San Francisco Giants Top 49 Prospects

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Below is an analysis of the prospects in the farm system of the San Francisco Giants. Scouting reports were compiled with information provided by industry sources as well as our own observations. This is the third year we’re delineating between two anticipated relief roles, the abbreviations for which you’ll see in the “position” column below: MIRP for multi-inning relief pitchers, and SIRP for single-inning relief pitchers. The ETAs listed generally correspond to the year a player has to be added to the 40-man roster to avoid being made eligible for the Rule 5 draft. Manual adjustments are made where they seem appropriate, but we use that as a rule of thumb.

A quick overview of what FV (Future Value) means can be found here. A much deeper overview can be found here.

All of the ranked prospects below also appear on The Board, a resource the site offers featuring sortable scouting information for every organization. It has more details (and updated TrackMan data from various sources) than this article and integrates every team’s list so readers can compare prospects across farm systems. It can be found here.

Giants Top Prospects
Rk Name Age Highest Level Position ETA FV
1 Luis Matos 21.4 MLB CF 2023 55
2 Kyle Harrison 21.9 AAA SP 2024 55
3 Patrick Bailey 24.1 MLB C 2023 50
4 Marco Luciano 21.7 AA RF 2024 50
5 Rayner Arias 17.2 R RF 2028 45+
6 Carson Whisenhunt 22.7 AA SP 2024 45
7 Casey Schmitt 24.3 MLB 3B 2023 45
8 Landen Roupp 24.8 AA SP 2024 45
9 Wade Meckler 23.2 AA LF 2025 45
10 Aeverson Arteaga 20.3 A+ SS 2025 45
11 Vaun Brown 25.0 AA CF 2025 40+
12 Grant McCray 22.6 A+ CF 2025 40+
13 Keaton Winn 25.4 MLB MIRP 2023 40+
14 Reggie Crawford 22.6 A SIRP 2026 40+
15 Blake Sabol 25.5 MLB C 2023 40+
16 Randy Rodríguez 23.8 AAA SIRP 2023 40+
17 Spencer Miles 22.9 A SP 2026 40+
18 Mason Black 23.6 AA SP 2025 40+
19 Trevor McDonald 22.3 A+ SP 2025 40
20 Tristan Beck 27.0 MLB SP 2023 40
21 Hayden Wynja 24.7 A SP 2026 40
22 Victor Bericoto 21.6 A+ 1B 2025 40
23 Hayden Birdsong 21.8 A+ SIRP 2026 40
24 William Kempner 22.0 A+ SIRP 2026 40
25 Ryan Walker 27.6 MLB SIRP 2023 40
26 José Cruz 23.1 AA SIRP 2024 40
27 Brett Wisely 24.1 MLB 2B 2023 40
28 Diego Velasquez 19.7 A 2B 2026 40
29 Liam Simon 22.7 A SIRP 2026 40
30 Jairo Pomares 22.9 A+ LF 2023 40
31 Erik Miller 25.4 AAA MIRP 2023 40
32 Ricardo Genovés 24.1 AAA C 2024 40
33 Sean Hjelle 26.1 MLB MIRP 2023 35+
34 Cole Waites 25.1 MLB SIRP 2023 35+
35 Melvin Adón 29.1 AAA SIRP 2024 35+
36 R.J. Dabovich 24.5 AAA SIRP 2024 35+
37 Angel Guzman 17.6 R LF 2028 35+
38 Heliot Ramos 23.8 MLB RF 2024 35+
39 Eric Silva 20.7 A+ SP 2026 35+
40 Jack Choate 22.2 A+ MIRP 2025 35+
41 Ben Madison 25.8 A+ SIRP 2025 35+
42 Tanner Kiest 28.8 A+ SIRP 2025 35+
43 Gerelmi Maldonado 19.5 A SIRP 2026 35+
44 Brett Auerbach 24.8 AA C 2025 35+
45 Bryce Johnson 27.7 MLB CF 2023 35+
46 Adrian Sugastey 20.7 A+ C 2025 35+
47 Onil Perez 20.8 A C 2026 35+
48 Christian Avendano 19.8 R SP 2028 35+
49 Thomas Szapucki 27.1 MLB MIRP 2024 35+
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55 FV Prospects

1. Luis Matos, CF

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Venezuela (SFG)
Age 21.4 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 55
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
55/70 40/45 30/40 50/50 45/50 50

After a stunning 2021 during which he slashed .313/.358/.494 as a 19-year-old (a performance that earned him Cal League MVP honors), Matos had a rough 2022. He hit just .211/.275/.344 in the Northwest League and his bat speed looked like it had regressed significantly compared to his electric foray into pro ball. Despite this, Matos remained tough to make swing and miss, and he ran a 16% K% last season. In part due to a quad strain and because it was his 40-man evaluation year, the Giants sent Matos to the Arizona Fall League to pick up reps and try to earn a roster spot. He didn’t hit especially well in Arizona either, but the Giants weren’t exactly deep with viable defensive center fielders, so they rostered Matos in the offseason.

He has rebounded in a huge way so far in 2023 and rocketed through the upper-minors en route to a recent big league debut. Matos has always been tough to strike out, but in 2023 it’s been nearly impossible, as he posted single-digit strikeout rates at Richmond and Sacramento prior to his call-up while his power also rebounded. Visual assessment of Matos’ swing and his underlying data suggest the surge is real. He’s still chase-prone, but his high-end exit velos are up compared to 2022, and the beautiful, 180-degree finish Matos’ swing would show at peak has returned with greater frequency. Wielding one of the prettier righty swings in baseball, Matos is moving the barrel all over the zone and turning on up-and-in pitches with power again.

His feel for center field helps him profile there despite middling speed for that position. There are some scouts who think he’ll end up in a corner, but here he projects as a 50 glove in center. At minimum, we expect he’ll perform similar to how Manny Margot has on offense, and Matos’ ability to yank inside pitches out to his pull side should enable him to hit for more power than Margot and produce like an above-average center fielder.

Drafted: 3rd Round, 2020 from De La Salle HS (CA) (SFG)
Age 21.9 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / L FV 55
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
60/70 60/60 45/55 30/45 93-95 / 98

After a breakout 2021 season, Harrison managed to improve in virtually every column of his stat sheet in 2022. He issued more strikeouts and lowered his WHIP, all while racking up more innings and advancing two levels without showing many growing pains in the process. His 39.8% strikeout rate was the highest in the minors among qualified pitchers last year, and he fanned 186 batters in just 113 innings. This year, he’s still posting preposterous punch out percentages, but his command has faltered and his walk rate has crept into the upper teens. He’s also pitched significantly fewer innings in each of his outings. Last year, only five of his 25 starts lasted fewer than four frames, while 11 of his first 15 starts in 2023 ended before the fourth. But given the way he’s torn up the minor leagues to this point, his first sign of struggle isn’t enough of a reason to panic regarding his future, especially as a 21-year-old at Triple-A who’s still striking out more than a third of his opponents.

Harrison’s fastball sits 93-95 mph, topping out around 98, and it plays up thanks to its shape and the deceptively low lefty arm slot Harrison hurls it from. He primarily pairs the heater with a shapely low-80s slider and gets most of his swing-and-miss in the zone with both offerings. His changeup isn’t consistent enough for it to play a major role in his arsenal quite yet, but he trusts his slider enough to use it in place of the changeup, even against righties. If the Giants are contending for a playoff spot, Harrison may be called up during the 2023 season, perhaps first in a bullpen capacity, but he projects as an eventual impact starter.

50 FV Prospects

Drafted: 1st Round, 2020 from North Carolina State (SFG)
Age 24.1 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr S / R FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
50/55 50/50 30/40 30/30 40/50 45

Time to eat double crow here, as Bailey was just outside the Top 100 when he was drafted and throughout 2021 before we rounded his FV grade down during an uneven 2022. When we put together the lengthy Giants Imminent Big Leaguers piece, Bailey was not included, as we didn’t anticipate he’d spend just two weeks each at Richmond and Sacramento before the club decided to insert him as their primary big league catcher.

