Join Now! Bundle Print + Digital + eEdition And Save $60/year
Ramos is the latest exceptional athlete from a family of them. His older brother Henry is a minor league outfielder who has reached Triple-A. His oldest brother Hector is a professional soccer player in the North American Soccer League and plays forward for Puerto Rico's national team. Heliot has a chance to be the best of the brood. He was a divisive prospect leading up to the draft. The teams who liked him, loved him while others worried about his hitting ability because he didn't have much of a track record with wood bats. Heliot (it's a silent “H” and his name is pronounced like Elliott) doesn't always put on a great batting practice, but he almost always performed in games as an amateur. He was the MVP of the Under Armour All-America game as he fell just a double short of the cycle. The Giants quickly locked in on him as their first-round pick and drafted him No. 17 overall, signing him for $3,101,700 to pass up a Florida International commitment. Ramos is the most well-rounded and the toolsiest prospect to come through the Giants farm system this decade. In a system lacking in power, Ramos has the potential for 25-plus home runs, posting exit velocities that wouldn't look out of place in the middle of a big league lineup. He has already shown the ability to both yank the ball over the left field wall or drive it out with carry to right-center. Ramos' swing is relatively short and he has excellent bat speed, although pitchers found they could elevate and get the free-swinging Ramos to chase. He also has consistent plus speed, plus-plus at his best, although his thick trunk leads some to believe he will slow down as he matures. While Ramos' routes can be refined, he glides in the outfield and a majority of evaluators believe he can stay in center field long-term as an average to above-average defender. His above-average arm would also fit in right field, which is useful with how expansive AT&T Park is. Scouts like Ramos' feel for hitting and he was among the best hitters in the Arizona League in his debut, but Ramos' overall future hitting ability remains his biggest question. His free-swinging tendencies are one major thing that could trip him up. Still, Ramos has speed, strength and a baseball-rat mentality, which should allow him to flourish in the low A Class South Atlantic League in 2018.
The Giants drafted Shaw 31st overall in 2015 because of his power potential, and he has lived up to those expectations. His 24 home runs between Double-A and Triple-A in 2017 were seven more than anyone else in the Giants system. Shaw's plus power is his carrying tool, with scouts predicting he can hit 25-30 home runs a year in the majors. He has all-fields power with the strength to clear AT&T Park's high right field wall and power balls into McCovey Cove. Shaw doesn't sell out to get to his power and his swing is relatively short for a power hitter, allowing scouts to project him as a future .250-.260 hitter although like most power hitters, it will come with plenty of strikeouts. Shaw is going to have to hit because he's a below-average defender at first base and in left field. He is better-suited for the outfield because he is a better runner underway, although still below-average, and lacks short-area quickness. His average arm plays at both spots. Shaw's power is desperately needed by the Giants. He has a chance to be an everyday slugger, but his lack of range will be noticeable in AT&T Park's expansive outfield.
Beede appeared ready to compete for a job in the Giants rotation entering 2017. Instead, he scuffled through 19 starts at Triple-A Sacramento before a groin injury ended his season in late July. Beede's velocity dipped in 2017, as the plus fastball he previously pitched with became an average to above-average pitch, sitting 91-93 mph and touching 95. He uses both a two and four-seamer. Beede's velocity has waxed and waned before, but his biggest hurdle to big league success is his subpar command, which has plagued him since college. Beede mixes in two average secondary offerings in a cutter and curveball and has a below-average changeup, but he doesn't land them consistently. His curve has flashed plus before, which leads scouts to think it could return to form in the future. However, there are concerns Beede uses too many pitches, which keeps him from developing a feel for any one pitch. Beede's development has been full of hot streaks and setbacks, much like Chris Stratton, who broke into the Giants' rotation in 2017. A Stratton-esque leap is possible in 2018, but Beede doesn't miss many bats and now profiles as a possible No. 4 starter.
