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Catchers often take a little longer to develop than hitters with less defensive responsibilities, but Bart’s arrival in San Francisco could end up being well-timed. Drafted second overall from Georgia Tech and signed for $7.025 million, Bart becomes the Giants long-term catcher of the future. Buster Posey is under contract through 2021 when he will be 34. Bart’s arrival in 2020 or 2021 should help Posey slide to a less-demanding position. Bart has the power and defensive skills to be a future everyday catcher, although whether his fringe-average hit tool develops bears watching.
Ramos is of the youngest players in the South Atlantic League and his youth has been apparent. So far he’s been overmatched in in the Sally League, expanding the strike zone too often and being surprisingly helpless against lefties. If Ramos can be more patient and work himself into better counts, he should start driving the ball more with his plus raw power. Ramos still projects as a power-speed center fielder, but he has a long way to go.
Luciano has a rare combination of power and athleticism for a 16-year-old. Ranked as Baseball America’s No. 2 international prospect 2018, Luciano signed for $2.6 million, making him the Giants’ biggest international signing since they spent $6 million to sign Lucius Fox in 2015. Luciano will have to prove he can stay at shortstop over the long term, but his power and bat speed should be fine if he eventually has to move to third base or the outfield.
The 6-foot-11 Hjelle is understandably being held on a tight innings limit after he threw 99.1 innings with Kentucky this spring. The Giants second-round pick will likely be moved more aggressively starting next year, as he has the control to cruise through the low minors despite his height. Hjelle attacks hitters with solid but unspectacular stuff. Some scouts say they believe the still-skinny Hjelle could fill out and gain another couple of ticks to his fastball, but even if he doesn’t, he projects as a useful back-of-the-rotation starter.
Shaw is blocked from playing the position that fits him best because of Brandon Belt’s long-term contract. He’s continuing to work on trying to master left field instead, but he’s going to have to hit a lot to make his left field defense worth living with. It’s become in question whether he can. Shaw’s plate discipline has steadily deteriorated as he’s faced more advanced pitchers, with a 35.6 percent strikeout rate this season that overshadows his 19 home runs and .532 slugging percentage.
The Giants’ spacious outfield makes Duggar more valuable to them then he would be in a much smaller park. His above-average speed, defense and arm all work very well in center field and can also play in right field. Duggar’s offensive game remains focused on lining singles and doubles and being aggressive on the basepaths. He’s got strength, but his swing just isn’t conducive to elevating and celebrating.
The Giants have a number of starting pitchers (Logan Webb, Gregory Santos and Seth Corry to name three) with more upside than Anderson, but all of them are much further from the majors. Anderson is a nearly ready back-of-the-rotation starter with an above-average 92-94 mph fastball, a hard slider and a changeup and curveball that are just good enough to keep hitters off balance. After reaching the Futures Game and earning a promotion to Triple-A, his big league debut isn’t far off.
Acquired with Anderson last year in the trade that sent Eduardo Nunez to the Red Sox, Santos is the highest-ceiling starting pitching prospect in the Giants system. He’s years away from San Francisco, but it’s easy to get excited about a physical 6-foot-7 righthander with advanced control for his age, a 93-95 mph fastball that touches 98 and a hard breaking ball (it’s on the borderline between a curve and a slider) that could be plus. He’s still figuring out his command, having allowed more than a hit per inning at short-season.
After blitzing the Dominican Summer League last year, Canario had a rough introduction to the AZL but has rallied recently, hitting .272/.398/.346 with seven steals in 19 games. He still shows five potentially above-average tools or better and in July he’s flirted with a 1.000 OPS to show it’s still in there for him to get to them.
Ray Black’s long-delayed ascent to the big leagues offers an excellent reminder of why the Giants will be patient with Adon. As a starter, Adon sits at 97-98 mph throughout his starts and he can sit 99-100 for innings at a time when he feels good. Adon’s control is below-average and he doesn’t yet have a secondary offering he can really rely on, but he can still overwhelm hitters with pure gas.
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