3. Tyler Beede, SP, AA

Control problems continued to plague the 2014 first round pick in his first full year, but his real problems came from fatigue.  He was great in San Jose, so the Giants pushed him up to AA and he struggled mightily.  A look at his stats suggest it was walks, but most observers think that the walks were the result of him wearing down.

Beede did get a tweaked delivery from the Giants, and aren’t relying on his pure power as much as working with pitches that have movement.  He has a low-90’s sinker and a good cutter.  He’s still working on his changeup and curveball, which will be important as he gets higher.

I hope Beede gets a chance to work with Jake Peavy in the spring, and learn from him.  Hopefully conditioning won’t be a big problem for Beede for the future, and he can turn into a good mid-rotation starter.

2. Phil Bickford, SP, Rookie Ball

Unlike the last few top Giants’ pitcher picks, Bickford did not come to the Giants with control problems.  And the relatively young pitcher dominated in his first half-season, with a fastball he changed speeds on, a good slider and a developing changeup.

Bickford has a rising fastball he can hit 95 with and loves to challenge hitters with it up in the zone.  Paired with his slider, which, when working, hits the zone low, he has excelled at changing sightlines on hitters and getting strikeouts.  He can have problems staying on top of his slider though, so that will be a key for the Giants to work on, with his effectiveness.

The other concern for Bickford is his endurance.  He’s a Junior College pick, so he’s a bit younger than some of his college peers, only turning 21 this July.  Expect the Giants to manage his starts early in the year closely to help him build out strength.  The Giants will take their time with him, but he could end up a very good pitcher.

1.Christian Arroyo, SS, A+

At the start of the decade, the Giants stymied by using two first round picks in three years on middle infielders who generally did not have power, speed or particularly great defense, though they could hit, and were lambasted for going after low ceilings.  One of those guys has a ring, an All-Star appearance and a highlight reel play in the World Series that will be shown for years in just over a year of service time.  The other guy is the top prospect in the Giants system.

Arroyo can hit, plain and simple.  As a high schooler he already had a simple, effective swing and has shown in his time playing that it’s for real.  His power is a bit better than Joe Panik’s, and his defense is good enough for shortstop (though some continually expect him to move).  He doesn’t have special speed, but he’s not a plodder on the basepaths.  And he was the Giants’ only representative on most Top 100 prospect lists.  Where his future lies is of interest, with the aforementioned Panik at second, Crawford at shortstop long-term, and Matt Duffy having taken over third.  However, that’s a decision for the (increasingly-near) future.