How each top 30 SF Giants prospect can take their game to the next level
25. Carson Ragsdale
The key thing: Throw more quality strikes
When you look at Ragsdale's numbers last season, there's somewhat of a disconnect. His strike percentage last season is 66% which is above-average to even plus. However, his walk rate is only somewhat average at 9.1% (when I did personal research on stuff and control, I noticed that an increase in strike rate is directly proportional to a decrease in walk rate). Also, he's allowed far too many hits for a guy with his stuff (21.7% hit allowed rate).
Looking at his film tells a vivid story. He can throw his pitch arsenal in the strike zone but he's throwing into the nitro zone (middle-middle) a little bit too often leading to a high hit rate, he can get ahead but he got into full counts a bit too often that resulted to a higher walk rate than usual. It appears that moderation is also applicable to throwing strikes, not just drinking. It's now time for Ragsdale to take the next step: it's not just throwing strikes, it's throwing quality strikes. If he can do that in 2022, his stuff is good enough to project a big-league reliever.
24. Ryan Reckley
The key thing: Show off his skillset
Ryan Reckley is already putting his work in the backfields to begin his pro career. However, we should not expect that he will be up to San Jose sometime this year. He is not exactly tearing up in this year's Spring Training but what we have is clean footage of his swing on both sides.
The Jose Reyes comp is really evident when I watched Reckley. He is a bit open in his stance as a left-handed batter compared to a true square stance as a right-handed batter. Both swings, however, look pretty similar in terms of the way Reckley uses his hands throughout his swing. The only difference is that his bat path is a bit steeper as a righty. Overall, it's a compact stroke on both sides and the way he moves is eerily similar to Reyes. He should fare well in Arizona this season.
23. Ismael Munguia
The key thing: Prove the power is real
One of the most surprising developments of 2021 is Ismael Munguia's power production. He tripled the number of home runs last season with nine and he increased his ISO by 68% while also winning the Northwest League batting title.
What Munguia has to do in 2022 is to continue his improved power production in Double-A. Asking him to do that, however, might be a bit difficult considering that he will play half of his games in one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in all of baseball. However, it must not detract from the fact that power is not Munguia's game. Playing with plenty of hustle, making consistent contact, and bringing the fire in the dugout is. Power is just a ceiling raiser for Munguia.
22. Kervin Castro
The key thing: Pitch according to his strengths
For the record, Kervin Castro had a very good 2021 season. He pitched with a 2.87 ERA in a very tough league that's the PCL, and he did not allow a run in the 13 innings that he's in the big leagues last September. The only issue is that he was shadowed by fellow Latino reliever Camilo Doval's dominance.
For Castro to continue to be very good in 2022, he has to improve his pitch execution. With an extreme north-south approach in his pitching, he has to throw his fastball high in the zone and pair it up with his curveball thrown down in the zone. The issue for Castro last season, however, his heat maps via Baseball Savant show that he is throwing his fastball pretty much middle-middle while his curveball is a little bit all over the place. Having a more consistent heat map from Castro in 2022 should do wonders for his value as a reliable reliever.
21. R.J. Dabovich
The key thing: Full send
There are not a lot of things to say about Dabovich, either. He's close to a finished product and he just needs to continue to pump out the dominance that we have seen from him. It might be a little bit difficult since he is playing in the hitter-friendly confines of the PCL, but he's more of a strikeout pitcher so he should do well as opposed to someone who relies on weak contact, like a Sean Hjelle.