Before the 2017 season crawled through our nose and laid eggs in our stomach, Baseball America put exactly one Giants prospect in their top-100 list: Tyler Beede. Four months later, the Giants still have just one prospect in their midseason top-100 list, and it’s Chris Shaw. One step forward, one step back.
Shaw is ranked no. 86 on the list, which is three spots higher than Beede, so that’s the good news! The bad news is that the Giants had five prospects on the Baseball America midseason list last year. Two of them were traded (Phil Bickford, Adalberto Mejia), one of them has taken a step back (Beede), one of them was super hot before he was super cold before he was super broken (Christian Arroyo), and one of them was Shaw (Shaw). If there’s any consolation, it’s that Arroyo didn’t qualify for the list because he has too much service time now.
Also consolation: Shaw is pretty awesome. The left-handed outfielder/first baseman is hitting .300/.356/.531 across two levels, with 14 home runs. He started off hot in Double-A, hitting .301/.390/.511 in a tough pitcher’s park, keeping his strikeouts down and his walks up, and after some initial struggles in Sacramento, he’s been on a power surge lately, raising his Triple-A line to .299/.322/.549.
If you’re expecting to see Shaw in September (or sooner), well, it’s complicated. The Giants don’t need to put him on the 40-man roster this offseason to keep him away from the Rule 5 Draft, which means they probably wouldn’t want to designate anyone for assignment just to give him a cup of coffee. It’s possible that the organization is more concerned about rewarding him after a solid season, but it’s also possible, if not likely, that roster logistics and a desire to start his service time next year will keep him in Sacramento.
Still, in a system that’s been short on great news this year, Shaw has been one of the better stories. I’m not sure how his left-handed power will translate to AT&T Park, but it was exciting to watch him demolish the Eastern League, where power prospects usually go to die. He’s one of the best prospects in the Giants’ system now, and he’s officially one of the better prospects in baseball.
Keep raking, friend. Also, keep ranking.