San Francisco Giants: 2016 Prospect Season Review
15. Jalen Miller, 2B, 2015 Draft Class
Jalen Miller had an OK professional debut season. Only 19, and moved to a new position, Miller performed relatively average. His hitting was pretty dismal, only a .223 average with a sub .600 OPS in over 400 plate appearances. No it’s not impressive. But take into account he was a high-school draftee in the fifth round, in the midst of a positional switch, it’s not terrible. Miller just needs to make better contact at the plate, period. His glove is perfectly fine, but his arm strength and range are areas to improve on. He has a lot of work to do, obviously. Thankfully he’ll only be 20 going into next season. He has time on his side to get better. It’s hard to see him starting out in San Jose (High-A) next season, but if he shows significant improvement, you could see him in San Jose by the second half.
14. Clayton Blackburn, RHP, 2011 Draft Class
Blackburn had a stellar 2015, leading the PCL in ERA in his first season with Sacramento. With the Giants’ rotation being as stacked as it was, he had to spend his 2016 back with Sacramento again. This year, he nearly doubled his ERA from 2015, and had a WHIP of 1.30. Blackburn probably won’t eek into the Giants rotation for next season. With Albert Suarez, Matt Cain, Jake Peavy, Chris Heston, and Ty Blach all in competition for the 5th Starter spot, we’ll see what happens with Blackburn. He’ll start 2016 in Sacramento, as long as he stays within the organization. If the Giants are looking to make a trade this offseason, he might be an interesting piece.
13. C.J. Hinojosa, SS, 2015 Draft Class
Hinojosa has been quite the revelation the last couple years. He was potentially going to be an early first round pick in the 2012 draft, but was quite stubborn with his commitment to Texas. His career at Texas wasn’t all that impressive outside of a good showing in the 2014 College World Series. He was an 11th round pick last season and has made incredible progress in his first full year as a pro. He earned a promotion midway through the 2016 season, partly in thanks to Arroyo’s move to 3B around that time. He had a .296 average and a plus .800 OPS in his first half with the San Jose Giants. His plate discipline is quite impressive as well, with less than a 2/1 strikeout to walk ratio. In his move up to AA Richmond, Hinojosa struggled to match that same type of hitting output. Jumping up to that level so quickly surely had an impact on that. His speed is one thing that could get him moved elsewhere. He might be a good fit as a 3B in the future. In 2017, he’s most likely going to start out in Richmond again. He’s definitely one to keep an eye on in the future though.
12. Rodolfo Martinez, RHP, INTL FA (2013)
Martinez signed with the San Francisco Giants when he was 19. He’s definitely a reliever and potentially a closer. He had a stellar 2016 with San Jose, and earned a late callup to Richmond. Martinez has a Fastball and Slider. The slider is an average pitch, but his Fastball is lights out. He reached 102 on the gun early in the year, and consistently throws in the high-90s. He can cut and sink his fastball, which can make it really difficult for hitters to manage. He had 21 saves in San Jose, but didn’t have as much success in Richmond. He will need to add a changeup if he wants to really keep hitters on their toes. He’ll probably start out in Richmond again this season, so don’t expect him in the big leagues anytime soon.
11. Steven Okert, LHP, 2012 Draft Class (Pictured Above)
Okert was really impressive in his time in the big leagues last season. One moment comes to mind is the game in Los Angeles towards the end of the season. Okert came in and absolutely manhandled the Dodger lineup for two innings. He struggled with his fastball command this year, but overall wasn’t too terrible. Okert is definitely a guy that the Giants bullpen could look to in the future. He reminds me a lot of Jeremy Affeldt. Not necessarily with pitch makeup, but more with his versatility. He’s a lefty who can go multiple innings, and face either righties or lefties. Look for Okert to contribute to the San Francisco Giants much more in 2017.