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2024 Willie McCovey Memorial Community Prospect List No. 12

Who is the 12th-best prospect on the Giants farm?

Wade Meckler running out of the batter’s box. Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

After finalizing the top 10 on Wednesday, we’re back in action to add to the 2024 Willie McCovey Memorial Community Prospect List. We still have a lot of names to add before we’ve accomplished our goal of ranking the top 44 prospects in the San Francisco Giants organization.

Coming it at No. 11 is one of the best stories of the 2023 season, outfielder Wade Meckler, who rises 31 spots over his placement last year in his inaugural CPL.

Meckler is the fastest rising Giants prospect in the Farhan Zaidi era, and was the fourth player from his draft class to make the Majors. Despite being an eighth-round pick in 2022, the left-handed hitter opened his first full season in High-A, following short stops in the Complex League and Low-A after the draft.

The Giants kept Meckler in High-A for just 20 games, and in AA for just 39. He played just 10 games in AAA before the Giants made the surprising — and if we’re being honest, very poor — decision to bring him up to the Majors, just 13 months after being the No. 256 pick in the draft.

The good and bad are both clearly on display with Meckler, an energetic player who earns rave reviews from coaches.

The good: he absolutely dominated every stop in the Minor Leagues. Among 108 Giants prospects with at least 100 plate appearances last year, Meckler was second in batting average (.371), fourth in on-base percentage (.456), seventh in slugging percentage (.510), 31st in walk rate (13.5%), 19th in strikeout rate (16.0%), and first in wRC+ (161). Most of the players who bested him in those stats were people who spent full or nearly-full seasons at lower levels, not players tasked with flying through the upper Minors. He looks the part of a decent defender at a corner outfield spot, and registered the 30th-fastest sprint speed in the Major Leagues last year.

The bad: he looked extremely overmatched in his stint in the Majors, hitting .232/.328/.250, for a 72 wRC+ and a 64 OPS+. It’s a sample size of just 64 plate appearances, but it came with a giant red flag: he saw 87 breaking balls in the Majors, and had a whiff rate of 60% on them, without registering a single hit. While his speed is good, he hasn’t yet figured out how to steal bases, nabbing just 15 bags across 126 games at all levels. And defensively he projects more as a corner outfielder than a center fielder, where one of his biggest weaknesses becomes a pretty big issue: his lack of power. Meckler’s max exit velocity in the Majors last year was in the bottom 4% (largely in line with his Minor League numbers), and across six levels he has just seven home runs in 527 plate appearances as a pro.

He’ll likely begin the year in AAA Sacramento, with a chance to provide Major League depth throughout the season. If he can figure out breaking balls, he could be a damn fine player.

Now let’s move on!

The list so far

  1. Kyle Harrison — LHP
  2. Marco Luciano — SS
  3. Bryce Eldridge — RF/RHP
  4. Carson Whisenhunt — LHP
  5. Rayner Arias — CF
  6. Keaton Winn — RHP
  7. Walker Martin — SS
  8. Reggie Crawford — LHP/1B
  9. Hayden Birdsong — RHP
  10. Mason Black — RHP
  11. Wade Meckler — OF

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

On to No. 12!

No. 12 prospect nominees

Aeverson Arteaga — 20.9-year old SS, .708 OPS/89 wRC+ in High-A (546 PA)
Vaun Brown — 25.6-year old OF, .705 OPS/90 wRC+ in AA (208 PA)
Grant McCray — 23.1-year old CF, .777 OPS/114 wRC+ in High-A (584 PA)
Heliot Ramos — 24.4-year old OF, .537 OPS/47 wRC+ in MLB (60 PA), .928 OPS/120 wRC+ in AAA (263 PA)
Landen Roupp — 25.4-year old RHP, 1.74 ERA/2.15 FIP in AA (31 IP)
Joe Whitman — 22.3-year old LHP, 0.00 ERA/4.44 FIP in ACL (4 IP), 3.18 ERA/2.52 FIP in Low-A (5.2 IP)

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

Poll

Who is the No. 12 prospect on the Giants farm?

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    Aeverson Arteaga
    (158 votes)
  • 6%
    Vaun Brown
    (47 votes)
  • 32%
    Grant McCray
    (240 votes)
  • 29%
    Heliot Ramos
    (221 votes)
  • 5%
    Landen Roupp
    (44 votes)
  • 5%
    Joe Whitman
    (39 votes)
749 votes total Vote Now