2022 San Francisco Giants Top 5 Prospectsby Andrew Atkins January 29, 2022 0 comments
After four straight losing seasons, the San Francisco Giants shocked the baseball world by winning a league-best 107 games in 2021. They were famously predicted to win around 75 games before the season was underway. Surprisingly, the Giants dominated Major League Baseball by relying on veterans and not young prospects. San Francisco even traded for All-Star outfielder and third baseman Kris Bryant during this magnificent season. In return, they were forced to ship their number nine prospect Alexander Canario and their number 30 prospect Caleb Kilian to the Chicago Cubs.
Nevertheless, the San Francisco farm system was ranked number eight in all of baseball this past summer. In fact, all five of the Giant’s top prospects were listed on the top 100 prospect list during the latest ranking.
Make sure to check out all of our other Top Prospect Articles.
1. Marco Luciano, Shortstop
At just 16 years old, Luciano was the top-rated middle infield prospect of the 2018 international signing class. The Giants inked him to a $2.6 million contract that summer and he made his pro debut in 2019. The Dominican Republic native split the 2019 season between the Arizona and Northwest Leagues, finishing with a .302/.417/.564 slash line. While there was no 2020 Minor League season, Luciano was present at San Francisco’s alternate training site.
In 2021 Luciano dominated in the Low-A West league, slashing .278/.373/.556. He additionally slugged 18 home runs over 70 games before getting promoted to the High-A-West league to end the season. Luciano is best known for his bat speed and raw power rankings from the right-handed side of the plate. He has a plus arm, but a moderate speed rating could potentially impact what position he ends up at.
Luciano did struggle a tad in High-A at the end of the 2021 season. Despite slashing just .217/.283/.295 across 36 games, he projects to stay there to begin the 2022 season. Should he perform well, the 20-year-old will likely get called up to Double-A by the end of this season. The fifth-best prospect in all of baseball has a bright future ahead of him.
2. Joey Bart, Catcher
The Giants selected Bart out of Georgia Tech with the number two pick in the 2018 Draft. They signed the catcher to a then record-breaking signing bonus of $7,025,000. Across two minor league levels in 2018, Bart slashed .294/.364/.588. Bart spent the 2019 Minor League campaign between High-A and Double-A, flourishing during his stint at the latter. Despite there being no Minor League season in 2020, Bart actually made his debut with the Major League club.
The Giants had been receiving little production from their backstops after longtime starter Buster Posey opted out of the season. This led them to call up Bart, who struggled at the plate. Across 33 games Bart hit .233/.288/.320. However, he did perform admirably behind the plate. San Francisco pitchers raved about his defense and the team actually won 15 out of 28 of his starts behind the dish. Bart only played in two games for the Giants in 2021 but slashed .294/.358/.472 across 67 games at Triple-A.
With Posey retiring at the conclusion of the 2021 season, the time is now for Bart in San Francisco. Barring any setback, the 25-year-old should start the 2022 season with the Giants. His above-average defense, bat speed, and raw power are reason enough to be the sport’s number 16 overall prospect.
ETA: Debuted 2020
3. Luis Matos, Outfielder
Just like Luciano, Matos was also a signing from the 2018 international signing class. The Giants finalized a deal for $725,000 with the Venezuelan-born outfielder. Matos made his professional debut in the 2019 Dominican Summer League and was phenomenal. In 55 games he slashed .362/.430/.570 with a 1.000 OPS. Matos is well known already as an advanced hitter, despite being only 20 years old. He was promoted to the Low-A-West league in 2021 and did not disappoint. Here Matos hit .313/.359/.495 with 15 home runs and 86 RBIs over 109 games. Matos is noted to have a high baseball IQ, a quick swing from the right side, impressive exit velocities, and great plate discipline. He has been working to improve his play in the outfield, but still possesses a solid arm.
After dominating at the lower levels of the Minor Leagues, expect to see Matos move quickly through the Giants’ system. Matos could easily begin the year at the Double-A level, but do not be surprised if a strong spring earns him a spot on the Triple-A team. Currently listed as baseball’s 77th ranked prospect, the more Matos continues to produce, the sooner he will be playing for the Giants.
4. Heliot Ramos, Outfielder
San Francisco selected Ramos with the 19th pick in the first round of the 2017 Draft. After signing for $3,101,700, the right-handed hitter out of Puerto Rico slugged .348/.404/.645 over 35 professional games that same year. At just 19 years old, Ramos made his debut at Double-A in 2019. That year between High-A and Double-A he hit .291/.369/.481 with 16 home runs, 24 doubles, and an OPS of .850. Ramos returned to action in 2021 and split the season between Double-A and Triple-A. Here he finished a combined .254/.323/.417 with 14 home runs and 25 doubles in 116 games. Ramos is known for his power more than his overall hitting ability, but he has become more disciplined at the plate. He has the ability to hit with power to all fields.
The Giants added Ramos to their 40-man roster in November 2021. This drastically improves the 22-year old’s chances of making his Major League debut in 2022. Ramos has been playing center field in the Minor Leagues, but projects as a right fielder due to his power and his strong arm. He is baseball’s 80th ranked prospect.
5. Kyle Harrison, Left-Handed Pitcher
The Giants shelled out first-round caliber money to draft Harrison in the third round of the 2020 Draft. For $2,497,500, the Giants were able to convince the prep lefty to forgo his commitment to attend UCLA and turn pro. Harrison’s fastball sat at 90-93 before the draft, but he sat at 94-95 and topped out at 98 MPH during his first professional season. Pitching from a three-quarters arm slot, Harrison’s fastball also has significant run and sink on it. His slider is another plus pitch due to its effectiveness against hitters from both sides of the plate. Harrison’s changeup is his worst pitch for now, but his polish as a pitcher should allow for it to develop nicely. In his age 19 season, Harrison made 23 starts in the Low-A-West league. He finished with a solid 3.19 ERA with 157 strikeouts and just 52 walks over 98.2 innings pitched.
Harrison is on track towards being the next great San Francisco ace. He is only 20 years old, but his upside should propel him quickly through the Minor League system. Harrison will likely begin the season at either Low-A or High-A, with a shot at reaching Double-A this year. The young lefty was ranked as the sport’s 99th best prospect in the latest rankings.
What Does the Future Hold?
The future is bright in San Francisco with the Giants’ top five prospects. All have tremendous upside and should be playing in the Major Leagues sooner rather than later. In fact, Both Bart and Ramos project to graduate soon from the top prospect list. This would potentially move outfielder Hunter Bishop and right-handed pitcher Will Bednar into the top five. This top ten farm system will help keep the Giants competitive for years to come.
Follow Andrew Atkins on Twitter @doubleA_double2
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images