Giants

Giants' Snelten shining in Arizona Fall League, Beede makes mechanics change

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Giant Potential

Giants' Snelten shining in Arizona Fall League, Beede makes mechanics change

The Arizona Fall League has been in play for three weeks this year and D.J. Snelten is yet to allow a runner to score on him. Who is D.J. Snelten? The Giants selected Snelten in the ninth round of the 2013 MLB Draft, and while you won’t find his name anywhere on top prospect lists, the big lefty is following a solid showing this season over to the desert. 

The Scottsdale Scorpions have used Snelten five times out of the bullpen. In eight innings, he’s allowed four hits and walked four while striking out seven. Opponents are hitting only .148 off him. 

While Snelten’s stats halfway through the AFL are just a handful of innings, they fit the narrative of his performance in 2017. One year earlier, Snelten was far from spectacular in Advanced Single-A with the San Jose Giants. There he pitched to a 4.11 ERA, .302 opponents’ batting average and a 1.52 WHIP. Those numbers don’t ring encouragement, but the Giants still promoted Snelten to Double-A Richmond to start the 2017 season. 

All the 6-foot-7 lefty needed was 15 dominant appearances out of the bullpen to earn his way to Triple-A. Over 21.2 innings with the Richmond Flying Squirrels, Snelten went 4-1 with a 1.66 ERA while striking out 28 batters to only five walks. Opposing batters hit .226 off him and he put up a 1.11 WHIP. 

Finishing the rest of the season in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League for the Sacramento River Cats, Snelten was every bit as good on the mound. He hurled another 52 innings, coming out of the bullpen in 36 games, and ended with a 2.42 ERA to go with his perfect 4-0 record. And both his opponents’ batting average (.197) and WHIP (1.08) went down in a tougher league for pitchers. 

Snelten stood 5-foot-8 as a freshman in high school. He’s now nearly a foot taller at 25 years old and his fastball sits in the low 90s. Simply put, any left-handed pitcher that stands that tall with velocity will get a long look. 

Beede makes change to windup

After struggling in his AFL debut, Giants top pitching prospect Tyler Beede found the strike zone and success followed in his second start on Tuesday. Beede allowed two hits and struck out four over four innings where both runs scored were unearned. 

The big news is Beede did not walk anyone after issuing three walks in two innings in his debut. Finding his rhythm to pound the strike zone may have come from a mechanical change too.

"I started going over my head, which was a more comfortable mechanic for me to find my rhythm and tempo,” Beede told MLB.com. “That was really the small adjustment that I made to kind of make a big difference for me.” 

The AFL is the perfect time to play with adjustments and Beede’s small change could play large dividends down the road. 

Projection system loves Giancarlo Stanton at AT&T Park

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AP

Projection system loves Giancarlo Stanton at AT&T Park

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants have made a habit in recent winters of “kicking the tires,” so to speak, on as many free agents as possible. General manager Bobby Evans is committed to being thorough, but at times there is probably no need. 

Hitters have made no secret of the fact that they prefer friendlier confines, and if you’re a power hitter, you’re going to ask Evans for a significantly larger check to play 81 of your games at the harshest power park in the majors. That’s what makes Giancarlo Stanton, readily available via trade, so intriguing. But would Stanton be fully immune to the realities of AT&T Park?

The numbers, at least in a small sample, suggest he would. Stanton has played 27 games in San Francisco and taken 108 at-bats. He has nine homers, 11 doubles and a triple. His .676 slugging percentage at AT&T Park isn’t far off his mark at Coors Field (.714), and his 1.048 OPS is higher than his OPS during the 2017 season, when he hit 59 homers. 

The damage has been done in limited time, but the Giants clearly believe it’s fully sustainable, and a recent study done by ESPN’s Dan Szymborski backs that up. Szymborski ran his ZiPS projection system to estimate Stanton’s stats over the next 10 years for a variety of suitors. The numbers in orange and black are overwhelming. 

The projections have Stanton at 46.2 WAR over the next 10 seasons, including 7.1 in 2018 and 6.8 in 2019, the two seasons the organization should be focused on given Madison Bumgarner’s contract situation. ZiPS projects Stanton at 46 homers next season if he plays for the Giants, followed by 43, 42, 39, 35 over the following four years. For comparison’s sake, Brandon Belt led the Giants in homers each of the last two seasons and he has 35 total during that span. 

Any sort of projection system needs to be taken with a huge grain of salt, especially with a player who has had injury issues in the past. But ZiPS believes Stanton -- who plays in a huge park already -- is a rarity, the kind of power hitter who can keep crushing well into his 30’s and put up huge numbers even if he is limited by the realities of getting older and getting hurt. Szymborski’s projections have Stanton playing just 102 games in 2025, but he’s still projected to hit 23 homers, 20 doubles and post an OPS+ of 121. Even in the 10th year of the projections, ZiPS has Stanton down for 16 homers. 

There are no sure things in this game, but as Evans continues to chase a blockbuster deal, he can be confident that Stanton is one player who should be able to provide power for years to come, no matter what AT&T Park does to hold hitters down. 

Former A's slugger Gomes offers Ohtani scouting report: 'Big fan of the dude'

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AP

Former A's slugger Gomes offers Ohtani scouting report: 'Big fan of the dude'

Former A's left fielder/DH and Bay Area native, Jonny Gomes, last played Major League Baseball in 2015. The next year, Gomes looked to continue his career in Japan with the Rakuten Golden Eagles. 

Gomes struggled in Japan, batting just .169 in 18 games. While in Japan though, Gomes saw firsthand the two-way talent of Shohei Ohtani. 

"The dude throws 100 miles per hour consistently," Gomes said Tuesday to MLB Network Radio. "That plays."

With MLB, the Players Association, and the Nippon Professional Baseball Organization agreeing to a new posting system, Ohtani should soon be available as a free agent to MLB teams. Gomes was adamant that Ohtani will live up to the hype. 

"If you have the arm speed to throw 100 miles per hour, guess what your slider's gonna do -- yikes. And he also has a split, which is yikes with that arm speed. And he also has a changeup, and he also has a curveball. You're talking about five plus, plus, plus pitches.

"If he was in the draft, I think it would be a no-brainer right now that he'd be No. 1 overall," Gomes said. 

Since turning pro as an 18-year-old, Ohtani has been a dominant force on the mound. The 6-foot-3 right-hander owns a 42-15 career record with a 2.52 ERA and 1.076 WHIP. 

What makes Ohtani, 23, so intriguing is that he's not only the best pitcher in Japan, he may be the best hitter too. In 2017, Ohtani hit .332 with eight home runs in 65 games. The left fielder/DH owns a .286/.358/.500 career slash line with 48 home runs. 

"Now hitting wise, is it gonna transfer, is it not? I've seen the dude hit a fly ball that hit the roof of the Tokyo Dome," Gomes remembers. "So, what does that tell you? That bat speed's there, that power's there, that he's generating a lot out front.

"To be able to hit the roof of the Tokyo Dome is way more impressive than hitting any other roof in the states. It would be like hitting the roof in Seattle when it was closed, it's way up there."

Everyone knows about Ohtani off-the-charts talent. The stats are there. What we don't know as much about is his personality. Gomes does and he believes his leadership will make him be a star in the states. 

"I'm a big fan of the dude," Gomes says. "I saw his work ethic, I saw how players treated him, I saw how respectful he was. Over there it's all about seniority. Granted he was the biggest star on the field at any given moment, but still gave the utmost respect to seniority guys on his ball club."