstop. Still, Arroyo could fill-in at shortstop in the big leagues and be a reliable defender there. His .962 fielding average ranked among Cal League leaders at shortstop. Most scouts expect he will end up as an offensive second baseman who also has the range and reliability to be an aboveaverage defender there. Seen over a longer stretch, Arroyo shows an advanced understanding of the game, and his consistent at-bats and defense all point to a player who should have a lengthy big league career, whether it's at second or third base. He is more than ready to jump to Double-A Richmond in 2016 and could be ready for San Francisco by 2017.
Beede spurned the Blue Jays as a 2011 first-round pick out of high school to head to Vanderbilt, which he helped to the 2014 College World Series title. The Giants signed him as the 14th overall pick in 2014. The Giants have reworked Beede's delivery and approach, scrapping the full hands-over-head windup. Now he simply breaks his hands at his waist and uses a simple hip turn. He also adjusted to a slower-tempo delivery with a quick finish, something Beede says he modeled after Zack Greinke. Instead of relying on a 92-95 mph four-seamer up in the zone, Beede focused on using a 90-93 mph sinker and a developing cutter. He wore down late, losing weight and struggling to use his legs, and he also nibbled too much at Richmond. Beede's cutter is a potentially above-average offering, but he leaned too heavily on it, throwing it to righthanders when he would have been better served to use his average changeup and fringe-average curveball. Beede has athleticism and a five-pitch mix, but below-average control has been a long-running problem--he walked 4.7 per nine innings in college and 3.3 as a pro. Thus he is a risk to reach his ceiling as a No. 3 starter.
Just like Giants 2014 first-rounder Tyler Beede, Bickford previously had been a first-round selection by the Blue Jays, who took him 10th overall in 2013 but failed to sign him. He spent one year at Cal State Fullerton, then transferred to JC of Southern Nevada. Bickford struck out 151 batters in 79 juco innings, and the Giants signed him for $2,333,800 as the 18th pick in the 2015 draft. Bickford's fastball is special, less for its velocity than for its movement. He works ahead of hitters with a 91-93 mph fastball, but when he gets to two strikes, he'll bump up to 95 regularly. His slider is a plus pitch as well when he stays on top of it. Bickford struggles to keep his release point because he tends to drop his elbow and push the ball, which causes his fastball to lose movement and his slider to flatten out. Bickford's changeup has good deception and fade at times but is inconsistent. He's not yet confident in its effectiveness. The Giants worked with Bickford on throwing with less effort, which has had the effect of making his delivery more repeatable. Some scouts see Bickford as a future two-pitch reliever, while others believe his fastball control and potential three-pitch mix make him a starter. He's ready for his full-season debut at low Class A Augusta in 2016.
As a high school junior, Fox played second base at American Heritage High in Plantation, Fla., and was projected as a second-round talent. He grew up in the Bahamas and realized that if he moved back, he would avoid the draft and command a higher bonus. It paid off for Fox when he broke the international amateur bonus record for a non-Cuban when he signed for $6 million. Fox is a double-plus runner whose speed plays well in games. He's athletic with plenty of fast-twitch explosiveness to go with a loose, average arm and the ability to throw accurately from multiple arm slots. The Giants believe Fox will remain at shortstop, but other scouts question whether he has the actions and arm to stay there. Some see a second baseman, while others view him as a center fielder. At the plate, the switch-hitter has a line-drive swing and an up-the-middle approach, but his swing was somewhat inconsistent. He fits a top-of-the-order profile whose lean frame makes it unlikely he will develop more than gap power. Fox has some rust to shake off. A promotion to low Class A Augusta at some point in 2016 seems possible. Did not play--signed 2016 contract
The Cape Cod League home run champ in 2014, Shaw was one of the best power bats available in the 2015 draft. He hit 11 home runs in just 40 games during a junior year at Boston College interrupted by a hamate injury. Shaw then led the short-season Northwest League with 12 homers after signing for $1.4 million. Shaw has top-of-the-scale raw power and 30-plus homer potential if he makes enough contact. His upper body looked looser and his swing freer and easier at short-season Salem-Keizer, giving him a better chance to be at least an average hitter. His swing can get long at times. His at-bats against lefthanders have shown steady improvement, but he doesn't get to as much of his power against southpaws. Shaw has an above-average arm, but that's his only significant attribute on defense. He is inexperienced at first base and is currently well belowaverage there. More experience will help, but scouts believe he'll struggle to ever be better than fringeaverage. In the outfield his well below-average speed limits his range. If Shaw hits like he has the potential to hit, his defensive limitations will be a minor drawback. He will head to high Class A San Jose in 2016.