Bailey has hit the ground running in about a month and a half of big league time and looks very much like the catcher of the present and future on a surging club. He is a skilled one-knee’d receiver, great at beating the pitch to the spot in all parts of the zone, often subtly shifting his body to help him receive borderline pitches with strike-stealing stillness. His arm stroke is unique, as Bailey often throws with a nearly sidearm angle and sometimes drops down even lower than that. It looks the way a lot of pitchers do when they’re throwing their final warm-up pitch. Sometimes it can be tough for Bailey to get clear of hitters in the lefty batter’s box, but for the most part, this atypical style of throwing works for him. His big league pop times are averaging just below 1.90 as of list publication, and he’s accurate despite imparting tail on all his throws. Offensively, Bailey sprays all-fields contact as a lefty and is more of a pull-side ambush hitter as a righty, both of which have been the case since college. Pitchers can work away from him to limit the damage he does, but Bailey’s overall offensive output is comfortably above the everyday bar at catcher and could be top 10 at the position during his peak. He’s likely to be a rock solid primary catcher for the next half decade or so.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Dominican Republic (SFG)
Age 21.7 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 178 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/45 60/70 30/60 45/40 30/40 50

Luciano, a bat speed prodigy, has encountered a few developmental speed bumps since roasting the Cal League in 2021. He’s become more whiff-prone, and his last couple of seasons have been impacted by a back injury. Still, he has so much raw power for a potential shortstop that he belongs near the back of the Top 100 despite the risk percolating beneath the surface of his profile. Luciano played just 57 games in 2022 because of a balky back. He was set to pick up winter ball reps in the Dominican Republic for Estrellas Orientales, but was shut down after just five games due to continued discomfort. He turned out to have a stress fracture in his lower back, which the Giants revealed as players reported to camp at the start of 2023. Even with the injury, the Giants put Luciano on their 40-man roster during the winter. He was held back in extended spring training for the first month of the 2023 minor league season and finally went to Richmond in the beginning of May, where he’s K’d at a 30% clip but has continued to hit for power.

Perhaps the most important development here is that Luciano looks better at shortstop than he has in the past. He still isn’t great at backhanding grounders to his right, but he’s playing much lower to the ground now than before he rehabbed the injury and looks much more comfortable fielding choppers in on the grass. He had been projected to right field in our last update, but third base, where Luciano can make most plays moving from right to left, is now his floor. It’s a big deal that he stays on the dirt, especially with his uptick in strikeouts. Luciano’s bat speed is incredible, but his barrel accuracy is not. He tends to swing through the down-and-in portion of the zone and struggles with anything away from him. He can really only pull hanging breaking balls and tends to shoot the rest of his contact to center field and the opposite way. He’s whiffing a lot against fastballs around his hands and against sliders away from him, and not just ones that finish off the plate. It’s very likely that Luciano ends up with a well below-average hit tool, but if he stay at shortstop and is hitting for power when he does make contact, he should still be a fine everyday player whose slash line looks like Chris Taylor‘s.

45+ FV Prospects

5. Rayner Arias, RF

Signed: International Signing Period, 2023 from Dominican Republic (SFG)
Age 17.2 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/50 50/60 25/55 50/50 30/55 60

In keeping with the Giants’ style of signing international prospects, Arias is in the Luciano/Alexander Canario vein: he swings incredibly hard for a player his age, and he already has the ability to put balls out to right/center field and do big damage with conservative footwork. Scouts see Arias in the traditional right field mold, with a power-over-hit skill set on offense, the chance to grow into more raw thump, and a plus arm. He looked great during minor league spring training at Papago Park before heading back to the DSL for the meat of the summer. He’s a potential middle-of-the-order force who was a clear “stock up” guy from the moment scouts laid eyes on him on a field with other pro players.

45 FV Prospects

Drafted: 2nd Round, 2022 from East Carolina (SFG)
Age 22.7 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 209 Bat / Thr L / L FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
40/45 40/45 60/70 50/60 92-94 / 96

Whisenhunt’s changeup is the only logical place to start his write-up. It’s long been his signature bat-misser, with several small samples hinting at its quality, including garnering whiff rates above 70% during his time with Team USA and in his short Low-A stint last season. The changeup sits in the mid-80s with late tumble that makes it seem to disappear at the last second, like a bad egg at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. It has always featured prominently into his mix, this year accounting for a combined 37% of his offerings across three levels of the org, per Synergy. This year’s fast-riser, Whisenhunt started his season at San Jose, where his cambio continued to confound Low-A hitters, before he was sent up the coast to Eugene, where he fanned 36 opponents in 25.1 innings. That earned him his second promotion of the still-young season, and he’s spent June with the Double-A Richmond squad.

While the changeup is what got Whisenhunt on this fast track, improvements to the rest of his arsenal are what will keep him on it. Specifically, sustainably honed command and better results on a fastball that has thus far generated chase, whiff, and strike rates all around league average. The heater is averaging 94 mph this season, which is a tick in the right direction; further increased velocity could certainly have a positive impact on the pitch’s playability. Whisenhunt also throws it from a high arm slot and a downhill angle, which might be lessening its deceptive impact. While it still accounts for the highest percentage of his pitches, the fastball is best described as a setup pitch for the changeup, and if that remains true, his arsenal would be well served by increased usage of his curveball (or the introduction of a tighter north-south secondary) to further keep hitters off balance. The changeup is good enough to get him to the back end of a good team’s starting rotation, but if he finds a third pitch, he’s a slam dunk mid-rotation guy.

Drafted: 2nd Round, 2020 from San Diego State (SFG)
Age 24.3 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/40 50/50 40/45 40/40 60/70 70

After a second-half surge at Low-A in 2021, Schmitt climbed his way through the Giants system in 2022. He started the season at High-A, posting walk and strikeout rates better than the league average while slashing .273/.363/.474 with 17 homers in 93 games. He then played 29 games at Double-A, where he improved every column of his slash line while maintaining a strikeout rate close to the 22% mark he’d put up in Eugene. It was at this point, though, when his walk rates tanked into an area of concern, a trend that has persisted over the last year as Schmitt has made his big league debut. Schmitt’s difficulty adjusting to offspeed pitches in the zone and breaking balls below it generated worse-than-average swing-and-miss rates in 2022 (his under-the-hood contact data is worse than his raw strikeout rate), and it’s a big reason why he’s running a sub-.300 OBP so far in the big leagues. Sub-optimal swing decisions (he chased at a 33% clip in 2022 and is doing so at a whopping 48% in the big leagues as of list publication) have negatively affected the type of contact he’s made, even though he did hit 21 homers last year.

Schmitt’s swing is a dead ringer for Anthony Volpe‘s, down to his closed-off setup and deep knee bend timed to the pitcher’s release, shifting his weight to his back leg before exploding toward the ball. This swing is designed to get under the ball consistently regardless of where it’s thrown, which makes Schmitt’s low average launch angle (more than 10 degrees lower than Volpe’s) and high groundball rate confounding. A lot of it is just poor secondary pitch recognition. Most of Schmitt’s minor league success came off of fastballs. At Double-A, he posted a 1.073 OPS on heaters, which accounted for 49% of the pitches he saw. Meanwhile, his slash line against offspeed and breaking balls was an anemic .216/.286/.333. Now that he’s seeing more offspeed and breaking pitches – and major league caliber ones at that – he’s struggled to make consistent, hard contact.

No write-up of Schmitt would be complete without singing a few bars of praise regarding his defense, which is really the bedrock of his prospect foundation and the biggest reason why he’s still going to be a good big league role player. His instincts and hands at third base are tremendous, and he sweetens it with elite arm strength. He’s seen a lot of big league time at shortstop and we don’t think that’s a great long-term fit, but it makes sense as a way of keeping Brandon Crawford fresh and gives Schmitt an opportunity to play all over the infield and develop as the utilityman he’s likely to be.

