Stock Up, Stock Down for the San Francisco Giants' Top 10 Prospects
The San Francisco Giants are fighting for a playoff spot.
Meanwhile, the Giants' farm talent is fighting to break into the big leagues—and the Giants have plenty of talent waiting in the wings.
Keeping an eye on prospects is of vital importance, especially at this juncture of the season. GM Brian Sabean may be able to deal one or two in a blockbuster trade or else choose to keep them close because of their potential.
Here's how some of the Giants' top prospects fared this past week.
Kyle Crick, RHP
2014 Season Stats: 17 GS, 6-4, 3.21 ERA, 47 BB, 87 K, 75.2 IP
Crick had another solid start playing for Double-A Richmond. On July 19, Crick pitched six innings, giving up two runs off five hits. Unfortunately, one of those hits happened to be a home run; the right-hander has given up three home runs in the past two games he's started.
But that's the one blemish on Crick's record, and more importantly, he's getting his control...under control. He gave up three walks his last start and is averaging of 2.7 walks per game over his past 10 starts. Compare that with six strikeouts, and it's clear Crick is starting to settle down with his control.
Edwin Escobar, LHP
2014 Season Stats: 20 GS, 3-8, 5.11 ERA, 37 BB, 96 K, 111 IP
Escobar struggled in a July 21 start for the Triple-A Grizzlies, giving up four runs in six innings. However, he was the lone Giants prospect to appear in the All-Star Futures game. Escobar didn't take a huge step back or a huge step forward, so his stock remains about the same.
He has the potential to be a middle-of-the-rotation guy, but there needs to be more consistency and, frankly, dominance in Triple-A.
Stock: No Change
Adalberto Mejia, LHP
2014 Season Stats: 16 GS, 5-6, 5.52 ERA, 20 BB, 60 K, 76.2 IP
Adalberto Mejia had a killer start on July 14 for Richmond. He not only pitched five innings of shutout baseball but didn't surrender a hit against the Bowie Baysox. Richmond used five pitchers to complete the shutout, and Mejia only faced one batter over the league minimum, but his stock can only go up after a stellar performance like this one.
The lefty's fastball remains solidly in the lower-to-mid-90s, and his slider continues to come along. Mejia is getting better and better.
Andrew Susac, Catcher
2014 Season Stats: .262/.376/.451, 61 G, 206 AB, 54 Hits, 9 2B's, 10 HR
Andrew Susac has struggled in July, posting an anemic .194 batting average in his past 10 games. He did go yard on July 10 and July 19, but Susac is having a hard time at the plate.
Still, he was named a PCL All-Star this season along with fellow Giants prospect Heath Hembree. If the Giants want to move current catcher Buster Posey to first base, Susac is the current incumbent to take over the position.
Susac has both power and discipline at the plate, especially for a catcher, and he's thrown out 37 percent of runners at second base, so there is plenty of promise.
Stock: No Change
Christian Arroyo, Shortstop
2014 Season Stats: .262/.302/.350, 237 AB, 62 Hits, 14 BB, 34 K
The stocky shortstop has benefited from moving from Augusta to Salem-Keizer. Since the move, Arroyo's average has gone up nearly 60 points. His line while at Salem is an incredible .319/.373/.429. Arroyo is starting to flourish.
The Giants have invested a lot of money in the former first-round draft pick. Currently, Arroyo is the highest-paid player on the Salem Volcanoes—and also the youngest. Still, Arroyo is excelling, batting third and demonstrating rare power for a shortstop.
Ty Blach, LHP
2014 Season Stats: 18 GS, 7-4, 2.95 ERA, 22 BB, 63 K, 97.2 IP
The left-hander pitched another gem for Triple-A Richmond, going a full seven innings and allowing two earned runs. Blach added seven strikeouts and no walks and was truly dominant on the mound. It's the first time in 11 starts that Blach has lasted at least seven innings.
Among the Giants' top pitching prospects, Blach possesses the most control, as demonstrated by his last start. Unlike many minor leaguers, Blach simply doesn't miss the strike zone.
Blach has plenty of competition but plenty of upside.
Chris Stratton, RHP
2014 Season Stats: 17 GS, 7-8, 5.01 ERA, 35 BB, 95 K, 93.1 IP
Stratton is coming off an abysmal start on July 17. He lasted six innings but gave up nine hits and four earned runs, including a home run against the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes.
Stratton has been the picture of inconsistency. In a July 10 start against Bakersfield, he pitched a shutout over six innings. However, in the start before on July 4, Stratton only lasted four-and-a-third innings and was shelled for seven earned runs.
Location on his fastball could be a problem, as he depends on pinpoint accuracy as opposed to velocity.
Clayton Blackburn, RHP
2014 Season Stats: 13 GS, 3-6, 2.98 ERA, 52 K, 12 BB, 60.1 IP
Before yesterday, Blackburn had not pitched in 12 days. For what it's worth, he pitched three shutout innings against Akron.
A rib injury has interrupted much of Blackburn's season, but when he's been on the mound he's been relatively strong. In a July 4 start, Blackburn pitched five scoreless innings over Reading after returning from one of his rehab stints.
Blackburn stormed out of the gate last year but has been plagued by injuries in his fourth professional season. He's enjoying success in Richmond with a sub-3.00 ERA. Hopefully, his success can continue as he regains his health.
Stock: No Change
Mac Williamson, Outfield
2014 Season Stats: N/A
Mac Williamson underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery at the end of April and hasn't played a game since.
Williamson is potentially the top hitting prospect the Giants have in their arsenal. While fighting through shoulder pain, Williamson still batted .415 at the plate for San Jose, serving as a designated hitter.
In February, John Shea of RantSports.com wrote that Williamson is "a slugger with big-time upside" and could contend for a roster spot within the next two seasons.
It's a wait-and-see game while Williamson recovers from Tommy John surgery.
Stock: No Change
Derek Law, RHP
2014 Season Stats: 2.57 ERA, 2-0, 13 SV, 29 K, 14 BB, 28 IP
Another injured top prospect, Derek Law, could potentially provide much-needed bullpen aid for the Giants in the future.
Law underwent Tommy John surgery on June 26—which is more concerning than Williamson's surgery. Position players tend to recover faster from the procedure. It's too bad, considering Law possesses a career 2.57 ERA in the minors along with 217 career strikeouts.
Again, it's a wait-and-see game. Law was poised for a breakout season in 2014, but now he'll have to wait for next year. Hopefully, the surgery won't slow down his progress.