It seems that every time I turn around, the Giants have found yet another pitching prospect of interest for fantasy owners. Remember, this is the team that traded away Zack Wheeler, developed Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, and Madison Bumgarner, and also have top pitching prospects Kyle Crick and Chris Stratton down on the farm as well. We've already discussed another prospect who has emerged in the past year in Clayton Blackburn, but we could be looking at another solid pitching prospect in their second round pick from 2012, Martin Agosta.
To be honest, when he was mentioned in this week's level review, I hadn't heard anything about Agosta other than his name. Agosta wasn't drafted out of high school, and attended St. Mary's College here in California. He had a bit of a down year as a freshman (5.40 ERA, 52 K, 30 BB, 78 hits allowed in 70 IP), but had substantially better results after that. As a sophomore, Agosta went 7-6 with a 2.81 ERA, 76 K, 19 BB, and a respectable 81 hits allowed in 89 innings pitched. In his draft year he pitched even better, striking out 95, walking 27 and allowing 87 hits in 103 innings pitched.
The Giants made him their second round pick last year, and signed him to a bonus of just over $600K. As a professional, Agosta debuted with the Giants' Arizona League affiliate, striking out 19 but walking 9 in just 10 innings pitched. The Giants sent him to Low-A to start this season, and is currently second in the South Atlantic League with 45 strikeouts. He has walked 13, and allowed just 22 hits in his 31 1/3 innings pitched.
The knock on Agosta to this point has been in part due to his stature, as he is listed at 6'1", 180 lbs. However, the scouting report on his repertoire bodes well for his success, as reported by David Lee of the Augusta Chronicle:
He's an athletic college arm who reportedly sits in the low-90s on his four-seamer. Agosta said he has started to develop a bit of a sinker, while the cutter he used in college has largely been ditched at the instruction of the Giants.
Other reports have pointed to him working on a changeup, which will likely be the key to whether or not he can reach his ceiling as a starting pitcher. His command has been much better this year than it was last, and while slightly high (3.7 BB/9), is still at a fine level given the strikeout rate he is providing with it as well.
Since he was a college pitcher, it would not surprise me if the Giants tried to move him a little bit quicker through the system than a level per year, but he'll need a little help with the starting pitchers at High-A San Jose all pitching very well so far. His ETA to the Majors seems to point toward a 2015 debut, with the potential to provide a solid strikeout total, along with at least average ratios which could play slightly better than expected due to being in the NL West.
Is the ceiling super high for Agosta? No. But can he be a back end of the rotation type in the Majors? Absolutely. He's not likely to be a top 100, or even a top 150 prospect as it stands now, but he is definitely worth keeping an eye on in deeper dynasty formats (14+ teams, NL-only) where there are a significant number of minor leaguers owned each season.
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