8. Landen Roupp, SP

Drafted: 12th Round, 2021 from UNC Wilmington (SFG)
Age 24.8 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Command Sits/Tops
45/45 50/50 70/70 50/60 92-94 / 96

Roupp was a 12th-round selection in 2021 and wasted no time proving that he was a steal due to a plus-plus curveball that he favors over the rest of his arsenal; the curve accounted for nearly 50% of his pitches each of the last two years. He spins it like mad, generating an average of just under 3,000 rpm on the upper-70s offering, which Roupp routinely lands for strikes; its shape also fits nicely with that of his fastball. A slider and changeup round out his four-pitch mix. The curveball features so much arcing depth that more advanced hitters might be able to identify it out of his hand, though that hasn’t been the case during his rapid ascent through the system. In 2022, he posted a 35% strikeout rate over 48.2 innings at Low-A, then advanced to High-A, where his K-rate increased above 41% while he simultaneously issued fewer walks. Since Roupp has arrived at Double-A, he has gradually increased his fastball usage (it eventually outpaced the curveball, though not by a wide margin), which remains true so far in 2023. Roupp is at Richmond again this season and has so far improved on both his walk and strikeout percentages. His fastball averaged 92-93 mph in 2022 and is up a tick so far this year. He commands it throughout the zone, and the sink and run created by his true three-quarter arm slot makes it particularly potent in the lower half of the zone. His delivery is of the drop-and-drive variety, with a deep bend in his front knee. He’s made more frequent use of his slider, which sits 83 and also features a ton of spin, with a similar, though less exaggerated, shape as his curveball. We like him as a no. 4/5 starter who likely debuts in 2024.

9. Wade Meckler, LF

Drafted: 8th Round, 2022 from Oregon State (SFG)
Age 23.2 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 178 Bat / Thr L / R FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
50/60 45/45 30/35 50/50 50/55 50

Meckler fell to the eighth round of the 2022 draft because he was viewed as a corner outfield fit with very little power, but so far in pro ball his hit tool has turned out to be special enough that it might not matter. He doesn’t quite have Steven Kwan’s bat control, but he’s tracking like another Day Two steal from Oregon State. Meckler has an 86% contact rate as of list publication, and is guiding the barrel all over the zone and moving the baseball all over the field. A lot of his contact is low-lying line drives, but Meckler’s hard-hit rate is about 40%, which is up around the big league average. Meckler didn’t play center field at Oregon State, but he’s dipping his toes into that position in pro ball. It’s too soon to tell whether or not he’ll develop into a viable defender there, but he doesn’t have plus or better speed, so it’s unlikely. His power might be a little light to profile in an everyday capacity in a corner, but he fits as a second-division regular similar to Will Brennan.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2019 from Venezuela (SFG)
Age 20.3 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/40 40/50 25/45 55/55 40/50 60

Arteaga signed for $1.2 million in 2019 and was tough to scout until 2021 because Venezuelan travel restrictions kept him from coming to the U.S. for 2020 instructs. The time off may be part of why Arteaga still doesn’t have especially good feel to hit, though his strikeout rates have actually trended down as he’s climbed into the mid-minors and are now hovering around 25% as he takes his hacks in the Northwest League. His feel for the barrel is imprecise to the scouting eye, and the timing of his feet often leaves Arteaga out in front of offspeed pitches. He still has exciting power potential for a young shortstop, even if his hit tool and on-base skills are currently below average. Arteaga isn’t a slick-fielding, future Gold Glover by any stretch, but he’s a suitable shortstop defender for his age. There’s definitely hit tool risk here, but the way Arteaga is trending and his age relative to level are indications that things are getting better in this area and will continue to do so. He’s continuing to track like a second-division shortstop regular who’ll take a leap if things click with his bat-to-ball skills.

40+ FV Prospects

11. Vaun Brown, CF

Drafted: 10th Round, 2021 from Florida Southern (SFG)
Age 25.0 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 150 Bat / Thr S / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/35 50/50 40/45 70/70 50/50 55

Brown put up obscene numbers in 2022, but much of that can be attributed to him being significantly older than the rest of the players on the A-ball fields he was tearing up. Still, between Low- and High-A, he combined for a .348/.439/.626 slash line, with a 176 wRC+ to boot, and finished the season with a one-game cameo at Double-A. He started 2023 on the IL after needing a minor knee surgery coming out of camp, and after rehabbing in San Jose and Eugene, he was promoted in May to the more age-appropriate Richmond, where he’s still older than the average player, but only slightly. Over his month and a half at the higher level, the better pitching has been able to exploit Brown’s vulnerabilities and expose some very real swing-and-miss issues, to the tune of a contact rate under 60% so far this season. Now that he’s at Richmond, he’s no longer sharing an outfield with Grant McCray, which has resulted in his spending most of his defensive innings in center field. He’s a convincing fit there, with quick reflexes and the speed to make the most of it. All in all, Brown is an incredibly toolsy prospect with a football player’s physique that adds a few inches to an already-high ceiling, but his ability to reach it may ultimately be hampered by a below-average hit tool.

12. Grant McCray, CF

Drafted: 5th Round, 2019 from Lakewood Ranch HS (FL) (SFG)
Age 22.6 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/35 45/55 35/45 60/60 40/50 40

McCray plays an electric center field, covering ground thanks to his past life as a track athlete and carving routes on deep flies in a way that speaks to his football background. The former multi-sport athlete spent 2022 mostly at Low-A and had a breakout offensive season thanks to noticeable adjustments to his swing (including a lower load and a shortened path to the ball) that were aimed at tapping into in-game power (which it did) and cutting down on in-zone swing-and-miss (which it did not). He started 2023 at High-A and his strikeouts are still hovering around the 30% mark. The upside is that those Ks aren’t a result of an inability to recognize a strike; McCray’s chase rate is significantly lower than the big-league average. Instead, the whiffs are largely due to his vulnerability to fastballs in the upper third of the zone. With an uppercut swing geared for pull power, he’s bound to be punished for that unless he can adapt. Still, the fact that he’s added significant power since signing without sacrificing his impact speed gives him a very high ceiling, dependent mostly on tamping down his in-zone swing-and-miss. We’re not discouraged by his wRC+ downtick compared to 2022, which is more a symptom of Eugene relative to the rest of the Northwest League than a dip in his ability (learning from coming off Bailey and Matos last year, we are), but McCray is still a risky, high-variance prospect.

13. Keaton Winn, MIRP

Drafted: 5th Round, 2018 from Iowa Western Community College (SFG)
Age 25.4 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 238 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Splitter Command Sits/Tops
60/60 45/45 70/70 40/40 94-96 / 99

After losing two seasons of development — one to the pandemic and the other to Tommy John — Winn climbed to the upper levels of the minors very quickly in 2022 and was recently promoted to San Francisco. Over the last year, he’s been stretched out from working just two or three innings at a time to working as many as six, either as a starter or long reliever. Winn has had success in a long relief role in the majors even though he’s only working with two-and-a-half pitches, a four- and two-seam fastball and his devastating splitter, which is one of the nastier ones in pro ball. He also has a slider that he used 7% of the time at Sacramento, but that hasn’t yet been deployed at the big league level. Winn is a little bit stiff, and despite relatively strong strike-throwing performance, the eyeball evaluation of his delivery tends to funnel him toward the bullpen. Limited in-zone fastball utility (his heater has downhill angle and run) adds to this, though we projected Winn’s repertoire depth would enable him to work multiple innings and so far that’s been true. Regardless of the specifics of his role, Winn’s velocity and splitter fit somewhere in the meaty middle of a contending team’s pitching staff.

14. Reggie Crawford, SIRP

Drafted: 1st Round, 2022 from UConn (SFG)
Age 22.6 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 235 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops
70/70 55/60 30/40 95-99 / 102

In 2021, Crawford was the first player in Cape Cod League history to top 100 mph on the mound and also hit a home run in the same season. He’d regularly been up to 99 mph and would peak at 102 that summer, carrying considerable buzz into offseason, but Crawford blew out and needed Tommy John that fall. The injury cost him his junior season (and likely early-first round draft consideration), but it wasn’t enough to scare off the Giants, who selected him 30th overall in 2022. After tuning up on the complex in Arizona, Crawford made his long-awaited return this May and has been developing as a two-way player… sort of. He was making short starts (capping out at two innings) every five days from late May to mid-June, with one DH appearance in between them. He is still sitting in the upper 90s with huge uphill tailing action that he doesn’t command. He didn’t issue a walk until June 16, but put on the tape and Crawford is spraying his heater all over the place, which was also the case in college. If you’ve noticed that Crawford hasn’t pitched since that June 16 outing, don’t fret; he threw a bullpen two days prior to list publication.

