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SF Giants Retrospective: Re-Ranking The Top Ten 2010 Prospects

Could Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Zack Wheeler return to the SF Giants organization in a trade? (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)
Could Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Zack Wheeler return to the SF Giants organization in a trade? (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)
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SF Giants, Adam Duvall
Cincinnati Reds left fielder Adam Duvall hits a home run against the SF Giants during the ninth inning at AT&T Park. (Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)

SF Giants Top 10 Prospects In 2010
#5 Zack Wheeler, RHP

Grade: 55
2010 Baseball America Rank: 3
Career WAR: 14.5
WAR Per 30 Starts: 3.18

The sixth overall pick in the 2009 draft, Wheeler was in the middle of his steady ascent to the major leagues when the Giants opted to trade him instead of outfielder Gary Brown to the Mets for Carlos Beltran at the 2011 deadline. As the dynasty floundered to find starting pitchers after their last World Series victory in 2014, Wheeler asserted himself in the middle of the Mets rotation.

Injuries took away his 2015 and 2016 seasons, but since returning in 2017, Wheeler has re-established himself as a strong third and possible two starter. His side by side numbers do not stack up great next to Bumgarner’s peak, but the MLB game has changed quite a bit over the past few years. Starters work far fewer innings, and the juiced ball has led to an offensive explosion. In that context, Wheeler has been quietly exceptional.

He still has a long way to go to catch Bumgarner. Even if Bumgarner adds nothing more to his resume, Wheeler would probably need to maintain his recent levels of production into his mid-30s to match Bumgarner’s longevity from 2010-2019. Of course, that’s before getting to Bum’s postseason heroics that will break any tie for the foreseeable future too.

Of all the players on this list, Wheeler is still the youngest at just 31-years old and has produced the most WAR between 2018-2020. There’s an argument that Wheeler has already earned a 60-grade, but injuries have limited him to just four full-seasons. If he maintains this caliber of play for a few more seasons, he may have an argument to be the second or third-best player on the list. For now, he’ll have to settle for rounding out the top five.

SF Giants Top 10 Prospects In 2010
#6 Adam Duvall, LF/3B

Grade: 50
2010 Baseball America Rank: Unranked
Career WAR: 5.7
WAR Per 162 Games: 1.54

It took longer than it should have for Adam Duvall to get an extended opportunity at the major-league level. Even as the Giants were desperate for power, convinced Duvall was limited defensively to an infield corner, he never received an extended look. When he was finally packaged with Keury Mella in the Mike Leake trade, the Cincinnati Reds allowed him to play every day in left field. It did not take long for the Giants to realize they made a mistake.

Duvall adapted wonderfully to the outfield and carried his bigtime power to the big-league level. From 2016-17, Duvall hit 64 home runs and even earned an All-Star selection in 2016. He faded from the scene over the following couple of years but reemerged last season as a role player with Atlanta. He lacks good walk rates and obviously has his flaws, but he’s been an average big-league starter.

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