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2023 Willie McCovey Memorial Community Prospect List No. 44

Who is the 44th-best prospect in the Giants system?

Bryce Johnson swinging at a pitch Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

It’s time for the final chapter of the Willie McCovey Memorial Community Prospect List. One name needs to be added, and then we’ll have our complete rankings of the top 44 prospects in the San Francisco Giants organization.

The penultimate name on the list is far and away the most surprising name, which is to say someone who probably wouldn’t have been on anyone’s list of the Giants top 44 prospects when we started this exercise in December. It’s center fielder Bryce Johnson, who has been voted the No. 43 prospect in the system.

Johnson, a 27-year old switch-hitter, was a sixth-round pick by the Giants back in 2017. He methodically worked his way through the system by being just good enough, but was really always viewed as Minor League depth as opposed to an honest-to-goodness prospect.

The Giants added him to the 40-man and active rosters late last season, and he got a brief cup of coffee, appearing in 11 games and hitting 2-18. Then he was designated for assignment.

He cleared waivers and was outrighted to AAA Sacramento, but we all viewed him as depth in Sacramento, not San Francisco.

But Spring Training changed everything. Johnson hit decently in the spring, going 13-42 with four doubles and seven walks. That wasn’t what got eyeballs on him, though. Instead, it was two other things: going a perfect 12-for-12 stealing bases, and being around while Mitch Haniger and Austin Slater suffered injuries that took them off the Opening Day roster.

Suddenly Johnson became a thing, and he was in line to make the Opening Day roster before a last-minute trade for Matt Beaty changed the equation.

Now Johnson will start the year in AAA, but it’s safe to say that we’ll see him in the Majors a fair bit this year. He’s a tremendous defensive center fielder, and Spring Training made it clear that Johnson, one of the fastest players in the organization, was using the new rules and base size to his advantage.

Time to finish 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
  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
  39. Nick Zwack — LHP
  40. Gerelmi Maldonado — RHP
  41. Diego Velasquez — SS
  42. Wade Meckler — OF
  43. Bryce Johnson — CF

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

On to No. 44!

No. 44 prospect nominees

Jared Dupere — 24.2-year old OF, 33 wRC+ in High-A (53 PA), 132 wRC+ in Low-A (143 PA), 132 wRC+ in ACL (70 PA)
Ricardo Genovés — 23.10-year old C, 70 wRC+ in AAA (147 PA), 81 wRC+ in AA (203 PA)
Manuel Mercedes — 20.6-year old RHP, 6.26 FIP in Low-A (80.2 IP)
Matt Mikulski — 23.10-year old LHP, 5.40 FIP in Low-A (79 IP)
Onil Perez — 20.6-year old C, 102 wRC+ in ACL (171 PA)

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!