Crawford is a prospect of extreme variance. His overall athleticism, his power in the batter’s box, and the quality of his stuff are all exciting components that make sense to tease out slowly and simultaneously in the event that he can actually do both at the big league level. At the very least, his post-op innings limit gives the Giants the ability to fold hitting into his mix and see how he handles pro pitching, just in case that ends up being what he’s best at. Still more a developmental project than anything else, a power lefty reliever outcome sits in the middle of Crawford’s projection.

Drafted: 7th Round, 2019 from USC (PIT)
Age 25.5 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 225 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/40 55/55 30/45 30/30 30/40 40

Once a pretty famous high school prospect, Sabol went to USC, where he moved out from behind the plate and to the outfield (including spending a little bit of time in center) after his freshman year. He slashed .268/.333/.375 in college, not great for what had become a corner outfield prospect. Over time, the Pirates moved him back behind the plate, increasing his reps until he was mostly catching (while playing some left field) in 2022. Sabol has raked through the minors, but as an old-for-the-level regular, culminating in a huge 2022: .284/.363/.497 with 51 extra-base hits as a 24-year old at Double- and Triple-A. After a fair Fall League stint, the Pirates decided not to roster Sabol and exposed him to the Rule 5 Draft, which is how (after a trade with the Reds) he ended up with San Francisco, a club often intrigued by guys who can catch and do other stuff.

Sabol’s arm strength is okay, but it takes him so long to get out of his crouch that his pop times often play in the 2.05-2.15 range, which is not good. Among the many changes the Giants made to his approach back there is that he’s more likely to cut it loose from his knees, Erik Kratz style, as a way of avoiding how long it takes to get his huge frame up out of his crouch. Sabol used to be a stiff, one-knee’d receiver, but the Giants have him moving around much more, sometimes starting in a traditional crouch before going to a knee as the ball is in flight (or about to be). It’s a better look than what he was doing with Pittsburgh, but we just won’t know exactly how well Sabol can throw until he gets more reps with his new style. In his big league innings so far, his back-picks to first and his throws on attempted steals of third have been from his knees, whereas he’s gone back to popping out of his crouch on throws to second. The results haven’t been favorable, with the long pop-times to second resulting in a lot of successfully stolen bases. It’s important for Sabol to catch part-time because he likely doesn’t have the hit tool to profile as a corner outfielder. He has thus far performed around league average, albeit with a high strikeout rate, while splitting his time between catching and playing left field. He’s a super cool role player, a backup catcher plus a little more.

16. Randy Rodríguez, SIRP

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (SFG)
Age 23.8 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 166 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
60/60 60/60 40/45 40/40 94-97 / 99

Rodríguez had a breakout 2021 during which he sat 94-96 mph while incorporating a low-80s slider with big horizontal sweeping action. In 2022, his walk rate climbed and his fastball lost about two ticks on average, as rather than reaching back for 98-99 at peak, Rodríguez was sitting 93-94 and topping out at 97. This year, Rodríguez has had a few multi-week stretches where he’s been shut down (one during spring training and another not long before list publication), but after his recent IL stint and a promotion to Sacramento, his velo has leapt back into the upper-90s. Rodríguez is incredibly athletic, the sort of on-mound athlete for whom we think things will click over time, enabling him to be a core middle relief piece. His heater has big ride and run and misses a ton of bats in the zone, while his slider is less consistent but flashes plus. The 2023 season is Rodríguez’s second on the 40-man roster. It’s likely he’ll be up at some point this year, and it’s important he find enough consistency to be rostered in perpetuity next season to preserve some amount of roster flexibility.

17. Spencer Miles, SP

Drafted: 4th Round, 2022 from Missouri (SFG)
Age 22.9 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
60/60 50/55 40/50 30/40 95-98 / 99

Miles went undrafted as an eligible sophomore and had an ERA over 6.00 at Mizzou, but the Giants still used a pretty high pick on him, which looked very smart before the end of the summer of 2022. Miles was sitting 95-98 mph and touching 99 in the ACL while flashing two average secondary pitches. He hasn’t thrown a pitch in 2023 and is currently on the 60-day IL with a back injury. He’s well-built, his arm is fast, his low-80s slider has late horizontal movement, he can vary shape and give it more of a curveball look, and some of his complex-level changeups (also in the low-80s) were plus. It’s clear there was meat left on the bone here in college, and if not for his injury, it’s possible Miles would be one of the breakout prospects in this system.

18. Mason Black, SP

Drafted: 3rd Round, 2021 from Lehigh (SFG)
Age 23.6 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 230 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/55 55/55 40/50 45/55 92-95 / 97

Black continues to pitch well at Richmond as a short-outing starter, rarely working more than five innings. He was on a similar schedule for the first half of 2022 before he was unleashed for as many as seven innings late in the year. He’s sitting 93-94 mph from a low three-quarters slot, though his hand position on release alters the axis of his fastball to be slightly more north/south-oriented than his arm angle. The action on Black’s slider appears to have backed up a little bit this year, but he’s still commanding it very consistently, backdooring it for early-count strikes and using it to get glove-side whiffs. If he ever moves to the bullpen, Black will be a typical fastball/slider reliever with two plus offerings. His command is good enough to continue developing him as a starter through 2024 (his 40-man eval year) in the hopes that a better third pitch emerges.

40 FV Prospects

19. Trevor McDonald, SP

Drafted: 11th Round, 2019 from George County HS (MS) (SFG)
Age 22.3 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Cutter Command Sits/Tops
45/45 60/60 40/45 45/55 30/50 93-95 / 96

McDonald was a late pop-up guy in the 2019 draft out of a high school in rural Mississippi. The Giants used their excess bonus pool money to sign him out of the 11th round for nearly $800,000. He had something of a 2022 breakout in a piggyback starter role at Low-A, when he sat 93-95 mph and bent in two good breaking balls across 90 innings en route to an incredible 2.39 ERA in the Cal League. His ultra-short arm action is a little odd, and McDonald’s fastball plays down a bit, but his collection of secondary stuff gives him a starter’s repertoire depth. His low-80s curveball is the best of these, though his upper-80s cutter/slider may also be a plus pitch at maturity. As of list publication, McDonald has missed most of 2023 with AC joint and hamstring issues. His stiff, non-traditional mechanical look gives him a fair bit of visual relief risk, and he’s the youngest and furthest away of this trio of swingmen types stacked in this section of the list.

Drafted: 4th Round, 2018 from Stanford (ATL)
Age 27.0 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Cutter Command Sits/Tops
40/40 50/50 55/55 50/50 50/55 50/55 92-95 / 97

Beck bounced back from a 2021 herniated disk to pitch 111 innings (mostly at Triple-A) in 2022, though his season ended early with another back injury. When healthy, Beck still looks like a backend starter, with a game defined more by arsenal depth than pure stuff. After a few Triple-A outings to start 2023, he was promoted and shifted into the bullpen, where he’s been working between two and four innings per outing in long relief. Beck has three different breaking balls (a cutter, slider and curveball), and he pitches off of them frequently, with as much as a 15 mph gap between his cutter and curveball. While Beck’s 92-95 mph fastball jumps on hitters because he lunges way down the mound, its life and movement are only fair. An above-average athlete whose line is direct to the plate, Beck throws plenty of strikes, with his health the only barrier to him starting. His stuff isn’t so nasty that he’s going to be a star, but if he can stay healthy, he’ll almost certainly pitch toward the back of a rotation.

21. Hayden Wynja, SP

Undrafted Free Agent, 2022 (SFG)
Age 24.7 Height 6′ 9″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
35/45 55/60 30/45 30/50 90-92 / 95

Wynja pitched at four different colleges in four years — first at Purdue, then Lincoln Trail College, then South Florida, and finally Murray State — after which he was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2022. The gigantic 6-foot-9 lefty has already added about four ticks to his fastball, which sat 87-88 mph at Murray State but has been in the 90-92 range so far in 2023. More importantly, Wynja has a plus slider that he commands with aplomb. There are still things to work on here, like finding a third pitch, but Wynja has several late-bloomer traits (his size and nomadic amateur career), he’s working deeper and deeper into starts, and he has already come a long way in a relatively short amount of time. He’s a nice low-level sleeper whose stuff is already on par with a second bullpen lefty.

