SF Giants prospects: Midseason 2021 rankings
10. Aeverson Arteaga, SS
Highest Level: Rookie (Arizona)
Acquired: IFA (2019)
Future-Value Grade: 40+
I listed Aeverson Arteaga on my preseason list of unranked prospects that could crack the organizational top ten by 2022 and in the middle of his first minor league season he’s done just that. One of the best-regarded prospects in the SF Giants 2019-20 international free agent class, Arteaga has separated himself from the group with a strong pro debut at the Arizona Rookie League.
Arteaga got off to an explosive start to the season in Arizona, blasting seven home runs in his first 20 games, but his glove remains his carrying tool at this point. Even at 18, Arteaga looks incredibly comfortable on the infield dirt with an above-average arm. He should have no issues sticking at shortstop as he develops.
Offensively, Arteaga has a line drive approach that could develop some power as he matures, but most industry officials I spoke with are not buying into his power output this year. After his hot start, Arteaga hit .278/.362/.329 in a 24-game homerless drought before a blast on the final day of August. His walk and strikeout rates have been stable throughout both stretches and his overall .325/.398/.550 triple-slash is obviously impressive for someone his age. However, with the exception of generational talents like Luciano, it’s easier to trust evaluations of teenagers on the defensive side of the ball than at the plate.
Arteaga’s defensive ability should be strong enough to carve out a big-league career as a utility infielder even if his power never consistently plays in games. However, he has the potential to be a solid everyday player if he can develop an average hit tool and 10-15 homer power.
Arteaga will face a significant challenge in 2022 when the Giants likely send him to full-season ball. He could be the youngest player in the Low-A West league. If he produces offensively in his full-season debut, especially if he flashes power, Arteaga will get significant attention. Still, even if he struggles at the plate, Arteaga’s defensive ability and youth will keep him on prospect lists.