Steamer Projects: San Francisco Giants Prospects

Earlier today, polite and Canadian and polite Marc Hulet published his 2014 organizational prospect list for the San Francisco Baseball Giants.

It goes without saying that, in composing such a list, Hulet has considered the overall future value those prospects might be expected to provide either to the Giants or whatever other organizations to which they might someday belong.

What this brief post concerns isn’t overall future value, at all, but rather such value as the prospects from Hulet’s list might provide were they to play, more or less, a full major-league season in 2014.

Other prospect projections: Arizona / Chicago AL / Miami / Seattle / Toronto.

Steamer Projections: San Francisco Batting Prospects
Below are the current 2014 projections for select San Francisco batting prospects. All projections have been prorated to 550 plate appearances (and 450 for catchers) for sake of uniformity. Defensive figures (denoted by Def) account both for positional adjustment and UZR, and are presented relative to league average. Note that, in many cases, defensive value has been calculated entirely by positional adjustment based on the relevant player’s minor-league defensive starts in 2013. Prospects are listed in order of projected WAR. The symbol # denotes the relevant prospect’s ranking on Hulet’s list. Figures might diverge slightly (although not signficantly) from those which appear on player pages.

# Name Age POS PA BB% K% BABIP wRC+ BsR Off Def* WAR
11 Andrew Susac 24 C 450 9.7% 21.4% .285 101 0 1 8 2.5
12 Gary Brown 25 CF 550 5.3% 18.6% .299 92 -1 -5 2 1.6
6 Mac Williamson 23 RF 550 5.6% 22.5% .281 86 0 -9 -6 0.4
4 Christian Arroyo 19 SS 550 3.5% 16.0% .216 24 0 -47 6 -2.4

Steamer Projections: San Francisco Pitching Prospects
Below are the 2014 projections for select San Francisco pitching prospects. Projections for starting pitchers have been prorated to 150 innings; for relievers, to 50 innings. Prospects are listed in order of projected WAR, which has been calculated by using kwERA — that is, an ERA estimator which utilizes only strikeouts and walks — so as to remove the vagaries of park effects, and probably also because the author has no idea what he’s doing. Listed ages are as of June 30, 2014. The symbol # denotes the relevant prospect’s ranking on Hulet’s list. Figures might diverge slightly (although not signficantly) from those which appear on player pages.

# Name Age Hand IP K% BB% kwERA kwERA- WAR
2 Edwin Escobar 22 LHP 150 21.0% 9.0% 3.87 100 1.9
8 Clayton Blackburn 21 RHP 150 20.3% 8.6% 3.91 101 1.8
3 Adalberto Mejia 21 LHP 150 18.3% 9.5% 4.25 110 1.2
14 Ty Blach 23 LHP 150 16.0% 7.2% 4.25 110 1.2
10 Chris Stratton 23 RHP 150 18.4% 11.7% 4.51 116 0.7
7 Joan Gregorio 22 RHP 150 16.0% 9.4% 4.52 117 0.7
9 Heath Hembree 25 RHP 50 22.3% 9.9% 3.82 99 0.7
1 Kyle Crick 21 RHP 150 19.6% 13.3% 4.55 118 0.6
5 Martin Agosta 23 RHP 150 17.5% 12.7% 4.73 122 0.3
13 Keury Mella 20 RHP 150 15.3% 10.9% 4.78 124 0.3

• While Hulet’s list certainly indicates that the Giants might have more in the way of future pitching talent, it appears to be a position player, catcher Andrew Susac, currently most ready to contribute at the major-league level. It’s not difficult to ascertain why Susac might receive encouraging projections: he’s recorded high walk rates and non-negligible home-run totals in both his professional seasons — offensive traits which, when combined with a catcher’s positional adjustment, inevitably lead to encouraging projections.

• As with Susac, center fielder Gary Brown‘s defensive projection includes only the WAR positional adjustment — which is to say, there’s no additional value being placed here on what is generally considered to be above-average outfield defense. “How many additional defensive runs might Brown contribute beyond that positional adjustment?” is a question to be answered by someone who has visited the future and returned. And who also bothered to look up Gary Brown’s defensive performances while he/she was there.

• It’s worth noting that starting prospects Clayton Blackburn and Edwin Escobar, both absent from any of last season’s notable top-100 prospect lists, are both projected to post comparable (and perhaps even better) numbers on a per-inning basis to/than Seattle’s celebrated triumvirate of (now injured) Danny Hultzen, James Paxton, and Taijuan Walker — a comment which the author has made largely because Seattle is one of the clubs already considered in this Steamer Projects series.

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