According to Baseball America, SF Giants pitching prospect Gregory Santos was one player at Instructional League that left industry personnel impressed.
SF Giants pitching prospect Gregory Santos has had quite a last couple of months. Less than a week after FanGraphs prospect writer Eric Longenhagen called the 6’2” righty a top-100 prospect in baseball, Kyle Glaser of Baseball America has heaped even more praise on the Giants farmhand, listing him among 19 prospects who impressed scouts at the instructional league (subscription required).
Acquired as a secondary piece from the Boston Red Sox in the Eduardo Nunez trade, Santos has been one of the most tantalizing prospects in the farm system. Injuries and inconsistencies in 2019 dampened his stock a bit, but he still ranked as the 19th best prospect in the system, according to ATF’s most recent prospect ranking.
Santos’ best pitches have historically been a mid-90s sinker and cutter that pair with a slider that has flashed plus. His changeup was a recent development that has not gotten much attention. As a starter, his stuff was strong enough to be effective even if his control only reached a 40-grade (50 is considered league-average).
According to Glaser, Santos pitched entirely out of the bullpen at instructs. Limited to one-inning appearances, “His fastball touched 100 mph, his hard slider drew positive reviews and he showed an improved feel for throwing strikes.” Per his report, it seems like industry insiders (and possibly the Giants) see his future in the back of the bullpen. Granted, still just 21-years old, it seems a bit premature to give up on his future in the rotation.
Whatever the Giants believe his future entails, Santos’ performance in relief would have easily made him a top Rule 5 pick. To ensure he stayed in the organization, the organization added him to the 40-man roster last Friday.
The SF Giants farm system has taken great strides, but pitching remains the most obvious hole. If Gregory Santos can carry some of that success back into the starting rotation, he could easily be the best pitching prospect in the system. However, if not, he could move very quickly to the back of the big-league bullpen.