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2024 Willie McCovey Memorial Community Prospect List No. 18

Who is the 18th-best prospect on the Giants farm?

Vaun Brown running the bases. Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Note: Today is nomination day, so head to the comment section to nominate the players you want to see on Wednesday’s CPL, and click the “rec” button on the names you agree with.


The next chapter of the 2024 Willie McCovey Memorial Community Prospect List is in the books, as we continue to rank the top 44 prospects in the San Francisco Giants organization.

Next up is outfielder Vaun Brown, who has been voted as the No. 17 prospect in the system. While it’s a drop of 12 spots over Brown’s placement on last year’s list, it’s a fitting day for him to join the CPL, as I’ve always felt he bore a strong physical resemblance to one of the heroes of Bay Area sports this weekend, Christian McCaffrey.

Brown is one of the hardest Giants prospects to evaluate, as it’s quite easy to make a case that this ranking is too high or too low. A 10th-round pick in 2021 who signed for virtually nothing (just $7,500), Brown — who plays all three outfield spots — had a thoroughly dominant first full season in 2022, when he had the highest wRC+ (175) of any Minor League player in any organization (minimum: 250 plate appearances). He spent that year between Low-A San Jose and High-A Eugene, and given that he was an older draftee, the question was whether his video game numbers could translate when not playing against younger competition.

That was the exciting storyline for Brown in 2023, and unfortunately we never really got an answer. An injury delayed his season debut until late April, and even that was a rehab assignment. He didn’t make it to his actual affiliate — AA Richmond — until mid-May.

He spent 50 games with the Flying Squirrels, and it’s hard to know what to do with his results. He came out hotter than hot, looking like his 2022 was not an aberration: in his first nine games with Richmond, he hit 14-36 with two home runs, one triple, and three doubles.

And then things went south. After that hot opening stretch, Brown would hit just 28-154 with six home runs, one triple, and seven doubles the rest of the season. The silver lining — it feels weird to call this a silver lining — is that Brown did not seem to have ever fully recovered from the injury that plagued him at the start of the year, and he was shut down just two days into August.

The good is on full display with Brown: he’s an unreal athlete with great power (34 home runs and 92 extra-base hits in 807 career plate appearances in the Minors) and blistering speed (72 stolen bases in 79 attempts), and he’s demolished pitching every time he’s been healthy.

The bad is also on full display: he had just a .705 OPS and 90 wRC+ in AA last year, despite being more than a year older the competition, he’s already entering his age-26 season (his birthday’s in June), and his strikeout rate last year (35.1% including his rehab stints) was fifth-highest among 108 Giants prospects with at least 100 plate appearances.

Needless to say, he’s set up for a critical 2024, which — health permitting — he’ll surely start back in Richmond.

Now onward we march, and a reminder that it’s nomination day!

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
  12. Grant McCray — CF
  13. Heliot Ramos — OF
  14. Aeverson Arteaga — SS
  15. Tyler Fitzgerald — UTIL
  16. Joe Whitman — LHP
  17. Vaun Brown — OF

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

On to No. 18!

No. 18 prospect nominees

Victor Bericoto — 22.1-year old OF — .771 OPS/106 wRC+ in AA (204 PA); .886 OPS/132 wRC+ in High-A (309 PA)
Erik Miller — 25.11-year old LHP — 2.77 ERA/4.07 FIP in AAA (52 IP); 0.87 ERA/1.53 FIP in AA (10.1 IP)
Landen Roupp — 25.4-year old RHP — 1.74 ERA/2.15 FIP in AA (31 IP)
Kai-Wei Teng — 25.1-year old RHP — 4.22 ERA/4.38 FIP in AAA (79 IP); 4.75 ERA/3.40 FIP in AA (47.1 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. 18 prospect on the Giants farm?

This poll is closed

  • 24%
    Victor Bericoto
    (137 votes)
  • 27%
    Erik Miller
    (151 votes)
  • 32%
    Landen Roupp
    (178 votes)
  • 15%
    Kai-Wei Teng
    (88 votes)
554 votes total Vote Now