San Francisco Giants Prospect Rankings: Top 5 Middle Infielders
By Joel Reuter
With the 2019 MLB draft now in the rearview and a fresh collection of talent set to join the farm system ranks, we’ll take a position-by-position look at the top prospects at each position for the San Francisco Giants. Up next, the middle infield spots.
As the San Francisco Giants get set to embark on a full-scale rebuild, more attention than ever will be paid to the current state of the farm system.
With the MLB draft now concluded and two months of the 2019 season in the books, now seems like as good a time as any for an updated look at the farm system.
Rather than simply providing a cumulative ranking of the team’s top prospects, we’re going to go position-by-position to see how the team is lined up for the future.
Up next is the middle infield spots:
1. SS Marco Luciano, Unassigned (17 years old)
The top middle infield prospect in the 2018 international free-agent class, Luciano landed a $2.6 million bonus last July and immediately became one of the top prospects in the Giants farm system.
MLB.com wrote: “He has exceptional bat speed from the right side of the plate and already has surprising strength in a wiry frame that has plenty of room to add more muscle. He has a mature approach, keeping his swing compact and using the entire field rather than worrying about home runs.”
With a 6’2″, 178-pound frame and 55-grade power, he has the raw offensive tools to be a star, and his pro debut will be among the most anticipated of 2019.
2. 2B/SS Abiatal Avelino, Triple-A (24 years old)
The Giants acquired Avelino last August in the deal that sent Andrew McCutchen to the New York Yankees.
He hit .283/.329/.438 with 13 doubles, eight triples, 15 home runs and 27 steals between Double-A and Triple-A last season, and he’s the closest thing to an MLB-ready middle infielder in the system right now.
Avelino is hitting .300/.324/.471 with 24 extra-base hits in 57 games at Triple-A this season and at the very least he has a high floor as a utility infielder.
3. SS Tyler Fitzgerald, 2019 Draft Pick (21 years old)
Fitzgerald hit .327/.405/.507 with seven home runs and 60 RBI this spring at Louisville, adding 15 steals in 20 attempts.
He might have gone earlier in the draft it not for a loaded crop of college shortstop, and the Giants were happy to scoop him up with their fourth-round pick.
With a solid hit tool and good instincts defensively, he has a chance to develop into an everyday shortstop.
4. 2B Jalen Miller, Double-A (22 years old)
Miller was signed to an above-slot $1.1 million bonus as a third-round pick in 2015.
After posting middling numbers over his first three pro seasons, he took a step forward last year in his second go at the High-A level, hitting .276/.321/.434 with 35 doubles and 14 home runs.
While his .225/.299/.357 line at Double-A this season leaves a lot to be desired, he has raised his walk rate from 4.9 to 9.9 percent. That speaks to an improved approach, and there is still plenty of time for all the pieces to fall into place.
5. SS Dilan Rosario, 2019 Draft Pick (17 years old)
Rosario was one of the top defensive shortstops in the 2019 draft class, and he could be the steal of the draft for the Giants as a sixth-round selection.
The question is whether he’ll hit enough to be an everyday player.
A lack of strength in his 6’2″, 178-pound frame contributes to his lack of offensive punch, and as he fills out, his bat will determine if he’ll be a glove-first regular or a backup.
Others of Note: Ryan Howard (Triple-A), Manuel Geraldo (High-A), Kyle McPherson (High-A), Shane Matheny (Single-A), Jeff Houghtby (2019 Draft Pick), Simon Whiteman (2019 Draft Pick)
Incumbent middle infielders Joe Panik and Brandon Crawford have team control beyond the 2019 season, but there’s a good chance that neither will be a member of the next contending San Francisco Giants team.