Arroyo's 2017 season was as near-perfect analogy for the Giants' 2017 season, in that it's best forgotten. He made his major league debut in April, but his season went downhill quickly. He was hit by a pitch in mid-June and missed two weeks with a bruised left hand, returned and was plunked again, this time breaking a bone in the same hand and ending his season. He went to the Dominican Winter League, saw his injury flare up, and had surgery on the hand in November. Arroyo's value as a regular depends on him being at least a plus hitter. Most scouts project a modest 10-12 home runs a year, but he's never reached double-digits in the minors. Arroyo got over-aggressive at the plate in his first big league stint, but normally he shows good timing and barrel control. He's a fringe-average defender at shortstop because of limited range, but is plus at second or third base with an average, accurate arm. He's a fringe-average runner and not a base-stealing threat. The Giants have had success nurturing well-rounded infielders. The hand injuries have injected uncertainty into Arroyo's immediate future, but he could compete for the Giants third base job if healthy.
Reynolds has always hit. He hit .329 in his three-year Vanderbilt career, hit .346 in the Cape Cod League and so far has hit .312 as a pro. That said, because he doesn't drive the ball as much as his raw size and strength might indicate he should, scouts have long pined for something more. For a three-year starter at Vanderbilt who was a second-round pick, there's a surprisingly unfinished quality to Reynolds. The switch-hitter stays in control of his swings and frequently hits the ball on the ground. Scouts say he lacks the barrel control and pitch recognition of elite hitters, although he did cut his strikeout rate in 2017. Scouts have long thought Reynolds has above-average power potential or more, but it would take a significant change in his approach and swing to tap into it. Defensively, Reynolds plays a fringe-average center field because he lacks initial burst, but he is above-average in either corner. His average arm works everywhere. Reynolds' strength and power potential give him upside, but his realistic ceiling is in question. He's likely to be a well-rounded big league outfielder with his current approach, but to be a long-term regular he'll need to unlock his power.
Garcia missed two months in 2016 after surgery to repair facial fractures and he missed two more weeks in 2017 with a concussion. Because of those injuries, Garcia spent most of the year repeating high Class A San Jose, but earned a late-season promotion to Double-A Richmond and played in the Arizona Fall League's Fall Stars game. Garcia checks off two catcher boxes with plus raw power potential and a plus arm. He finished second in the Giants system with 17 home runs and he should hit for at-least above-average power if he gets regular big league at-bats. But he's projected as a .230-.240 hitter because of undeveloped plate discipline and concerns about swing length. Defensively, Garcia has some stiffness behind the plate and evaluators are widely split on his receiving, noting his effort level isn't always there. At his best, Garcia shows the ability to be an average defender with a big arm. Garcia has some of the best power in the organization, but if he can't catch, he doesn't have a clear fallback position defensively. His power numbers will likely be sapped by Double-A Richmond, but he is on track to eventually be Buster Posey's backup if he can stay healthy.
The Giants took a trio of hard-throwing but wild college pitchers in the 2016 draft. Matt Krook and Alex Bostic struggled in 2017, but taking Williams in the seventh round paid off handsomely. Williams responded well to steady work in his first full season, going 6-5, 2.32 in 97 innings at the Class A levels--more innings than he pitched in three seasons combined at Oklahoma State. Williams has long had two plus pitches, but in college, he never threw enough strikes for it to matter. Pitching from a low three-quarter arm slot, his command is still well below average but he has begun repeating his delivery enough to stay around the strike zone. Williams' 91-94 mph fastball seems to find another gear at it nears the plate, generating swings and misses. His low-80s power curveball is hard with depth and some sweep thanks to his arm slot. He's also improved his still below-average changeup, but he doesn't use it much. Williams needs to refine his still fringy control, but he has some of the best pure stuff in the Giants system. After making massive strides in 2017, he's closer to his potential as a mid-rotation starter.
Duggar slid to the sixth round in the 2015 draft because he was a solid but unspectacular hitter at Clemson despite impressive tools. After a breakthrough season in 2016, Duggar missed the first two and half months of 2017 with forearm and hamstring problems, but still reached Triple-A after a stint at high Class A San Jose and hit .263/.367/.421 in the Arizona Fall League. Duggar has a discerning eye and sorts out pitches well, gets on base and stays within himself with a short stroke. He has natural strength, but he doesn't really use his legs to drive the ball consistently. He's a gap-to-gap hitter with more doubles than home run power. Defensively, Duggar is the Giants' best in-house option at center field. He has above-average speed and takes solid routes that give him a shot to be an above-average defender in center with an above-average arm. Duggar has improved his jumps to become a threat as a basestealer. Duggar's on-base skills and defensive ability give him a shot at an everyday role, and his defensive ability to play all three outfield spots gives him a fallback option as a fourth outfielder.
