The SF Giants have seen plenty of success from their prospect pool in 2023, not only down in the minor leagues but with the big club as well, as Casey Schmitt, Luis Matos and Patrick Bailey all look like legit names at the MLB level, so that begs the question, who's next?
Top 6 SF Giants Prospects Up For Promotion Next
With the MLB roster set full of young and experienced talent, we may not see too many more names take the jump to the major league level in 2023, but the development process takes time, so now the focus shifts to development and promotions within the minor league system.
So, as the 2023 season rolls on and the Giants look to continue their push, lets look towards the minor league level and take a look at six SF Giants players that could be next for promotion, whether it be the ultimate one, or another stepping stone towards San Francisco.
1. Vaun Brown - Triple-A
The SF Giants all of a sudden have one of the deepest prospect groups in all of baseball, and that leads to several key young players being overlooked, and that applies to no Giants prospect more than 24-year-old Vaun Brown, who was a 10th-round pick of the Giants back in 2021.
In his first full professional season in 2022, Brown excelled between A, A+ and AA ball, hitting a combined .346 with 26 Home runs and 75 RBI's, and in 2023, he's started just as well, so it's only a matter of time until he makes the next step.
In 29 games in 2023, Brown has hit .274 with 3 home runs and 14 RBI's, and while he's not been as hot as we saw in 2022, the Giants feel as though they have another fantastic young outfielder on their hands, and if he can find his form once again, Triple-A should be within grasp in 2023.
2. Grant McCray - Double-A
In 2022, few, if any players improved their stock in the SF Giants system more than Grant McCray, who finished the season with an astounding .289 average with 23 home runs and 79 RBI's, as well as stealing 43 bases, and with stellar defense, the Giants may have found themselves a crucial piece of their future.
In 2023, he's begun the year in A+ ball, showing all the traits we saw on display in 2022, and with several names ahead of him making jumps in 2023, he's clearly ready to find a spot for himself in Double-A at some point.
In 60 games this year, McCray has 8 home runs, 35 RBI's and 29 stolen bases, and at 22-years of age, he's devloping and improving at a more than steady rate, and if he can step up to the Double-A level, there's no doubting that he can be a big league player of the future.
3. Will Bednar - Single-A
The SF Giants have been very hit and miss with their top draft picks in recent times, but for every Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner and Tim Lincecum, there's been a Phil Bickford or Gary Brown, and the team is now waiting to see what former first-round pick Will Bednar turns out to be.
Despite the hype that comes with being a first-round pick, Bednar sits at the Giants No. 16 overall prospect, and as of yet, he's struggled to put together a full season as a professional, so the team will be looking for him to take that step soon.
As of right now, Bednar is back in rookie ball with just 7.2 innings pitched in 2023, but has shown off some impressive stuff down there, and at 23-years of age, the Giants will be looking to push him through the system soon, so look for him to make the jump to A or A+ ball very soon if healthy.
Bednar is in the midst of a rehab assignment in Rookie Bednar. Given this and his draft pedigree, the Giants may want to be aggressive with his assignment.
4. Carson Whisenhunt - Triple-A
For anyone following along with the minor league play of the Giants prospects in 2023, arguably no one has impressed the majority more than Carson Whisenhunt, who has risen through the ranks from A+ ball to start the year to now being a key part of the AA squad.
Over those three levels, he's thrown 47.2 innings over 12 starts, tallying a 2.25 ERA with 68 strikeouts, and while he's made just 2 starts in Double-A thus far, he's clearly one of the most talented arms in the entire organization right now.
At just 22-years of age, he's got plenty of time to grow and develop, but with a lack of starting pitching in the major leagues right now, they may look to push him through quicker than others, but as we've seen thus far, he's got all the makings of a top pitcher at any level right now.
Of course, it bears mentioning that current teammates Mason Black and Landen Roupp could be candidates for a promotion as well.
5. Marco Luciano - Triple-A
Over the past two years, Giants fans have anxiously awaited the development of their future shortstop Marco Luciano, and while he began slow, the past 12 months have certainly been a step in the right direction for the 21-year-old.
In 37 games at the Double-A level in 2023, Luciano may only be batting .202, but he has 9 home runs and 29 RBI's, and with his usual fantastic defense, he's showing that he has finally figured it out at the professional level, and could be headed for Triple-A soon.
With Casey Schmitt, Thairo Estrada and Brandon Crawford all still playing at an above-average level, there's very little likelihood that MLB's No. 18 overall prospect will make it to the MLB level this year, but if he can make the jump to Triple-A with success, he'll be in line for the ultimate promotion in 2024.
Since he is on the 40-man roster, Luciano may be pushed up both because of performance and because of need. The front office has typically been aggressive with prospects on the 40-man roster.
6. Kyle Harrison - MLB
For years now, most of the SF Giants success has come on the back of their pitching staff, with home grown names like Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner and Logan Webb leading the way, and now, it appears the next name that could be added to that list is on the way.
That would be Giants No. 1 (and No. 15 in all of baseball) prospect Kyle Harrison, who broke out in 2022 and is now expected to take the next step to the big leagues in 2023, and with injuries and struggles to the rotation, that promotion could come at any time.
In 14 starts this year, Harrison may just be 1-2, but he has an impressive 3.33 ERA with 80 strikeouts in 47.1 innings pitched, and with a rise in velocity and improved control, it's only a matter of time until the Giants promote one of their hottest prospects in years.