SF Giants top prospects: No. 28 — OF Jairo Pomares
Highest Level: Low-A (Salem-Keizer)
Acquired: IFA (2018-19)
Future-Value Grade: 40
Jairo Pomares was one of the three most notable Giants international free-agent signings in 2018 alongside Luis Matos and Marco Luciano. Luciano and Matos both had big-time potential, while Pomares was considered an advanced player who had played against high-level competition in Cuba with a much higher floor. While Matos and Luciano have excelled and shot up rankings, Pomares remains a potential big-league outfielder.
His game doesn’t have any obvious flaws, but it also lacks a carrying tool. His top-end ceiling probably looks something like Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi. While Benintendi has not lived up to the top prospect hype, he’s turned into a solid everyday player who’s an above-average hitter and defender with 45-grade game power. Unlike Benintendi, though, he might need to stick in center field to be an everyday player.
In 2019, Pomares started alongside Luciano stateside in the Arizona Rookie League. Luciano earned most of the headlines with his unprecedented dominance, but Pomares put up an impressive .368/.410/.542 triple-slash of his own. A .422 BABIP was partially responsible for the success, and his performance fell with it upon a promotion to Salem-Keizer. Against the older short-season competition, Pomares struggled to adjust, striking out in 27.4% of his plate appearances and posting a meager .517 OPS.
He will not turn 21 until August and would have already debuted in full-season ball last season if it were not for the minor-league cancellation. Even if he never develops an elite tool, Pomares has a fairly good shot at developing into a useful bench piece.