SF Giants top prospects: No. 10 — RF Alexander Canario
Highest Level: Low-A (Salem-Keizer)
Acquired: IFA (2016)
Future-Value Grade: 45+
I ranked Alexander Canario ahead of Hunter BIshop in the middle of last season, but after suffering a dislocated right shoulder at instructs in the fall, I’ve knocked him down from a 50 to 45+ grade. I’m still quite high on his prospects, younger than almost all college juniors in the coming draft, he’d easily be a first-round selection in this summer’s draft. However, Canario has a long way to go to reach his upside, and there’s no denying that the injury is a significant setback.
Canario is a solid runner with an above-average arm, but poor routes in center have forced him to right field where he should be average as he develops. At the plate, Canario has some of the best bat speed in the system with plus-plus power potential. He has struggled with pitch recognition at times and will always strikeout at a high rate, but he’s also shown a willingness to walk that should prove valuable as he faces better competition.
In 2019, Canario hit his way to the Northwest League, which tends to be filled withrecently selected college players. Canario, who was 19 at the time, was one of the younger players in the league. The high-level competition took advantage of his bat-to-ball struggles, and he struck out in nearly 33 percent of his plate appearances. Yet, he still managed to be one of the most productive hitters in the league.
Even after starting the season in rookie ball, he still finished tied for second in the Northwest League in home runs (9) while leading the league in extra-base hits (27). His 152 wRC+ also ranked among the best in the league. Granted, Canario obviously benefited from some batted-ball luck with a .419 BABIP. If you adjust his numbers for a more reasonable number (around .315), his triple-slash drops to .238/.311/.477. While far less exceptional, still an impressive showing of power given his age and competition.
Before his injury, Canario spent the summer at the alternate site in Sacramento, where he got to face off against even more advanced pitching. While he was obviously overmatched, that experience could pay dividends if it helps him when he finally gets to full-season ball.
It’s hard to find fair comps for Canario at this point in his career. His profile matches someone like Wil Myers or Hunter Renfroe, but Renfroe went to college, and Myers was a much more contact-oriented hitter as a younger prospect. Starling Marte may be a similar match, but he is a better athlete than Canario. Randall Grichuk never flashed the walk-rates we’ve seen from Canario, although their hit/power profiles are similar. Triangulate those players, and that’s what you’re envisioning for Canario if everything comes together.