Steven Duggar

How seven Giants prospects performed in the 2017 Arizona Fall League


How seven Giants prospects performed in the 2017 Arizona Fall League

The Arizona Fall League came to an end for seven Giants prospects on Thursday as the Scottsdale Scorpions (12-17-1) came up short from playing in Saturday's championship game. 

Let's take a look at how these seven names fared against some of the top young talent in all of baseball. 

The Hitters

As the Giants are linked to trade targets in center field like Billy Hamilton and Jackie Bradley Jr., a young in-house option only helped his case in the desert.

Steven Duggar likely would have seen the AT&T outfield this season, but his season was hindered by injuries, keeping him to only 44 games between three levels. With the Scorpions, Duggar took advantage of his opportunity with more at-bats. 

Duggar left Arizona with a .263/.367/.421 slash line over 20 games. The speedy lefty also stole nine bases and hit three home runs. Even if the Giants go for an experienced glove in center field this offseason and keep Duggar, the 24-year-old has also played 135 games in right field during his minor league career. 

For the second straight year, the Giants sent catcher Aramis Garcia to the AFL. And he's sure to be coming home much happier this go around with an up-and-down campaign.

Splitting time behind the plate with three other catchers, Garcia appeared in 13 games and slashed .259/.293/.333 and hit one home run. Garcia struggled to get one base with only one walk to 10 strikeouts, but showed his natural ability to drive runs in with 10 RBI. 

Rounding out the Giants' trio of bats they sent to Arizona is arguably their top prospect, but his time in the AFL was cut short. Chris Shaw only played in five games and hit .158. He dealt with a sore shoulder.

The Pitchers

The Giants sent two starting pitchers (Tyler Beede and Joan Gregorio) and two relievers (Tyler Cyr and D.J. Snelten) to the AFL. 

Pitching for the first time in nearly three months, Beede showed exactly why he's the Giants' top pitching prospect. Beede went 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in four starts, but his final three show the potential he's full of -- 14 innings pitched, three earned runs, a 1.93 ERA, 10 strikeouts and only one walk. 

Gregorio, who was suspended this season for Performance Enhancing Drugs, pitched in eight games (three starts) for Scottsdale. He left with a 1-0 record and 5.87 ERA. In Triple-A, Gregorio went 4-4 with a 3.04 ERA this year over 13 starts. The 25-year-old presents an interesting arm that can help sooner than later in the bullpen. 

Cyr's stats don't look pretty (0-1, 5.63 ERA, 8 IP), but he's catching some attention. The right-hander was named to the Fall Stars Game and is most likely to start 2018 in Triple-A after converting 18 saves at Double-A in 2017. 

Snelten, a 6-foot-7 lefty, impressed in eight appearances out of the bullpen. He didn't allow an earned run until his final outing of the fall, bringing his ERA from a perfect 0.00 to 2.25 in 12 innings pitched.

After combining for a 2.20 ERA to go with an 8-1 record between Double-A and Triple-A in 2017, Snelten is a name to know as the Giants look to find more lefties for their bullpen.

Two key Giants prospects making noise in the Arizona Fall League


Two key Giants prospects making noise in the Arizona Fall League

Baseball Rumor Twitter is here and it’s only going to get worse. The good news: there’s still a little over one week of real baseball left in the Arizona Fall League. With time winding down, two Giants prospects that should play a role in the team’s near future one way or another, are putting together numbers to notice. 

Tyler Beede took the mound for the third time in the AFL on Tuesday night and was nearly perfect outside of giving up a moonshot to Brewers prospect Monte Harrison. Beede pitched five innings (his longest outing of his three starts), allowed four hits and one run. The 24-year-old also struck out five (the most of his three starts) and walked one batter.

For the second straight start, Beede pounded the strike zone. In his 63 pitches, 46 were thrown for strikes, good for a 73 percent strike rate while sitting between 90 and 95 miles per hour with his fastball. After a rough debut in which Beede walked three and allowed five earned runs in two innings pitched, Beede has now struck out nine to one walk in nine innings pitched his last two starts.

Before looking at possible trades, the Giants’ first four spots in their rotation seem locked up for the second straight season, with the fifth and final spot being the big question. Ty Blach has proved worthy the last two season and Chris Stratton earned a long spring training look with his time in San Francisco this year as well.

But, if Beede’s last two showings carry over to the spring, the team’s top pitching prospect and former first-round pick, will add his name to the competition in the starting staff. 

Steven Duggar goes deep

Brian Sabean recently made it clear the Giants’ three main positions in need of an upgrade are center field, third base and the bullpen. The team will be linked to free agent options in center field — Lorenzo Cain (doesn’t make sense) and trade options — Billy Hamilton (makes sense) and Jason Heyward (already debunked by the Giants), but their top young in-house option is showing the skill set he brings to the table when healthy in the AFL. 

Steven Duggar hit his first home run in the desert while going 2-for-4 and stealing a base for the fourth straight game on Monday. The speed has always been there and is an area of need for the Giants, but the power is really encouraging. 

Duggar stands 6-foot-2 and 195 pounds. In three minor league seasons, he’s hit 17 home runs. There’s more power in him than those numbers suggest. 

The Giants have already started working on Duggar’s bat path and it’s evident in his deep blast to right-center field. Duggar is now on a five-game hitting streak where he is batting .450 (9-for-20). Overall in 15 games, Duggar is slashing .286/.388/.375 with nine stolen bases. 

San Francisco needs to get younger and more athletic. Duggar is tied for the lead in stolen bases in the AFL and has the athleticism to play in AT&T Park’s huge outfield. Instead of once again paying aging outfielders, project ahead with fleet feet running the show. 

Giants prospect Steven Duggar heating up in the Arizona Fall League


Giants prospect Steven Duggar heating up in the Arizona Fall League

The Giants want an outfielder capable of tracking down fly balls left and right, behind and in front, as their center fielder in 2018. That won't be Denard Span, who turns 34 in February. 

Steven Duggar, celebrating his 24th birthday on Saturday, could soon be the solution.

"A lot of things come natural for him in the outfield," Brian Sabean said to Alex Pavlovic in early October. "His reads, his breaks, his ability to outrun the ball, is very impressive."

Duggar's hitting ability has always taken a bit of a back seat to his defense despite putting up encouraging numbers in the minor leagues. Over three years in the minors, Duggar is a career .292 hitter with 17 home runs. 

"While the bat is still on the come, he should be a complementary type of offensive player in a major league lineup," Sabean said in the same interview with Pavlovic. "Now, is he let’s say top of the order? I don’t know if we have enough information." 

In the Arizona Fall League, Duggar is beginning to find his stroke while showing the patience of an ideal table setter for the Giants. After trying to catch up at the plate against elite prospect pitching, Duggar is on a four-game hitting streak where he is batting .438 (7-for-16). 

Duggar went 2-for-4 with a walk and a run scored Thursday to continue his recent surge at the plate. Through 14 games, Duggar is now slashing .269/.381/.308. He leads the Scottsdale Scorpions in stolen bases, going a perfect 8-for-8 so far, and is second on the team with nine walks. 

If it weren't for injuries, Duggar only played in 44 games this past season, the Giants most likely would have given him a shot at the bigs already. With an aging roster as it is, especially in the outfield, the Giants can hand the keys to the Clemson product and let him develop in San Francisco.