22. Victor Bericoto, 1B

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Venezuela (SFG)
Age 21.6 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/45 55/60 35/55 40/40 30/40 40

Bericoto has a sweet righty swing and above-average raw power already at age 21. His hands are electric and Bericoto is very good at making in-flight adjustments to breaking balls, but his bat path tends to make him a bit late on good fastballs. Even though his strikeout rates have been fine, his contact rates are near the bottom of what is typical of a big league first baseman, down around 70%. Bericoto began seeing significant time in right field in 2022 and has continued to moonlight in the outfield corners this year. Especially if he turns out able to play there, he stands a good chance to be a part-time, multi-positional corner bat.

23. Hayden Birdsong, SIRP

Drafted: 6th Round, 2022 from Eastern Illinois (SFG)
Age 21.8 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 215 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
60/60 55/60 50/50 30/30 30/40 94-96 / 97

Count Birdsong among the many pitchers who have had a velocity spike since entering the Giants system. After sitting 90-93 mph at Eastern Illinois and in the Northwoods League in 2022, he’s sitting 94-96 throughout 2023. Birdsong is a mechanical mixed bag, with more reliever traits than starter qualities. He has a long arm swing and downhill fastball plane, and has walked a reliever-y 12% of hitters so far in 2023. He also hides the ball extremely well (literally right behind his head as his arm lays back) and has a dandy breaking ball, a downer curve with plus depth and bite. It merits developing the big, small-school righty as a starter to see if his command can improve and a third pitch can emerge, but as he’ s currently constituted, Birdsong looks more like a good middle reliever.

24. William Kempner, SIRP

Drafted: 3rd Round, 2022 from Gonzaga (SFG)
Age 22.0 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 222 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops
55/55 60/60 35/55 93-96 / 97

Kempner throws from the kind of true side-arm slot that is typically associated with guys who rely on the funky delivery to make up for a lack of velocity, but in Kempner’s case, the velocity sits 94-95 mph and has touched triple digits, making for a much more uncomfortable hitting experience. He started the season in the Low-A rotation, but shifted to a bullpen role there before being promoted to High-A, where he’s been deployed exclusively as a single-inning reliever. In addition to the rise-ball four-seamer, he spins a slider with occasional late life and also throws a seldom-seen changeup, but his command over the whole slew is spotty, so single-inning relief seems his likely long-term role.

25. Ryan Walker, SIRP

Drafted: 31th Round, 2018 from Washington State (SFG)
Age 27.6 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops
55/55 50/55 50/50 93-96 / 97

Walker is a funky, cross-bodied sinker/slider guy who went from sitting 91-92 mph in 2021 to sitting 93-96 in 2022, and that’s where he has continued to sit this season. He has a disorienting, low-slot, cross-bodied delivery typical of a righty relief specialist. His fastball works with sink and tail and Walker throws plenty of strikes, while his slider sits at 83 mph and has big lateral action. It isn’t a dynamic bat-misser so much as it and his heater stay off of barrels and generate an above-average rate of groundballs. He debuted in May and has pitched very well in a middle-inning role. Every bullpen needs a funky righty like this, and Walker’s velo retention makes him a middle inning option who should be rostered in perpetuity rather than as an up/down guy.

26. José Cruz, SIRP

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (SFG)
Age 23.1 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 178 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Changeup Cutter Command Sits/Tops
60/60 60/70 40/45 30/35 94-97 / 98

Cruz was 2022’s Randy Rodriguez, a low-level reliever who had a big enough breakout to merit a 40-man spot even though he’s still a sizable distance from the big leagues and may not see action there until 2024. Cruz looks like he came off the Camilo Doval assembly line. He works from the first base side of the rubber and has a cross-bodied, drop-and-drive delivery that creates uphill angle on his fastball; his low arm slot adds exploding tail to the pitch, but as of yet, he cannot control it. His fastball averages 96 mph and he pairs it with a heavily-used upper-80s changeup that has similar tailing shape and inconsistent (but nasty) sink. He posted strikeout rates near 40% at each of his last three stops using just these two pitches and was promoted to Richmond a few weeks before list publication. The changeup could be a real monster at peak, as the offering garnered a 50% whiff rate in 2022. There’s late-inning potential here, though Cruz is further away from the bigs than some of the other relievers in this system because he’s so wild. Many of his heaters sail on him, and his changeup locations are all over the place. We’re still betting an on-mound athlete of this quality will figure things out enough to work in middle relief, and if things really click from a command standpoint, Cruz has set-up man potential.

27. Brett Wisely, 2B

Drafted: 15th Round, 2019 from Gulf Coast CC (FL) (TBR)
Age 24.1 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
45/50 40/40 30/40 40/40 45/50 50

Wisely was a Day Three junior college pick who hit his way to the Rays upper levels and put himself in the mix for a 40-man roster spot. He was acquired in exchange for skinny, sweet-swinging outfielder Tristan Peters ahead of the offseason 40-man deadline and rostered by the Giants. Wisely is a versatile infielder with above-average feel for contact and below-average power. He can turn on inner-third fastballs with lift (the bend in his lower half when he really cuts loose is gorgeous), and Wisely will let heaters away from him travel deep before driving them the other way. These two avenues are how he does most of his extra-base damage.

It would have been easier for him to play a viable shortstop if defenders were still able to shift. Wisely is good at making plays moving to his left but doesn’t have the arm strength to make throws from the hole. He’s a 50 defender at second and third base, but just a 40 at short. He’s also had some time in the outfield, in left while he was with Tampa and now in center. He hasn’t taken to the position like a fish to water, but it’s far too early in the experiment to squash it. He’s still playing center field on occasion now that he’s been optioned to Sacramento, but here Wisely is projected as mostly a 2B/3B/1B part-time piece who fits nicely with the Giants’ righty-hitting infield contingent.

28. Diego Velasquez, 2B

Signed: International Signing Period, 2021 from Venezuela (SFG)
Age 19.7 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 150 Bat / Thr S / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/50 40/45 20/40 50/50 40/55 45

Velasquez is a switch-hitting teenage middle infielder who has shown an ability to handle both sides of the infield as well as both sides of the plate this season at Low-A, where he’s performing well above the league average despite being several years younger than most of the other players on the field. Not only has he maintained walk and strikeout rates better than most, he’s also added more power to his profile, hitting five home runs so far this season after having just one professional dinger on his resume dating back to 2021. Velasquez has a lovely low-ball swing and above-average bat speed. Almost all of his contact is coming in the bottom of the zone, and it’s possible he’ll struggle with high velo at upper levels. For now, though, he’s really hitting and has definitely improved his twitch and conditioning over the last couple of seasons. His arm is probably a better fit at second base, so he’ll have to keep producing at the plate.

29. Liam Simon, SIRP

Drafted: 5th Round, 2022 from Notre Dame (SFG)
Age 22.7 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
60/60 50/60 30/40 30/40 95-97 / 99

An arm strength relief prospect from Notre Dame, Simon came out of the 2023 gates throwing gas, sitting 95-97 mph even as he was stretched out to work as many as four innings. He needs to develop a third pitch, but the fastball/slider combo that drives many a relief profile is already here, and Simon didn’t pitch a ton in college and had already taken a leap from a strike-throwing standpoint before he went on the IL with an elbow sprain in May. He was shifted to the 60-day IL in June, but there has been no public update as to his status. Simon still projects as a solid middle reliever here, but things were off to a pretty good start before the injury.

30. Jairo Pomares, LF

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Cuba (SFG)
Age 22.9 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/30 55/60 35/50 50/50 30/50 50

Pomares has had a plethora of injury issues during his pro career, most recently leg and back injuries that have kept him out for the first half of 2023; he began rehabbing on the complex not long before list publication. Pomares is still a prospect because of his power, but he struck out a whopping 32% of the time in 2022, his second straight dramatic uptick in Ks upon promotion to a new level. His z-contact% was in Joey Gallo and Sam Hilliard territory, which is a red flag when it’s happening against A-ball arms instead of big leaguers. But Pomares has big power and gets to it consistently via the lift in his swing. He can spray wall-threatening fly balls to all fields with the flick of his wrists and he has 34 bombs in about 170 full-season games, most all of them before he turned 22. As a left field defender with a hit tool this flimsy, the hope is that Pomares can be a 45 FV platoon bat, but his contact rates suggest there’s enough bust risk to round that projection down.

