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Weekend BP: Fangraphs ranks the Giants prospects

Some interesting stuff.

Luis Matos finishing a swing Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Happy weekend, San Francisco Giants fans.

Friday was one of my favorite days in the season: the release of Fangraphs’ list of the top Giants prospects.

I’m always fascinated to see how Fangraphs ranks the Giants prospects, especially since they do an exhaustive list with a lot of write-ups ... some which give us information we didn’t know, some which repeat stuff we did know, and some which are a bit befuddling.

This year they ranked the top 49 prospects. No, that’s not an homage to San Francisco’s history. It’s just that they rank all of the prospects that they give a 35+ grade or better to, and this year that’s 49 (which is a pretty high number).

You can read the list here. I’ll run through a few notable notes. Keep in mind that they say some smart things and some bizarre things that we all vehemently disagree with, and that their list looks a lot different than Baseball America’s, which looks a lot different than Roger Munter’s, which looks a lot different than Melissa Lockard’s, which ...

  • If I had told you before the season that by the time the list came out, neither lefty Kyle Harrison nor shortstop Marco Luciano would occupy the top spot, you probably would have been a little confused, and then looked at third baseman Casey Schmitt. Instead, it’s Luis Matos who is now the top-ranked prospect in the organization. He’s ranked as the No. 18 prospect in all of baseball.
  • Fangraphs included all of the Giants rookies, which I appreciate, even those who have lost prospect status. In addition to Matos at No. 1, they have catcher Patrick Bailey at No. 4, Schmitt at No. 7, righty Keaton Winn at No. 13, catcher/left fielder Blake Sabol at No. 15, righty Tristan Beck at No. 20, righty Ryan Walker at No. 25, infielder/center fielder Brett Wisely at No. 27, and righty Sean Hjelle at No. 33.
  • They are ALL aboard the Rayner Arias train, listing the recently-turned 17 year old center fielder all the way at No. 5.
  • They’re also all aboard the Wade Meckler train, with the outfielder sitting at No. 8.
  • They are all the way off the Heliot Ramos train, with the outfielder falling to No. 38.
  • They gave love to righty Christian Avendano, one of the most interesting stories in the system. Avendano, a 19 year old, was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2021 as a center fielder, waived in 2022, didn’t play that season, and was signed by the Giants in the offseason as a pitcher. He played in two DSL games this year, then went straight to the ACL, and comes in at the penultimate position on the list.
  • Fangraphs is always good for a few players that they’re way more high on than anyone else (Gregory Santos was well into their top 10 for a few years). The most notable name occupying that spot this year is righty Hayden Wynja, a soon-to-be 25 year old who was an undrafted free agent last year, and has modest numbers in Low-A right now. All respect to Wynja, but Fangraphs has to be the only place in the world where he is seen as the top Hayden in the farm, as they ranked him No. 21 to Hayden Birdsong’s No. 23. Not to pit Haydens against each other but uhh ... I don’t get that one. Not even a little.
  • Luciano, in at No. 4, is outside the top 100 as Fangraphs is concerned about his history of back injuries. But they were more bullish on his defense than in the past, saying, “Perhaps the most important development here is that Luciano looks better at shortstop than he has in the past. He still isn’t great at backhanding grounders to his right, but he’s playing much lower to the ground now than before he rehabbed the injury and looks much more comfortable fielding choppers in on the grass. He had been projected to right field in our last update, but third base, where Luciano can make most plays moving from right to left, is now his floor.”
  • Notable players not in the top 49: infielders Tyler Fitzgerald and Will Wilson (the latter wasn’t even mentioned), righty Ryan Murphy, and lefty Nick Swiney (who was listed 10th in the section of notable relievers who didn’t make the cut). And shortstop Ryan Reckley, an 18 year old that Fangraphs implied was already a bust after 115 plate appearances. Huh.

What time do the Giants play this weekend?

The Giants continue their series against the New York Mets at 1:10 p.m. PT on Saturday and 4:10 p.m. PT on Sunday.