Otero is a bit of a sleeper. He was an 18th round draft pick this past year and the third of four players drafted by the Giants from Puerto Rico. He signed on deadline day and has yet to take an at bat in a game. So why did I rank him this high? Mainly because he projects to stay at SS and I felt he has more offensive upside than fellow draftee Kelby Tomlinson. I imagine Otero will start next year at Extended Spring Training and then either go to the AZL or form an intriguing all Puerto Rican middle infield at Salem Keizer with 8th round pick Jean Delgado.
Rodriguez has struggled since being signed to the largest contract the club has ever spent on an international amateur player, hitting just .256/.311/.323 for his career. The reason he still makes my top 30 though is because he still has the ability that allowed the Giants to give him $2.55 million and the fact that he will spend next season as a 19 year old in Low A Augusta, so he still has some time to figure it out.
Dunning looks like he may be the latest successful positional player to pitcher convert. Drafted as a shortstop out of Indiana in the 33rd round, he hit just .227/.244/.307 in the AZL before converting to the mound. As a pitcher he showed a diverse enough arsenal to merit the Giants trying him in the rotation and sending him to the hitter friendly California League. While he struggled in the rotation he did a nice job in the bullpen, and the fact that he held his own in the Cal league is pretty impressive given how new he is to pitching. He’ll likely move to AA this year.
Rafeal Rodriguez not only has the largest international bonus in team history, but also the last 7 figure contract for an IFA. Instead the Giants have signed guys more in the low to mid 6 figure range, which is where Mejia falls into, as he signed for $350K on March 18. He spent the year in the DSL and dominate, posting a 71:8 K:BB, a 1.42 ERA, and a WHIP under 1. He was brought over to the US for instructional league and will likely start the year in EST before being assigned to a short season club.
Harrold was a 12th round draft pick a year ago out of UNC Wilmington. He has a solid fastball-slider combination that suits him well in the bullpen. This year he posted solid K rates across two levels, but there are some concerns about the spike in his walk rate that occurred when he was promoted to the Cal league. Though that could partially be a product of trying to be to fine, and not making a mistake in the more hitter friendly ballparks.
Jones was the first high school player taken in the 2010 draft and then went on to have a very good debut in the AZL. He struggled to repeat his successes in the NWL this year as he dealt with nagging injuries. Jones has good power, patience, and athleticism but has trouble making consistent contact and tapping into his power. Jones could make his full season debut in Augusta this year, but a repeat of the NWL would not be surprising either.
Flores has quietly flown a bit under the radar despite being 19 years old and putting up solid peripherals in the NWL last year. His hit and home run rate imply that he still has some adjustments to make, but he has done a solid job of limiting walks and getting strikeouts. He’ll likely move to the Augusta rotation next year where the home park should help him out a bit.
Correa came over for Ronny Paulino the same day that Paulino was acquired for Taschner. Correa missed the 2009 season with a shoulder injury, but has played at 3 levels over the last two years. Last year he threw 81.3 innings so I do wonder if the Giants plan to do with him what they did with Ryan Verdugo which is give him another chance to start. If they decide to leave him in the bullpen, he could be a solid swingman or MR that can go multiple innings.
Kickham went into the year with high expectations as a potential sleeper. He has a good fastball-curveball combination from the left side. But he had some fingernail issues early in the year and went to Augusta instead of San Jose. He spent the whole year at Augusta, and while he didn’t have a bad year, it was just kind of non descript. Still he has good stuff and will likely spend the year at San Jose.
Galindo is one of the more exciting players in the system as he made his stateside debut in the advanced NWL and held his own offensively. What had a lot of people buzzing was his baserunning ability as people mentioned Rickey Henderson’s name when they described Galindo running the bases. While that is certainly high praise, Galindo did have good numbers, particularly a 47/8 SB/CS ratio. He’ll likely move to Augusta next year and show off his speed.