Not A Strength but Not A Weakness Either
Catcher – Catchers initially placed as an organization strength but after giving it a deeper thought, it ultimately ended up a tier below because of a couple of reasons: Joey Bart’s eventual graduation and the lack of depth. The first reason, Joey Bart’s eventual graduation, is pretty self-explanatory. Joey Bart will be featured in the Giants’ lineup this season after the retirement of Buster Posey and his eventual graduation will hurt because of the gap between him and Adrian Sugastey in terms of FV (55 FV for Bart to 45 FV of Sugastey).
There is a high possibility that Sugastey will break out and leap to the 50 FV tier this season, but now the issue becomes depth. There are only four prospects outside of Bart that graded out as 40 FV prospects or better. Auerbach is placed at catcher because that is his primary position last season, and if the player development staff took Auerbach out of the crouch and focus him more in the infield or outfield, that only leaves the position with three prospects. And looking at the prospects outside the 40 FV tier that might move up, there is only one prospect with the potential to do so and that is Onil Perez after his stellar 2021 season in the Dominican Republic.
It all depends on Bart. If Bart is indeed the long-term solution for the catcher position, depth might not be an issue after all. If the opposite happens, there are at least three capable catchers at the moment who could be in play but are not as talented as the number two overall pick of the 2018 draft.
Shortstop – You might think of it as “why do I have the shortstop position as not a strength in the organization if Marco Luciano is in there?”. The answer is uncertainty. By now, you should already know that Luciano will most likely have to move out of the position for the best interest of the organization to win. That results in only five shortstops that are graded out as at least 40 FV. Good thing Arteaga is the highest of the five because he has the best chance of sticking in the position given his skillset in the dirt.
Outside of Arteaga, though, the rest have questions to stick in the position long-term. Will Wilson is a better fit at second base over shortstop based on what he’s shown last season defensively, Diego Velasquez is also a better fit at second base than shortstop based on film study, and Ryan Reckley is still a tough evaluation at the moment because he has yet to play in pro ball to make a sound evaluation. Only Ghordy Santos has the best shot of sticking of the four and even he has some issues handling the position at times in San Jose that makes me pause a bit.
There is also plenty of uncertainty and volatility for the prospects outside of the top 40 except Edison Mora because of their youth and their shaky 2021 season in Rookie ball. Even Mora is not a potential shortstop prospect because of the way the coaches use him defensively, especially in San Jose, where he played all over the field except shortstop. Overall, shortstop is a position with a lot of promise, but with the highest volatility and uncertainty in the entire organization, more volatile than the starting pitching.