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 outfielders.
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 outfielders:
1. Heliot Ramos, High-A (19 years old)
The No. 19 overall pick by the San Francisco Giants in the 2017 draft, Ramos started off his pro career with a bang, hitting .348/.404/.645 with 11 doubles, six triples and six home runs in 151 plate appearances in rookie ball.
He scuffled a bit last year in his full-season debut, hitting .245/.313/.396 with 11 home runs and a 25.4 percent strikeout rate, and his stock on leaguewide top 100 lists took a hit as a result.
The 19-year-old was nonetheless sent to High-A San Jose to start the 2019 season and his stock is again trending upward. He’s hitting .315/.422/.613 with nine doubles and eight home runs in 135 plate appearances. He has also improved his approach, raising his walk rate from 6.5 to 13.3 percent.
2. Hunter Bishop, 2019 Draft Pick (20 years old)
After hitting just .250/.352/.407 with five home runs during his sophomore season at Arizona State, Bishop took a huge step forward this spring to emerge as one of the top college bats in the country.
He hit .347/.473/.765 with 15 doubles, 22 home runs and 61 RBI in 54 games as a junior, and the San Francisco Giants made him the No. 10 overall pick in the 2019 draft.
It remains to be seen whether he can stick in center field or if he’ll need to move to a corner spot, but with a strong 6’5″, 210-pound frame and plus power, he profiles as the prototypical run-producing corner outfielder.
3. Alexander Canario, AZL Giants (19 years old)
After signing for a modest $60,000 bonus in 2016, Canario hit .294/.391/.464 with 26 extra-base hits and 18 steals in the Dominican Summer League in his pro debut.
He made his way stateside last year and hit .250/.357/.403 with 13 extra-base hits in rookie ball, and he will return there to start the 2019 campaign.
MLB.com wrote: “Canario has electric bat speed that’s the best in the Giants system.”
4. Diego Rincones, Single-A (19 years old)
Rincones turned in a strong showing in rookie ball during the 2017 season and then hit .315/.357/.455 with 15 doubles and seven home runs in 61 games at Low-A.
He’s not the most athletic player and will be limited to a corner outfield spot. His plus raw power gives him intriguing upside, though, and his impressive track record to this point bumps him ahead of a few other low-level outfielders.
5. Chris Shaw, Triple-A (25 years old)
Shaw is right on the fringe of the prospect scale with his 26th birthday right around the corner on Oct. 20.
The Giants shipped him back to Double-A to start the 2019 season after he hit .185 with a 37.1 percent strikeout rate in a brief 22-game audition at the MLB level in 2018.
He hit .288/.368/.500 with seven home runs and 24 RBI before earning a promotion to Triple-A and showed improved plate discipline with a 10.4 percent walk rate. He already has a spot on the 40-man roster and will undoubtedly be up again before the year is over. That might be his last chance to prove he’s an everyday player at the MLB level.
Others of Note: Mike Gerber (Triple-A), Johneshwy Fargas (Double-A), Jacob Heyward (Double-A), Heath Quinn (Double-A), Sandro Fabian (High-A), Bryce Johnson (High-A), Aaron Bond (Single-A), Jose Layer (Single-A), Patrick Hilson (Unassigned), Luis Matos (Unassigned), Jairo Pomares (Unassigned), Grant McCray (2019 Draft Pick), Armani Smith (2019 Draft Pick)
The San Francisco Giants have been searching for answers in the outfield all season, and aside from Steven Duggar showing some potential in center field, there figures to be a lot of turnover on the grass before the next contender arrives.