31. Erik Miller, MIRP

Drafted: 4th Round, 2019 from Stanford (PHI)
Age 25.4 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/55 50/55 60/60 30/30 93-95 / 99

Acquired from the Phillies before the 2023 season in exchange for hard-throwing reliever Yunior Marte, Miller is a relatively stiff lefty with the repertoire depth of a starter and the command and mechanical look of a reliever. He’s had a two-tick velo spike this season under the Giants’ dev umbrella, as well as an uptick in his slider usage. Miller’s arm slot and release varies frequently, especially when he throws his changeup, for which he has a tendency to drop down to a noticeably lower angle. His changeup has big fading action and is going to be a bat-missing big league offering anyway; it’s easily his best pitch. The Giants assigned him to Double-A to start the season and quickly promoted him to Sacramento, where he continues to fan guys but has seen his BB/9 balloon above seven. Miller is a well below-average athlete, and it’s possible his lack of strikes will force him into an up/down role rather than a permanent roster spot, but his repertoire depth would otherwise allow him to profile pretty comfortably as a good reliever.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Venezuela (SFG)
Age 24.1 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 230 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/35 55/55 30/40 20/20 50/60 60

Genovés is a glove-first backup catching prospect who shares similarities with Erik Kratz. He has a huge frame and presents a giant, stable target to his pitchers. Some catchers have a tough time blocking balls while receiving on one knee, but Genovés’ base is so wide that he rarely lets anything by him. He’s blocking better now than in previous years and shows uncommon athleticism for a catcher his size, as well as a strong, accurate arm. Genovés often starts to exit his crouch before the pitch reaches him, routinely pops below two seconds, and sprinkles in back-picks to first and third base. He is a confident and dangerous sniper.

As Genovés has climbed the minor league ladder, his offensive production has dipped. He’s still walking and reaching base regularly enough to make up for some of his power drought, but not enough to be a primary catcher. His swing relies more on physique than physics, with Genovés generating power by brute force rather than feel for the barrel. He started the season at Triple-A again this year and has posted a similar stat line to the one that resulted in his being demoted last year. Big-framed, power-over-hit catchers are the sort who break late, and that’s still in play for Genovés, but it’s more likely he’s just an eventually solid backup.

35+ FV Prospects

33. Sean Hjelle, MIRP

Drafted: 2nd Round, 2018 from Kentucky (SFG)
Age 26.1 Height 6′ 11″ Weight 228 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/50 55/55 40/40 50/50 92-96 / 97

Hjelle has gone up and down from San Francisco to Sacramento in 2023, starting for the River Cats and working in multi-inning relief for the Giants. Hjelle is himself a giant, and while it seems an easy catch-all to liken him to a giraffe, his low-effort, upright mechanics have unmistakably giraffian qualities. He maintains stilt-like height throughout the duration of his tall-and-fall delivery, and he throws from a true three-quarters arm slot that generates huge downhill plane. Hjelle has had a little velo spike in 2023. His curve is the slowest-spinning curveball in the big leagues, averaging about 1,850 rpm compared to a big league average of over 2,500. The Giants altered his release of the pitch this season, and it now has more drop than before and has garnered whiffs at a better-than-average rate despite its lack of spin. A tertiary changeup rounds out a spot starter’s mix, but Hjelle is more likely to work in long relief over time as his options run dry. His size disorients hitters, especially on first blush, and his tendency to generate groundballs makes him a candidate to come in with traffic on the bases, get a grounder, then work another inning.

34. Cole Waites, SIRP

Drafted: 18th Round, 2019 from West Alabama (SFG)
Age 25.1 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops
70/70 45/45 30/30 96-99 / 100

After experiencing delays to his development – first the 2020 shutdown, then a 2021 meniscus tear – Waites rocketed from High-A to the majors in 2022, with stops at each level in between. Each promotion saw an uptick in walks and a downtick in strikeouts, but never to such a concerning degree as to prevent his further promotion. He dealt with a lat strain during 2023 spring camp and his walk uptick has climbed to a scarier place, while Waites’ velo as he’s been up and down (mostly down at Sacramento) so far this season hasn’t quite been what we’ve seen at peak. Waites throws plenty of strikes with his triple-digit-touching fastball, which misses bats up in the zone and punishes righties on the inside of the plate. His slider quality and command are not especially good (he only throws it 20% of the time), and much of the swing-and-miss with his breaking ball is the result of the batter gearing up for the fastball. But Waites hasn’t had a ton of reps — his 41 innings in 2022 were easily the most of his career. We think he’ll be able to tighten his breaking ball and command enough to be a stable middle-inning option.

35. Melvin Adón, SIRP

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2014 from Dominican Republic (SFG)
Age 29.1 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 246 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops
70/70 60/60 20/20 98-100 / 102

Maybe it’s silly to put a 29-year-old who hasn’t been healthy or thrown strikes for most of the last four years on this list, but can you imagine if Adón gets called up to the big leagues, throws 102 mph, and isn’t on a single prospect list? He sat 98-100 and touched 102 during a complex rehab outing not long before list publication, and his pitch usage has shifted to become more slider-focused early in the count. He still can’t throw strikes with his fastball, but he might not have to if he can get ahead of hitters with his slider and then rush his heater past them once he’s in two-strike counts. Adón could be late-inning lightning in a bottle, and even if things only click for a narrow window of time, if it’s the right window (a late-season playoff chase or the postseason), it could be a big deal. Plus, it’d be interesting to see what might happen if Adón experienced a late-career change of scenery.

36. R.J. Dabovich, SIRP

Drafted: 4th Round, 2020 from Arizona State (SFG)
Age 24.5 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 208 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Command Sits/Tops
55/55 70/70 40/45 94-97 / 99

Dabovich’s dazzling 2021 debut season, during which he put up a nearly 50% K-rate, landed him on a fast-track. In 2022, however, his control faltered drastically, and he ended the year walking an inordinate number of hitters at Triple-A. His velocity was still good, with his fastball in the mid-to-high-90s, and he paired the heater with a mid-80s curve that has plus vertical movement. He creates deception with a high arm slot that creates enough downhill plane that it forces him to command the baseball to the top of the zone, though Dabo took a step backwards during his sophomore season in that regard. A scout source who saw Dabovich considered his stuff to be a little flat out of the gates in the spring of 2023, and it turns out he might have been hurt. He threw just 2.2 innings at Triple-A before being shut down with a hip injury that has proven serious enough for his 2023 season to be over. Having already slid a bit since being evaluated as a future set-up man, he will now have to make up for lost time when he returns. Considering that he looked like a future set-up man at peak but is now more of a “wait-and-see” prospect due to the injury, it will be interesting to see if the Giants 40-man Dabo this offseason.

37. Angel Guzman, LF

Signed: International Signing Period, 2023 from Dominican Republic (SFG)
Age 17.6 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/50 40/50 20/50 50/50 30/50 50

A stocky 17-year-old DSL outfielder, Guzman has an exciting present contact and power blend but isn’t especially projectable. His top-hand driven swing covers a lot of the plate and his overall package is seasoned with a pretty good idea of the strike zone. He’ll have to hit all the way up the ladder as a likely left fielder, but Guzman is off to a good start.

Drafted: 1st Round, 2017 from Leadership Christian HS (PR) (SFG)
Age 23.8 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 188 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
40/40 55/55 45/45 55/45 45/50 55

The 2022 season was easily Ramos’ worst as a pro, as he posted a .227/.305/.349 line and a 65 wRC+ (yeesh) with Sacramento. He bounced between the Giants’ big league squad and Triple-A over the course of the first month of the 2023 season, struggling at both levels, before being placed on the 60-day IL with a right oblique strain in May. Ramos has filled out in a way that has impacted his mobility, which perhaps should have been anticipated given that he has had a bowling ball build since high school. He’s slowed down to the point where not only is he a corner-only defender, but he’s not an especially good one right now. Combine that with below-average plate discipline and in-zone contact ability, and you’re looking at a fringe big leaguer. Ramos still has dangerous power and tends to inside-out the baseball to right field in the air with impressive force. He struggles with high fastballs and swings over top of secondary pitches, including many that finish in the strike zone. If he was a lock to get to his power reliably, then Ramos would still profile in a prominent big league role, but he tends to drive a lot of his contact into the ground. His average launch angle is below 10 degrees and his barrel rate is comfortably below the big league average even though his exit velos are pretty big (his hard-hit rate was 45% in 2022, for example). If that power can be actualized, then we’re talking about a short-end platoon outfielder. If not, it’s tough to project a consistent big league role for Ramos.

