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SF Giants hitting prospects week in review (7/31-8/13)

SF Giants right fielder Jaylin Davis (49) follows through on a solo home run in the third inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
SF Giants right fielder Jaylin Davis (49) follows through on a solo home run in the third inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
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SF Giants, Diego Rincones, SF Giants Prospects
Hillsboro Hop’s pitcher Joe Jones, right, tries in vain for the tag at home on Eugene Emeralds’ (SF Giants High-A affiliate) Diego Rincones in the 8th inning during the Em’s first home game of the 2021 season at PK Park in Eugene.

SF Giants Prospects Weekly Rundown: Double-A

Notable Performers

Diego Rincones: 9 G, 35 AB, .400 AVG, 1.102 OPS, 4 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K
Sandro Fabian: 10 G, 27 AB, .407 1.145 OPS, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 5 BB, 4 K
Frankie Tostado: 10 G, 37 AB, .189 AVG, .609 OPS, 1 2B, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 10 K
Will Wilson: 10 G, 35 AB, .086 AVG, .334 OPS, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 4 BB, 18 K

Diego Rincones has found his footing in Richmond with an impressive August. I have noted earlier this season that Rincones is a consistent hitter throughout a minor league season. The most amazing thing is that even though he moved up a level and the competition certainly got tougher, Rincones’ numbers between High-A and Double-A are similar. I have yet to see Rincones get consistently challenged up in the zone in Double-A but his swing path certainly proved that he’s an expert low-ball hitter and a legitimate top 30 prospect.

Joining Rincones in their hot barrage this month is Sandro Fabian. The outfielder brought his batting average up to .266 after a hot start to his August and has hit for double-digit home runs in a season for the first time since 2018. An interesting thing to note is that Fabian and Rincones have a similar profile: both are hit-over-power corner outfielders with strong arms and below-average speed. The thing that makes Rincones a better prospect is that he has a much higher walk rate than Fabian.

On the other side of the spectrum is the struggle of Frankie Tostado. After a stellar first half of the season, Tostado has hit a wall offensively. Over his last 21 games, Tostado struggled with a .177 batting average, a .583 OPS, and just three home runs. The good thing is that Tostado kept his strikeout rate to a manageable 23% but his power got sapped from .493 in his first 58 games to just .342. He might be running into bad luck as he only has a .193 BABIP but I noticed that there’s more waggle in his bat in his loading phase recently compared to his earlier swings. Whether it’s mechanical or luck, Tostado needs a good finish to assure the legitimacy of his breakout 2021.

To cap off the Flying Squirrels review is a prospect who might be running into really bad habits, and that’s Will Wilson. Both Wilson and Rincones were called up to Richmond on the same day but it’s Wilson who’s taken a nosedive while Rincones held his ground and is performing well recently. With a 43.9% strikeout rate over the past couple of weeks, it took his strikeout rate as a Flying Squirrel to 38%. If Wilson does not turn it around before the end of the season, it’s really hard to put him highly in next season’s top prospects list as a guy without flashy tools.

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