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SF Giants Prospects

San Francisco Giants: Midseason Top 30 Prospects (Nos. 20-11)

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 21: Zach Green #76 of the San Francisco Giants poses during the Giants Photo Day on February 21, 2019 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)
SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 21: Zach Green #76 of the San Francisco Giants poses during the Giants Photo Day on February 21, 2019 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images) /
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20. LHP Conner Menez

Age: 24
Current Level: Triple-A
Acquired: Draft (2016, 14th round)
Future Value: 40

Menez is a bit of a scouting conundrum. Statistical projection systems tend to be high on the southpaw, but his repertoire doesn’t follow traditional scouting patterns.

He led all minor league left-handed pitchers in strikeouts last season with 171, and he hasn’t missed a beat at the Triple-A level with 47 punchouts in 34.2 innings. Walks have been a part of the package with Menez as well, slowing his ascent through the San Francisco Giants system.

If that was all you knew, it would be reasonable to assume Menez works off high-octane stuff, but that’s not really the case. While his fastball has touched 95 mph, it mostly sits from 91-93. His slider and changeup are his best secondary offerings, but they project as average pitches. He also has a show-me curveball, but it’s his least developed option.

Menez credits his long stride and deceptive delivery as the catalyst for his success.

You can’t ignore Menez’s productivity, but it’s much hazier when you try to extrapolate what it means at the big league level. It’s natural to list a lefty-specialist role as his floor, but he doesn’t actually have notable platoon splits over the course of his career.

That bodes well for his potential as a starter, or maybe even as a multi-inning reliever in a modern rotation, but it also leaves him with a lower floor if big league hitters are able to square up his pitches.

Menez is not currently on the 40-man roster and the Giants aren’t set to have many starting spots open in their rotation even if they trade Madison Bumgarner. That said, further refinement in the Pacific Coast League could wind up being the best thing for the 24-year-old in terms of his development.

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