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SF Giants Prospects

SF Giants Prospects: 15 Unranked Breakout Candidates

Arizona State's RJ Dabovich pitches during the first inning against Xavier at Phoenix Municipal Stadium in Phoenix, Ariz. He was drafted by the SF Giants in the 4th round of the 2020 MLB Draft.
Arizona State's RJ Dabovich pitches during the first inning against Xavier at Phoenix Municipal Stadium in Phoenix, Ariz. He was drafted by the SF Giants in the 4th round of the 2020 MLB Draft.
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SF Giants, SF Giants Prospects, RJ Dabovich
Current SF Giants prospect R.J. Dabovich during his time at Arizona State, pitching against Xavier at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.

Unranked SF Giants Prospects:15 Best Breakout Candidates

10. P.J. Hilson, CF

An over-slot sign in the 6th round of the 2018 draft, P.J. Hilson has looked undeniably overmatched in two rookie-ball seasons, striking out in more than 36.6% of his plate appearances. However, he will not turn 21 until August and carries the most impressive combination of speed and arm strength in the system alongside above-average power potential. Kevin Kiermaier is a career .248/.307/.413 hitter, and yet, he’s averaged more than 4.1 WAR per 162 games*. Billy Hamilton has averaged 2.0 WAR per 162 despite an incredibly mediocre .241/.296/.325 triple-slash. The ways Hilson could contribute are immensely different than the other outfielders in the system. However, he does not need to develop an elite bat to become an impact prospect.

*WAR numbers from FanGraphs

9. R.J. Dabovich, RHP

A below-slot signing in the fourth-round of this year’s draft, R.J. Dabovich is a powerful right-handed pitcher with premium fastball velocity and elite spin on both his fastball and breaking ball. I was hoping the Giants would give Dabovich a chance to start, but the player development staff has seemed to push him to the bullpen. Still, if Camilo Doval continues struggling to find consistency, Dabovich could quickly become the best relief-prospect in the system.

8. Aeverson Arteaga, SS

A far superior defender to Velasquez, Aeverson Arteaga is an above-average athlete with a good feel on the infield dirt. That defensive prowess will already get him noticed by scouts. His offensive projection is limited, but if he shows any ability to consistently impact the ball in his debut, his stock will rise quickly. Velasquez will have to excel offensively to get attention without a major shift in his defensive projection. This early in development, evaluators are usually quicker to bet on defensive prowess than offensive projection. Plus, Arteaga was signed a year prior and has had more time to begin developing as a pro. That gives Arteaga the edge.

7. Alexander Suarez, OF

Alexander Suarez is a plus athlete with an inconsistent approach at the plate. Injuries hampered his first professional season in 2019, but he still posted a .959 OPS in 12 games in the Dominican Summer League. Players like Suarez, who seemed particularly in need of professional plate appearances to spark their development, will be interesting to watch when they return from the minor-league layoff. It could set him back, but if he made the necessary improvements in the time off, he could take a massive step forward.

6. Jimmy Glowenke, Infielder

Jimmy Glowenke’s path to a top-ten ranking in 2022 is probably the most straightforward of anyone on this list: mash. He’s not elite defensively, probably has below-average speed, and might be limited to second base. But one industry source I spoke with described him as a “baby Jedd Gyorko” with enough offensive potential to garner plenty of attention. Gyorko bashed his way to the big leagues in just two minor-league seasons, and Glowenke could find himself shooting up rankings if he follows a similar trajectory.

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