San Francisco Giants: Final 2019 Top 30 Prospects (30-21)
22. OF Franklin Labour
Acquired: IFA (2015)
Future Value: 35+ (grade down)
Franklin Labour was not a well-known prospect when the San Francisco Giants signed him for $70,000 in 2015, but he’s taken strides in his development since.
After a pair of seasons in the Dominican Summer League, Labour held his own last year in the Arizona League, putting up a .269/.379/.431 line, but he had yet to do anything exceptional.
This year, in the short-season Northwest League, Labour broke out. He led the league with 14 home runs while playing in just 41 of Low-A Salem-Keizer’s 76 games. No one else had more than nine.
That incredible performance earned him a late-season promotion, alongside Sean Roby and Logan Wyatt, to the Single-A Augusta Greenjackets where for the first time since coming stateside, Labour looked overmatched. He showed issues making contact and hitting for power.
While there’s obvious reason for concern given his struggles in his first full-season experience, it shouldn’t be considered much of a red flag. He’s still about the age of a recently drafted college junior and could reasonably start next season at High-A.
Labour’s calling card is his raw power, but he also has an above-average approach at the plate and consistent bat-to-ball skills prior to his struggles at Augusta.
He’s a below-average runner, but good instincts and a solid arm make him average in left field and passable in right field. His bat will be his calling card.
The San Francisco Giants player development team showed confidence in Labour when they promoted him to Augusta and his struggles could give them pause. At the same time, a strong Northwest League showing leading to a High-A assignment is quite common, especially for someone going into their age-22 season as Labour will be.