San Francisco Giants: Midseason Top 30 Prospects (Nos. 10-1)
5. OF Alexander Canario
Current Level: Short-Season
Acquired: IFA (2016)
Future-Value Grade: 45+
While Canario’s bat speed and raw power rival the prospects ranked above him, he lacks the refinement and feel for the game.
Ironically, his profile as a 19-year-old actually reads pretty similarly to recent first-round pick Hunter Bishop when he was the same age.
He’s an above-average runner with a plus arm who currently handles center field, but as he bulks up he may be forced to a corner spot. He’s shown good plate discipline throughout his career but still doesn’t have a good feel for hitting. At times, he gets homer happy, leaving him very susceptible to off-speed pitches. Other times, he swings without authority.
He began the season repeating the Arizona Rookie League, but quickly proved he needed a new challenge. In the first 10 games, he had seven home runs and a .395/.435/1.000 line. However, even while posting those gaudy numbers, he still struck out in roughly 20 percent of his plate appearances.
Since his promotion to Low-A Salem-Keizer, he’s struck out in nearly 40 percent of his plate appearances and holds just a .387 OPS through his first week. For what it’s worth, in his stateside debut last season he got off to a similarly slow start at 5-for-35 with 14 strikeouts, and he recovered to finish the season with a respectable line.
The second half will be important to watch for Canario. He won’t turn 20 until May and his track record and age could justify an assignment to Single-A Augusta or High-A San Jose in his full-season debut.