SF Giants hitting prospects rundown (4/5 - 4/17)
SJ Giants Hitting Prospects
Dilan Rosario: 6 G, 26 PA, .350 AVG, .900 OPS, 1 2B, 6 RBI, 5 BB, 6 K, 1 SB
Adrian Sugastey: 7 G, 30 PA, .250 AVG, .858 OPS, 2 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 5 BB, 6 K
Grant McCray: 6 G, 27 PA, .200 AVG, .770 OPS, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 6 BB, 5 K, 1 SB
Aeverson Arteaga: 7 G, 32 PA, .231 AVG, .721 OPS, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 5 BB, 12 K, 1 SB
The best-looking hitter so far through the first week has been Dilan Rosario. Rosario is a sixth-round draft choice by the Giants in 2019 from the same school that Heliot Ramos once called his home, Leadership Christian Academy. Rosario struggled mightily on the offensive side of the ball in his two seasons of Complex ball, never having an OPS above .625. So what makes the Rosario of 2022 different to the Rosario of last season and 2019? It all boiled down to the approach and the swing. He's had more of a feast or famine approach and swing in Arizona with a corresponding swing and the exit velocities. This year though, he's looked to have more of a line-drive swing and it's worked very well for him. He's primarily played second base this season but he's also played some shortstop when Arteaga is resting or played DH. It's a nice start for Rosario and it's helped him to put himself back to the minds of the prospect community.
The next prospect whose doing well at the start of the season is one of their top young position prospect Adrian Sugastey. Sugastey is kind of what I expected so far this season. He's hit for a good average, he's not trying to do too much in two-strike counts, he's looking to do damage in favorable counts, and his play behind the dish looks good. The only qualm against him is that he's getting beat by sequencing at times but that's what's really expected. I expect his numbers to be better and be one of the best hitters in the California League by the end of the season.
Grant McCray's not really doing damage in terms of the batting average but his peripherals tell us that he's buying into the philosophies of the coaching staff. He's taking his walks, he's working the count well, he's utilizing his plus speed when he makes contact with his extra-base hits, and he's playing very good defense in the outfield. He might eventually be a prospect with three above-average tools in his speed, arm, and defense, an average power, and a below-average bat, but that kind of profile tends to make the big leagues as long as the production is consistent. McCray's shown that he's very coachable and that gives me plenty of hope that he will eventually be a strong producer with the bat as the season rolls along.
To cap off this week's hitters rundown, let's talk about Aeverson Arteaga. I'll be honest here that I'm kind of disappointed with his start of the season. Not really because of the high strikeout numbers (37.5% strikeout rate) but where do the issues lie. First off, he's really struggled to hit breaking balls, particularly sliders away from him, over the first week of the season like it's clockwork. The next issue is that his internal clock on defense is still not there. He will be there on the play but he will tend to rush things or lack focus and bobble the ball and allow the runner to get on base instead of getting outs. Those things are concerning for me because those things are not something that you can fix overnight. That's something that takes plenty of reps and I thought that Arteaga would take the jump on both sides of the ball this season. Apparently, it is not the case. Unless he suddenly flips out a much improved hitting approach within the next week or so, I think this will be the Arteaga that we will see for quite some time. He's still very talented though so the chances are he will fix this issues but it's best to temper expectations right now.