With spring training upon us, we took a crack at predicting which San Francisco Giants prospects would make their MLB debuts during the 2020 season.
The San Francisco Giants are at an interesting stage in their rebuild, with fewer veterans producing and an improving farm system. Last year, we saw Mike Yastrzemski, Mauricio Dubon, Shaun Anderson, Jaylin Davis, Logan Webb and several others make their MLB debuts.
The constant whirlwind of fresh faces may be exhausting for fans, but given the state of the team, it’s a trend that will likely continue in 2020.
Taking a look at the farm system as a whole, many of the team’s top prospects are unlikely to debut this season, including 18-year-old Marco Luciano, 2017 first-round pick Heliot Ramos, and 2019 first-round pick Hunter Bishop.
Each of those players have been included on top 100 prospect lists and the Giants would be wise not to rush them to a team that’s not ready to compete just yet.
That said, the team still has a medley of intriguing players on the cusp of reaching the majors, headlined by catcher Joey Bart.
The No. 2 overall pick in 2018, Bart played three seasons at Georgia Tech before being drafted. That experience led him to being relatively polished compared to other high draft picks the Giants have taken. In particular, scouts have praised his ability as a receiver behind the plate and his power.
Those attributes helped his rise through the ranks to Single-A in 2018 and Double-A in 2019, despite fluky hand injuries from hit by pitches. In just 79 games last year, Bart hit .278/.328/.495 with 16 home runs. He could stand to draw more walks, but he seems to be on pace for at least a September call-up this season, barring another injury.
It’ll be interesting to see how the team manages both Buster Posey‘s decline and Joey Bart’s emergence since Posey’s contract runs through 2021. Nonetheless, Bart will hopefully spend ample time this spring learning how to become a true franchise catcher from Posey.
Another prospect to watch is right-handed pitcher Melvin Adon. At 25 years old, he’s on the older end of the prospect scale, but he’s had injury issues as well and is still not very polished evidenced by his 5.5 BB/9 last season.
That said, he’s also one of the hardest throwing pitchers in all of minor league baseball. With a fastball that can hit 101 mph, he tallied an excellent 12.5 K/9 last year, which will keep him on the radar as the team goes into spring training. He got knocked around after a promotion to Triple-A last year, so he will likely start 2020 back in Sacramento where he will have to show he can refine his control before getting his big league call-up.
A fifth-round pick way back in 2013, McCarthy has above average plate discipline and power. He seriously struggled in Sacramento after his arrival (.488 OPS in 24 games), so he’s likely ticketed back there to begin the 2020 season. If he can return to the form he showed at Triple-A in 2018 when he had an .889 OPS in 47 games, he could be the first outfielder the team calls up in 2020.
Right-handed reliever Sam Wolff is also worth mentioning here.
The 28-year-old dominated Double-A competition to the tune of 1.78 ERA in 35.1 innings. He also had an encouraging 10.7 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 with the Flying Squirrels. The Giants seem to always have an under-the-radar reliever or two come up during the year and contribute, and Wolff seems like the next best bet to do it if he shows well in Triple-A.
The Giants roster will undoubtedly undergo further changes between now and the end of the 2020 season, and likely even by the end of spring training. There will be players who debut who are not even on the radar of most fans. The players above all have a decent shot at debuting in 2020, and in the process will give us more reasons to be excited for the future.