Three of the top seven prospects in the Giants’ system are players the organization signed out of Latin America: shortstop Marco Luciano, outfielder Luis Matos and shortstop Aeverson Arteaga. The club’s international class in 2023 centers around two big signings, but there are more names to know and sleepers to watch from this year’s group.
Top Of The Class
The top bonus in this year’s class for the Giants went to Rayner Arias, a 17-year-old Dominican outfielder who signed for $2,697,500. Arias is the son of Pablo Arias, a longtime scout in the Dominican Republic, so he grew up around the game. At 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, Arias has big power from the right side. Scouts highest on him liked his ability to hit against live pitching as well, but it’s likely a power-over-hit profile, with lift to his swing to drive the ball in the air with loud contact when he finds the sweet spot and what should be plus raw power in the future. While a lot of scouts viewed Arias as a pure corner outfielder, the Giants have been playing him in center field. He’s an average runner with a strong arm and more than likely still ends up in right field, but he’s a good athlete and his defensive instincts are good for his age, giving him a chance to continue in center field.
The second big signing for the Giants in this class was Yosneiker Rivas, a 17-year-old Venezuelan shortstop the Giants gave $997,500. He has proven to be advanced for his age, making a strong early impression to the point where he’s in Arizona now for extended spring training. He’s a skillful, instinctive player with a good chance to stick at shortstop. He’s 5-foot-10, 160 pounds with a knack for getting on base thanks to a mature offensive approach. Rivas doesn’t expand the strike zone much, using a short, efficient lefthanded swing to make frequent contact with good bat control, a line-drive approach and gap power. A fringe-average runner, Rivas isn’t the explosive, quick-twitch athlete some teams look for in a shortstop, but his instincts at the position and clean defense for his age are apparent. He reads hops well, takes good angles to the ball, has good hands and a plus arm.
Names To Know
Chen-Hsun Lee, RHP, Taiwan: Lee has been the biggest bonus signing out of Taiwan so far among any club this year, joining the Giants for $647,500. A 21-year-old righthander, Lee had some arm soreness that has him shut down now and rehabbing over the next couple months, and he had Tommy John surgery after high school before coming back to pitch in college. He’s 6-foot-4, 195 pounds with a chance to continue as a starter but could end up in relief. He runs his fastball up to 95 mph, mixing it with a good splitter and a breaking ball that will need more reps once he’s healthy.
Carlos Concepcion, OF, Dominican Republic: The Giants signed Concepcion for $147,500. He’s a 17-year-old with a strong frame (6-foot-1, 190 pounds) and big power from the right side, with his raw power standing out more than his pure hitting ability right now. Power is the carrying tool for Concepcion, who fits best in left field.
The Giants have added more than 20 players so far in their class, with the rest signing for less than $100,000. Among the lower-bonus players to watch as sleepers, one is 17-year-old shortstop Anthony Tandron, who was born in Cuba but has been living in Mexico for several years and is a Mexican citizen. Signed for $77,500, Tandron is a lanky 6-foot-3, 175 pounds with a loose, low-effort swing from the right side, good feel for hitting and overall game awareness for his age.
Another sleeper the Giants signed from Mexico, Carlos Gutierrez, got $32,500. Gutierrez is an 18-year-old who fits at second base or center field as an athletic player with plus speed. He’s a 5-foot-10, 175-pound lefthanded hitter who was one of Mexico’s top offensive performers in the U-18 World Cup Americas Qualifier in Mexico in November 2022, when he hit .414/.485/.517 in 29 at-bats.