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2023 Willie McCovey Memorial Community Prospect List No. 39

Who is the 39th-best prospect in the Giants system?

Brett Auerbach resting a bat on his right shoulder, looking over his shoulder for picture day Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images

We’re getting so, so close to finishing the 2023 Willie McCovey Memorial Community Prospect List, in which we rank the top 44 prospects in the San Francisco Giants organization.

Coming in at No. 38 on this year’s list is none other than the most positionless player in the organization, right-handed hitter Brett Auerbach. He falls 10 spots after being No. 28 on last year’s list.

Auerbach, who will turn 25 in late August, was technically an undrafted free agent, though it’s a bit of misnomer since the Giants added him in 2020 following the pandemic-truncated five-round draft.

The 5’9” do-everything Auerbach became a fan favorite in 2021 when he hit any and everything thrown his way in both Low and High-A, while playing all over the diamond. Between his stellar performance and his advanced age, the Giants felt comfortable sticking Auerbach in AA Richmond to start 2022, where he spent the whole year.

The results were hot and cold. Auerbach’s slash line wasn’t inspiring, as he hit just .220/.311/.398, good for a 94 wRC+, and posted a 32.0% strikeout rate. But he drew a decent number of walks, with an 11.3% rate, and despite his small frame, hit 17 homers in just 425 plate appearances. After a rough June and July, Auerbach ended the season on a tear, hitting .299/.379/.571 in August.

Most intriguing about Auerbach is his ability to play almost literally anywhere. While viewed as a catcher when he was drafted, Auerbach spent more than 100 innings last year at not just catcher, but also second base and third base, while also seeing significant playing time at all three outfield spots. And he’s handled those positions well, it’s worth noting.

If Auerbach can build on his strong end to 2022, he could quickly become one of the most exciting prospects in the organization. And so far his 2023 is off to a strong start, as he’s hitting 6-18 with a home run, a walk, and three stolen bases in Spring Training.

Now, on to the next name.

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
  16. Keaton Winn — RHP
  17. R.J. Dabovich — RHP
  18. Tyler Fitzgerald — INF
  19. Ryan Murphy — RHP
  20. Landen Roupp — RHP
  21. Will Wilson — INF
  22. Adrian Sugastey — C
  23. Trevor McDonald — RHP
  24. Tristan Beck — RHP
  25. Will Bednar — RHP
  26. Nick Swiney — LHP
  27. Rayner Arias — OF
  28. Carson Seymour — RHP
  29. Hunter Bishop — OF
  30. Sean Hjelle — RHP
  31. Ryan Reckley — SS
  32. Randy Rodriguez — RHP
  33. Brett Wisely — INF
  34. Blake Sabol — C
  35. Jose Cruz — RHP
  36. Hayden Birdsong — RHP
  37. P.J. Hilson — OF
  38. Brett Auerbach — UTIL

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

On to No. 39!

No. 39 prospect nominees

Ricardo Genovés — 23.10-year old C, 70 wRC+ in AAA (147 PA), 81 wRC+ in AA (203 PA)
Gerelmi Maldonado — 19.2-year old RHP, 3.86 FIP in the ACL (39.2 IP)
Manuel Mercedes — 20.5-year old RHP, 6.26 FIP in Low-A (80.2 IP)
Onil Perez — 20.6-year old C, 102 wRC+ in ACL (171 PA)
Diego Velasquez — 19.5-year old SS, 6 wRC+ in Low-A (47 PA), 106 wRC+ in ACL (190 PA)
Nick Zwack — 24.7-year old LHP, 4.17 FIP in Giants High-A (29.1 IP), 2.65 FIP in Mets High-A (63.2 IP), 1.23 FIP in Mets Low-A (12.2 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!