While going 8-17 in three years as a starter at Southern Illinois, Coonrod flashed upper-90s velocity, but he fell to the fifth round of the 2014 draft thanks to lack of command. He walked 5.3 batters per nine innings his final two seasons. The Giants signed him for $330,000, and he led the South Atlantic League with 114 strikeouts. Coonrod consistently shows two plus pitches. His fastball will sit at 94-96 mph early in games, though he usually settles in at 91-94. He can reach back for 98 mph. Coonrod's slurvy slider also is effective because he can vary its speed and depth, using it as a bigger, slower offering at times and at other times tightening it up for a late-breaking, mid-80s offering that misses bats. His below-average changeup often lacks deception, and he shows only moderate feel for it. Coonrod has the strength to repeat his delivery and has improved his direction to the plate, giving him average control. If he can improve his changeup, Coonrod has a chance to be a No. 3 or 4 starter. He'll head to high Class A San Jose in 2016.
A 20th-round pick of the Cardinals out of high school, Garcia established himself as one of the best catchers in the 2014 draft when he hit .368/.442/.626 as a Florida International junior. The 2014 second-rounder struggled in his pro debut as he focused on cleaning up his catching mechanics, but he hit 15 home runs and showed improved defense at low Class A Augusta in 2015. The Giants knew that Garcia would need work to adjust to pro ball. He had to get comfortable calling pitches and handling pitchers, but he's shown the aptitude and intelligence to grow into the role. He has made strides in his game-calling and is becoming a more verbal leader behind the plate. He posts average to tick above-average pop times on throws to second base. As a hitter, Garcia has a compact swing that gives him a chance to be an average hitter with average power. In college, he wore out right-center field, but he's pulling the ball much more as a pro--all of his 15 home runs last year were to left field. His swing is quick and direct to the ball, contributing to a solid contact rate. Garcia projects as an offense-first catcher. He will likely return to high Class A San Jose to start 2016.
In the best high school pitching class in Oklahoma history, Blackburn seemed like an afterthought. But while 2011 first-rounders Archie Bradley and Dylan Bundy have struggled with injuries, Blackburn, the 16th-rounder who signed for $150,000, just keeps getting better. He bounced back from a spring-training shoulder injury in 2015 to record a 2.85 ERA at Triple-A Sacramento that led the Pacific Coast League. Blackburn repeated his delivery much better in 2015 after getting into better shape. He lacks a true plus pitch but is around the zone with all his offerings. His low-90s fastball plays up because he can sink and run it with excellent location. He has switched from the loopy, slow curve he threw early in his career to a tighter, much harder slider that flashes above-average now, thanks to it breaks late. He also mixes in an average changeup and an occasional average cutter. Blackburn keeps the ball in the park and allowed just six home runs in 2015, when he recorded a 1.6 groundout-to-airout ratio that ranked third among PCL pitchers with at least 100 innings. He is pitch efficient and fields his position well. Blackburn is ready to compete for a spot in the big league rotation. His pitchability gives him a chance to be a solid No. 4 starter.
Parker has advanced slowly with the Giants, taking two years at high Class A San Jose and two more at Double-A Richmond, but he recorded a 23-homer, 20-steal season at Triple-A Sacramento in 2015, then topped that with a six-homer big league debut that included a three-homer game against the Athletics on Sept. 26. In the past, Parker's power played as solid-average rather than plus, but in 2015 he started to show the ability to clear the fence to all fields with plus power. He led Pacific Coast League batters with 164 strikeouts in 2015, but Parker now does a better job covering the entire plate because he has learned to go with the pitch. He also did a better job of hitting lefthanders. Scouts still question whether he'll hit more than .240 in extended big league action, but his newfound power means he could be productive with a below-average hit tool. Defensively, he grades as fringe-average in center field thanks to poor routes and reads, and he is stretched in right field thanks to a fringe-average arm, but he played all three positions in the big leagues. He remains an above-average runner who is aggressive on the bases. Parker hit .400 with eight extra-base hits in 17 September games, giving him a chance to compete for a spot on the big league roster.
