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SF Giants farm system: Updated top 31 prospect rankings

DENVER, CO - JULY 11: Marco Luciano #10 of National League Futures Team bats against the American League Futures Team at Coors Field on July 11, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JULY 11: Marco Luciano #10 of National League Futures Team bats against the American League Futures Team at Coors Field on July 11, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
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SF Giants, Brett Auerbach
Auburn’s Garrett Wade (40) throws the ball to Auburn’s Rankin Woley (4) before Alabama’s Brett Auerbach (7) makes it to first base during the Auburn-Alabama Capital City Classic at Riverfront Park in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday, March 26, 2019. Alabama defeated Auburn 6-3. The SF Giants signed Auerbach as a NDFA last summer.

SF Giants prospects: Midseason 2021 rankings
17. Brett Auerbach, C/IF/OF

Age: 23
Highest Level: High-A (Eugene)
Acquired: NDFA (2020)
Future-Value Grade: 40+

Signed as a nondrafted free agent following a breakout 2020 spring at Alabama, Brett Auerbach looked like a versatile system player with a chance to eventually get a cup of coffee in the bigs. However, after a fantastic first professional season, every evaluator I spoke with at least expects him to become an up-and-down major leaguer. Many of them listed Auerbach among their favorite players in the system.

There is no one more versatile in the entire SF Giants organization than Auerbach. This season he’s appeared in 23 games at catcher, 39 on the infield, and nine in the outfield. The only reason he hasn’t played in the outfield more is due to the system’s incredible depth at the position. Despite his undersized 5’9’’ frame, he has the athleticism and arm to play all-around the diamond.

Auerbach’s defensive versatility was his calling card at Alabama, where he played every position except for shortstop and pitcher, but he’s taken his offensive game to another level as a pro. In 309 plate appearances this season between Low and High-A, Auerbach is hitting .294/.392/.538 with 14 home runs and 27 stolen bases.

On the older side for the lower minors, fans shouldn’t expect too much of Auerbach’s offensive production, particularly the power, to translate to the highest level. While his power output spiked after his early-season promotion, both his walk and strikeout rates have taken a significant step back.

Auerbach will pay a higher price to sell out for power as he moves through the minors and will have to rely on his hit tool becoming above-average or better to be an everyday player. Still, even if Auerbach never becomes a great hitter, his speed and versatility give him a clear path to becoming an even more dynamic Austin Barnes-style backup catcher.

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