SF Giants prospects sweep Player of the Week honors in Northwest League

Why can't the Giants prospects stop winning hardwares!
You are definitely not ready for some Jack Choate deceptive cambios.
You are definitely not ready for some Jack Choate deceptive cambios. / Ben Lonergan/The Register-Guard / USA

Well, the awards start coming and they don't stop coming indeed as another week of SF Giants prospects earning some well-deserved recognition for their performance for the past week of play. The Eugene Emeralds swept both the Player and the Pitcher of the Week honors with outfielder Turner Hill and lefty Jack Choate, respectively.

SF Giants prospects sweep Player of the Week honors in Northwest League

Let's begin with Hill. Hill arrived in the Giants organization when the Giants signed him back in May of last year to fill in the void in center field when Carter Howell was promoted to High-A.

Against the Spokane Indians last week, The lefty bat stood out in the four games that he played. He posted six hits including three extra-base hits, six walks compared to just one strikeout, and a stolen base. The three extra-base hits that he hit were against the Indians last Saturday, where he hit two home runs and a double as he drove in six runs in a 12-8 victory.

The Marietta College product was decent in his stint with San Jose last year, providing good speed and extra-base hit power at the top of the lineup.

This year, Hill is turning things up a notch, particularly in one important stat. Hill's batting average is down to a decent but unspectacular .258 for the season, a good 20 points below last season's average. However, the power has been way up, with at least a 100-point increase to his both slugging percentage and isolated power.

Add in a healthy increase in his walk rate resulted in him having a very respectable .845 OPS for the year. It does come with one drawback though as his stolen base attempt rate is a bit lower compared to last year but can still be considered as a solid threat.

Hill did everything that you want to see from a hitter: be patient in the zone but show aggression when a beach ball pitch was thrown against him. Even though he is already 25 years old, I would be shocked if Hill does not earn a favorable report this season, potentially having a non-zero shot at being on a big-league roster at some point in his professional career.

On the pitching side, my 37th-ranked prospect in my 2024 pre-season rankings was exceptional in the same game last Saturday where Hill was also the star of the show. Even though the game went bonkers offensively, Choate shut down the Indians lineup for five innings, only allowing four baserunners while striking out nine.

The southpaw pitcher encountered some traffic in the first inning where the leadoff batter got on base with a bunt single that he struggled to corral and a walk to the next batter.

However, it was smooth sailing after that as he managed to shove down the Indians lineup in the first three innings. In the fourth inning, center fielder Robby Martin Jr. hit a leadoff double but it never felt that Choate was in a big pressure as the Emeralds were already leading by seven at that point.

The extra large lefty out of Assumption College was definitely in charge as his crossfire, low 3/4 slinging delivery wreaked havoc in Spokane.

The changeup was a legitimate plus pitch with plenty of fade and tailing action, the fastball looked sneaky quick in the 88-92 mph range, and the slider was giving lefty hitters a lot of fits. His 15 swinging strikes last Saturday were the most that he ever had since his San Jose debut back in the seventh of April last year.

Aside from an uptick in velocity, control is one of the biggest points of improvement for Choate this year. He's already shown last year in Eugene that he can do it, with a walk rate at around 5% last year.

However, the strikeout stuff took a bit of a hit, reeling toward a below-average rate. This year, Choate did not have the uptick in the fastball that one would expect but the strikeout ticked back up without hurting his control, with a strikeout rate a tick below 30% while having a walk rate a shade under 5%.

 Carson Whisenhunt also won an award that is outside the MiLB sphere as he was included in the MLB.com Prospect of the Week with his 10-strikeout performance. I already covered up his performance here!

Congratulations to Choate, Hill, and Whisenhunt once again, and here's to more Players of the Week winners in the coming weeks for both Giants hitting and pitching!