2017 Top 10 San Francisco Giants Prospects – The Outfielders
Once again, we’re going to take a bit of an unconventional approach to our Top 10 Prospects. Instead of a ranking, we’re just going to group them and be snarky.
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Suddenly, the Giants’ system is filthy with outfielders. Yeah, it surprises me as much as you. And that’s without discussing the Mac Williamson-Jarrett Parker mix that have graduated from prospect status and will fight for left field. So let’s look at the three outfielders we’ve got in our Top 10.
Bryan Reynolds – The draft was an interesting one. If Bryan Reynolds were taken by the Giants in the first round, I don’t doubt that some people would decry him as a “safe” pick taken too early, considering the way Panik and Arroyo were seen. But in the second round, he’s considered a late-first round talent who slid, and a nice pick.
Reynolds is a good baseball man, a smart player with five good tools even if he doesn’t have a great one. He can work counts, hits well, and plays with the experience of a veteran. He’s a switch hitter, a good corner outfielder with center field ability. He’s a great high-floor guy, even if the ceiling isn’t too high. He won’t excite a lot of people, but something that seems to be a shared opinion is that he will be a strong contributor, eventually. I won’t try to predict what field he’ll end up in, but he’ll show up at AT&T, barring a trade.
Reynolds finished last season in Low-A Augusta. I could see him start there again, but knowing the Giants, he’s more likely to be putting up good numbers in San Jose this year.
Steven Duggar – Duggar was one of 2016’s big successes in the Giants’ system. He began playing center field for San Jose, and adjustments he made to his swing took hold and got better as the season went on, especially once he got to Richmond and starting hitting well. He backs that up with great discipline at the plate, posting On-Base Percentages at both levels around .390. His speed in the field is excellent, although he hasn’t turned it into a lot of stolen bases yet. He also has a great arm, which is nice in right field at AT&T Park.
Duggar needs to prove he isn’t just a recipient of the San Jose boost so many Giants’ hitters get. His ability to make his average improve in Richmond is a good sign that it wasn’t the case, but it can get better. But his real key, like many Giants prospects in the past, is getting his speed to translate on the basepaths. If he succeeds, he could become a leadoff-style hitter to love, and a right fielder that succeeds in the big NL west ballparks.
Duggar’s probably destined for Sacramento, and quite probably center field there, alongside Austin Slater. Hunter Pence’s contract ends after 2018…and things might get interesting.
Sandro Fabian – It’s always hard to project rookie-level guys. Fabian is one of those guys. He’s a lean player that has a lot of raw tools. It’s hard to figure out what’s going to come out of him. Fabian is a hitter first and foremost, and lived for the challenge of facing fastballs in the Arizona Rookie League, succeeding more often than not. The question is how that aggressiveness will translate further at higher levels.
One of the things limiting him is that he doesn’t have the kind of frame that scouts like, it’s naturally lean, so there’s not a lot of strength behind it. That would be okay if there was a thought that he had the speed and running ability to be that sort of a player, but right now there isn’t that belief in him. So right now, he’s an aggressive, overachieving player. He’s worth keeping an eye on to see if he explodes…or flames out.
Expect to see Fabian in Augusta, although maybe a slightly late start. Augusta will be a huge test for any aggressive player. He’s be one of the low-level prospects to watch.