After radio silence at the beginning of instructional league play, the SF Giants have begun posting highlights and updates about the prospects in Arizona. Let’s take a look at what we’ve seen from the team’s infielders.
For the first time since Spring Training, SF Giants fans are getting to see actual highlights of the organization’s prospects. While the team provided no updates on the players at the beginning of instructional league play, they have since picked up their social media presence.
Over the past week, they have shared plenty of highlights from the games. 2020 third-round pick out of De La Salle High School (CA), Kyle Harrison, already turned heads with a strong outing that included some unexpected premium velocity. Then top prospect Marco Luciano recorded an absurd exit-velocity on a majestic home run.
While Harrison and Luciano have rightfully gotten the most attention, plenty of other prospects have had highlight-worthy play at the instructional league. It’s worth keeping tabs on them as well.
Let’s dive in!
SF Giants Infield Prospect Highlights: Garrett Frechette
Garrett Frechette is one of the more interesting prospects in the Giants system. He has a smooth left-handed swing and a projectable 6’3”,195-pound frame that enables scouts to see plus-power potential.
However, since dealing with a hamstring issue, broken hamate bone, and contracting mono in his senior year of high school, he’s yet to find much power. Still, in his limited sample of professional plate appearances, he’s been a competent hitter. If he can build his strength, he seems well-positioned to take a big jump. Of course, that may not be something the organization can count on.
Technically a corner outfielder, Frechette is athletic for his size and could stick in the left or right field. His profile isn’t too dissimilar from Cody Bellinger’s at this point in his career, so it’s possible he could find even more defensive acumen. Still, Bellinger is much more the exception than the rule. If Frechette’s body matures, he’ll probably be moving to first base.
Turning 20 in December, Frechette would have been an especially intriguing player to watch at Rookie-Ball or possibly Low-A Salem-Keizer this season. Instead, fans will have to wait to see his development up close. For now, it’s always a good sign when anyone has a four-hit day.
SF Giants Infield Prospect Highlights: Will Wilson
In last year’s draft, Will Wilson was the rare consensus first-round prospect without an obvious plus tool. However, with potential above-average tools across the board, Wilson still has a path to becoming an All-Star caliber player.
After being drafted by the Angels and acquired by the Giants this offseason, Wilson hoped to bounce back from an underwhelming pro debut in 2019. Without a minor-league season, he didn’t get that opportunity. However, he was one of the few prospects around baseball who got to work at the team’s alternate site in Sacramento.
His up-close work with many of the Giants coaches and player development staff should pay dividends in the future and put him in a strong position during instructional league play. Needless to say, a two-extra base hit day with an exceptional exit-velocity is an easy way to show improvement.
He will not turn 23 until next July but is clearly one of the prospects favored by the team’s front office. It will be interesting to see where he gets assigned if there is a complete minor-league season next year.
SF Giants Infield Prospect Highlights: Logan Wyatt
If Giants fans are worried about the future of the #BeltWars, have no fear, Logan Wyatt‘s prospect ceiling may make the Belt Wars look like child’s play.
Wyatt had arguably the best plate discipline in college baseball and showed that off during his pro debut. Over his sophomore and junior years at Louisville, he walked 131 times in 608 plate appearances and struck out just 84 times. In 44 minor-league games in 2019, he walked 26 times compared to 29 strikeouts in 183 plate appearances.
Giants scouting director Michael Holmes has claimed Wyatt has the necessary athleticism to be playable as a corner outfielder, but that seems slightly too hopeful for most prognosticators’ taste. While he’s a smooth athlete with soft hands and a solid arm that makes him an above-average first baseman, his 30-grade speed limits how much ground he can cover.
His pro debut was a bit underwhelming for a top-pick first baseman, but he’s always had a far more developed hit than a power tool. Wyatt may be the kind of player who never tears up any minor-league level but consistently produces around a .270/.380/.400 clip.
As is, Wyatt could probably reach the majors relatively quickly as an on-base machine with doubles power. They will more likely want him to make adjustments to tap into his power more consistently.
From the highlight, it looks like Wyatt has already made some swing adjustments. Previously, Wyatt tended to swing his upper body down at the ball, entering a more squat-like position on contact. In the highlight above, it appears like he’s stepping into his swing a bit less dramatically. Granted, that could be more a product of pitch location than any specific adjustment.
Regardless, Wyatt working three-two counts and blasting opposite-field home runs is the dream scenario for Giants fans. It seems like he’s off to a good start.
SF Giants Infield Prospect Highlights: Casey Schmitt
Casey Schmitt seemed like a late 3rd-5th round prospect heading into this draft, but after signing for a below-slot $1,147,500 signing bonus, it has quickly become one of my favorite picks from this year’s MLB draft.
A two-way contributor at San Diego State, Schmitt will be developed as an everyday third baseman. He pairs his rocket arm with soft hands to project as an above-average to an elite defensive player at the hot corner while also showing good plate discipline and approach throughout his collegiate career with plus power potential.
His power has yet to show up in games consistently, but if the Giants player development staff can find a way to unlock it, the organization may have found a Matt Chapman of their own.
Without more complete statistics, it isn’t easy to know how exactly Schmitt is fairing at instructs. However, this highlight encapsulates the ceiling for his bat. He comes back from an 0-2 hole to work the count full before blasting a home run.
It’s unfair to read too much into any of these selective highlights produced by the SF Giants. Still, it’s always good to see Giants prospects doing good things on the field. Ultimately, this instructional league is the first step to getting players back in organized baseball, and hopefully, a (safe and responsible) minor-league season in 2021.