The Giants have been aggressive promoting Fabian because they trust in his feel for the game and hitting ability. Whenever he's been pushed, he's responded. He was the best player on their DSL team in 2015 and on the Rookie-level AZL Giants in 2016. Sent to low Class A Augusta as a 19-year-old in 2017, Fabian struggled in the first half but kept improving and hit .370/.382/.510 in August to finish the season. Fabian impresses coaches with his ability to learn, adapt and adjust. Evaluators are generally confident he'll hit because he has a knack of putting bat to ball, even though that means he currently swings at pitches he should take. Scouts who like him see a future plus hitter with average power, which could work in right field because he's plus defender there with a plus, accurate arm. What he lacks is the typical right field power profile, as he's more a hitter than a slugger with 15-18 home run projections in his future once he matures. Fabian's strong finish showed he's ready to jump to high Class A San Jose. He's going to have to become more selective about what pitches he swings at, but he's young enough to figure that out.
Suarez was a reliable member of Miami's weekend rotation for three seasons and has been equally reliable as a pro. He is rarely sensational, but he's also rarely knocked out of a game early. He efficiently works his six to seven innings, keeps his team in the game and does it again five days later. He worked six or more innings 20 times in 2017 en route to a 10-10, 3.30 mark between Double-A and Triple-A. Suarez succeeds as a lefty with plus control and a plus slider. His 90-93 mph fastball sets up his slider as he works it in and out. The slider eats up lefties, and he's equally adept at busting in or backdooring righthanders. He's toyed with a slower curveball as well, but so far it's only a sporadic diversion. He will throw a below-average changeup to keep righthanders honest, but against lefties, he generally sticks to a two-pitch approach. Suarez could help the big league club soon in a variety of ways. He is a nearly ready back-of-the-rotation starter who could eat innings with his control and his slider. He also could become a two-pitch lefty out of the bullpen where his fastball would likely gain a tick. Either way, his big league debut should come in 2018.
For a team that was on its way to a 64-win season, the Giants didn't exactly tear the big league team apart in a search for future help. But San Francisco did send third baseman Eduardo Nunez to the Red Sox for young pitchers, picking up Anderson and Dominican Summer League righthander Gregory Santos. Anderson was the moment-of-truth reliever at Florida, but scouts saw all the traits of a starter, noting that he relieved because the team had a slew of first-round picks in the weekend rotation. He's lived up to those expectations as a pro, showing potential to be a back-of-the-rotation starter with above-average control and command. He attacks hitters with a 92-94 mph above-average fastball that touches 96 and a plus 87-88 mph slider. He also mixes in a fringe-average changeup and curveball that are effective enough because he can throw them for strikes and hitters have to look for the fastball since he can hit his spots. Anderson's storied Gators career has proven he can also pitch in the bullpen, but there's nothing in his four-pitch mix, clean delivery and robust frame that should keep him from being a durable No. 4 starter.
As the son of long-time big leaguer Luis Gonzalez, Jacob had a very good understanding of what pro ball entailed when the Giants drafted him. He's bigger and potentially stronger than his dad, who, despite a massive power spike in the early 2000s, generally hit 15-20 homers a season. A mature hitting approach was evident in Gonzalez's strong debut in the Rookie-level Arizona League, where he proved to be among the tougher outs. In drafting Gonzalez, the Giants are betting on his bat. He was better at third base in his pro debut than amateur scouts would have expected, but he's a below-average runner who lacks range going side to side. He is better coming in on balls. He has an above-average arm, though he needs to improve his throwing accuracy. It's too early to give up on him sticking at third, but it's more likely he ends up as a left fielder or first baseman. Gonzalez has legitimate plus power potential and he has a chance to hit for average as well thanks to bat speed and a discerning enough batting eye. After a strong pro debut, he's mature enough to make the jump to low Class A Augusta.
