SF Giants 2022 Top 30 Prospects: September Update
SF Giants Top Prospects #22 - #30
It's time to recognize Tyler Fitzgerald's year. Look, the beginning of Fitzgerald's 2022 season was not pretty at all as he was sporting a strikeout rate of around 50% in April. His second half of the season, however, is when Fitzgerald turned things around with an OPS above .900 and has set his sights on a 20-20 season. A very impressive feat if he could actually achieve it especially from the position that he was in at the start of the season. I feel this is the true Tyler Fitzgerald, someone that we saw last year with Eugene, and there's a non-zero shot of him making the big leagues as he's an overall great person and a hard worker. The strikeouts will always be there for him though but there's power and speed in his game while also capable of playing shortstop.
Tristan Peters is just below Fitzgerald and Peters' Giants stint might not be the best so far but there I can definitely see why the Giants acquired him basically for free. He's a grinder, makes contact, makes good swing decisions, and hustles on the bases and on the outfield. It's a utility-type profile because of the lack of pop but he's definitely a prospect to watch for in 2023.
Speaking of watch out in 2023, the 2022 pitching Draft class are definitely a couple of folks to look out for. Both Spencer Miles and Liam Simon impressed me based on the looks down in the backfields. Look, I know Simon can touch 99 MPH but I was shocked when Miles touched 98 MPH in one-inning bursts. What I was even more shocked is operation on the mound. He's athletic on the mound, he has good fluidity in his motion, and he has an exceptional hip-shoulder separation. Miles might be terrible as a college pitcher but under the guidance of the Giants pitching lab, we might be a potential legitimate pitcher in our hands.
I still got Simon ahead of Miles though for a couple of reasons. First is that I like Simon's breaking ball more than Miles (Simon flashes a 55-grade slider). The second is that I have seen flashes of Simon commanding his fastball. I just like to see Simon finish his motion much cleaner because he is pretty nonchalant with how he follow through on the mound and I see that he's been more consistent in that area as a pro. Still, we need to see both in action in 2023 and their final roles are not set in stone though so it will be interesting where will they be assigned and how will they actually perform. One thing is for sure for the both: they have lively arms and the potential to harness it.
After the two promising 2022 arms comes Keaton Winn. Look, I will sing the praises of Winn but he looked unimpressive when he reached Double-A facing more mature competition. The split that he now often throws in the middle of the zone is not enticing swing throughs, the fastball control got worse, the overall operation just got worse. After thinking of him getting protected in the Rule 5 Draft, there is a chance that he will not be scooped up but it might be a blessing in disguise as Winn could continue to gain more confidence facing Double-A competition next year.
Last month, I had William Kempner ahead of both Miles and Simon but now I have Kempner just behind both as his performance in Arizona was not impressive with his three wild pitches. Granted that wild pitches are not primarily the pitcher's fault but if throwing more normally results to more strikes, then I would take that over having a unicorn traits but can't find the zone. I still have him inside the top 30 because he is that unicorn of a pitcher and let's see if he continues the Giants trend of hitting on third-rounders in the Zaidi era (Grant McCray, Kyle Harrison, Mason Black).
The final three prospects are fairly interesting. Patrick Bailey is back from the dead after posting a strong month. His strong peripherals might tell that he's doing well but watching him on film and several eyewitness accounts will shut down any chance of him making the big leagues. He's a strong framer and a solid blocker but he's very unathletic, his right-handed swing should just go, and I am just not sure if he will go back to the top. He's here because he's performed but yeah, it's still a stretch.
Nick Avila has continued to pitch strong out of the Richmond bullpen as more of a set-up guy. He's been solid but he's not been talked about a lot as guys like Waites and R.J. Dabovich take up plenty of attention. I'd say that performance-wise, he's been as good as Waites and he's been clearly better than Dabovich while having similar stuff. Avila should be talked about more, in my opinion.
Last but not the least is Adrian Sugastey. I am personally not sure on what to read of Sugastey's 2022 season. He has not been excellent but has not been terrible either. He's handled the pitching staff well and he's been solid in terms of controlling the running game. The issue probably is expecting that his batting champion ways will continue in Low-A ball but that definitely was not the case as he's looked pretty unathletic on the batter's box like when he was in Arizona last year. I still feel he is a top 30 prospect but the road going back up is going to be very tough as he's on track to become the next Ricardo Genoves.