San Francisco Giants fans have gotten used to spending this time of the year looking towards the offseason and all of its exciting marvels, keeping just half an eye on the MLB playoffs, hoping someone will keep the Los Angeles dodgers from going all the way.
This year is certainly different. The Giants won 107 games, took the division in dramatic fashion, and host the NLDS starting on Friday night. Both eyes are now firmly on the playoffs.
But all that stuff that made fans of under-.500 Giants teams excited in October still exists, including Wednesday’s announcement of the seven prospects that the Giants are sending to the Arizona Fall League, to play for the Scottsdale Scorpions, who also are the affiliates of Cleveland, Tampa Bay, Boston, and Minnesota.
The Giants representatives are pitchers R.J. Dabovich (2020 fourth-round pick), Gregory Santos (2015 international signing by Red Sox), and Cole Waites (2019 18th-round pick), catcher Patrick Bailey (2020 first-round pick), infielders Marco Luciano (2018 international signing) and Will Wilson (2019 first-round pick by Angels), and outfielder Hunter Bishop (2019 first-round pick).
Luciano, Bailey, Wilson, Bishop among Giants prospects at Arizona Fall League: pic.twitter.com/pCP7VyrH7C— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) October 6, 2021
It’s an interesting mix of players the Giants are sending to Scottsdale, ranging from those who have been underperforming to those who have been overperforming, and featuring a few players who could greatly benefit from some reps.
Dabovich and Waites, for instance, had sensational seasons. The former, playing in his debut professional season, had a 2.78 ERA across High-A and AA, with 62 strikeouts to 13 walks in just 32.1 innings. The latter had a very short season due to injuries, but in 13.1 innings across the Arizona Complex League and Low-A struck out a stunning 31 batters to 6 walks, while allowing just 1 hit and 1 earned run.
Luciano, the team’s top prospect, put on a show in Low-A, before a promotion to High-A, where he never really found his footing. He had a .930 OPS in San Jose, but in Eugene finished with just a .577 OPS, with 54 strikeouts in 145 plate appearances. Nothing to worry about given his age (he turned 20 less than a month ago), but having some success in Arizona would still be great to see.
Wilson had a similar path, hitting well in High-A (.837 OPS) before going ice cold in AA (.587 OPS, 81 strikeouts in 221 plate appearances).
Bailey took the opposite approach in his first professional season, struggling in High-A before suffering an injury, then dominating in his return at Low-A. The 2020 first-round pick had a .946 OPS in San Jose, with a 47-to-28 strikeout to walk ratio, and 23 extra-base hits in 207 plate appearances.
Bishop and Santos had mostly lost seasons, and Arizona gives them an opportunity to make up for lost time. The former struggled with injuries all year, and finished with just 56 plate appearances. He struggled mightily in those at-bats, but it’s hard to draw any conclusions given the injuries and small sample. The latter was on the 40-man roster and made his MLB debut this year, but was suspended for 80 games in June due to a drug violation.
I’ll try and keep you all updated on the performance of the Giants Fall League prospects. The season starts next Wednesday, Oct. 13, and runs through mid-late November.