The SF Giants injury woes extend beyond just the major league roster as one of their top prospects hit the shelf earlier this month. After an unusually long absence, the Giants confirmed the status of Luis Matos.
Top SF Giants infield prospect recovering from quad injury
Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area indicated that Matos sustained a left quad injury earlier in the month and that he will begin a rehab assignment on Monday. The 20-year-old prospect last appeared in a game on May 4 for the Eugene Emeralds, but there was no clarification as to what caused the absence until Monday.
The Giants originally signed the right-handed bat out of Venezuela for a $725,000 signing bonus during the 2018 - 2019 J2 international signing period. Marco Luciano and Jairo Pomares were reeled in along with Matos for a signing bonus of $2.6 million and $975,000, respectively.
This international class could make an impact for the Giants soon enough as all three prospects have emerged as some of the best in baseball. According to MLB.Com, Luciano ranks as the No. 8 prospect in baseball, whereas Matos comes in at No. 58.
The latter had a breakout campaign in 2021 during his first full season as a professional. With the San Jose Giants, the right-handed bat slashed .313/.359/.495 with 15 home runs, 86 RBI, and 84 runs in 491 plate appearances. This included a 5.7 percent walk rate against a 12.4 percent strikeout rate.
Matos has an advanced feel of the strike zone and one of the more technically sound swings I can recall of any Giants prospect at his age. Plus, he has the speed, arm, and instincts to stick in center field. He moved aggressively up top prospect lists prior to the season and there has been some debate as to whether Matos or Luciano is the best position player prospect in the system.
That said, Matos got off to a slow start in 2022, posting a .152/.253/.152 line with just three RBI and eight runs in 75 plate appearances for the Eugene Emeralds. There is still plenty of time for Matos to turn things around in 2022, but sometimes, experiencing a prolonged slump can become a positive moment in a player's development as he learns to deal with a new challenge.