Because of Mejia's poise and advanced feel, the Giants always have been aggressive with promoting him, and he generally has been among the youngest pitchers in his league. His quick ascent stalled in 2015 when a 50-game suspension for the stimulant Sibutramine (a drug most often used for weight loss) forced him to miss all of April and May at Double-A Richmond. He he missed parts of two more months with shoulder tendinitis. Mejia made up for lost time in the Arizona Fall League, which he led with 31 innings, a workload that pushed his season total to 82. Mejia is a thick-waisted, thick-legged lefthander who does a good job of mixing three average to above-average pitches. His fastball will sit 92-95 mph at its best, though it dipped down to 88-92 at times this year. His slider flashes above-average potential with a chance to be a swing-and-miss pitch, and his changeup is reliably above-average as well. Mejia is pitch efficient at times, though his control wavered at times in 2015. It's all about consistency with Mejia, whom the Giants added to the 40-man roster in November. He has the potential to be a solid back-of-the-rotation starter, and even scouts who are less enamored see him ending up as a useful reliever. He could make his big league debut in 2016.
Baseball America ranked Williamson as the best high school pitching prospect in the state of North Carolina back in 2011, but he never threw a pitch at Wake Forest. He missed his freshman year after having surgery on the labrum in his shoulder, so he morphed into one of the school's better power hitters. He showed similar power in his first two pro seasons after the Giants made him a 2012 third-round pick, but he missed almost all of 2014 after he had Tommy John surgery. He made it to San Francisco for his major league debut in September 2015. Williamson does not have elite bat speed or a short swing, so he will produce more power than batting average in the big leagues. He will chase at times, but he draws walks and has enough power to hit 20 home runs or more. Scouts doubt that his .291 career minor league average will play in the big leagues, but he should record solid on-base percentages. Defensively, Williamson is average in right or left field, and his arm bounced back from surgery to play as aboveaverage in right field. His power and on-base ability give him a chance to be a useful big leaguer, though his swing is not conducive for a player who plays sporadically. Williamson will compete for a job in San Francisco in 2016 spring training.
Suarez always has been polished. As a high school sophomore at Miami's Columbus High, he already was finding the strike zone with an 89-92 mph fastball while mixing three pitches. Six years later, his scouting report reads much the same. Suarez still baffles hitters with an 89-92 mph fastball and a useful three-pitch mix. In between those two points, he survived 2012 labrum surgery and became the highest drafted collegian to not sign in the 2014 draft when he turned down the Nationals' offer as a secondround pick. After signing with the Giants as a 2015 second-round pick for just over $1 million, Suarez quickly advanced to high Class A San Jose for three regular season starts and two playoff starts. Whereas REAL LIFE STUDIOS scouts who saw Suarez in high school tended to be disappointed that he never gained more velocity, but now they appreciate his polish. His average fastball plays because he locates it to both sides of the plate and keeps it down in the zone. His low-80s slider flashes plus at time, and after going away from his changeup in his junior year at Miami, Suarez effectively incorporated it as a pro, helping to neutralize righthanded batters. His delivery is fluid, which allows him to repeat his release point consistently and explains his above-average control. Suarez projects as a fast-moving, back-of-the-rotation starter who could be ready for Double-A Richmond at some point in 2016.
Black has one of the best arms in baseball--and one of the worst medical histories. He had Tommy John surgery, multiple knee injuries and labrum surgery that have cost him four full seasons. But when healthy, Black can touch 100 mph regularly and has been clocked as high as 103. He can blow his top-ofthe- scale, high-90s fastball past hitters, even when they are sitting on his heat. Black's 84-87 mph slider also plays as a plus pitch, partly because hitters must always be conscious of his fastball. He varies his slider's break to make it a bigger, slower curveball. He also has toyed with a below-average changeup, but he doesn't throw it often. Black's delivery features a long stabbing action in the back, and he opens up too early at times, so he tends to scatter the strike zone. He doesn't have to paint corners, but he will have to improve his well below-average control--he walked 9.0 batters per nine innings at high Class A San Jose in 2015--to be a usable big league reliever. The Giants have handled Black with extreme caution. He never has thrown on back-to-back days as a pro and has generally been used for one-inning stints with at least two off days in between. San Francisco said they will use Black more regularly in 2016, but he'll need to prove he can handle a heavier workload and stay healthy. After all, he has thrown little more than 106 innings since 2008. Black has the stuff to be an elite closer, but his injury and control issues are disconcerting.
