Around the Foghorn contributor, Wrenzie Regodon and co-site expert Marc Delucchi are beginning the season with some discussions about the SF Giants minor-league depth at each position. They’ve discussed the organizations catching and corner infield last week and now are looking at the team’s middle infield prospects.
SF Giants prospects position preview chat: Shortstop
Marc Delucchi: Let’s not bury the lede, what do you see in Marco Luciano’s future?
Wrenzie Regodon: Not really messing around, I see. I see Luciano as an offensive force in the big leagues because of his special offensive talents. It’s rare to see a guy hit balls that can creep up to 120 MPH in exit velocity, and Luciano can do it while also projecting to hit for average. His final defensive home will be the question but without a true contender that in the system at the moment, he will probably stick at shortstop even though he is not the smoothest of athletes.
MD: Definitely. I saw a lot of growth from 2019 to this spring defensively. Luciano was clearly overwhelmed at the plate, as to be expected given his age, but I really liked what I saw with his glove. What’s interesting though, is the Giants have invested a lot of secondary capital in shortstop in the IFA and draft, but there aren’t any top prospects there outside of Luciano. Who are the potential shortstops that stand out to you?
WR: I did like the improvements that I saw from Luciano defensively and I’m starting to think he can really stick at shortstop unless the Giants sign one of the top shortstops in the upcoming FA class.
In terms of secondary capital via the Draft and IFA, they really did and that’s really something that we typically saw from the Giants, looking to add as much young, up the middle talent as possible. There are a handful that we can talk about like Aeverson Arteaga, who is a stellar defender and athlete but a developing bat. Javier Francisco who is kind of the opposite to Arteage with a more advanced offensive feel. There’s also Diego Velasquez and Ramon Peralta who just recently signed and all look pretty promising, especially Peralta.
Via the Draft, there are some pretty intriguing prospects like Dilan Rosario whose power stands out, and Tyler Fitzgerald who is not exciting but serves as a high-floor profile. Ghordy Santos is probably the best defensive shortstop in the system. I really like his body control and internal clock to pair with his tools. Just goes to show that the Giants are really deep in terms of shortstop-caliber prospects. The problem is that they all carry significant risks and will take years to develop.
M: That’s a great rundown of the depth at the position. Fitzgerald, Rosario, Santos, and Arteaga are the best bets defensively, but Peralta and Velasquez easily have the highest offensive ceilings. I can’t wait to see Francisco on the field this season, but still don’t know what to expect just because he’s such a unique prospect having been signed for a very small bonus, but also receiving a lot of exposure.
I think it’s fair to say that at the moment, no one aside from Luciano projects as an everyday shortstop, but if you have to pick someone else from the group, who is most likely to be an everyday player?
W: Yeah. The assortment of flavors that the Giants have at shortstop are aplenty. Since we are projecting years ahead into the future (aside from Fitzgerald), it will be tough to pick who will be the most likely to stick at shortstop in the big leagues.
Assuming all of them develop as expected, I can see Santos and Arteaga primarily because of their defense. I mean, there’s a surge in offense-first shortstops these days so you can say that Francisco, Peralta or Velasquez can stick there kind of like Luciano. However, when push comes to shove, I’m still picking defense over offense at the prime position.
M: That’s a good call. That’s what’s so interesting about this group. Luciano gives this group tremendous upside, but aside from him, there’s a lot of risk. I’d probably pick Fitzgerald as the most likely to become an everyday player, but that’s mostly because he’s easily the furthest along in his development. Granted, Bahamian shortstop Ryan Reckley could add another high-upside player into this group this summer, but we’ll save that discussion for another time.