The San Francisco Giants prospect lists for 2015 are a mess.

There’s actually not a ton of disagreement on the people on said list.  But there’s a lot of disagreement on who goes where.  Scouts have who they love, fans have their own favorites, and there’s not a lot of meshing.  You can see some players who have become the trendy risers, and some past top guys who have fallen meteorically.

Why?  The truth is, 2014 was a pretty crappy year for the top Giants’ prospects.  At least, the ones who didn’t end up on a World Series roster.

Kyle Crick, the golden #1 of last year on pretty much every list, suffered injuries and control issues in AA Richmond.  Former first round pick Chris Stratton struggled mightily.  Last year’s relief golden boy, Derek Law, rode his quirky delivery to Tommy John surgery midseason.  Last year’s first round pick Christian Arroyo flopped in Augusta, as did second rounder Ryder Jones.  Adalberto Mejia had an awful year, and then got a 50-game suspension.

Need I go on?

There were bright spots.  Matt Duffy came from absolutely nowhere and somehow made the majors, an 18th round pick in 2012 suddenly jumping from AA to the majors.  Joe Panik was just Mr. Consistent, and it paid off.  Andrew Susac got his shot after concussions sidelined Hector Sanchez, and looked good.

And though that all ended up with another World Series win, no one’s looking at this prospect list and seeing a lot of likely stars.

Now, that’s not really the Giants’ game, or anyone’s, when they aren’t drafting in the Top 10.  Lincecum, Posey, Bumgarner, those were all Top 10 picks the Giants nailed.  Otherwise, they’ve been a late 20’s team.  However, in 2014 the Giants drafted #14, probably the highest they’ll draft for a little while, and got a consensus good pick with Tyler Beede.  Beene fills out a Top 10 rife with pitchers, but could be the best in the bunch.  And the Giants, World Series Champions, are drafting #19, with a #31 pick thanks to Pablo Sandoval leaving.  So there’s hope for a little reloading.

However, for the moment, this is a very pitching-heavy list.

So how did I come up with this order?

Everyone’s got their own things they like.  Some love potential, regardless of how likely it’ll get reached.  Some love young players, which is another branch of potential.  Others grade raw talent, some go for intelligence.

Me?  I look at a lot of intangibles, including mindsets and likelihood to reach their potential.  Intangibles are why my #10 is so low, compared to a #1 somewhere and a lot of Top 5 listings.  It’s why I probably ranked Joe Panik higher than anyone else at #3.  But then, I loved what he did bring, as few tools as it was, because he did it well.  And, well, it doesn’t look so foolish right now.  Maybe still a little.

So my list may be a little less exciting, and a little more pragmatic.  I hope you keep tuning in this week to see it all.

#10 – Adalberto Mejia – LHP, 21 years old.  Last level – AA

Few prospects have elicited such varied reactions among those who follow the Giants’ system as Adalberto Mejia.  A lot of guides will put him in the 4-6 range.  Baseball Prospectus ranked him #1.  The fans at McCovey Chronicles put him in the teens.  One of my closest colleagues, Chris Martinez, likes him a lot.

Me, not so much.  Mejia has a good fastball in the 91-95 range, a solid slider, and is working on his changeup.  Baseball America thinks he has to scrap his curveball.  He has decent control.  And mostly, he was very, very young for his level.  According to Baseball-Reference, over three and a half years younger than AA’s average age.  I guess that excuses a poor year in the pitcher’s league, a 4.67 ERA and only 6.8 strikeouts every nine innings.  He improved late in the season, however, so that helps, but it also says how bad the first part of the year was for him.

However, Mejia is losing many points on the intangible scale.  His weight became a problem this year.  He’s generously listed at 205 lbs.  But some systems were reporting his age was affecting his delivery.  That’s not a good sign.  Then, after the 2014 season, he tested positive for Sibutramine, a weight loss stimulant that is banned in the U.S.  So he’ll be missing the first 50 games of the season.

If there was no suspension, Mejia might have been #6 or #7 on my list.  He still has a ton of upside and is young enough to achieve it.  But he will have to show a lot of maturity to get past the many challenges he has right now.  I’ve named make-it-or-break-it years for prospects past, like Gary Brown two years ago and Chris Stratton last year.  Neither of them made it.  It’s hard to give that to Mejia this year, especially when he’ll miss more than a third of the season, but this is as close as it gets for a prospect in 2015 as make-it-or-break-it.

#9 – Christian Arroyo – SS/2B, 19 years old.  Last Level – Low-A/Short-A

Right now, I’m not a fan of the 2013 draft by the Giants.  There are a lot of underperforming guys from that list, and not a lot of pleasant surprises so far.  But at the top is the undeniably talented Christian Arroyo.

Arroyo was the Arizona League MVP in 2013 as an 18-year old, batting .326 with a .898 OPS, and hopes were high for him.  But he was pushed to Augusta, and barely survived a month, batting just .202 with a .497 OPS, and 22 strikeouts against just 4 walks.  The Giants pulled him back and let him play in short-season Salem-Keizer, where he hit .333/.378/.469, but the shakiness was obvious.

However, he’s a scouting favorite for his bat.  Like Marco Scutaro and Joe Panik ahead of him, Arroyo has a good swing with a good batter’s eye.  He’s naturally a more well-rounded hitter than Panik, with better power potential (though not much), but he isn’t as much of strike zone hawk, taking as many walks.   He’s not a great runner or power threat.  In the field, the Giants have let him trade off between shortstop and second base, though second base seems a likely home with third base an option down the road.

The Giants don’t hit often on hitting prospects, so Arroyo’s continued development would be nice for the team, even if his likely home just got filled by another first round pick.  Whether Arroyo might get moved around the diamond, or prompt another move might be interesting.  However, Arroyo has to prove himself in full-season ball before that will be a discussion worth having.

#8 – Mac Williamson – OF, 24 years old.  Last Level – High-A

If there’s a single spot on the list I feel I might look back on and wonder what I was doing so high, this might be it.  Williamson is found late on some lists, not at all on others.  And the crux of this comes from two issues.

One is that Williamson has succeeded greatly…but mostly in hitter-friendly San Jose.  His 25 home run season in 2013 there was great, and in 2014 he was demolishing the opposition and was getting ready to move to Richmond, but then injuries came calling.  After just 23 games, he had Tommy John surgery.  The lack of health as well as the San Jose production has me a little worried ranking Williamson so high.

However, Williamson fills a major need for the Giants, as a power-hitting outfielder with a good screen.  He’s a good enough defender for right and is easily used in left.  He even has showing a surprising bit of speed, his six stolen bases in 23 games attested to.  He fits the Giants and what they need in a young player a little too perfectly.

So, it comes down to when he’ll get back, and how will he adjust to a new, higher level.  The good news is, a couple of the professional prospect hounds do like what adjustments Williamson has made to more advanced pitchers, so there’s hope.  But still, this is the spot that will offer the least amount of surprise if there is a collapse in the 2015 season.