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San Francisco Giants state of the position: Center field

Nick San Miguel
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 23: Kevin Pillar #1 of the San Francisco Giants celebrates their victory during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays Rogers Centre on April 23, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 23: Kevin Pillar #1 of the San Francisco Giants celebrates their victory during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays Rogers Centre on April 23, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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San Francisco Giants
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 11: Steven Duggar #6 of the San Francisco Giants runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth inning against the San Diego Padres at Oracle Park on June 11, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

First and foremost, it has to be mentioned that unless he’s traded or released, Steven Duggar will be back with the San Francisco Giants in 2020.

While he hit just .234/.278/.341 in 281 plate appearances, he was once again a standout defender in the outfield. He’s still just 25 years old, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility to think he could still take a step forward.

However, it’s exciting prospect Heliot Ramos who should have fans excited about the future of the position.

The No. 2 prospect in a farm system on the rise, according to MLB.com, Ramos was the No. 19 pick in the 2017 draft and he reached Double-A in an excellent 2019 campaign.

The 20-year-old batted .290/.369/.481 with 24 doubles and 16 home runs in 102 games between High-A and Double-A, and while his numbers dipped a bit following his midseason promotion to Richmond, his overall stock is clearly trending up.

Despite his age, the front office hopes that Ramos will start next season at Triple-A, which puts him an injury or a hot streak away from getting called up to the big leagues. Team president Farhan Zaidi also said that ideally Ramos would be on the big league roster at some point in 2020.

If he progresses as hoped this offseason, stays healthy, and shows improvement, then that seems like a realistic expectation. First, he’ll need to put together a strong spring training to justify an assignment to Triple-A.

Further down the organizational ranks, 19-year-old Alexander Canario is also worth keeping an eye on.

The 2016 international free-agent signing hit .318/.377/.623 with 20 doubles and 16 home runs in 54 games, earning an early promotion from rookie ball to Low-A . He still has a long way to go in his development, but it’s easy to get excited about the idea of him and Ramos possibly roaming the outfield together in the not-too-distant future.

This year’s top draft pick, Hunter Bishop, is also capable of playing center field and that’s where he lined up during his junior season at Arizona State. He’ll get a chance to stick there as a pro, but might wind up at a corner spot once all is said and done.

The Giants have not had consistent production from a homegrown outfielder in a long time. It’s looking more and more like that could soon change.

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