Canario has yet to play a game in the U.S., but a pretty convincing case can be made that other than Heliot Ramos, he has the highest ceiling in the Giants' farm system. Canario signed for less than $100,000 in 2016, but he's already demonstrated a rare blend of speed, athleticism and feel to hit. Canario hit five home runs in 2017 while his 18 other Dominican Summer League teammates combined to hit 10, and he was the MVP of the league's all-star game. His above-average bat speed is what allows him to drive the ball even though he hasn't filled out, but his plus speed, athletic frame and chance to stick in center field are equally notable. His swing will get long when he goes hunting for home runs, but when he's at his best, he's short to the ball and shows good pitch recognition for his age. He primarily played right field in the DSL (and had seven assists thanks to an above-average arm) but his long-term home is in center. Canario is ready to come to the U.S. in 2018 and could rocket up this list in the next couple of years.
The Giants have consistently searched the Dominican Republic for older prospects who were passed over. Adon is one of the prime examples of the payoffs for such scouting. He didn't sign with the Giants until he was 20 and didn't make his U.S. debut until he was 22. In 2017, he was arguably the hardest-throwing starting pitcher in the low Class A South Atlantic League. Adon had a long way to go when he signed. For one thing, he couldn't effectively pitch out of the stretch. He still is far from a finished product but he has made significant progress. He has toned down his slinging, low three-quarters delivery, but even though he can carry top-shelf velocity throughout his starts, scouts are nearly unanimous that his energetic delivery and lower release point will eventually lead him to the bullpen. Adon's fastball is a top-of-the-scale pitch. He pitches at 95-100 mph as a starter with plenty of armside run on his fastball, and he touched 102 in relief stints. His slider will flash plus as well with downward break and exceptional power (88-91 mph). His less-developed changeup even flashes average, though he only uses it sporadically against lefties. Adon's control and command improved in 2017 but it was still well below-average. More importantly, he needs to sequence pitches better. He's predictable, which means hitters can sit on his fastball early in counts. If Adon moved to the bullpen, he could move quickly as a pitcher with two potential standout pitches, but for now, there's no reason for San Francisco to give up on developing him as a starter.
Moronta is another late-blooming Latin American Giants pitching prospect. He didn't throw his first pro pitch until he was 18 and didn't reach full-season ball until he was 22--but just two years later he made his big league debut. A few weeks later, he was striking out Paul Goldschmidt and J.D. Martinez. Moronta's listed weight of 175 pounds bears no relation to his actual size (which is probably closer to 230 pounds). He's a short, thick-bodied righthander with a mid- to upper-90s fastball and a plus slider he's comfortable throwing in any count. Moronta uses his fastball to get to the slider. His control has been fringy, but it's more that he nibbles trying to get hitters to chase rather than an inability to throw strikes. Moronta's fastball is a bit straight, so even at 96-98 it's more hittable than his low-80s slider, which has enough depth to at times look like a power curve. Moronta has the stuff to pitch in high-leverage situations and seems intimidated by no one. He should be a part of the Giants' bullpen in 2018.
The 2016 draft class was rather thin on college shortstops, but Howard had one of the longest track records of success. He was Team USA's shortstop and a three-year starter at Missouri. That experience has paid off in pro ball. He handled the jump to high Class A San Jose in 2017 with few issues. Howard is one of a number of Giants middle infield prospects who does enough things adequately to have a big league career but lacks the carrying tools scouts look for in a future first-division regular. He's an average defender at shortstop with good instincts, but lacks the body control and quickness to ever be described as rangy. His above-average arm plays well at shortstop and he can handle third as well (where he played sporadically for San Jose). At the plate, Howard puts together professional at-bats and projects as a .250-.260 hitter, but with just 5-10 home runs a year. Most scouts see Howard as a second-division regular or utility infielder. He's not going to unseat Brandon Crawford, but as he heads to Double-A, Howard has a good shot at a big league future.
