SF Giants prospects to watch at ACL
1. Manuel Mercedes, RHP
Draft prospects are going to get a lot of attention in the coming month. If Manuel Mercedes were eligible to be selected, some teams would probably give him a first-round grade. The Giants inked Mercedes in the 2019-20 IFA class after seeing him flash some potential to reach high velocities. Now, heading into his first professional season, Mercedes is routinely sitting between 94-96 mph and touching 97 mph with his fastball while flashing the feel for a decent breaking ball.
Mercedes will not turn 19 until September and could be the newest breakout pitcher in a minor league system that has seen several breakouts over the past few months. Perhaps, as crazy as it may seem to read, Mercedes’ breakout could be the biggest.
His arm action has been compared to Giants bullpen prospect Camilo Doval, but some have more faith in Mercedes to replicate his delivery enough to stick in the rotation. If he can, there is legitimate ace-level upside here.
With that said, Mercedes’ sample is still incredibly small. We have yet to see him locate pitches or generate whiffs in official games. The Giants have seen prospects like Melvin Adon and Jose Marte post amazing velocities on the radar gun, but struggle to be effective as young starting pitchers. Mercedes could be the next player to follow in their footsteps, or he could buck the trend.
In the game of prospect watching, uncertainty always brings two things: risk and potential. Less is probably known about Mercedes than any of the other big names heading into this ACL season, but that also means he’s the most interesting player to watch.
With every level of minor league baseball finally underway on Monday, SF Giants prospect fans can watch all of the organization’s players. Stay tuned to Around the Foghorn for all the latest news and updates on the biggest prospects and sleepers throughout the farm system.