A little over two weeks worth of games have been played in the 2021 Arizona Fall League, so it’s time to check in on the eight San Francisco Giants prospects who are there: infielders Marco Luciano and Will Wilson, outfielder Hunter Bishop, catcher Patrick Bailey, and pitchers Gregory Santos, Seth Corry, R.J. Dabovich, and Cole Waites.
Things went from bad to worse for the Scottsdale Scorpions, the affiliate that the Giants share with the Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Guardians, Tampa Bay Rays, and Minnesota Twins. After going 3-5 in the first week-plus of games, the Scorpions went just 1-5 last week, though they remain just 3.5 games out of first in the three-team AFL East.
But wins and losses don’t matter much to us; we’re concerned with the play of the Giants eight prospects. So let’s check in on them.
Marco Luciano (No. 1 CPL, 20, 2018 J2)
This week’s stats: 2-15, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts
AFL season stats: 7-35, 2 home runs, 5 RBI, 8 walks, 14 strikeouts, .735 OPS
After a blistering hot start to the AFL, the Giants top prospect cooled off considerably in week two. It kind of mirrors his Minor League season, where he was exceptional with the Low-A San Jose Giants, but struggled something fierce when promoted to the High-A Eugene Emeralds.
Luciano’s mediocre results are absolutely nothing to worry about, since in addition to being a tiny sample size, the shortstop is the youngest player in the six-team AFL this year.
Patrick Bailey (No. 8 CPL, 22, 2020 1st round)
This week’s stats: 5-15, 1 double, 2 RBI, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts
AFL season stats: 9-27, 1 home run, 2 doubles, 3 RBI, 4 walks, 10 strikeouts, .938 OPS
The Giants top pick in the 2020 MLB Draft continues to play well, though that comes with the caveat that you expect a 22-year old prospect to do fairly well in the environments he’s spent the last few months: Low-A and the AFL.
But good results are good results, and no one is arguing with them.
Will Wilson (No. 10 CPL, 23, 2019 1st round pick via LAA)
This week’s stats: 4-13, 1 home run, 1 double, 3 RBI, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
AFL season stats: 6-26, 1 home run, 2 doubles, 5 RBI, 4 walks, 6 strikeouts, .756 OPS
Wilson — who is still getting a lot of play in the outfield despite playing exclusively as an infielder in the Minor Leagues — had a nice week after a rough start to the AFL. His Minor League season ended pretty poorly, with an enormous amount of strikeouts and minimal hard contact ... so having a pair of extra-base hits against just three strikeouts this week is a nice look on him.
Hunter Bishop (No. 4 CPL, 23, 2019 1st round)
This week’s stats: 3-11, 2 doubles, 2 RBI, 5 strikeouts
AFL season stats: 3-17, 2 doubles, 2 RBI, 9 strikeouts, .557 OPS
I’m not sure I’d call it a great week for Bishop, but after going 0-6 with 4 strikeouts in the first week, it represents a rather sizable step in the right direction for a player trying to get on track after losing almost the entire season to injury.
Hunter Bishop went 2-for-3 in the AFL tonight, with a HBP and 2B. pic.twitter.com/KcrgNVXvCD— Electro (@ImNotHuman123) October 28, 2021
Seth Corry (No. 6 CPL, 22, 2017 3rd round)
This week’s stats: 0.2 innings, 0 hits, 4 walks, 1 earned run, 2 strikeouts
AFL season stats: 2.2 innings, 1 hit, 5 walks, 1 earned run, 4 strikeouts, 3.38 ERA
Corry was plagued by control issues this Minor League season, issuing a brutal 63 walks in just 67.2 innings. Unfortunately those issues reared their head this week, with the lefty walking twice as many batters as he retired.
Gregory Santos (No. 15 CPL, 22, 2015 J2 via BOS)
This week’s stats: 3 innings, 1 hit, 3 walks, 2 earned runs, 3 strikeouts
AFL season stats: 6.2 innings, 5 hits, 4 walks, 2 earned runs, 7 strikeouts, 2.70 ERA
A bit of good and a bit of bad to take away from Santos’ week. The important thing is just that he’s on the mound after an 80-game suspension for a banned substance. He figures to join Camilo Doval and Kervin Castro in the Giants exciting young bullpen sooner rather than later, and getting back on the field is a crucial first step.
R.J. Dabovich (No. 36 CPL, 22, 2020 4th round)
This week’s stats: 2 innings, 0 hits, 2 walks, 0 earned runs, 2 strikeouts
AFL season stats: 5.2 innings, 2 hits, 7 walks, 1 earned run, 9 strikeouts, 1.59 ERA
Dabovich’s walk totals remain higher than is ideal, which is likely an outlier given that his command was OK in the season, issuing 13 free passes in 32.1 innings. Most exciting is that the strikeouts continue to come in huge numbers: after K’ing 62 batters in the season, he’s back to well over 1.5 batters struck out per inning in the AFL.
Cole Waites (23, 2019 18th round)
This week’s stats: 1.2 innings, 2 hits, 1 walk, 3 earned runs, 2 strikeouts
AFL season stats: 3.2 innings, 5 hits, 5 walks, 9 earned runs, 4 strikeouts, 22.09 ERA
Waites is a reminder as to how one or two bad performances can absolutely wreck a reliever’s ERA. In an injury-shortened Minor League season, the righty allowed just a single hit and earned run in 13.1 innings, with 31 strikeouts. And now in the AFL he’s done ... this.
So it goes sometimes when you deal with small samples, as relievers always do.
We’ll be back next Friday with another check on these eight prospects.