SF Giants Prospects

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

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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13. RHP Kai-Wei Teng

Age: 20
Acquired: Trade (2019, via MIN)
Future Value: 40+ (grade up)
Stock: +13

The quick ascendance of Jaylin Davis to the San Francisco Giants roster wasn’t the only early positive return from the Sam Dyson trade.

Kai-Wei Teng was also acquired in the Dyson trade, and he saw an uptick in production as soon as he joined the Giants organization.

With Minnesota’s Single-A affiliate, Teng threw 50.2 innings and posted an impressive 1.60 ERA. However, after joining the Giants at the same level for his final five starts of the season, Teng produced a 1.55 ERA, saw a spike in his strikeout rate (8.7 to 12.1 K/9), and a dip in his walk rate (2.5 to 2.2 BB/9).

The 21-year-old is physically advanced for his age at 6’4″ and 260 pounds. He also has smooth mechanics and a good feel for both a changeup and curveball. He works off a low arm-slot and FanGraphs Prospects has raised the concern that it will limit the development of his fastball velocity, which currently tops out in the low-90s.

Pitchability prospects tend to perform really well in the lower minor leagues, but then stall as they progress. Guys like Clayton Blackburn and Edwin Escobar come to mind. Teng comes with similar caveats. His success will depend on developing a full three-pitch arsenal and command over control.

If it all comes together, Teng could be a solid mid-rotation starter. Most likely, he falls somewhere from a swingman role to a back-of-the-rotation arm. He’s set to start 2020 at High-A San Jose and could be primed to move quickly if he shows early success.