San Francisco Giants 2014 Minor League Update, Part III: A+ San Jose Giants
As with the AA Richmond Flying Squirrels, the Giants’ top prospects at Class A+ San Jose are mostly pitchers, so I will start with the pitchers.
The single most impressive performance so far in 2014 belongs to reliever Steven Okert (age 22). The Giants’ 4th Round draft pick in 2012, Okert has a 1.26 ERA with 15 saves in 26 appearances. His pitching line is even more impressive: 28.2 IP, 22 hits, one HR and 11 walks allowed and 44 Ks. One has to think that Okert will be promoted to AA Richmond any day now, because he has little left to prove at the A+ level.
The Giants’ top pitching prospects at this level are struggling at the moment. Both Chris Stratton (23) and Kendry Flores (22) are striking people out and showing some ability to throw strikes, they have both been hit hard in terms of hits and home runs allowed. Stratton currently has a 5.09 ERA and Flores is at an ugly 5.94. Pat Young (22) has similar numbers (5.83 ERA but 39 Ks in 41.2 IP)
Both Joan Gregorio (22) and Martin Agosta (23) are currently on the 7-day disabled list, but I haven’t been able to find much information on the internet about the nature of their injuries. All I’m sure of is that both have been hurting much of the season (each has been placed on the DL twice already this season) and have pitched poorly as a result.
Joe Biagini (24) has been the SJ Giants’ most effective starter so far in 2014, but he generally isn’t regarded as much of a prospect. Joe Kurrasch has been very good since being moved into a starting role at the beginning of May. He doesn’t strike anyone out, but his numbers (only one home run surrendered in 95.2 professional innings pitched) suggest he’s an extreme groundball pitcher.
San Jose’s top young hitting prospect Mac Williamson (23) blew out his elbow tendon at the end of April and had Tommy John surgery, so he won’t be back until 2015. Shawn Payne (24) is hitting well in 25 games since his promotion from Class A Augusta. Payne really looked like a prospect after a terrific year at Augusta in 2012, but he regressed badly in 2013. Payne is fast, but his outfield defense is poor and he doesn’t hit for power, so his future prospects don’t look great.
3B Mitch Delfino (23) is batting an even .300 with some power, but he doesn’t walk much. However, his third base defense looks better than average for this level. Delfino has played extremely well for a 20th round draft pick out of college, but his flaws may well show up when he reaches the AA level.
1B Brian Ragira (22) has been overmatched at the A+ level so far in 2014, which he shouldn’t be as a former 4th round draft pick out of Stanford. He is hitting with some power, however, and he’s certainly young enough to have a future. OF Chuckie Jones (21) still has promise but doesn’t make enough contact.