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2023 Willie McCovey Memorial Community Prospect List No. 16

Who is the 16th-best prospect in the Giants system?

Cole Waites leaning forward to finish a pitch Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The 15th chapter of the 2023 Willie McCovey Memorial Community Prospect List is now complete, and it features a high-riser. After tallying the votes, the community has decided that right-handed pitcher Cole Waites is the No. 15 prospect in the San Francisco Giants organization.

Waites is the first relief pitcher to appear on the list, though it goes without saying that any of the five pitchers ahead of him could fall into that role eventually. He’s also one of the highest risers in the CPL, as he slots into No. 15 after not being ranked a season ago.

It was a highly memorable 2022 for Waites, who turned 24 in June. He began the year in High-A and ended it in the Majors. The Giants kept him in Eugene for just 13 games, where he had a 3.55 ERA, a 1.37 FIP, and 27 strikeouts to 4 walks in 12.2 innings. In AA he kept the good times rolling, with a 1.71 ERA, a 2.08 FIP, and 38 strikeouts to 15 walks in 21 innings.

That earned him a late-season promotion to AAA Sacramento, where he barely settled before making his MLB debut. His brief stint in AAA ended with a 0.00 ERA, a 2.23 FIP, and 11 strikeouts to 3 walks in 8 innings, while his MLB stint was a little rockier, with a 3.18 ERA, a 6.11 FIP, and 4 strikeouts to 4 walks in 5.2 innings.

If he can get his walks under control, he could be an integral part of the bullpen for many years to come.

Waites, an 18th-round pick in 2019, also is a fairly symbolic player, as he became the first Giant drafted in the Farhan Zaidi era to make it to the Majors for the team.

Now we move on, and we have some new names to put on the list.

The list so far

  1. Kyle Harrison — LHP
  2. Marco Luciano — SS
  3. Casey Schmitt — 3B
  4. Luis Matos — CF
  5. Vaun Brown — OF
  6. Grant McCray — CF
  7. Aeverson Arteaga — SS
  8. Carson Whisenhunt — LHP
  9. Reggie Crawford — LHP/DH
  10. Patrick Bailey — C
  11. Mason Black — RHP
  12. Heliot Ramos — OF
  13. Eric Silva — RHP
  14. Jairo Pomares — OF
  15. Cole Waites — RHP

Note: Clicking on the above names will link to the CPL where they were voted onto the list.

On to No. 16!

No. 16 prospect nominees

Rayner Arias — 16.9-year old OF, yet to debut
Will Bednar — 22.7-year old RHP, 6.26 FIP in Low-A (43 IP)
R.J. Dabovich — 24.9-year old RHP, 4.42 FIP in AAA (24.2 IP), 1.73 FIP in AA (26.2 IP)
Tyler Fitzgerald — 25.3-year old INF, 100 wRC+ in AA (519 PAs)
Ryan Murphy — 23.3-year old RHP, 8.61 FIP in AA (8.2 IP), 2.31 FIP in High-A (31 IP)
Adrian Sugastey — 20.2-year old C, 79 wRC+ in Low-A (340 PAs)
Keaton Winn — 24.10 year old RHP, 4.34 FIP in AA (30.1 IP), 3.01 FIP in High-A (37 IP), 3.73 FIP in Low-A (40.2 IP)

Note: Each player’s first name links to their Baseball-Reference page, and their last name links to their Fangraphs page.

Reminder: voting is now in the comments!