San Francisco Giants 2019 Top 30 MLB Prospects Midseason Update
UPDATE: The Giants Top 30 now includes all moves made through the July 31 trade deadline.
A recent hot stretch in which the Giants won 11 out of 14 games from late June to mid-July pulled San Francisco within three games on the NL’s second wild card spot. However, the reality remains that contending this season—or next—is probably a long shot for the Giants, who instead should be focused on rebuilding around some of the young position player prospects they have in their system.
If that’s the case, and the Giants insist on being sellers at this year’s July 31 trade deadline, expect the likes of lefthander Madison Bumgarner and relievers Will Smith, Sam Dyson, Tony Watson and Mark Melancon to garner heavy interest from contenders. In an ideal world, San Francisco would acquire high-upside pitching prospects on similar timelines as top prospects Joey Bart and Heliot Ramos, both of whom are currently in the high Class A California League.
The Giants entered 2019 with one of the worst farm systems in baseball, so any infusion of promising, young talent would be a step in the right direction for a franchise that has fielded one of baseball’s oldest rosters over the past several years.
1. Joey Bart, C
The No. 2 overall pick in 2018, Bart signed with the Giants for $7.025 million, which was the largest signing bonus for a position player in draft history before Adley Rutschman, Bobby Witt Jr., and Andrew Vaughn all surpassed that figure in this year’s class. Despite missing nearly two months earlier this season due to injury, Bart is a potential middle-of-the-order bat with plus defensive ability at a premium position.
2. Heliot Ramos, OF
After a lackluster season with low Class A Augusta in 2018, albeit in his age-18 season, Ramos was pushed to the high Class A California League to begin 2019. The 19-year-old outfielder has responded well, showing the all-around offensive game and power potential that made him such a highly regarded first-round pick in 2017.
3. Marco Luciano, SS
The No. 2 international prospect in the 2018 class, Luciano may have the highest ceiling and biggest star potential of any prospect in the Giants’ system. A plus athlete with impressive actions at shortstop, Luciano has shown excellent bat speed and more-than-expected power in his professional debut in the Arizona League.
4. Hunter Bishop, OF
Bishop was the Giants’ first-round pick (No. 10 overall) in the 2019 draft after an excellent junior season at Arizona State, signing for just north of $4 million. A high-upside, potential five-tool outfielder with plus power, Bishop hit .342/.479/.748 with 22 home runs and 12 stolen bases in 57 games with the Sun Devils in 2019.
5. Mauricio Dubon, SS
Dubon has hit for more power at Triple-A, earning himself a call up to the big leagues. He may initially earn a spot in the big leagues as a utilityman who can play three infield spots.
6. Alexander Canario, OF
Yet another toolsy outfielder full of potential at the top of the Giants’ farm system, Canario smashed seven home runs and 11 extra-base hits in 10 Arizona League games before being promoted to short-season Salem Keizer on July 1. Like both Ramos and Bishop, Canario is a current center fielder who may have to move to right field in the future, although the 6-foot-1, 165-pound Canario likely has to best chance to play an above-average center field in the future.
7. Sean Hjelle, RHP
Hjelle is an athletic, 6-foot-11 righthander who draws rave reviews from evaluators for his feel for pitching and clean, repeatable delivery. While he might not have a single plus pitch, Hjelle’s above-average command allows all three of his pitches play up, including an above-average changeup that pairs nicely with his low-90s fastball.
8. Logan Webb, RHP
A hard-throwing righthander whose fastball can reach the upper 90s, Webb was suspended 80 games after testing positive for a banned, performance-enhancing drug on May 1. The 2014 fourth-round pick should be eligible to return to Double-A Richmond in late July, when he’ll continue to try and harness a high-octane arsenal that includes a potentially plus, low-80s breaking ball.
9. Gregory Santos, RHP
Santos was sidelined for nearly two months earlier this season with a right shoulder strain, but the 6-foot-2 righthander has returned to make all of his scheduled starts in June and July. When healthy, Santos features a heavy, mid-90s fastball and plus, upper-80s slider with good tilt.
10. Luis Toribio, 3B
Making his stateside debut in 2019, the 18-year-old Toribio has an advanced approach at the plate with a solid feel for the strike zone. Currently a fringe-average defender at third base, Toribio’s bat will have to carry him, but early indications are that shouldn’t be an issue.
11. Jairo Pomares, OF
Joining Luciano as the Giants’ top international signings in 2018, Pomares has shown off a fluid, compact swing from the left side in his professional debut. At 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, Pomares has above-average raw power, and he should be able to stick in center field as an above-average runner.