Much like Christian Arroyo, Slater is only eligible for this list because of injury. Slater had largely assumed the Giants' left field job when he tore a thigh muscle off of his hip. He missed two months before returning in September. Teams kept trying to find a defensive home for Slater, who is an excellent athlete. The Giants eventually let him move to left field and focus on hitting. Despite his speed, he's stretched in center field, though he's above-average in the corners. What Slater does best is mash lefthanders. Since 2016 began, he's hit .368/.442/.556 against lefties and a more modest but still useful .283/.357/.442 against righthanders. Slater has plus-plus raw power, which he demonstrated with a 461-foot home run against the Brewers that was the longest home run by any Giants hitter in 2017. Scouts see 15-20 home run potential as a regular. Slater projects as a second-division regular, but is better suited as a useful backup on a championship team. If the Giants can't upgrade at left field for 2018, Slater could be a useful fallback option.
One of the few bright spots in the brutal Giants season was Crick's return from the wilderness of wildness. Once the team's top prospect, Crick's control troubles got the best of his stuff for years and he had to gear down to try to throw strikes. Crick moved full-time to the bullpen in 2017 and responded by reaching the big leagues. He hasn't fixed his control problems as much as he's tamed them just enough to be effective. He still battles bouts of wildness and struggles to get through innings cleanly, but his lively, plus 95-98 mph fastball is good enough to get swings and misses even if he's not dotting the corners. His starter's background allowed the Giants to feel comfortable using him for two innings or more out of the pen. His low-80s average slider is generally a chase pitch, and he will mix in a hard 88-90 mph fringe-average changeup to lefties. Crick's stuff is big league caliber, and if he can continue to have even fringy control he could have a lengthy career as a setup man.
Much like Kyle Crick, Krook was lost to control troubles as a starter, but found himself as a reliever. Still, Krook's stint as a reliever has not yet closed the door on him returning to the rotation. Krook was a supplemental first round pick of the Marlins out of high school, but the team opted not to sign him because of concerns about his elbow ligament. He did end up needing Tommy John surgery, which meant he missed all of his 2015 season at Oregon and was limited to 90 innings in 2016. The Giants moved Krook to the bullpen in late July to limit his innings in 2017. After a brutal 2-11, 6.11 stint as a starter, he was more aggressive and threw more strikes in the pen, posting a 1.02 ERA and .121 opponent average as a reliever. In his last five relief appearances he struck out 17 and walked one in 10.2 innings. Krook's 90-94 mph fastball has extreme sink at its best, drawing comparisons with Zach Britton's sinker for its movement. As a starter, he too frequently failed to locate anything but his sinker in the zone. Once he moved to the pen, he regained the feel for his potentially plus slider. Krook's changeup hasn't developed as much. The Giants haven't determined Krook's 2018 role, but power reliever seems to be his calling.
Acquired along with righthander Shaun Anderson in the trade that sent Eduardo Nunez to the Red Sox in July 2017, Santos signed for $275,000 in 2015 and quickly impressed because of his starter's frame, low- to mid-90s velocity (he touches 97) and promising breaking ball. Santos is years from San Francisco, but he has the best combination of easy velocity, durability and repeatability of the Giants' rookie-ball pitchers. His arm works well and he generates plenty of angle with his fastball, which helps explain how he generated three ground outs for every air out in 2017. Santos' fastball and a developing curve are the building blocks of a mid-rotation starter, although at this point, it's equally likely he eventually ends up as a power reliever. Santos has a long way to go as far as developing his control, he'll have to continue sharpening his breaking ball and he needs to develop his changeup. Santos is ready to come to the U.S., but he's likely still a year away from full-season ball.
In 2016, the Giants spent the second day of the draft taking chances on college pitchers with excellent stuff but control problems. Garrett Williams' development rewarded that approach. In 2017, the Giants took an even bigger risk by drafting Corry. He had one of the best fastball/curveball combos in the draft class, but teams largely shied away because of his inability to command and control his fastball--something that became more evident when he walked eight batters per nine innings in his pro debut. Corry is the highest-drafted prep pitcher out of Utah since Cubs first-rounder Mark Pawelek in 2005. Corry's control troubles largely stem from an effortful delivery. He has a head whack and is a little stiff in his finish, but his curveball is a true 12-to-6 hammer with easy plus potential. He also sits 92-94 mph with his lively fastball, giving himself a pair of weapons. He controls his curve better than his fastball. The Giants are going to have to be patient with Corry and he'll need to work hard on his delivery, but he has worlds of potential, even if he's likely ticketed for extended spring training and short-season Salem-Keizer in 2018.
