Giants

What the Giants' farm system lost in trade for Evan Longoria

What the Giants' farm system lost in trade for Evan Longoria

The Giants desperately wanted to save face after losing 98 games in the 2017 season. Their home sell-out streak ended, there were times when seagulls outnumbered humans at AT&T Park and Giancarlo Stanton said no thanks in San Francisco's pursuit of the National League MVP. 

Step one came to life Wednesday with the team trading for 32-year-old, three-time All-Star third baseman Evan Longoria. The Giants sent outfielder Denard Span along with prospects Christian Arroyo (INF), Matt Krook (LHP) and Stephen Woods (RHP) to the Rays to acquire Longoria. 

Around the league, the Giants are already seen as a team with a low-ranking farm system. Losing a player like Arroyo, who made his MLB debut at 21 years old in 2017, will certainly hurt them even more. 

Let's take a look at what all three prospects bring to the table. 

Christian Arroyo, 22, INF

Arroyo is clearly the prize that brought Longoria to San Francisco. He was ranked as the Giants' No. 4 prospect by Baseball America and was the team's top prospect for MLB.com before the trade. 

At only 21 years old and the youngest player on the team, Arroyo began the year with a scorching start in Triple-A for the Sacramento River Cats. Through just 16 games, Arroyo earned a call-up to the big leagues by hitting .446 with three home runs and seven doubles. 

In 34 games, Arroyo found out how different San Francisco is compared to Sacramento. Before being sent back down, Arroyo only hit .192, but bashed three more balls over the wall. While his bat forced the team's hand, Arroyo was clearly rushed to the majors.

Though he isn't seen notoriously as a future star, the Giants let go of a young bat who has all the tools to be a solid big league hitter and has the ability to play third base, shortstop or second base.

As Insider Alex Pavlovic points out, the Giants clearly chose a reload over a rebuild in letting go of Arroyo. 

Matt Krook, 23, LHP

Krook, like so many others, fits into the "p word" for prospects -- potential. Baseball America ranked Krook as the team's No. 19 prospect and MLB.com had him down at No. 25.

The big lefty was drafted No. 35 overall by the Marlins out of high school, but did not sign after failing his physical. Krook then dominated the competition at Oregon as a freshman before being injured again. 

After his freshman year, Krook underwent Tommy John surgery. Ever since, he has struggled mightily with command and the Giants took him in the fourth round of the 2016 MLB Draft. 

The Giants tried to stick it out with Krook as a starter. At the end of the season, he transitioned to the bullpen for the San Jose Giants and mowed down hitters to a 1.02 ERA and struck out 25 batters to seven walks in 17.2 innings. 

Stephen Woods, 22, RHP

Woods is also in the Krook model of prospects. The right-hander isn't seen as a top-tier arm, but like Krook, he can throw in the mid to high 90s with rough control at times. 

At the time of the trade, Baseball America ranked Woods No. 25 overall for the Giants and MLB.com saw him as the team's No. 30 prospect. 

Woods finished the 2017 season in Low-A with a 6-7 record, 2.95 ERA, 113 strikeouts and 64 walks for the Augusta GreenJackets. He finished his final six starts with a 1.22 ERA and 24 strikeouts, but also walked 16 batters.

Dereck Rodriguez sets second-half tone, leads Giants to win vs A's

Dereck Rodriguez sets second-half tone, leads Giants to win vs A's

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND — To make a run at a division title, the Giants need Dereck Rodriguez to match his big first half. Perhaps the rookie has bigger plans. 

Rodriguez took the ball on the first night of the second half and allowed just one run on three hits against a tough A’s lineup. He departed with one out in the seventh and the bullpen took it home, clinching a 5-1 win that evened this Bay Bridge series at two games apiece. 

Here's what you need to know from the first game back... 

--- Rodriguez walked none and struck out five. He lowered his ERA to 2.72. 

--- With Brandon Belt on the paternity list, Ryder Jones was called up for a spot start. He certainly made the most of it. Jones jumped on a 2-0 slider from Edwin Jackson in the fifth, smacking a homer off the right field foul pole. The blast was the third of the 24-year-old’s career. He hit two last season as a rookie. 

--- Andrew McCutchen had a pair of sliding catches. The robbery of Jonathan Lucroy in the fifth inning had a catch probability of just 66 percent. 

--- Pablo Sandoval hit a no-doubter to right in the seventh inning. It was his 14th homer since returning to the Giants last summer, matching his total in Boston. 

--- The A’s announced a crowd of 45,606, a sellout. They’re expecting a few thousand more on Saturday.

Up for one night, Ryder Jones takes advantage of Giant opportunity

Up for one night, Ryder Jones takes advantage of Giant opportunity

OAKLAND -- In the seventh inning Friday night, 26-year-old starter Dereck Rodriguez gave way to 25-year-old Reyes Moronta. Rodriguez jogged to the dugout and sat next to Andrew Suarez, 25, and the two rookies watched Moronta strand a runner. A few minutes later, 24-year-old center fielder Steven Duggar strolled to the plate and roped a single into right. 

There's a youth movement in San Francisco, but you might have known that already. Rodriguez, Suarez and Moronta were a big part of the story of the first half and Duggar made waves over the final week. 

What you might not have realized is that another player in the middle of all the action Friday night is actually younger than all four of them. Ryder Jones got 150 big league at-bats last season and had not been seen since, and it's often easy to write a player off when he disappears for a stretch. But Jones, a former second-round pick, is still just 24. He was born seventh months after Duggar, who previously was the youngest player on the roster. 

There's still plenty of time for Jones to find his stride and live up to the promise he has shown at times. On Friday, there was another flash of that talent. Jones hit a long solo homer in the fifth, giving the Giants a lead they would never let go. With a 5-1 win over the A’s, the Giants got their second half off to a rocking start and tied this Bay Bridge Series at two games apiece. 

Jones is likely headed back to Sacramento. The plan was for him to come up for one day to fill in while Brandon Belt witnessed the birth of his second son, and he certainly took advantage of the opportunity.

“I thought the homer was huge for him,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “It was huge for us. He’s been doing a nice job there in Sacramento the last month. He’s doing what we were hoping this year, having another big year. That’s all he needs is at-bats and experience. He’s got the tools to be a nice big-league player.”

Jones struck out in his first at-bat, but got ahead in the count 2-0 the next time up. Edwin Jackson tried to sneak a slider across the inside of the plate and Jones crushed it. Both players leaned — in different directions — and watched as the ball clanked high off the pole. 

The Giants are leaning heavily on rookies this year, but Jones was part of a 2017 class that never found footing. Just about every player in that group got hurt, and most struggled in the majors. Jones batted .173 last year, striking out in a third of his at-bats. With Evan Longoria brought over and Pablo Sandoval locked in, Jones didn’t get much time this spring. He picked up outfield play in Scottsdale, hoping to increase his versatility, but he has primarily been the third baseman in Sacramento. At the time of this latest promotion, Jones was batting .299 in Triple-A, with nine homers, 15 doubles and 48 RBI. 

He’ll head back to a River Cats squad that has provided plenty of help. Rodriguez started the season there. On Friday, he allowed one run over 6 1/3 innings, lowering his ERA to 2.72.

“I trust my stuff. I trust my stuff,” Rodriguez said. “I was just going after them.”