Buried in a limited bullpen role as a Cal Poly junior, Johnson impressed the Giants with his easy velocity, so San Francisco made him a third-round pick in 2013, signing him for a below-slot $440,000. Johnson has blossomed with more consistent work as a starter in a pro ball. He allowed just five earned runs in his last eight starts at high Class A San Jose in 2015, earning a promotion to Double-A Richmond with a six-inning, 14-strikeout outing against Lancaster. Johnson takes an indirect path to the plate with a closed-off delivery. He sets up on the extreme first-base side of the rubber and lands with his front foot pointing towards the righthanded batter's box. While the crossfire nature of his delivery concerns some evaluators, it also makes him difficult for righthanded batters to handle--they hit just .238/.300/.303 in 2015--and he has shown average control. Johnson will carry 94-95 mph with heavy sink deep into games. His fastball is an easy plus pitch that he locates to both sides of the plate. His changeup is an average offering that he throws with conviction. His slider is much less consistent and grades as below-average. Johnson will return to Richmond in 2016 and profiles as back-of-the-rotation starter or nifty reliever.
Injuries wiped out almost all of Johnson's first two years at Cal State Northridge, but the Giants saw enough of him as a junior in 2014 to take a 23rd-round flier. That looks like an astute pick now that Johnson has emerged as one of the better arms in the system. He missed all but three games in his 2014 debut in the Rookie-level Arizona League with a lat strain and groin injury, but dominated AZL hitters in 2015 and handled a late-season jump to high Class A San Jose to replace the traded Keury Mella. Johnson has plus command of his 93-96 mph fastball that will touch 99. The Giants took away his slider since that pitch seemed to trigger arm issues in college, but he quickly has developed feel for a curveball that has already become an average offering. His changeup also earns average grades, and he quickly developed feel and conviction for it. Johnson's injury history is cause for concern, but he still has a ceiling as a midrotation starter owing to his clean, repeatable, over-the-top delivery, his athleticism and present control. He should return to San Jose to begin 2016.
The Giants have enviable middle-infield depth throughout the organization with shortstop Brandon Crawford and second baseman Joe Panik forming the big league double-play tandem, Kelby Tomlinson ready to fill in, No. 1 prospect Christian Arroyo rising through the system and Lucius Fox added as the club's big-money international signing in 2015. But Miller's combination of easy athleticism and prodigious tools enticed San Francisco to sign the 2015 third-rounder for a well above-slot $1.1 million. Scouts are divided on whether Miller will end up at shortstop or second base--his hands work well, but he'll have to be more consistent with his footwork and his throwing mechanics to allow his average arm to play at shortstop. His internal clock needs fine-tuning, seeing as he currently rushes throws when he has plenty of time to get his feet set. At the plate, Miller has work to do. He has a simple line drive-oriented swing that should enable him to sting line drives from gap to gap and produce a handful of home runs eventually. He has plenty of bat speed but little projection left in his frame. Like many young hitters, he struggled with pitch selection in his pro debut. Miller is a solid-average runner whose advanced feel for the game showed up on the basepaths. He should advance to short-season Salem-Keizer in 2016.
The Giants' trust in their player-development department allows them to take chances on pitchers like Gardeck and eventually see a payoff. Considered one of the better arms in the 2011 and 2012 drafts, he was considered nearly undraftable because he didn't throw enough strikes to even get on the mound. For example, he walked 12 batters in 12 innings as a junior at Alabama in 2012, when the Giants made him a 16th-round pick. A stout, barrel-chested righthander, Gardeck was just as wild in his first three years as a pro, but he took a big stride at high Class A San Jose in 2015, striking out 10.8 and walking 2.5 batters per nine innings. His delivery still is long in the back, and his quick arm still works to catch up to his lower half, but he realized that he can still bump the upper 90s with less effort. He also showed improved focus. Gardeck has touched 100 mph at his best. His double-plus fastball and plus, 87-89 mph slider give him a pair of weapons now that he can locate them. Added to the 40-man roster in November, Gardeck could move quickly if he can maintain his newfound average control. Next stop: Double-A Richmond.
