Down on the Farm: Top Giants minor leaguers from the 2017 season
The best of the best
The 2017 minor league season is all wrapped up and the Giants' season in the bigs is coming to an end. Let's look back at the Giants' best minor league players this year at each position.
There are several players here who were called up to the majors, but the only stats we are showing are from their time in the minors. Also, you had to have played more than 50 games in the minors -- sorry Austin Slater, who played exactly 50 for the River Cats -- to make this list.
Here's your team of the best of 2017...
SP: Andrew Suarez, 25
Innings Pitched: 155.2
Suarez earned his promotion from Double-A Richmond to Triple-A Sacramento after 11 starts. The lefty was a workhorse at both levels, going less than five innings in a start only four times the entire season.
The Giants drafted Suarez in the second round back in 2015 out of Miami and he could help in San Francisco as soon as next season. Up until his last start of the year, Suarez dropped his ERA in eight straight starts.
“Hopefully I can carry this momentum over into next year and spring training and just see what happens,” Suarez said on his future with the Giants.
RP: Tyler Cyr, 24
Innings Pitched: 49.1
Cyr, a local product from Fremont, is putting up much bigger stats than his Round 10 draft position out of Embry-Riddle University. For the Richmond Flying Squirrels, Cyr came through in the clutch, saving 18 games in 20 opportunities.
Headed into his final appearance out of the bullpen this season, Cyr had gone 12 straight appearances without allowing an earned run. He will be an interesting arm to watch in the Arizona Fall League.
C: Aramis Garcia, 24
Batting Average: .274
On-Base Percentage: .323
Slugging Percentage: .485
Home Runs: 17
Garcia started off slow in Double-A after his promotion, but in 22 games with Richmond, he hit .282 in a pitcher-friendly home field compared to .272 in San Jose.
The power-hitting catcher has dealt with concussions each of the past two seasons and played some first base for the first time this season. He too will be monitored closely in the Arizona Fall League.
1B: Ryder Jones, 23
Batting Average: .312
On-Base Percentage: .396
Slugging Percentage: .574
Home Runs: 13
Forget Jones struggling since his call-up to the Giants. He is still only 23 years old and showed plenty of potential with a power bat for the River Cats this season. Where he winds up on the field is the biggest question when it comes to Jones' future.
“When I play first, I don’t think, ‘Well they have (Brandon) Belt for the next four years, so what am I doing.’ It’s not so much that as it is you control what you can control," Jones says.
2B: Miguel Gomez, 24
Batting Average: .305
On-Base Percentage: .330
Slugging Percentage: .458
Home Runs: 8
Gomez didn't go deep in his 22 games with the Giants, but the 5-foot-10 switch hitter did show he has some power with eight home runs in 78 games at Double-A. His stint in San Francisco was shortened due to a knee injury he suffered on the bases in early August.
3B: Jae-Gyun Hwang, 30
Batting Average: .285
On-Base Percentage: .332
Slugging Percentage: .453
Home Runs: 10
The former Korean star had a tough time with the Giants batting just .154 in 18 games. With the River Cats though, Hwang was a reliable bat that was also a home run threat.
While he didn't light the box score on fire, Hwang brought on an exciting spark to the ballpark in 2017.
SS: Ryan Howard, 23
Batting Average: .306
On-Base Percentage: .342
Slugging Percentage: .397
Home Runs: 9
Howard finally hit a wall the last month of the season, batting just .234 in August. Aside from August, Howard never hit below .315 for an entire month. All the infielder does is hit, ending the season with the most hits throughout the minors for the Giants.
"It's the kind of player the Giants have had a lot of success drafting," says San Jose Giants broadcaster Joe Ritzo.
LF: Chris Shaw, 23
Batting Average: .292
On-Base Percentage: .346
Slugging Percentage: .524
Home Runs: 24
Have the Giants finally found a new power-hitting left fielder? If 2017 was any indication, the answer is yes.
Shaw was the Giants' best prospect this season and they seem to have big plans for him going forward. Can he stick in left field defensively? That will be the big question and the team will be taking a long look at Shaw's glove in the Arizona Fall League.
CF: Bryan Reynolds, 22
Batting Average: .312
On-Base Percentage: .364
Slugging Percentage: .462
Home Runs: 10
Speaking of question marks defensively with outfielders, will Reynolds stick in center field? The former Vanderbilt star wound up playing 42 games in right field this season and 19 in left. With how much the Giants like Steven Duggar, Reynolds could find himself playing one of the corners regularly in the future.
"I think it's too early to dictate if he'll be in a corner or center," San Jose Giants manager Nestor Rojas believes. "He's really good and he has the tools to play center field. He's got speed and he's got range. He can do really well in all three."
RF: Sandro Fabian, 19
Batting Average: .277
On-Base Percentage: .297
Slugging Percentage: .408
Home Runs: 11
The first thing that jumps out with Fabian is his age. But the second is his on-base percentage. Fabian is a free swinger who rarely walks and strikes out too much.
At 19 years old though, these are problems that can be fixed. You can't teach Fabian's natural raw talent and if he keeps improving, the Giants may have a star in the making.