12. Luis Matos, OF
13. Seth Corry, LHP
14. Conner Menez, LHP
15. Logan Wyatt, 1B
16. Blake Rivera, RHP
17. Jake Wong, RHP
18. Jose Marte, RHP
19. Melvin Adon, RHP
20. Franklin Labour, OF
21. Garrett Williams, LHP
22. Aramis Garcia, C
23. Jaylin Davis, OF
24. Chris Shaw, OF
25. Diego Rincones, OF
26. Ricardo Genoves, C
27. Raffi Vizcaino, RHP
28. Tyler Fitzgerald, SS
29. Sandro Fabian, OF
30. Prelander Berroa, RHP
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OF Luis Matos wasn’t as highly regarded as Marco Luciano or Jairo Pomares when the Giants signed the trio of international free agents on July 2, 2018, but the 5-foot-11, 160-pound righthander hitter has proven to be quite the pickup. A line drive hitter with a knack for putting the ball in play, Matos has shown above-average power in the Dominican Summer League, where he was selected as a mid-season all-star. Matos is an above-average runner and should be able to stick in center field, depending on how he physically develops.
In a system relatively light on lefthanded pitching prospects, LHP Conner Menez has emerged as an intriguing option for the future. Since the beginning of the 2018 season, Menez leads all minor leaguers in strikeouts with 287 in 224.2 innings, as of July 10. His low, three-quarter arm slot gives opposing hitters fits, and his four-pitch mix features four average or better offerings. Promoted to Triple-A Sacramento on June 8, Menez could be in San Francisco by the end of the season.
OF Heath Quinn dealt with a hamstring injury earlier this season that cost him a month, but he’s struggled upon his return to high Class A San Jose—a level below where he struggled pre-injury. This is now the fourth consecutive season Quinn has spent time in the California League, and the 24-year-old currently boasts a strikeout rate nearing 30 percent.
Perhaps this is unfair, considering OF Chris Shaw is actually putting up better Triple-A numbers this year than he did in a disappointing 2018. However, the 25-year-old slugger is just a year removed from being a top-five prospect in the Giants’ system, and it’s becoming more difficult to find many, if any, evaluators that would consider Shaw a future everyday regular, despite his plus power. His persistent swing-and-miss issues, paired with his fringe-average defense in left field, make it hard to project anything more than a future bench role for Shaw.
The 58th overall pick in 2017 and son of five-time All-Star Luis Gonzalez, 3B Jacob Gonzalez has struggled to live up to his pre-draft status. The 21-year-old has spent each of the past two seasons with low Class A Augusta, where he’s struggled to regularly drive the baseball while posting an OPS hovering around .650 through more than 200 games.
C Joey Bart missed roughly seven weeks with a fractured left hand. The Georgia Tech product returned to the field on June 4 and proceeded to hit .260/.305/.468 with four home runs and seven extra-base hits over the remainder of the month.
OF Heliot Ramos missed a month of the season with an LCL sprain in his left knee, but he returned to the field on May 27. In his second game back from injury, Ramos went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs.
RHP Blake Rivera was placed on the injured list on July 9 with a back injury that could sideline him for 4-6 weeks. With that timeline, and the fact that Rivera would have to rebuild his innings and stamina, it’s possible Rivera misses the remainder of the minor league season.
OF Sandro Fabian dealt with a non-baseball related medical issue when he was shut down for several months because of an internal thyroid problem. Fabian has since undergone surgery and returned to the field, where he is playing with high Class A San Jose after a rehab assignment in the Arizona League.
The Giants’ No. 4 prospect entering this season, RHP Shaun Anderson exhausted prospect eligibility during his June 28 start against the D-backs. The 24-year-old has been solid in his first taste of the majors, boasting a 3-2, 4.48 record through his first 11 starts. His strikeout rate has been underwhelming in San Francisco—he’s struck out just 40 batters through his first 60.1 innings—but he’s done a decent job of keeping the ball in the park and limiting damage.
RHP Tyler Beede’s long, winding road as a prospect in the Giants’ system has finally come to a close. The 14th overall pick out of Vanderbilt in 2014, Beede was the Giants’ No. 1 prospect entering 2017 before struggling with his command and consistency for two consecutive seasons. After a brief, disappointing taste of the majors in 2018, Beede has made 11 appearances (nine starts) for the Giants this season, recording a 3-3, 5.44 record with 50 strikeouts and 28 walks in 51.1 innings.