The Giants have patiently watched Gregorio develop from a skinny 6-foot-7 and 180 pounds when he signed in March 2010 to a more thick-legged, but still long-limbed, 230 pounds. The Giants had him pitch out of the bullpen at Double-A Richmond for the first half of 2015, a precursor to what may be his future role, but he was equally successful in a move back to the rotation in mid-July. San Francisco had to shut Gregorio down in 2014 to work on his delivery because his release point wandered, but he cleaned up his pitching motion to the point where his control and command now project as fringe-average. He has an above-average four-seam fastball that sits at 93-95 mph out of the bullpen and 92-94 as a starter. He also mixes in a low-90s sinker. He has tightened up and added velocity to his slider, turning it into an 83-86 mph weapon that also projects as a plus offering with excellent depth. His changeup is a usable but fringe-average offering as well. Early in the 2015 season, Gregorio relied too much on his offspeed offerings, but he pitched off the fastball more effectively later. In the long term, his delivery and struggles to stay healthy (he's had oblique, back and blister issues in the past) means he probably ends up in the bullpen with a power fastball/slider combo--but the Giants will keep giving him chances to start.
Signed for $250,000 in January 2012, the Giants have been patient with the lanky, 6-foot-4 righthander. He didn't pitch at all his first year and made just four appearances in 2013 as San Francisco let him add weight. After a breakout 2014 season in the Rookie-level Arizona League, Santos pitched sporadically at low Class A Augusta in 2015 when a sore arm limited him to one brief outing in the first three months of the season. The Giants say he suffered no structural damage, just fatigue, and that he had no problems in his late-season return or in instructional league. A lack of innings and experience is a concern, but Santos has a quick arm and advanced control, and he sinks and runs his above-average fastball and generates angle. His heater sits 91-94 mph, but he still has room to grow. His average curveball is almost like two different offerings in one because he throws it in the high 70s as a bigger, but still biting, 11-to-5 offering and also as a smaller-breaking low-80s slurve. His slower curve is a more reliable pitch now, but his slurve has the potential to develop into an average slider as he gains further velocity. Santos' fringeaverage, inconsistent changeup has some armside fade. He likes to toy with hitters to the point where the Giants would like to see him attack hitters more aggressively with his fastball. Even with an abbreviated 2015, Santos showed enough to advance to high Class A San Jose in 2016.
The Giants don't have a pitcher more durable or more reliable than Blach, a 2012 fifth-round pick who joined the 40-man roster in November. He averaged 100 innings a year in his three seasons at Creighton, topping out at an NCAA Division I-best 21 starts and 120 innings as a junior. He has been just as durable as a pro, making every scheduled start during his three-year career. Durability is Blach's best attribute, and his combination of plus control and fringy stuff didn't play well in 2015 when he advanced to Triple-A Sacramento and the hitter's parks of the Pacific Coast League. He tries to work ahead of hitters by mixing four pitches, but only his changeup grades as above-average. Blach's low-80s changeup has good late fade to generate weak contact, but PCL hitters saw too many comfortable at-bats once they figured out that he was always in the zone with his fringe-average 88-92 mph fastball and below-average slider and curveball. As one might expect from a smart pitcher with fringy stuff, Blach fields his position well--he recorded a perfect fielding percentage in 2015--works quickly and holds baserunners. Blach has a ceiling as a No. 5 starter, but he still has plenty to prove.
A rangy, athletic center fielder, Jebavy makes the highlight catch look easy. Twice he appeared on SportsCenter's top 10 plays countdown for catches he made at Middle Tennessee State, once for leaping to steal a home run and another for an exceptional diving catch. But that's nothing new for Jebavy--a leaping catch he made as a fan at a Braves game in 2011 also made SportsCenter's highlights. He showed a similar flair for the dramatic at short-season Salem-Keizer, after he signed as a 2015 fifth-round pick, by robbing doubles in the gaps with ease. He is a plus defender in center field with a plus arm and plus speed as well. A surprise star in his lone year at MTSU (after two years at Columbia State (Tenn.) CC), Jebavy looked to many to be a future leadoff hitter, but he showed pull-power potential in pro ball with the ability to also line the ball to the opposite field. At the plate, he sometimes shows his inexperience because his swing can get long and his selectivity needs to improve, but he has solid contact skills to go with the potential to hit about 10 home runs a year. He also has the aggressiveness and feel on the basepaths to swipe 20 bags a year as well.