Tall pitchers often take longer to develop, but Gregorio is running out of time to develop for the Giants. The Rookie-level Arizona League ERA leader in 2011 at the time drew comparisons with Ubaldo Jimenez because of his size and stuff. The 6-foot-7 Gregorio's development since then has been slowed by his struggles to maintain a consistent release point, which has led to a series of control struggles. Gregorio also got in his own way in 2017 when he blew his chance at a September callup by being suspended for testing positive for a performance-enhancing steroid. He made up for lost time with a stint in the Arizona Fall League, where he was roughed up for 10 earned runs in 15.1 innings. Gregorio was granted a fourth option year, which gives him one more chance to develop his control and consistency in the minors. Gregorio still has a 91-95 mph above-average fastball and an above-average slider. Time is running out for Gregorio as a starter, and considering his ticking minor league options clock, it wouldn't be surprising to see him try relieving at some point in 2018.
Other than Christian Arroyo, Gomez is the purest hitter in the Giants' farm system, which is why the switch-hitter was able to leap from low Class A Augusta to the big leagues in only a year. Gomez projects as a plus hitter with average power thanks to excellent hand-eye coordination, but that may not be enough to ever win him a much larger role than the pinch-hitting fill-in he served as for a month before a disabled list stint ended his season thanks to a sore knee. His problem is he doesn't have a clear path to a regular job and even finding a roster spot as a backup role is hard. He's bounced around defensively from catcher to third base to second base. Second is his best spot, but he's below-average defensively thanks in part to his heavy feet, below-average speed and poor range. Gomez is a hard worker whose work ethic impresses coaches, but he's a Lenny Harris type of professional pinch-hitter in a league context that no longer has many dedicated pinch-hitters.
Blessed with one of the best arms in baseball but with little idea yet of how to use it, Martinez needs plenty of innings. That makes the oblique injury that wiped out most of his 2017 season especially frustrating. That means Martinez he will enter 2018 no closer to realizing his potential. Martinez didn't enter pro ball until he was 20. The late bloomer has touched 102 mph in the past, but was generally 94-98 mph when healthy in 2017--he never got fully stretched out enough to reach triple digits regularly. Martinez's fastball may be plus-plus at its best, but his below-average changeup and slider are hitters' best friends. He has started to throw his secondary pitches for strikes, but he still slows his arm to telegraph his changeup and his slider doesn't have much break. Martinez could develop into a useful big league reliever, but he needs time and innings to get there. Martinez should head back to Double-A in 2018 as he continues to try to find a second pitch.
Woods was another of the Giants' slew of 2016 draftees with big stuff and bigger control issues. It's hard to say that the Giants have tamed his wildness when he walked more than five batters per nine innings, but his fastball/curveball combo gives him survival skills while he works to become more efficient. Woods' 90-96 mph fastball and his sharp 11-to-5 curveball proved hard for low Class A South Atlantic League hitters to square, even when they got ahead in counts. Both his fastball and curve have plus potential. He also throws a below-average slider that has little enough depth that at times it looks more like a cutter. Woods has to tone down some of the effort in his delivery if he's going to remain a starter and he'll have to repeat his motion much more consistently. While Woods survived his first full-season test despite significant control issues, more advanced hitters will feast if he doesn't stay around the zone more often. He should start 2018 at high Class A San Jose.
