SF Giants midseason top 30 prospects: New No. 1, power hitter falls from top spot

Now that the first half of the 2024 Minor League season is over, it is now time to re-assess the Giants prospects pecking order.
Bryce Eldridge leads the Giants prospects rankings at the midway mark of the 2024 season.
Bryce Eldridge leads the Giants prospects rankings at the midway mark of the 2024 season. / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
5 of 7
Next

SF Giants midseason top 30 prospects: New No. 1, power hitter falls from top spot

16. Diego Velasquez SS
Hit 40/50 | Raw Power 40/40 | Game Power 30/30 | Speed 50/50 | Arm 45/45 | Field 45/50
PV 30 | FV 40

Velasquez was San Jose's best hitter last season and enters the 2024 season as Eugene's highest-rated position player. He was off to a strong start in April but has fallen back to Earth a bit in May and June but was still good. Funnily enough, most of Velasquez's peripherals have been near-identical this season compared to last season except for a slight dip in power.

The ability to hit on both sides of the plate has been Velasquez's calling card in his pro career. However, he's struggled to hit against righty pitchers this season while seeing big success against lefties. That has hurt his power numbers because he has better power as a left-handed hitter where he can golf out balls in the lower third of the zone while his righty swing is a line drive-centric swing. His defense at shortstop has looked solid with the range, the arm strength, and the footwork to play the position. He is not an explosive athlete, and better, more explosive defenders at the position will push him off shortstop as he gets older.

17. Carson Ragsdale P
FB 55/55 | CB 60/60 | CH 45/45 | CMD 40/40
PV 40 | FV 40

Ragsdale has suffered a myriad of major injuries ever since he was acquired by the Giants in 2021. That did not stop him from keeping on grinding to become the best pitcher that he could. He has been nasty against Double-A competition, grabbing the Eastern League strikeout lead before getting promoted to Sacramento where pitching data should be available.

The fastball sits in the 93-96 mph range with solid life up in the zone that he pairs up with a low-80s curveball with an 11-5 shape and massive depth. In search of a pitch that splits the vertical difference between his fastball and curveball, Ragsdale throws a low-spin changeup, almost like a splitter, in the mid-80s. He has thrown a cutter before back in Eugene but it seems that he has scrapped it in preference to the splitter with solid tumbling action. His strike-throwing issues have been covered up by the high strikeout numbers in Double-A. But the tighter ABS and the more brutal offensive environment of the PCL could hurt his overall numbers.

18. Mason Black P
FB 50/50 | SL 55/55 | CH 40/45 | CMD 50/50
PV 40 | FV 40

Black has been a rotation staple for the River Cats this season except for the rough stretch that he experienced in June. Because of his strong early play this season, it earned him a big league call-up last May. However, it did not go to plan as he got roughed up in every way imaginable. It might have hit his confidence as the calendar flipped to June.

The Savant page tells plenty of stories about Mason Black. His overall velocity is below average but the horizontal movement that he generates is tremendous. He works his four-seamer up in the zone but could not elicit swings and misses unlike in the Minors due to the lack of oomph. He is supposed to be a big pitch-to-contact guy but the contact he induced in the big leagues was quite high. He can still spin his sweeper and gyro slider well, but he might be stuck in a relief role to gain velocity. There is a world of possibility that he can enjoy success based on an uptick in velocity in a shorter role, an uptick that should allow him to get more whiffs and more weak contact.

19. Wade Meckler OF
Hit 40/55 | Raw Power 30/30 | Game Power 30/30 | Speed 55/55 | Arm 40/40 | Field 40/40
PV 40 | FV 40

Meckler experienced a meteoric rise to the big leagues in his first pro season after posting video game-like numbers in the Minors. However, he was outmatched in the big leagues after failing to translate the contact ability that he seemingly mastered against minor-league pitching. He suffered an injury that kept him out until the middle of May when he was sent to San Jose after playing in the ACL. He had a bit of a setback that kept him out a couple of weeks before he was back in action in Papago once more.

The ability to make contact and the mastery of the strike zone have been Meckler's true strengths that was on full display last season. It did take a hit, however, when he faced big-league competition. Videos of him in the Papago backfields show that he is still not yet in the shape that he wants to be though his most recent performances have been better. A true evaluation of his hit tool shall be done once again when he gets back to the big leagues, if ever. His raw speed is still electric but his base-stealing technique has not improved much and he is a left fielder even with the impressive range as his reads, first step, and overall instincts do not fit up the middle.

20. Trevor McDonald P
FB 50/55 | SL 55/55 | CB 55/60 | CH 45/45 | CMD 30/40
PV 30 | FV 40

McDonald was added to the team's 40-man roster last offseason to protect him from getting drafted in the Rule 5 draft because of his talents on the mound. An injury prevented him from starting the season in Richmond. Instead, he got back to action in mid-May in the Papago backfields. He got back to Eugene as sort of a rehab assignment where he grabbed plenty of strikeouts but also gave up plenty of walks as he continued to zero in on regaining his excellent 2023 form.

When fully healthy, McDonald has one of the best arsenals in the entire Giants farm system. His fastball touches the mid-90s, primarily with sink but he can also throw a true four-seamer up in the zone though its shape is not optimal. His best pitches are his breaking balls, a mid-80s slider, and a high-70s curveball that he can generate good depth and sweep. He is not afraid to throw either of those breaking balls against any hitter either. He also has a changeup that has a late tumble but is a clear fourth pitch for him at the moment. He is athletic on the mound but his unorthodox motion does limit his control potential. With him also varying his tempo on the mound, it exacerbates the ceiling of his control.