How Giants' top five prospects following 2015 season turned out
No. 1: Tyler Beede
Taken 14th overall in 2014, Beede vaulted to the top of the organization's list a year later after reaching Double-A. It wasn't until 2018, though, that he would make his debut, with command problems slowing him at times and some brutally-timed injuries mixed in. Beede got a long look last season and showed flashes of brilliance while also dealing with inconsistency.
He came into camp as the favorite to win the No. 5 starter job, but he ended up having Tommy John surgery, which is a blow, but at least the season he's missing is a shorter one. Beede may be 28 when he returns to a big-league mound, but the stuff is elite, he's figured out a good plan of attack against hitters, and the new staff believes the best is yet to come.
No. 2: Christian Arroyo
The industry was surprised when he went 25th overall in 2013, but the Giants believed in his ability to hit, and for a while, it looked like they would be proven geniuses. Arroyo was ranked 62nd in the game by Baseball American after this season and Pipeline had him in the top 100 three years in a row.
He forced his way to the big leagues in 2017 when he was demolishing the PCL as a 21-year-old. Arroyo had some big moments but hit just .192 in 34 games. The Giants lost 98 games that year but kept pushing, putting Arroyo in the Evan Longoria trade. He never played all that much with the Rays and is now with the Indians. Arroyo has made just 70 big league appearances, but he's still just 24. There's plenty of time for him to turn into a big league regular.
No. 3: Phil Bickford
The right-hander ended up being one of the biggest busts in franchise history, but at least the Giants salvaged this pick by dealing Bickford for Will Smith, who became their All-Star closer. Bickford made it to San Jose in his first professional season and pitched well, but five years after he was taken 18th overall, he still has not pitched above High-A.
Bickford received a suspension in 2016 after failing a second drug test and he mixed in injuries and command issues. There might still be a happy ending, though. Bickford returned to High-A last season for the Brewers and struck out 14.6 batters per nine. The Giants saw him this spring and he flashed good stuff while striking out the side in a relief inning. It's been a rocky road, but Bickford is just 24, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him in a big league bullpen one day.
No. 4: Lucius Fox
The weirdest part about the 2015 Top 30 is that the Giants ended up dealing two of their top four prospects to the Rays in separate deals. They gave Fox $6 million to sign out of the Bahamas and at the time felt they got the best player in that international class. A year later he was traded to the Rays as part of the Matt Moore deal, which didn't really work out for either side.
Fox played in the Futures Game and the Fall League and has reached Triple-A, but he has never really hit all that much, and he's currently ranked 25th in Tampa Bay's organization. Now 22, Fox has a .662 OPS in the minors. It seems unlikely this part of the Moore deal will burn the Giants too much.
No. 5: Sam Coonrod
Now a hard-throwing reliever who had a solid debut in 2019, Coonrod was an intriguing starting prospect before Tommy John surgery cost him a year. Taken in the fifth round in 2014, Coonrod spent all of 2015 with Low-A Augusta, posting a 3.14 ERA with 114 strikeouts to 34 walks.
The Giants moved him to the bullpen after he returned from surgery in 2018 and he made 33 appearances for them last year. When camp stopped this March, Coonrod was fighting for an Opening Day job. His starting days are over, but if he can raise his strikeout rate as a reliever, he could end up as a late-inning piece for Gabe Kapler.
Best of the Rest
So far, the Giants haven't gotten any stars out of this class, but plenty of guys from their 2015 Top 30 have seen big league time.
The players ranked eighth through 11th: Chris Shaw, Steven Okert, Josh Osich, Aramis Garcia -- all reached the big leagues, with Osich having the most success. Mac Williamson (13), Chris Stratton (14) and Andrew Suarez (15) and Austin Slater (18) have had their stretches at Oracle Park, with Suarez and Slater remaining in the mix. Their No. 20 prospect in 2015, Ty Blach, ended up having a nice run in the rotation and started on Opening Day due to an injury.
Derek Law was ranked 25th in the system after a rough year in Double-A, but in 2016 he made it to the big leagues and had a 2.13 ERA in 61 appearances. There were people in the organization who thought he should become the closer, but the Giants went out and spent big on Mark Melancon. Law never pitched like that again and he was dealt away in the Kevin Pillar deal. He was in camp with the Rangers this spring.
The 29th prospect was Steven Duggar, who still has a chance to become one of the most valuable players from this class. Duggar has had back-to-back seasons wrecked by shoulder injuries, but he's an elite defender in center. If the bat ever catches up, he'll get plenty of big league time.
Haven't Made It
The Giants took Jalen Miller in the third round in 2015 and he was ranked seventh on their end-of-year prospect list. Miller hit .216 in Double-A last season, but he's still just 23, so perhaps we'll see him at Oracle one day.
Adalberto Mejia (No. 12) had made 62 big league appearances but none for the Giants, who sent him to Minnesota for Eduardo Nuñez. That one worked out well. Left-hander Mac Marshall (No. 16) was in High-A last season and outfielder Hunter Cole (17) reached Double-A before being sent to the Rangers for Sam Dyson. He spent last season in Triple-A. The two saddest stories from this list are Clayton Blackburn (21), who was called up but didn't get into a game, and Ian Gardeck (30), who looked headed for the big league bullpen before having Tommy John multiple times.
Around the League
The top five from all of baseball in 2015 is filled with guys who have yet to reach their potential. Byron Buxton was No. 1, followed by Corey Seager, Lucas Giolito, Julio Urias and J.P. Crawford. The rest of the top 20 is littered with guys like Nomar Mazara (14), Alex Reyes (16) and Franklin Barreto (18), who are still looking for their breakthroughs.
Most of the players from this class are young enough that they can still turn into regulars, and there is some star power near the top, most notably No. 17 Aaron Judge and No. 21 Alex Bregman. The main takeaway from looking at this Top 100 is that, while the Dodgers have become a behemoth, perhaps it's lucky they didn't turn out to be even better. In addition to Seager and Urias in the top five, they had No. 23 Jose De Leon, No. 54 Frankie Montas and No. 58 Grant Holmes. The latter three were traded for veteran help, but overall that class didn't end up providing nearly as much as they hoped.