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Notes about SF Giants prospects through the first week of spring training

All hail The King
All hail The King / Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports
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Notes about SF Giants prospects through the first week of spring training

Notable Performances

It's now time for the notable performances. Let's start off with the Latino prospects because as Roger said, they are impressive. Let's start off with number 24 prospect Ryan Reckley. The Giants' top signee of the 2021 international FA cycle is off to a good start in Spring Training, flashing a patient approach in the batter's box that is typically seen for players who are a couple of years older than him. His left-handed swing looks much cleaner now compared to when he was an amateur, he's played shortstop throughout Spring Training so far and Roger was impressed with his defense and his arm strength. Very based takes from him. He said that Reckley has not made an impact on the ball unlike his shortstop counterpart Arteaga so there's something for Reck to improve as he gets older. As a matter of fact, Roger was impressed with the approach of the teenage Latino prospects so far in Arizona, including Anthony Rodriguez and Victor Bericoto who also flashed strong bat-to-ball ability.

It was however noted that pitchers are still ahead of hitters at this point in time which is completely understandable. Speaking of the pitchers, let's start off with Mason Black. The selection was not exactly met with a lot of hype as the right-hander from Lehigh actually regressed a bit in 2021 after making some changes in his arm action. This year, however, he reverted back to his old arm action when he was impressive in the Cape Cod League in 2020 and he was straight-up dominant, pumping sinkers that can reach 98 MPH from a slinging arm action and from a low 3/4 arm slot with a tight sweeping power slider that Roger particularly liked. I chose him as one of the breakout prospects in 2022 and I am excited for what he could become.

A trio of pitchers showed off their fantastic breaking balls in Arizona that impressed me with their feel to spin the Uncle Charlie. Those three are Esmerlin Vinicio, Tristan Beck, and Seth Lonsway. Vinicio's still rail-thin which will likely never change moving forward and that has an impact with his sheer velocity where Roger pointed out that he's only hitting the high-80s with his fastball. Vinicio has to basically Nick Swiney his way to get through a lineup where he utilizes his off-speed stuff as his main offerings and his fastball as a get-me-over pitch. His curveball was very impressive, however, as he struck out a couple of stragglers in the batter's box with the pitch.

It's nice to see Tristan Beck back where he looks to bounce back after an unbased 2021 campaign that saw him fall down the pecking order due to disappointing performance and injuries. His curveball is still as snappy as ever but he needs to be smarter in terms of the pitches that he throws during at-bats because I noticed that he's throwing the wrong pitch at the wrong time last season without reading what the hitter's swing is on his previous pitch. Lonsway curiously tinkered with the tempo of his delivery and shortened up his arm action ever so slightly with the hopes of improved overall control. I still see him as a Seth Corry clone where he struggles to just throw the fastball inside the strike zone but will get massive whiffs on his curveball because of the feel and the quality of his pitch.

With the Major League Spring Training underway, the Giants have also called up several of their prospects the first couple of games of the season to make some impact. One prospect, in particular, stood out and that's number 17 prospect Brett Auerbach. Casual Giants fans might say "who" or the infamous Loki meme "I've never met this man in my life" but people who follow Giants prospects in at least a tier above the casual level will know the name of Brett Auerbach and I've never met anyone who follows Giants prospects who is not in love with him as a baseball player. He's diminutive but he's super versatile defensively being able to play on all three levels of the baseball field (catcher, infielder, outfielder) while also able to deliver with the stick with two triples in his first two games. He might not have the superstar potential that the likes of Luciano and Matos have but Auerbach clearly has a road to the big leagues and his early play put him in the minds of the Giants community. We all call him The King for a good reason.

To cap off the notable performances, we have to talk about number four prospect Joey Bart. Talking about him is super important because he is the number one prospect bar none who will have an impact on the big league roster the season. It was crucial to watch him catch Logan Webb because building chemistry with the pitching staff was the biggest issue for him in 2020. The casual fan might only remember Bart in his abysmal 2020 stint but his present form in the squaaat putting down the signs was reminiscent of his 2021 campaign where he looked much more comfortable with the one-kneed stance and he was able call a strong game for Webb with only a couple of nopes from the young ace. He even flashed his agility when he corralled the 2-1 sinker that went behind the leg of the left-handed Cub hitter. People will point out that the way that he throws the ball back to the pitcher is lazy but look, it gets the job done and that's not the throws that are crucial to game play. The throws to throw out runners are.

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