This is the first article in a new series where over the next month or so I'll go team by team through the Sally, looking at the players I was excited to see at the beginning of the year and also some players who have stood out these first few months.
I'll be starting with the Southern Division because those are the teams I saw the most of to this point. Up first is the Augusta Green Jackets, Low-A farm team for the San Francisco Giants..
I've seen the Green Jackets four times in 2015. They're about average in terms of talent among teams in the Sally, they have a pretty deep lineup, the pitching isn't as deep as it was last year though.
Coming into the year I was looking forward to seeing their top draft picks, Aramis Garcia, Samuel Coonrod and Skyler Ewing. Johneshwy Fargas is having a breakout season and Jonah Arenado, Travious Releford and Cristian Paulino are interesting.
Aramis Garcia- Heralded as a bat first catcher out of Florida International University, Garcia started slowly this season hitting under .200 the first month or so but he's been progressively better and better at the dish since then and he's absolutely crushing it right now (15 hits and 4 home runs in his last 7 games). His swing is a little flat and he smacks line drives all over the yard but he will punish fastballs on the inner half. He's walking at a 10% clip and striking out just a shade over 20%. He's an average receiver with an above average throwing arm and he's nabbing 36% of would be base stealers this season. I would not be surprised if he sees time in San Jose this year.
Samuel Coonrod- Unfortunately I haven't yet seen Coonrod pitch, but he's having a great season. Here's an article from Here he's previewing a Coonrod vs Casey Meisner matchup. of the Augusta Chronicle, he also writes for Baseball Prospectus.
Skyler Ewing- He was drafted in the sixth round of the 2014 draft out of Rice University, Ewing hammered Northwest league pitching to a .291/.417/.473/.890 with eight home runs in 182 at bats and had more walks (36) than strikeouts (28). 2015 has been a very difficult year offensively however .230/.306/.312/.618 with zero home runs in 317 at bats. As a first base only profile he'll have to hit his way to the majors and a soon to be 23 year old struggling in low A is not a good sign.
Johneshwy Fargas- Drafted in the 11th round of the 2013 draft from Puerto Rico, Fargas signed for slot $100,000. Fargas is listed at 6'1" 165 lb's and he looks rail thin. He crowds the plate and has been hit by a pitch 12 times this year. He's been consistently smacking the ball all over the yard this season but his gap power has cooled after a hot start. His best tools are his plus to plus plus speed and his rocket throwing arm. He covers a ton of ground in center and reeks havoc on the bases. His numbers are down and his strikeouts are up the last few weeks, not sure if its fatigue or if he's playing through an injury.
Jonah Arenado- Brother of Nolan, Jonah also plays third base. He was drafted in the 16th round of the 2013 draft out of El Toro HS, Lake Forrest CA. He's listed at 6'4" 195 lb's. He moves pretty well for a big man. At the plate, he's an aggressive hitter with a flat swing. He makes consistent contact but he has nearly twice as many ground balls than fly balls and currently has a 111 ISO. He could benefit from a swing adjustment, one that incorporates an uppercut to better utilize his strength. Defensively he moves well around the bag but reps on the routine are needed, he shows plenty of arm for the position.
Travious Relaford- Drafted way back in the 44th round of the 2011 draft from Hinds CC in Raymond, MS. Relaford has a utility infield profile, one that can handle shortstop and handle the bat.
Cristian Paulino- Last but not least is Paulino. He hails from the Dominican Republic and made his stateside debut as a 19 year old back in 2011. What I like about him is his bat speed. He hits line drives from gap to gap, and despite being listed at 5'10 170 lb's he's shown he can hit a ball over the wall to his pull side and the other way.
What I don't like is he's about to turn 24, and in Low-A, and he's currently missing time because of a hamstring injury. Also despite seeing time in center in previous seasons and getting a few looks at second base mostly he's played left field. He's a long shot but he can really hit.
That concludes my look at the Augusta Green Jackets, up next a look at the Asheville Tourists.