San Francisco Giants: Final 2019 Top 30 Prospects (20-11)

By Marc Delucchi
Conner Menez of the SF Giants. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Conner Menez of the SF Giants. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images) /
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20. RHP Jake Wong

Age: 23
Acquired: 2018 draft (3rd round)
Future Value: 40 (grade down)
Stock: -9

A third-round pick in 2018, right-hander Jake Wong peaked as a prospect during his junior season at Grand Canyon University. He sat in the mid-90s with his fastball and even touched 97 mph at times. However, his velocity has dipped as a professional.

Now working in the 92-94 mph range, his fastball’s combination of run and sink allow it to play up and it still profiles as a potentially above-average pitch.

His curveball is of the 11-to-5 variety and also has the potential to be a 55-grade pitch. He needs to improve his changeup command, but he maintains his arm action well and it could become a 50-grade pitch with progress.

That three-pitch mix gives Wong a reasonable ceiling as a mid-rotation starter. However, without premium velocity, he has a smaller margin of error.

If the changeup doesn’t develop as hoped, a move to the bullpen where his velocity could kick back up would make sense.

Wong isn’t as refined as the San Francisco Giants 2018 second-round pick Sean Hjelle, and while he has good control, his command is another story. He throws too many hitter’s strikes and more advanced competition will take advantage of that going forward.

He began the season on the same developmental path as Hjelle, starting the season at Single-A before earning a promotion to High-A. However, when Hjelle was promoted along with Heliot Ramos and Joey Bart to Double-A, Wong stayed put.

Wong continues to do a good job of generating groundballs. Even when he struggled at High-A, he maintained a roughly even groundball-to-flyball rate. Given his decrease in strikeouts at that higher level, controlling contact will be the key to sticking as a starter.

At this point, his trajectory is not unlike that of current San Francisco Giants reliever Shaun Anderson. Developing his command could give the Giants a future mid-rotation arm. If not, he could still be a back-of-the-rotation option or a potential high-leverage arm out of the pen.