Brett Davis, USA Today

SF Giants Prospects: Tier 2 (#3-12)

We have separated the Giants top 30 prospects into four tiers of players, with the players in each tier being somewhat comparable to one another overall. Today we unveil tier two.

Today we continue our look at some of the top talents on the SF Giants prospect lists. Some of the players may not be as highly ranked elsewhere, but according to my amateur scouting eyes, this is how I see things. 

3. Bryan Reynolds  OF  A+

First off, it’s tough for me to leave Reynolds off Tier 1 but he doesn’t have a standout tool to match the two above him. He does bring the polish and the untapped potential as an above average Major Leaguer and don’t be surprised if you see him in Richmond at some point next season.

4. Steven Duggar  OF  AA

Speaking of untapped potential, Duggar has been starting to tap to his potential when his bat showed up all year, playing better in Richmond (AA) than in the hitter friendly California League, while playing good to very good defense. Base stealing is still an issue for him to address to be a true leadoff hitter.

5. Andrew Suarez  LHP  AA

Suarez has struggled since he got promoted except for a masterful performance on the final day of the season where it looks like he started to adjust to the competition in AA. His command over his pitches is Major League-quality now and helps his good stuff play up.

6. Chris Shaw  1B/DH  AA

Shaw also struggled to adjust to better pitching as well as hitting in a tougher hitting environment, sapping his power numbers but there’s still promise in the swing that I can see that he’ll hit for a better average once he adjusts his approach. Good thing that first base isn’t a defense-first position but he needs to improve his defense there to man the position in the NL.

7. Ty Blach  LHP  MLB

I know Blach is placed higher on their rankings than mine but I have some points to say. First, in evaluating, I value age and the development curve.  He’s going to hit 27 next season, which is the peak for an athlete’s physique, and he’s still considered a prospect. Second, when he pitched in the Majors last season, Baseball Savant recorded his spin rate on his pitches and it’s not that good. He got below average spin rate on his fastball (2,107 RPM average in 4SFB, 2,145 RPM for 2SFB) and average to below average on his secondary pitches (2,335 RPM for SL, 1982 RPM for CH, 2,209 RPM for CB). His perceived velocity isn’t good either.  But he knows how to pitch and he pitched well in his brief stint with the Giants. He should carve up a nice career as a Major Leaguer.

8. Austin Slater  OF  AAA

I am probably a bit higher on Slater than other people out there. There were massive improvements in Slater’s bat last season. First, he carried his patience from his Fall League stint in 2015 to his 2016 season where he doubled his walk rate compared to his 2015 regular season. His power stroke also improved a lot, producing 18 homers in 2016 and transforming as a doubles hitter to a true homer threat. His swing will always be unbelievably long which will lead him strike out more often but if he continues to roll in 2017, he can compete with Mac and Parker for the left field spot.

9. Heath Quinn  OF  A+

Quinn is in the same mold as Mac Williamson with less speed. I have liked this Giants pick last year and he should continue to mash baseballs in the hot California League.

10. Sam Coonrod  RHP  AA

Coonrod’s numbers last season makes me question his ability to get hitters to strike out with his stuff at the next level and if he tried to pitch to contact last season, he still allowed hitters to hit the ball in the air more than on the ground. 2017 will be a nice litmus test for him if he’s going to be an asset in the Major Leagues.

11. Sandro Fabian  OF  ROK

Fabian has pushed to the national spotlight this season as an advanced hitter with power and an impressive arm. The bat speed of Fabian is relatively average but his feel is impressive. Comparing him to last season’s top international prospect Lucius Fox, Fabian already has a better hit tool than Fox as well as better raw power, but Fabian doesn’t have the speed and defensive potential to match. It will be exciting to follow him next season.

12. C.J. Hinojosa  SS/2B  AA

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You can throw away all of Hinojosa’s college scouting reports away. He broke out in a big way last season, flashing his ability to hit, good body control to defend short along with his intelligence and baseball instincts. He will probably move to the opposite side of the middle infield but he looks like a Major Leaguer.

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