Postseason Grades: Francisco Peguero

Today on Covefficient, outfielder Francisco Peguero.

Frankie Pegs has been taunting Giants prospect mavens since his signing as an international free agent in 2005, at the tender age of 17. That bat speed! That athleticism! That gradually improving strikeout rate! THOSE TOOLS! Of course, the annals of every minor-league system are full of Toolsy Prospects who just could never put it together, and at the age of 25, Peguero is approaching his sell-by date.

He’s retained that bat speed, and while he doesn’t have true home run power, the ability to get around on a major-league fastball is sometimes enough to distinguish a hitting prospect. Unfortunately, in a year that might’ve seen Peguero log some noticeable major-league time thanks to Pagan’s injury and the inconsistency of the Blorres platoon, a concussion and a shoulder bruise limited his playing time, and he ended up with only 30 MLB PAs to go with less than 300 in Fresno.

Frankie didn’t look completely overmatched in the majors, swatting his first home run in the final game of the season (off a tough righty, even!) and limiting himself to two strikeouts with capable corner defense in his few chances. But he also displayed the limitations of how far tools can take you; most of his PAs resulted in groundout and he didn’t distinguish himself on the basepaths. In AAA, he had a .316 batting average but not much else, striking out four times as often as he walked and not posting any power numbers to speak of, a dangerous sign in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.

Verdict: As a right-handed hitter with the athleticism to fill in at center field, Peguero has an outside shot at filling the Giants’ 5th outfield spot in 2014; then again, he had the same shot in 2013 and lost it with a poor showing in spring training. (We’ll save discussion on the Giants’ tendency to evaluate players by their ST performances for some other time.) With Juan Perez as competition for the right-handed backup OF spot, Peguero could also end up as trade bait for a team hoping to capitalize on his tools. He turns 26 halfway through next season, and while he’s not over the hill yet, after eight professional season what you see with Frankie Pegs – high contact, reasonable defense, some stolen bases, and not much else – is probably what you’re going to get.

Grades:
Reuben: C-
Nathan: C
Britt: C
Overall: C

Postseason Grades: Ehire Adrianza

Our Postseason Grades series continues as Reuben takes a look at up-and-coming shortstop Ehire Adrianza.

It’s kind of weird to think about, but for a while Adrianza was considered a better prospect than Brandon Crawford. 18 months younger and lacking anything resembling power, he nevertheless dogged Craw’s heels throughout the minors thanks to a much lower strikeout rate, impressive footspeed, and a glove generally perceived to be even better. His likely path to the majors is similar – hit just enough to not be a total embarrassment, and make up for it by hoovering every ground ball in his general zip code.

Adrianza spent most of the year on Richmond’s AA squad doing a Manny Burriss impression at the plate. Upon promotion to Fresno, he posted numbers that, while strong even by the standards of the hitterish Pacific Coast League (Fangraphs grants him a 130 wRC+, or 30% better than the average PCL hitter), were inflated by a .391 BABIP and six triples* in 145 ABs. Either way, it was enough for a cup of coffee.

(*Not to knock Ehire, but minor-league triples can bear a suspicious resemblance to Little League inside-the-parkers.)

20 PAs and 45 defensive innings isn’t much to rate, but this play to nail Yasiel “Large Hadron Supercollider” Puig provided a good example of Adrianza’s defensive capabilities – great first step, good range, hellacious throwing arm. He also hit a dinger to ruin Andy Pettite’s last start in Yankee Stadium, so he’s got that going for him. Great defense, above-average speed, not much at the plate, fluky power in a hitter’s park – 9 games of Ehire Adrianza writ small. And hey, he’s already matched Burriss for career homers, so if you set that as a baseline his future looks bright.

Verdict: Ehire made no great strides, but didn’t go backwards. His total lack of pop might condemn him to a future as a utility infielder in the Cliff Pennington mold; then again, in today’s ballgame, Zack Cosart and Alcides Escobar are starting shortstops for conceivable contenders. (Of course, so’s Pete Kozma). Only 24 to start the 2014 season, he should be back in Fresno trying to develop that “keep-pitchers-honest” kind of power and maybe honing his glovework at 2nd and 3rd if the Giants think he’s more likely to help the big club in a reserve role.

Grades:
Reuben: B-
Nathan: B
Britt: B-
Overall: B-

Prospect Profile: Nick Noonan

Nick Noonan has been brought back to big-league camp after the demotion of Kensuke Tanaka and Wilson Valdez’s release. Tony Abreu continues to sit out with a quad injury, so Noonan appears to have the inside track at the utility infielder position if Abreu has to start the season on the DL. In light of his opportunity to start the season on the MLB roster, I decided to highlight him for a prospect profile.

(flickr/John Murden)

(flickr/John Murden)

Personal information: Noonan was born on May 4th, 1989, making this his age 24 season. He was drafted 32nd overall in 2007 out of Parker HS in San Diego. Want to feel old? He was a compensation draft pick the Giants got from the Mets when the Mets signed Moises Alou. He’s listed at 6’1″ tall and 170 lbs, and he’s from Poway, CA. Continue reading

Prospect Profile: Francisco Peguero

Francisco Peguero has drawn notice after red-hot start to spring training. Now, all the usual caveats about spring training stats apply (namely, don’t pay attention to them), but Peguero has a long history as a highly-regarded prospect in the Giants system. Now, as he strives for a 25-man roster spot, I wanted to highlight him for my first Prospect Profile, in what I hope will be a recurring series.

Francisco Peguero at the 2012 World Series Parade. (Flickr/geekstinkbreath)

Francisco Peguero at the 2012 World Series Parade. (Flickr/geekstinkbreath)

Personal Information: Francisco Peguero is 24 years old, and his birthday is June 1st, 1988, making this his age-25 season in baseball parlance. According to the roster I picked up at Spring Training a couple weeks ago, he is 6’0″ tall and weighs 190 lbs. He is from Nigua in the Dominican Republic. He signed on August 8, 2005, shortly after his 17th birthday. Continue reading