39. Eric Silva, SP

Drafted: 4th Round, 2021 from Laguna Hills HS (SFG)
Age 20.7 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
40/45 40/45 55/60 40/50 30/50 91-94 / 96

Silva’s smallish frame scared teams out of first-round consideration, but the Giants selected him in the fourth round and signed him to a bonus more in keeping with the early second. What Silva lacks in size he makes up for in terms of athleticism and stuff. His fastball settles in at 91-94 mph and can touch 95-96 at times, but the best part of his arsenal is a pair of power breaking balls, with both his slider and curveball featuring plenty of spin and movement. He has encountered real resistance at High-A this year as his command has become more of an issue. Silva is young but unlikely to throw much harder than his current low-90s heat, so command is going to be an important part of his profile. We still love the shape of his breaking stuff and his on-mound athleticism, but his strike-throwing regression demands he be repositioned into an FV tier that indicates he’s still a developmental flier.

40. Jack Choate, MIRP

Drafted: 9th Round, 2022 from Assumption Col (SFG)
Age 22.2 Height 6′ 6″ Weight 249 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
30/30 50/55 50/55 35/55 90-92 / 94

Choate is a tall lefty who slings from a low three-quarter arm slot. He struck out 67 Low-A hitters across 47 innings to start the 2023 season, earning him a promotion to Eugene. He has thus far posted the highest K/9 and lowest WHIP of any pitcher in the Giants minor league system with at least 50 innings under his belt. His four-seamer sits 91 mph, but his low, long-limbed release point makes it harder for hitters to pick up than the velo would suggest. He rounds out his arsenal with a high-70s changeup that has earned him above-average chase and a sweeping slider that he particularly favors against lefties. Choate’s command has steadily improved over the course of the season so far, and he typically works three to four innings at a time as a starter, but he looks more the part of a deceptive “look” reliever unless he sees a significant velocity increase.

41. Ben Madison, SIRP

Drafted: 9th Round, 2018 from Central Baptist (SFG)
Age 25.8 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops
50/50 60/60 30/30 92-95 / 96

Madison has trudged through the low minors, but his slider-heavy attack is enabling him to miss bats. The cadence of his delivery makes him tough to time, and his 82-85 mph slider, which he’s throwing roughly half the time as of list publication, is as plus pitch. His feel for locating it is better than that of his fastball, and as Madison’s slider usage has increased, his walks have come down into a reasonable area for a relief prospect. His control of his 92-95 mph heater is much worse and will likely limit him to an up/down role unless it improves.

42. Tanner Kiest, SIRP

Drafted: 28th Round, 2014 from Chaffey College (CA) (PHI)
Age 28.8 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops
60/60 50/55 30/30 96-97 / 99

Kiest has been at it for nearly a decade. He was a 28th round pick of the Phillies in 2014 and was released after two seasons. After a few years away from affiliated ball, he signed with the Twins in 2018 and pitched just 14 innings at Cedar Rapids before he was released again. Since then, he’s pitched in Mexico and Independent ball, and the Giants added him to their system at the very end of May. Kiest is working in the mid-to-upper-90s with hair on it, and he’ll occasionally show you an above-average slider. His control is pretty fringy and finding release consistency will be key to his journey continuing through the upper minors.

43. Gerelmi Maldonado, SIRP

Signed: International Signing Period, 2021 from Venezuela (SFG)
Age 19.5 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Command Sits/Tops
50/60 40/55 20/40 95-97 / 98

Now in his third pro season, Maldonado is among the harder throwers in the Giants system as he continues to start at Low-A San Jose. The emphasis is on “thrower” in this case, as the youngster has very little feel for location, hence his projection as an eventual reliever. Maldonado is sitting 96 mph and has a plus slider as a 19-year-old starter. If he’s shifted into the bullpen, he might have even better stuff in the tank airing things out one inning at a time. His feel for location needs to progress even for him to be a viable reliever, and there’s risk that never happens. He’s a relatively projectionless, 40-grade athlete whose arm action is already pretty short, so there’s no obvious path toward significant progression in this area.

Undrafted Free Agent, 2020 (SFG)
Age 24.8 Height 5′ 9″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/55 40/40 30/35 55/55 40/45 45

At the start of this season, Auerbach was still among the most fun Giants prospects to watch. While his swing-and-miss tended to be higher than the big league average, most of those whiffs came on breaking balls below the zone and were likely more attributable to well-executed pitch placement than a bad approach on Auerbach’s part. His flat swing was still occasionally punished by fastballs up at his hands, but the athleticism and effort in his swing, along with the lower-half adjustments he’d made since his college days, had largely quieted the louder concerns about his in-zone coverage. But so far in 2023, those concerns have come roaring back, and he’s struggled to make meaningful hard contact. Auerbach started the season at Double-A and posted a wRC+ of just 11 over 45 games before being sent back down to High-A.

He’s still a defensive Swiss Army knife, though. Auerbach spent most of his time in the field in 2022 at second base, with sound footwork and quick hands, but he’s proven himself a viable option virtually anywhere. When he wasn’t manning the keystone last year, he spent time in the hot corner (though his arm is better suited for the right side of the infield), and his speed and athleticism allow him to cover ground in the outfield (he saw time in all three outfield spots). On top of that, he has a background as a catcher, having regularly posted pop-times under two seconds while at ‘Bama. In fact, in 2023, he’s seen more time behind the dish than at any other defensive position. But even with the lowered offensive expectations that come with a catching role, Auerbach needs to show lasting improvements to his ability to make impactful contact in order to justify a big league roster spot, and he’s taken steps in the wrong direction so far this year.

45. Bryce Johnson, CF

Drafted: 6th Round, 2017 from Sam Houston St (SFG)
Age 27.7 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr S / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
45/45 45/45 35/40 60/60 50/50 60

Johnson can really run and is one of the few viable defensive center fielders in the upper levels of the Giants org. He was up and down several times in 2022 but not enough to exhaust rookie eligibility. While Johnson was outrighted and unclaimed last offseason, he does enough stuff to play a small role on a big league roster, mostly because of his speed and defensive fit. Johnson’s compact swing from both sides of the plate will allow him to spell platoon-vulnerable outfielders and offer an in-game option if the manager needs a ball in play or a pinch runner. He doesn’t have the offensive punch to profile in an impact role, but Johnson’s toolkit is diverse enough for him to have situational impact in a lot of baseball games as the team’s fifth outfielder.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2019 from Panama (SFG)
Age 20.7 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/50 40/45 20/30 20/20 20/40 45

Sugastey moved up to High-A this season, and while he’s hitting and slugging more than he did last year, he’s walking much less and his chase rates have ticked up considerably, nearing 40% as of list publication. But Sugastey is still a young catching prospect with precocious bat-to-ball skills. Aside from his ball-blocking (which is very poor), his defense isn’t much worse than the typical 20-year-old catcher’s. He isn’t especially twitchy, which also applies to Sugastey’s look in the batter’s box, but our rule of thumb is to let catchers burn slowly, especially if they have a meaningful offensive skill. Sugastey is still more of a hit tool flier at a premium position than he is an actual prospect, though. He’s definitely not a postseason 40-man add. Instead, you hope he takes a step next year and pushes for a spot.

