Here is the culmination of our State of the System address.
|Steven Harrold||RHP||Augusta (A)/San Jose (Advanced-A)|
|Jake Dunning||RHP||San Jose|
|Brett Krill||OF||Salem-Keizer (short season rookie)|
|Joan Gregorio||RHP||AZL (rookie)|
|Ari Ronick||LHP||San Jose|
|Jose Casilla||RHP||San Jose|
|Charlie Culberson||IF||Richmond (AA)|
|Ehire Adrianza||SS||San Jose|
I skip around a bit in the body of the post because I wanted to pair guys who went together, such as Joan Gregorio and Adalberto Mejia. Forgive me if it’s a little disjointed.
Steve Harrold was brilliant in Augusta this year, not so much in San Jose. He had a 1.54 ERA in 41 innings for the GreenJackets but has a 5.93 ERA in 13 2/3 innings and 15 strikeouts to nine walks with the Giants. To be fair to Harrold, he has significantly improved since July 29. Over his last 10 appearances, he’s allowed two runs in 13 2/3 innings and his last four outings have been shutout efforts. I also haven’t seen him pitch in San Jose.
Harrold has surprised his innings total for 2010 this year. A year ago, he threw 30 innings between the AZL Giants and Salem-Keizer and he had good strikeouts numbers there too.
Jake Dunning has turned it around over his last 12 1/3 innings, allowing three runs and tossing three straight scoreless appearances. He started seven games in April and May but has been a bullpen guy for most of the year. Over the last month he’s collected six saves in six opportunities and his 2.58 ERA as a reliever outshines his inflated 6.55 mark as a starter.
I also can’t recall seeing him pitch this year so I can’t comment on his stuff.
Brett Krill has entered the outfield discussion with a good power year at the short-season level. These guys are hard to gauge because of the limited time they have in the short-season leagues. Krill has been on my watch list all year because of his good hitting, especially since he came from the 25th round. It’s nice to see those middle of the pack picks produce. He has five home runs and 40 RBIs and has hit .400 against lefties.
Rory and I discussed the lack of left-handed pitching in the minors a while back. Since our discussion, I’ve noticed that guys don’t have as many at-bats against left-handers. It certainly backs up the evidence I found in the Cal League’s lack of lefties. I just never could wrap my head around the idea that there are so few southpaws out there.
Joan Gregorio and Adalberto Mejia made this list as two of the most promising young arms among the rookie level clubs and in the current Giants international talent pool. They remind me of the hope I once had for the Bucardo brothers. Wilber pretty much flamed out and Jorge can’t stay healthy.
Gregorio has moved up quickly to the AZL, pitching one year in the DSL in 2010 that was similar to his 2011 year. My hope is that he can improve his strikeouts a bit, if he’s the power arm I suspect him to be. Mejia has 71 strikeouts and eight walks in 76 innings and has allowed 18 runs all year. I have a little more hope for Gregorio right now because he’s succeeded in the AZL, which is tougher competition for the young Dominican prospects.
This is also the first year in a long time when I can’t recall a high profile Latin American signing. There was Angel Villalona a few years ago, then Rafael Rodriguez, who is coming up in a bit on this list. I saw Gregorio doing well in the AZL and Mejia has standout numbers in the DSL.
Then again, both Bucardo bros had great AZL stats. It’s all I have to go on with these guys. Forgive me.
Ari Ronick has a really tough slider and has looked great in a comeback year from injury. Since his future is LOOGY and he’s behind a couple of ROOGYs (and LOOGYs for that matter, hi, Affedlt and Lopez) on the Giants’ depth chart, I had to bump him down the list. He recovered from an elbow injury and came back with little fanfare this year. I liked what I saw of him in San Jose and I hope he can continue to get stronger.
Jose Casilla caused panic for about a week. Here’s the deal: he had Tommy John surgery and was outrighted off the 40-man roster to make room for Waldis Joaquin on the San Francisco roster.
Casilla’s okay. He’s recovering from surgery and should be back as good as new after the standard12-18 month timetable for TJ. He only pitched 12 innings this year. I put him low on this list due to his very limited 2011 performance and due to the fact that he won’t be back until mid-2012 at the earliest.
We covered Charlie Culberson in the prospect mailbag. I’ll hang onto him for now because his 2011 season was okay. I can’t promise a spot for him on the real 2012 list, though.
Rafael Rodriguez had a tough year in his first chance in a full season league. He’s played 91 games and has hit .241. His OBP is low and he has almost no power. It’s disappointing to see him struggle and the lack of power something I feared from him. I understand that he’s still growing into his huge frame and he’s still super young. I don’t know how many times we can say those things about him and wait around for his breakout year.
What’s Ehire Adrianza doing so low on this list? I’ve had people asking me if he ran over my cat or something. Quite the opposite. Adrianza has helped me with a few stories I’ve written and he’s always been gracious when I asked him for quotes. He’s a nice fellow.
Here’s why I’m so tough on him as a prospect. I was told he was Top 5 material. I haven’t seen a thing from him outside of his defense that would indicate that. It’s been an extreme letdown to see him have poor at-bat after poor at-bat in San Jose. Coupled with my recent assessment of his defense being half-assed, I’m really disappointed in him.
He’s one of the guys in the system that I cannot afford to be nice with. I prefer to look on the sunny side of player development. I like to be optimistic. But that doesn’t always work. I’m going to let a bit of real life seep into this piece to make my point.
I teach children how to swim. It’s a pretty nice side job to have, until this journalism thing takes off. With my kids in the pool, I accept no weakness. I harangue them until they do all their swims correctly. I expect them to give me 100% because I give them all I have. Most of my kids respond to that and show me that they are good swimmers, so my method works.
I feel the same way about Adrianza. I don’t know if he is an elite prospect, but I want to see if he can reach that potential. I don’t see him making that with the year he’s had, or with what I’ve seen of him.
For all the guys on this list I’ve actually seen play live, my visual assessment has equal weight to everything else. For all the pluses I’ve seen in Brown, Belt, Peguero, Correa, Sanchez, et. al., Adrianza has plusses too. His minuses outweigh those right now. I want him to show me something amazing to make me believe he’s an elite prospect.
You guys are really making me earn my money with this series. We’re done! This is likely my last stand on BCB for 2011 as I leave for the D.R. next Friday. I will return with more unpopular opinions in the offseason.