BEST PLAYER: Lefthander Adalberto Mejia might not have the best stuff among Giants pitching prospects. But given his age and level, he had the most dominant first half of any starter in the system.
Though the 23-year-old, who signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2011, opened the season at Double-A Richmond for the third time, he earned a quick promotion to Triple-A Sacramento after recording a 1.94 ERA and 0.98 WHIP in 11 starts.
“Whether his fastball is 88 or 93 (mph), guys don’t square it up well,” farm director Shane Turner said. “Now his changeup has come a long way. It drops out of the zone, but he can also throw it straight for strikes. And stuff aside, his composure, his reading of swings, his conditioning have all taken strides.”
Maturity and conditioning have gone hand in hand for Mejia, who drew a 50-game suspension in 2015 for a weight-loss drug, not an anabolic agent.
BIGGEST LEAP FORWARD: High Class A San Jose shortstop C.J. Hinojosa looks like an absolute steal as last year’s 11th-round pick out of Texas.
The 21-year-old righthanded batter hit .296/.378/.442 with 36 walks and 46 strikeouts through his first 69 games.
“You come away more impressed when you sit down and talk to the kid,” Turner said. “He’s a baseball player first, and I don’t say that because he lacks skills.”
Hinjosa’s ability to work counts, make adjustments and use the whole field remind some Giants coaches of Matt Duffy. Duffy might have more pure bat speed and a stronger arm, but Hinojosa has more projectable power with the chance to stay at shortstop.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: It’s been a tough season for catchers in the system. Andrew Susac, once the Giants’ top prospect, had more issues with his surgically repaired wrist in the spring.
The most painful fate, however, belonged to San Jose catcher Aramis Garcia, the 2014 second-rounder from Florida International, who was poised for a big season before fracturing his right cheekbone on May 28.
Garcia slid feet-first into second base, but somehow his face still collided with the middle infielder’s knee. He had surgery to repair multiple fractures, and though he will make a full recovery, playing the catcher position warrants additional patience.