SF Giants hitting prospects rundown (4/18-4/23)
Emeralds Hitting Prospects
Marco Luciano: 5 G, 20 PA, .316 AVG, .919 OPS, 2 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K
Luis Toribio: 5 G, 19 PA, .333 AVG, 1.035 OPS, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K
Hunter Bishop: 5 G, 21 PA, .100 AVG, .543 OPS, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 6 K, 2 SB
Patrick Bailey: 3 G, 12 PA, .000 AVG, .083 OPS, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
It's time to pull the rabbit out of the hat and let's talk about Marco Luciano. There is no question that Luciano is off to a nice start in 2022 with a .325 batting average, a .939 OPS, four doubles, a couple of bombs, a 6.8% walk rate, and a 25% strikeout rate. Looks like Luciano's focus on getting his body ready for this season has paid off with this start. On defense, he's improved his routine plays by making cleaner throws and having better footwork but there are still issues, specifically going to his right, that might never be resolved. Luciano has often been compared to Seattle stud prospect Noelvi Marte and at this point in time, Luciano is on a much better start compared to Marte. Luciano's hot start might've been muted by the consensus being down on him after a trying 2021 season, myself included, but he and Kyle Harrison have separated themselves as the creme de la creme of the system after two weeks of play.
I was worried for Luis Toribio after he got bumped up to High-A since he had a difficult 2021 season for the San Jose Giants as he got passed by both Luciano, Matos, and Pomares on the pecking order. It did not deter Toribio to show up looking for revenge after a strong second week. It is interesting to note that Toribio did not get going last season until he got moved to play first base full-time around July. He's put up his first good stretch in the second week of the season. Toribio now has an OPS of .814 which is still worse than his Complex numbers but much better than what he's shown last season in Low-A ball.
Aside from Luis Matos, let's talk about the two prospects in the Emeralds lineup who are off to a cold start to their seasons: Hunter Bishop and Patrick Bailey. We have talked about Bishop's early-season struggles last week and he indeed hit his first two Bish Bombs of the 2022 season, but other than that, it's been nothing but pain. Bishop's SLG is only at .267, his strikeout rate is at 31.1%, and his walk rate is only at 6.7%. If I could compare his start of the season, that would be something like in football where other than a couple of splash plays, all of the plays went for zero or negative yards.
Let's finish off this one by talking about the other first-rounder. It's like we have seen this script before. Last season, Bailey struggled mightily over the couple of months of the season in Eugene as he battled with conditioning and some back issues. This season, Bailey has struggled mightily over the first couple of weeks of the season with a .395 OPS. Simply abysmal stuff where the makings of a dynamic hitter simply is not there with the way his swing and his whole body works. It's mostly hands and hips with very little use of the lower half. Yes, he's kept his strikeouts at a respectable rate, but he also has not walked much and he often gets to defensive swings in two-strike counts resulting to outs. Bart doing well in the big leagues certainly has not helped Bailey's case to being the future of the Giants at the catching position. If both Bishop and Bailey continues to show this kind of form as the calendar flips to May, it may be time to hit the panic button.