While pitching at Campbell, Smith didn't really have much hope of a pro career, but he loved the game. The summer before his junior year he took a job working with the low Class A Augusta grounds crew. There he got to know GreenJackets pitching coach Steve Kline, who watched a Smith bullpen session and passed his info on to the Giants' scouting department. San Francisco took a late-round flier on Smith in 2011, taking him in the now-defunct 48th round, and they have watched him develop into a promising closer who led all minor league relievers with 118 strikeouts at high Class A San Jose in 2015. Smith can dominate with a 93-96 mph fastball, a high-80s cutter and a mid-80s slider. The development of his above-average cutter was a big part of his development in 2015 because batters had a more difficult time differentiating it from his fastball. His slider is an average pitch as well, though it can get a little sweepy at times. Smith's delivery has a little effort and some stiffness in his finish, but he has shown he can throw strikes consistently. The Giants added him to the 40-man roster in November.
Law is the son of a big leaguer--sort of. His father Joe made the Athletics big league roster for a few days but never appeared in a game. The younger Law impressed the Giants by piling up strikeouts wherever he went, but he fell to the ninth round in 2011 because scouts were concerned about the effort in his delivery. Their concerns were somewhat validated when Law blew out his elbow and required Tommy John surgery in 2014. He returned to action in late June 2015. His delivery still is not pretty and features a stab in his takeaway, stiffness in his lower half and a finishing spin-off to first base. But Law has toned down his hip turn as he gathers himself over the rubber, and he manages to stay around the strike zone consistently enough to receive average grades for his control. He hides the ball well with his over-the-top delivery, and his stuff bounced back nicely in his return. He still can run his plus fastball up to 93-96 mph, and his 12-to-6 breaking ball is a plus pitch as well, giving him two swing-and-miss offerings. Law is ready for Triple-A Sacramento and could help San Francisco at some point in 2016 as a setup man.
Okert took a step back in 2015 when his control backed up and he became too focused on using his cutter. His delivery is complicated enough to take him to precipice of control issues, but by the same token, that delivery and low three-quarters arm slot help him hide the ball against lefthanders, who hit .228 with 37 percent strikeouts in 2015. Even as he struggled to an overall 1.48 WHIP, Okert still showed a three-pitch mix that was devastating when he located. He delivers a plus, 91-95 mph fastball in on the hands of lefthanded batters and finishes them off with a plus slider that either catches the outer half or starts in the zone and dives out for swinging strikes. He relied too much on his cutter in the first half of 2015 and his slider lost depth, so the Giants took his cutter away and his slider returned to form. Okert has the ability to be more than a matchup lefty. The Giants added him to the 40-man roster in November.
Duggar has plus athleticism and can really run, with speed that grades out as at least double-plus in timed dashes but plays more as a plus in games. The 2015 sixth-rounder from Clemson has a plus arm as well. Despite a swing that has some length, Duggar demonstrates solid bat control and has an understanding of how to take a walk. So why does he often leaves evaluators disappointed when they see him in games? Duggar's speed doesn't stand out in the outfield as much as one would expect. He is a plus defender in right field, but he has yet to play regularly in center, the position where he profiles best. At short-season Salem-Keizer, he played right field in deference to Ronnie Jebavy. Though he has some strength in his hands, and some scouts project him to 10-12 home-run power, Duggar in games is a singles hitter who rarely drives the ball. Unless he changes his swing and approach, he projects as an above-average hitter with below-average power. Duggar has the tools to be an above-average defender in center who gets on base, but he if far from that ceiling as he heads to low Class A Augusta in 2016.
After running up a 5.25 ERA in his first two years in the Mississippi State rotation, Stratton had a dominant 2012, going 11-2, 2.38 in a year capped off by a dominant 17-strikeout outing against Louisiana State which propelled him into the first round. Unfortunately for the Giants, his 2012 season now seems like the outlier. Stratton was sidelined with a concussion after being hit by a line drive in batting practice during his pro debut in 2012. It took him a long time to bounce back, but he has developed into a potential No. 5 starter as he has grown more comfortable with his delivery. Stratton sits in the low 90s with an average fastball that will bump 94 mph sporadically. His slider, once thought to be a potentially plus pitch, has proven to be more of an average offering that just doesn't have the power or depth to be a true out pitch. His changeup and curveball are both a tick below-average offerings. Stratton doesn't consistently miss bats, and his control and command are fringe-average as well, so he doesn't spot his pitches well enough to baffle hitters with average offerings. Added to the 40-man roster in November, Stratton will return to Triple-A Sacramento in 2016, but he just doesn't appear to have the upside the Giants once projected.
