SF Giants top prospects: No. 29 — C Adrian Sugastey
Highest Level: National Team (Panama)
Acquired: IFA (2019-20)
Future-Value Grade: 35+
Failing to land one of the biggest names on the international free-agent market, the Giants opted to spread their pool money around to players like Adrian Sugastey, who received a $525,000 signing bonus. A star on Panama’s national team, Sugastey had shown flashes of plus power and defensive potential.
His experience playing on the international circuit shows. Last fall, the Giants challenged him with an assignment to their instructional camp in Arizona. While he was one of the youngest players in camp, he had a special leadership quality and quickly fit alongside players far older. Sugastey had his moments on the field as well, showing advanced receiving ability behind the plate, and catching some elite runners trying to steal with his plus arm.
Offensively, Sugastey has some upside as well, already posting 100+ mph exit velocities. However, he lacks the same acumen in games at the plate that he does defensively. His swing tends to get long towards the ball, and he will need to develop a more direct path to the contact point to find success. Given his youth, there’s plenty of time for that to continue developing.
Any teenager yet to make a minor-league appearance comes with a great deal of risk. At the same time, that uncertainty definitely comes with plenty of upside too. If he makes the necessary strides as a hitter, he could become an above-average everyday player, but if the hit tool stalls, his defensive acumen, and other intangibles seem to position him well to be a big-league backup.