2023 San Francisco Giants Top 10 Prospects Chat

Josh Norris hosted a chat to discuss the Giants system. You can read the transcript here.

Josh Norris: Hello, Giants fans. It is chat time. Let us chat.

Cal (San Francisco):

     Who is better defensively at shortstop — Marco Luciano or Aeverson Arteaga? Any chance that the Giants might move Luciano over to second-base if Casey Schmitt will be entrenched at third-base and Arteaga as shortstop?

Josh Norris: Arteaga is the better shortstop defensively and could be a decent offensive player too. If it came to that, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Luciano shifted to second base, and his bat would profile there as well.

Raul (Mesa, Az.):

     Reggie Crawford — pitcher or hitter, or both, two years from now?

Josh Norris: Pitcher only.

Roger (Washington DC):

     Outside of Luciano and Harrison, how many potential Top 100 guys are in this TOp 10?

Josh Norris: Our Top 100 meetings should commence in earnest soon. Luciano and Harrison are slam dunks, but Schmitt might be a similarly high-percentage shot for the back of the list, too.

Roger (Washington DC):

     How did Giants feel Manuel Mercedes progressed last year? Got pushed aggressively and had some bumps, but still a pretty exciting arm.

Josh Norris: He’s got good stuff for sure, but there’s a long way to go to harness it. He puts a bit of pressure on himself and needs to improve his mobility, improve the shape of his fastball and find an effective weapon to get more chase swings.

Frederick (Boston):

     Hi Josh, thank you for the chat today! Eric Silva seems like a very behind the scenes prospect as his stats haven’t matched his excitement yet. Can you shed more light on what the Giants like about him and what propels him to the top 10? Also, is there room for him to grow into more than just a back-end starter?

Josh Norris: Silva is a classic guy whose stuff doesn’t quite match up with the results. Scouts inside and outside the organization liked his pitch mix, athleticism and demeanor, but he did get hit hard in SJ. One big culprit was the crudeness of his sequencing. Specifically, if a pitch works one time, he might fall in love with it and throw it more often, regardless of whether it’s optimal for that particular situation. That kind of thing obviously leads to problems and was a contributing factor in his numbers this past season.

John (NJ):

     Thanks for the chat! Is there any hope for Jairo Pomares or Luis Toribio?

Josh Norris: Pomares has some interesting characteristics in his favor but he’ll need to tweak his approach to make them play more often. He hits the ball plenty hard but is uber aggressive and has one real gear—damage—at the plate that gets him into trouble. Toribio struck out 35% of the time at High-A and isn’t a great defender. That’s … problematic. He’s got a lot of work to do to regain his prospect status.

Raul (Mesa, Az.):

     The Giants have two 1st round picks who were big time college hitters – Hunter Bishop and Will Wilson. Is there any hope that either dude will reach the big leagues? Are they in the top 30?

Josh Norris: I’m not going to give away whether a guy is in or out of the Top 30, but Bishop had hit tool questions coming out of the draft and they’ve only been exacerbated as a pro. Wilson’s been a bit better, but his ceiling seems closer to a 4A guy than what had previously been projected.

Zac (NYC):

     Carter Williams had a great season. Does he have a path to making the club (as a fourth outfielder I presume)? Will he make the top-30?

Josh Norris: Williams had a nice season at Eugene but as a 24-year-old with a .731 OPS at High-A, albeit in a limited sample, he likely is an organizational player.

Keefths (New York):

     What is a good comp for Kyle Harrison ? Should we be worried about his walk rates ?

Josh Norris: I don’t like doing comps, but I’ll address the second part of the question. Harrison has tremendous stuff, obviously, but a significant part of his success has to do with the deception created in his delivery. When I saw him this year, the Squirrels were facing Somerset and I had a planned interview with Anthony Volpe. He faced Harrison in the Futures Game too, so I asked him what makes him so tough for hitters. Specifically, I brought up the fact that he gets so low in his delivery (his back knee sometimes scrapes the mound) and what effect that might have on a hitter. Volpe said it kind of works to change the eye level. You can see his body going low but the ball doesn’t always follow; it’s especially deceptive on high fastballs. That type of movement also hampers his command somewhat, scouts have noted, so there’s a fine line to follow in terms of development. Do you want to tweak his delivery and risk losing the deception, or do you want to leave it as-is and live with any command deficiencies. Can the needle be properly threaded to help with both? Long answer, I know, and one without a real definitive conclusion, but it kind of explains why his walk rates might always be a part of his game.

Royce (Palo Alto):

     The last few drafts seem to have had 1st round duds and good finds after that. Is it too much meddling by the front office into what the scouts think? Vice versa? Any common thread behind the misses?

Josh Norris: I wish I had a good answer for you (there are other similar questions in the queue) other than to say: Talent evaluation is extremely difficult, as is baseball in general. I do think it’s pretty interesting that the team shot the moon this past year in terms of upside with Whisenhunt and Crawford. The obvious thread there is high upside based on previous looks (and in Whisenhunt’s case, the Cape {somewhere, Geoff Pontes’ ears are burning and he doesn’t know why} but limited track record in 2022. I am a strong believer in upside over safety myself, and if those two dudes click the Giants could look quite smart in a couple of years.

Riley (San Francisco, CA):

     What’s the floor/cieling on Carson Seymour? What would the Giants want to see from him this year?

Josh Norris: Seymour is an intriguing prospect for sure, and probably the best guy the Giants got from the Mets in the Darin Ruf (the player for whom my fantasy team is named, btw). Some scouts see him as a reliever and the Giants acknowledge that his pitch mix needs to be tweaked somewhat, and the team is still working through whether they’d like to see him continue to improve his changeup or if he should add a splitter in its place. He has weapons from both sides, but there’s still work to be done in terms of tightening the command of his mix.

Zac (NYC):

     Hi there. Where are you at on Patrick Bailey? Is he destined to be a glove-first platoon, or will he hit enough to be a regular? How close was he to the top-10?

Josh Norris: I think he’s likely a glove-first backup—he still ranks as the system’s best defensive catcher—with a little bit of emergency power. He was not close at all to the Top 10.

Roger (Washington DC):

     Giants made an aggressive move sending Casey Schmitt up to Sacramento at end of year after just 30 games in Double A. Does he start there this year with legit chance to impact the major league club in 2023?

Josh Norris: I would think he does indeed start at Triple-A next year. Schmitt is a really good prospect. Lockdown defender at third base who capably handled shortstop at Eugene in Marco Luciano’s absence. (Fun side note here: In the balloting for NWL Best Tools, Schmitt got five votes for Best Defensive 3B. The other vote went to Carter Aldrete. In other words, Eugene had the hot corner on lock in 2022.) Schmitt’s offense was closer to what the team hoped they’d see when they drafted him than the early struggles he showed in Low-A. As I mentioned earlier in the chat, I think he’s probably going to make the Top 100.

Roger (Washington DC):

     What do you make of Ryan Murphy’s season. He was a surprise pop up into Top 10 last year, how far does he fall after injury plagued ’22?

Josh Norris: He fell a bit this year. The injury was certainly concerning, but he might be the opposite of Eric Silva in that he’s a pitcher whose numbers in 2021 were sparkling but his reviews from scouts were not quite the same. There’s still no real plus pitch in his mix and he’s going to have to rely on command and control to get his outs. 2023 will be a big prove-it season for Murphy.

Josh Norris: Thanks for the questions. Catch y’all in a few days for Rangers Chat.

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