Crick probably never will reach the heights that were forecasted when he dominated over the second half of the season at low Class A Augusta in 2012. His arm still is every bit as impressive as it was then, but Crick's inability to throw strikes has become more acute, and he walked 66 batters in 63 innings at Double-A Richmond in 2015. The Giants have tried most everything to get Crick straightened out, but at this point he looks to be buried by paralysis by analysis. He still can reach for 96-97 mph when he wants it, but he often dials back to 90-94 to try to locate better. Even at that velocity, he will miss badly and seemingly with no pattern to diagnose. He struggles with his direction to the plate at times, but his arm action is relatively clean. Crick's slider is an average offering that can generate swings and misses at times, but his changeup is below-average and little seen because poor control makes it hard to get to his secondary stuff. The Giants moved Crick to the bullpen in 2015, but he shows less command from the stretch than he does from the windup. The Giants have not given up on Crick's impressive arm, and they added him to the 40-man roster in November, but the one-time system No. 1 prospect is now a lottery ticket.
Coming out of Parkview High in the Atlanta suburbs in 2014, Marshall, a 21st-round pick, appeared headed to Louisiana State because the Astros didn't have the money to meet his seven-figure bonus demands. But when Houston didn't like what they saw in No. 1 overall pick Brady Aiken's medical report, they offered Aiken a lesser amount, reopening the possibility for Marshall to sign. The Astros made a hard run at Marshall but didn't sign him, so he headed to LSU. But in September, he transferred to Chipola (Fla.) JC to become eligible for the 2015 draft. He missed six weeks of his juco season with a broken thumb, and after signing with the Giants for $750,000 as a fourth-round pick, Marshall was kept on a conservative innings limit at short-season Salem-Keizer. Scouts have long questioned whether he will be able to handle lengthier outings as a starter. He will touch 94 mph early but usually settles in at 88-91. Marshall's best weapon is a potentially plus changeup with good tumble, but his mid-70s curveball also has above-average potential because he can vary its shape and throw it for strikes. Marshall's delivery has some effort, and he struggled to stay balanced over the rubber and to stay direct to the plate in his pro debut, leading to control trouble.
Of all the big league debuts in 2015, Hall's had to be one of the unlikeliest. He gave up on the game as a high school junior, frustrated that he had never cracked his high school team's lineup. That would have been the end of the story, but while at Baton Rouge CC as a student, Hall discovered they had a baseball team and decided to try out and give baseball one more chance. After seeing him pitch for the junior college Southern coach Roger Cador was impressed enough with the big righthander's arm speed to bring him to campus. Giants roving pitching coach Lee Smith works with the Southern program and saw Hall there and put him on the Giants' radar. Four years later, he was a big leaguer--the first white player to reach Major League Baseball, the NFL or the NBA out of a historically black college. Hall credits playing at Southern, where he had black, white and Latino teammates, as a preparation for the melting pot that is pro baseball. How much of an impact Hall will make is still hard to discern. His above-average fastball sat 91-95 mph in 2015 after showing a tick more velocity in 2014, but it still has good movement down in the zone. Neither his changeup nor slider grade out as better than fringe-average. He also sporadically mixed in a splitter that could turn into a better offering than his changeup. Hall's control is below-average, which limits his upside, but after making his big league debut in 2015, he heads to spring training with a shot to compete for a job as a middle reliever. in 2016, especially if he gets back some of the velocity gains he showed in 2014.
Cole has been prepping for a utility role for years. He spent two years at college playing in the outfield, but when Georgia needed a third baseman he moved to the dirt and handled the position with few issues. The Giants made Cole a 26th-round pick in 2014, and already in his pro career he has played first, second and third base in addition to left and right field. He struggles going back on balls in the outfield, and he's a fringe-average defender at second or third base, but some believe he will improve with more instruction. He's a natural athlete with average speed and an average arm. Cole's greatest strength is that he does not do anything poorly. The ball jumps off his bat fairly well, and he has shown a knack for making contact. He has a chance to hit .260 with 10-12 home runs with regular playing time, but he more likely will become a backup. Cole's inability to play shortstop makes it harder to turn that into a big league role.