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, Franklin Labour, Eugene Emeralds
Eugene Emeralds Franklin Labour runs the bases after a hit against the Hops in their first home game of the 2021 season at PK Park in Eugene. Eugene is the SF Giants High-A affiliate. /

Notable 35+ FV grade SF Giants prospects: Grant McCray, Luis Gonzalez, Ghordy Santos, Jimmy Glowenke, Sam Delaplane, Franklin Labour, Sean Roby, Carson Ragsdale, Michael Plassmeyer, Trevor McDonald, Gregory Santos

The difference between 40-grade and 35+ FV player can be paper-thin, especially towards the end of the list. This is the first time since I’ve been doing these rankings that no players below a 40-grade landed among the top 31 prospects. Since there are still some interesting names, I wanted to highlight a small group of those players.

The SF Giants third-round pick in 2019, Grant McCray’s full-season debut was stalled by an injury, but he has the potential to be a league-average hitter with plus defensive ability in center field.

Luis Gonzalez was claimed off waivers from the White Sox earlier this year. He’s a 25-year old outfielder who’s been solid at every minor-league stop with the ability to handle all three outfield positions. The Giants have had great success with players like Gonzalez, but he will be returning from a significant shoulder injury and hasn’t excelled against Double or Triple-A pitching. While the margins between fringe big-league outfielders are small, adding Gonzalez is closer to the trade to add Joe McCarthy than the deal that added LaMonte Wade Jr. or Jaylin Davis.

Ghordy Santos has been a lauded defensive shortstop since he signed in 2016 and his bat appears to be catching up. He was receiving significant hype during minor league camp, but an injury delayed his full-season debut to August. He’s been productive in a small sample this season, but will be 22 in December and lacks a significant offensive track record. Still, his glove could make him an under-the-radar Rule 5 draft target this offseason.

Jimmy Glowenke was a compensation round pick in last summer’s draft. He lacks premium defensive upside and he’ll have to hit his way to an everyday role. He still has that potential but has been in a massive slump recently pulling his Low-A numbers down.

Sam Delaplane was claimed off waivers from Seattle when the Mariners were unwilling to pay his 40-man roster salary while he rehabbed from Tommy John surgery. Delaplane has been one of the most dominant relievers in the minors with a mid-90s fastball and a potential 70-grade slider and gives the Giants another intriguing upper minors arm.

Franklin Labour and Sean Roby are both 23-year-old, power-hitting corner bats with questions about their hit tools. Labour has a solid arm and should be able to stick in the outfield and Roby has improved defensively at both first and third base, but both have struck out in more than 30% of their trips to the plate at High-A this season. They’ll need to prove they can make the adjustment to Double-A pitching before they can be viewed as viable everyday options.

Carson Ragsdale racked up strikeouts all season relying on a fastball/curveball combo at Low-A. He has surrendered a lot of fly balls, though, that prevented him from limiting opposing offenses. While he’s already 23, Ragsdale didn’t start pitching full-time until he arrived at college, which should give him more room to grow. He still looks like a future reliever but remains an intriguing arm to watch.

Trevor McDonald is only 20 but is in a similar tier with Ragsdale. He returned to Rookie League this season and has posted decent peripherals, but has been far from dominant. Most scouts projected him as a reliever when he was drafted out of high school in 2019. I was higher on him at the time, but he hasn’t taken the steps forward in the year off that I expected him to. He still has plenty of time to change my mind, but he looks more like a reliever at the moment.

Michael Plassmeyer was acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays for Matt Wisler earlier this season. He is a command-first arm that might lack any average MLB offering. He’s a lefty who throws strikes, so he’ll have a chance to reach the majors, but isn’t flashing high upside this year at Double-A.

Gregory Santos made his big-league debut earlier this season after a breakout instructs landed him a 40-man roster spot. The permanent move to the bullpen has not gone smoothly, though. He struggled at Triple-A before a positive PED test led to an 80-game suspension. I’m still bullish on Santos’ potential out of the rotation, but as long as he’s a permanent reliever, I haven’t seen enough command to assign him a 40-grade.