Anyone looking to become a pilot or an aeronautical engineer would struggle to find a better choice than attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla., home of a well-equipped fleet of airplanes. But it's not been a choice of players looking to make it to the majors. Cyr is in a race with Cardinals righthander Daniel Poncedeleon to become the first Eagles big leaguer. Cyr joined the Giants' 40-man roster after the 2017 season and could figure into the Giants' 2018 plans. His success comes from plenty of movement on his 92-96 mph fastball and the deception his cross-body delivery brings. Lefthanded hitters don't pick up the ball until late in his delivery because they get a good look at the numbers on the back of his jersey. Cyr cuts and runs his fastball, with the above-average cutter and his delivery being the biggest reason he shut down lefties (who hit .179/.255/.221). Righthanded hitters actually pick the ball up better coming out of his hand. His below-average slurvy slider isn't nearly as effective which helps explain why righties hit .340/.413/.443 against him. Cyr doesn't have a true plus pitch to use in high-leverage innings, but he could help the big league club as a low-cost, reliable reliever in the near future.
A senior sign of the Mariners out of Coastal Carolina in 2014, the Giants picked up Herb as the player to be named from the trade that sent Chris Heston to Seattle. That trade has already paid off for the Giants, when Heston was waived by the Mariners before Herb was even named in the trade. The Mariners were willing in part to part with Herb because the 25-year-old would be Rule 5 eligible if not added to the 40-man roster in the offseason, but the Giants were impressed enough after his 10 starts with Double-A Richmond to add him. Herb impressed more with his consistency than his stuff. He has four pitches he can throw at seemingly any point in the count with above-average control, but he doesn't have a plus pitch. He sits at 90-92 mph with his sinking fastball that generates ground balls. He can touch 94-95 when he muscles up. Herb has a little more trust in his slider than his changeup or curve, but all three get average grades at best and is a swingman starter.
When the Giants signed Doval, he already had a fast arm that generated low-90s velocity. In the two years since then, he's added 3-5 additional mph, turning him into a flame-thrower. In his U.S. debut in 2017, Doval finished with the second-best strikeout ratio in the Rookie-level Arizona League (14.2 strikeouts per nine innings) because hitters couldn't catch up to his 93-97 mph fastball, which could eventually reach triple-digits. Doval's arm is extremely fast, but his delivery ranges from being described as energetic to violent depending on how much the scout likes him. He throws across his body and finishes with some significant recoil, making it hard for hitters to pick up the ball, but also for Doval to consistently throw strikes. He relies almost entirely on his fastball, which he can cut or run, as well as the beginnings of a slider. Doval is a reliever all the way and needs to improve his current near bottom-of-the-scale control, but he has the swing-and-miss stuff required of high-leverage relievers. He's a long way from that ceiling, but he could make it to full-season ball in 2018.
The Peter Principle suggests that workers are promoted until they fail, so eventually they reach one level above their actual level of ability. That principle may apply to Coonrod, who dominated Class A with a two-pitch approach, but has looked stretched in two seasons against Double-A competition as a starter because of the limitations of that same two-pitch approach. Coonrod attacks hitters with a potentially above-average, heavy 92-95 mph fastball and a hard, above-average 85-89 mph slider. His below-average changeup fools no one and is easy for hitters to recognize. His struggles to develop his change and his high-effort delivery point to a future move to the bullpen, where his below-average command and control would be less of an issue. Coonrod injured his elbow late in the season and will miss all of 2018 after Tommy John surgery. Coonrod was left off the 40-man roster thanks to the injury, but when he returns, the Giants will have to decide whether it's as a starter or as a reliever. Scouts for other teams would bet he ends up in the bullpen.
Hinojosa was a College World Series star as a sophomore at Texas, but a poor junior season helped him slide to the 11th round in 2015. Since then he's looked more like the scrappy tough out he was earlier in his Longhorns career than the player who sacrificed contact for a modest power bump as a junior. Hinojosa is the kind of player the Giants seem to collect in waves. He's best when he's spraying the ball around the field, and is especially pesky at poking line drives down the right-field line, but he has a lot of fringe-average to average tools and no real plus tool on his scouting report. He plays shortstop plausibly enough defensively to fill-in, but he lacks the range to play there everyday. Hinojosa missed the start of the 2017 season with a quad strain, but when he returned he went right back to looking like a future big league utility infielder. Unfortunately, he tore his Achilles tendon at the end of the season and could miss time early in 2018.
In order to access this exclusive content you must have a Baseball America Account.
Login or sign up