47. Onil Perez, C

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2019 from Dominican Republic (SFG)
Age 20.8 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 187 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/55 35/40 20/30 20/20 30/40 40

Perez is a young catcher who has made a ton of contact in the lower levels. He has a quick bat and sprays the ball to all fields, but he is a relatively projectionless athlete without much power right now. Most importantly, Perez has some clear things to work on defensively. He’s a very good young receiver with deft hands around the edge of the zone, but his throwing isn’t nearly where it would need to be for him to profile as a big league catcher, and neither is his ground game. Either Perez needs to find a way to add power, or he needs to improve these aspects of his defense to be any sort of big leaguer. If he can do either of those, great; the contact foundation he already has gives him a good shot to be a meaningful big league catcher, and/or will enable his power to play if/when it arrives. Neither seems imminent, but Perez is still an interesting low-level prospect at a premium position.

Signed: International Signing Period, 2021 from Venezuela (STL)
Age 19.8 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 168 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops
45/55 40/55 20/50 93-94 / 96

Avendano originally signed with the Cardinals as an outfielder and was released after the 2021 season, so he’s doing the Reverse David Peralta and now trying to make it as a pitcher. He moved to the mound and was signed in the fall of 2022, so 2023 is his first pro experience as a pitcher. Avendano is a little bit undersized but there’s plus velocity here, as he’s sitting 93-94 mph and touching 96 in the Complex League. His arm action is long, his command is scattered, and his changeup is inconsistent, but for a young player who just moved to the mound, there’s exciting raw developmental material here in Avendano’s arm strength and athleticism.

Drafted: 5th Round, 2015 from Dwyer HS (FL) (NYM)
Age 27.1 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 181 Bat / Thr R / L FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/50 60/60 45/45 45/45 92-95 / 98

Before he was dealt as part of the Darin Ruf 러프 trade, Szapucki had a promising stint with Triple-A Syracuse, during which he issued 87 strikeouts over 64 innings, and he improved his strikeout and walk rates at Triple-A after arriving in the Giants system. His time at Triple-A Sacramento was interspersed with major league innings that were much better than the few he pitched for the Mets. In 13.2 innings of relief with San Francisco, he struck out nearly 30% of opposing hitters against a walk rate of just 7.4%, giving up fewer hits across those 10 appearances than he had in the two nightmare outings he’d hurled as a Met.

Szapucki throws a mid-90s four-seamer (up two ticks from 2021) from a low, lefty arm slot (the Giants sure do have a thing for low-slot pitchers), and he creates uphill ride and run, which hitters need a few looks at to adjust to. His arm slot also helps his curveball work as a back-foot offering against righties. He throws it 34% of the time for a 53% whiff rate. Both his breaking ball and changeup can miss bats, but Szapucki doesn’t throw them for strikes consistently. He lost feeling in his left fingers this spring, was shut down, and was later determined to need thoracic outlet surgery, which has a spotty track record as far as its effect on pitchers who’ve undergone the procedure. Healthy Szapucki would be a solid middle-inning lefty with the tools to get hitters of either handedness out. His current injury slides him a tier below where he’d rank purely on ability.

Other Prospects of Note

Grouped by type and listed in order of preference within each category.

Young, High-Variance Guys
Alix Hernandez, RHP
Jose Ramos, UTIL
Guillermo Williamson, 1B
Derwin Laya, 3B
Manuel Mercedes, RHP

Hernandez is a spin rate darling on the complex whose fastball has crept into the mid-90s for some scouts, but was more in the low 90s on Eric’s look. Ramos is an undersized multi-positional prospect with a well-rounded toolset. Williamson is hitting the ball very hard on the complex, but he’s also striking out a lot. Laya looks like he should be hitting the ball hard because of his frame and bat speed, but the hit tool is light. Mercedes looked like a potential mid-rotation starter on the complex two years ago, but he’s backed up over the last couple of years and is now a sinkerballer who struggles to miss bats.

Relievers
Carson Ragsdale, RHP
Will Bednar, RHP
Hunter Dula, RHP
Mat Olsen, RHP
Seth Lonsway, LHP
Nick Avila, RHP
Sam Delaplane, RHP
Luis Moreno, RHP
Julio Rodriguez, RHP
Nick Swiney, LHP

Ragsdale sits in the mid-90s early in outings and has a huge breaking ball, but he has unfortunately been hurt a ton. Bednar hasn’t thrown hard or thrown strikes for a couple of years now, but his breaking ball is still good. Between him and Matt Mikulski, the top of the Giants’ 2021 draft class is looking pretty rough. Lonsway, Olsen and Dula have riding fastballs and breaking balls that flash; Dula throws a bit harder than the other two, but Lonsway’s curveball is the best pitch of that group. Avila was a White Sox Rule 5 pick who was sent back to the Giants. He’s a kitchen sink reliever. Delaplane had one of the more dominant sliders in the minors before a TJ cost him several seasons. He’s back now, but his peak velo hasn’t returned. He’s a low-90s reliever with a big slider and below-average control. Moreno is sitting 95 but pitches backwards off his changeup and slider. He’s been in the lower levels for several years. Rodriguez has elite breaking ball spin rates and a fastball that plays down due to shape and poor control. Swiney has moved to the bullpen and is sitting 89.

Starter Depth
Nick Zwack, LHP
Nick Sinacola, RHP
Carson Seymour, RHP
Kai-Wei Teng, RHP
Ryan Murphy, RHP

Most of this group has a sneaky, low-90s heater (Zwack, Sinacola, Murphy) that they command as well as a good breaking ball, but not really the third pitch needed to lock them in as a fifth starter. Seymour sits 93-94 and has good raw breaking stuff, but it plays down due to poor command. Teng has begun to take a slider-first approach and is sitting 91-93.

Can You Play Center Field?
Tyler Fitzgerald, 2B/3B
Hayden Cantrelle, 2B
Dalton Guthrie, CF

This entire group has seen a little bit of time in center field lately. Each of them is a good upper-level org player who needs a premium position on their scout card to hold down a big league role. Cantrelle and Fitzgerald lack the arm for short. Guthrie used to play 2B/3B but has focused solely on the outfield lately.

System Overview

Are the Giants good at developing arms or not? On the one hand, they seem to have a steady stream of guys who pop out of almost nowhere. On the other, many of their high draft picks and exciting young pitching prospects have trended down. San Francisco’s penchant for low-release arms is evident throughout the system, often pitchers with lower arm slots rather than drop-and-drive types who create backspinning axis on their fastballs. The last couple of the Giants’ drafts have been very pitcher-heavy after their 2019 draft really diversified risk across many different types of players. Many of the guys from 2019 haven’t worked out, but that draft it felt like the Giants stayed open and took opportunistic shots on several over-slot players, while the last few look like San Francisco went in with a premeditated, pitching-heavy agenda. That’s all speculation, of course.

The international scouting department continues to hit things pretty big. Ryan Reckley aside, the Giants’ track record of scouting international bats is quite strong recently. Rayner Arias looked very, very good in Arizona before he went back to the Dominican Republic for the DSL season, and among the non-Top 100 prospects currently on the list, he’s easily the one with the best chance of taking a leap over the next year or so. Hopefully he’ll come back to the states for instructs (if the Giants participate — they did not last year) and get an opportunity against more advanced arms than he saw during A-ball minor league games in the spring.

Overall, this is an above-average contingent of young players. A lot of it is being driven by the big league ready (or nearly so) bats at the very top. Even if the guys below the Luis Matos/Patrick Bailey/Marco Luciano tier only turn into role players, they each have a premium tool (Casey Schmitt’s defense, Vaun Brown’s speed, Wade Meckler’s contact) and therefore clear ways to make a big league impact. The system is also deep on pitching despite the speed bumps some of the higher-profile arms have experienced. There are 28 pitchers on this list. Many of them have warts, even Kyle Harrison, but even if the legit starter candidates (mostly the names at the top of the 40 FV tier) fall short, they all have likely bullpen utility.

The players in this group are better for buttressing a contending team with in-house depth (especially all the pitching) than they are to trade from at the deadline. The prospects in the 45 FV through 40+ FV tier are all good players, but we don’t think any of them is headlining a monster deal. The Giants are in the thick of the NL West race, and some of the other clubs in the division have more ammunition to make a big time trade without sacrificing someone from the big league roster.





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tz
7 months ago

I think, regardless of where they are in the playoff chase, the Giants should call Harrison up and use him as a MIRP. Looking at his walk rates this year, I have to wonder if pitching in the PCL might be counterproductive to his development.