San Francisco Giants Top 10 Midseason Prospects
Heading into the first weekend after the all-star break, the Giants sat in fourth place in the NL West. Despite that, this season has a chance to be the bounceback the team needed after a brutal 2017. The Giants stood two games above .500, a far cry from last year’s 64-98 record that earned them the second pick in the 2018 draft.
It also leaves them in a difficult nether-world. San Francisco is only four games out of first place, but it is also among a logjam of teams battling for either the wild card or NL West title. The Dodgers have added Manny Machado to their lineup and are likely to make further moves. The Giants traded pitching prospect Jason Bahr to the Rangers as the price of sending away the salaries of outfielder Austin Jackson and righthander Cory Gearrin. That move clears enough salary to ensure the Giants stay below the luxury tax threshold this year, but it does nothing to clear enough space to make any major acquisitions.
In other words, while the Giants may tweak around the periphery of their roster, a playoff push will rely on getting a boost from the now healthy Johnny Cueto and Madison Bumgarner. The Giants are reaping the draft benefits of picking second in the draft as Joey Bart and Sean Hjelle immediately place among the best prospects in the system. The Giants willingness to spend big on shortstop Marco Luciano on July 2 gives the team another potential impact bat.
Because of those moves, the farm system has more talent at the top than it has in recent years, but the depth has taken a hit thanks to a busy offseason of trades.
1. Joey Bart, C
San Francisco Giants
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- RHP Jose Marte has always had plenty of velocity (94-97 mph at his best) but even more encouragingly his control and secondary offerings have improved this season. He is 6-4, 3.84 at low Class A Augusta.
- RHP Ray Black was dropped from the 40-man roster and designated for assignment last year, seemingly felled by his long list of injuries. Instead he bounced back this year to earn his first callup to the majors. Black still can touch 100 mph, but he’s learned that dialing back to the high 90s helps him control his fastball better. If he can stay healthy and improve his below-average control his fastball/slider combo could make him a setup man.
- RHP Tyler Beede reached San Francisco for two poor starts, and his always-shaky fastball command has gotten worse this year. His lack of fastball command has kept him from being able to handle a starting role, and now the Giants are seeing if a move to the bullpen can provide a Kyle Crick-style resurgence.
- OF Sandro Fabian’s wild, free-swinging ways have resulted in a .218/.263/.339 line at high Class A San Jose. He has always been a player whose well-rounded game stands out despite the lack of many plus tools, but for Fabian to reach expectations, he has to hit for average and get on-base to make up for his modest power, which he’s not doing.
- LHP Garrett Williams’ control problems that he seemed to tame last year returned this season with 45 walks in 54 innings as a starter at Double-A Richmond. A move to the bullpen has arrested the worst of his control issues and may be an indicator of his future role.
- C Aramis Garcia has long been known as a bat-first catcher. His glove got better this year, but his bat has disappeared, which makes for a rough trade-off. He’s batting .238/.284/.414 at Double-A Richmond, and may need a third straight year at the level next season.
- SS C.J. Hinojosa is back on the field after missing the first half of the season with an Achilles injury and a 50-game suspension for a second positive test for a drug of abuse.
- OF Heath Quinn missed a month with a hamstring injury but has returned and been productive high Class A San Jose.
- LHP Andrew Suarez has proven to be a very reliable and durable member of the Giants rotation as a rookie.
- RHP Reyes Moronta has been one of the best relievers in the Giants bullpen this year as a rookie.
- OF Austin Slater has served as a backup outfielder/pinch hitter in two stints with the big league club.
- RHP Pierce Johnson has been ineffective but he needs only one more relief appearance to exhaust his prospect eligibility.
- RHP Dereck Rodriguez has proven to be a very useful minor league free agent signing. He stepped into the Giants rotation after injuries to Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto and now needs only 3.2 more innings to graduate from prospect eligibility.