Matos headlines Giants in Arizona Fall League

October 14th, 2022

Luis Matos' dreams of playing in the big leagues began when he was a youngster in Venezuela. His father and uncle played professionally in the United States, as do several of his cousins, including former Giants outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe and Rays infield prospect Osleivis Basabe.

"I have a lot of family involved," Matos said through interpreter Annalee Ramirez. "I've been brought up in the game. It's in my blood. Because they've been involved for so long, they've taught me a lot. I enjoy that we can do this together."

Matos took his first step toward the Majors when he signed with San Francisco for $725,000 in 2018. The outfielder starred in his first two professional seasons before getting a dose of adversity in 2022. Now he's working in the Arizona Fall League to regain a sweet right-handed swing that got out of whack this year.

Matos broke into pro ball by hitting .362/.438/.566 in Rookie ball in 2019 before losing the next season to the pandemic. He returned in 2021 to win MVP honors in the Low-A West League, batting .313/.358/.494 with 15 homers and 21 steals in 109 games as a 19-year-old. He earned a reputation for having the best bat-to-ball skills in the Giants system and entered 2022 ranked No. 63 on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list.

But Matos injured a quadriceps early in the season, missed a month and never got untracked at the plate. He hit just .211/.275/.344 with 11 homers and 11 steals in 91 games in High-A.

"The season was a little bit difficult," Matos said. "I couldn't find my swing. But I made some adjustments and worked with my hitting coaches, and right now I feel fine."

Matos got off to a hot start with the AFL's Scottsdale Scorpions with five hits (including two homers) and nine RBIs in his first three games, though he has gone 3-for-17 (.176) with seven strikeouts since.

While Matos' hitting ability is his signature skill, he also possesses average power potential, solid speed, baserunning aptitude and the possibility of remaining in center field. He won't turn 21 until January, so he still has plenty of time to develop into a catalyst for the Giants' lineup of the future.

Giants hitters in the Fall League

Adrian Sugastey, C (No. 19): Signed for $525,000 out of Panama in 2019, Sugastey won the Rookie-level Arizona Complex League batting title (.358) in his 2021 pro debut before hitting .240/.329/.333 with five homers in 75 Single-A games this season. He's a contact-over-power guy with well above-average arm strength.

Andy Thomas, C: Acquired in a trade that sent Matthew Boyd and Curt Casali to the Mariners in August, Thomas batted .238/.373/.381 with 10 homers in 88 games in High-A. The Baylor product's best attribute is his patience at the plate and he also features average power.

Logan Wyatt, 1B: Wyatt ranked third in NCAA Division I in walks in consecutive seasons at Louisville before the Giants made him a second-round pick in 2019, but his disciplined approach has yet to translate into production as a pro. Injured for much of 2022, he hit .213/.286/.245 in 29 games between Rookie ball and Single-A.

Giants pitchers in the Fall League

Carson Whisenhunt, LHP (No. 7): Whisenhunt might have owned the best changeup in the 2022 college class, though he didn't get to pitch at East Carolina last spring after the NCAA suspended him following a positive test for a performance-enhancing drug he said came from an over-the-counter supplement. A second-round pick in July, he works with a 91-95 mph fastball and tossed 7 2/3 scoreless innings with a 14/1 K/BB ratio between Rookie ball and Single-A in his pro debut.

Will Bednar, RHP (No. 13): The College World Series most outstanding player and the 14th overall pick in the Draft in 2021, Bednar saw his stuff and control regress this year while he dealt with lower back issues. Working with a low-90s fastball and a low-80s slider, the Mississippi State product posted a 4.19 ERA, .167 opponent average and 51 strikeouts in 43 innings in Single-A.

Spencer Bivens, RHP: After the Giants signed Bivens out of the independent Atlantic League in May, he logged a 3.95 ERA, .219 opponent average and 48 strikeouts in 43 1/3 innings between Single-A and Triple-A. He operates with a 93-95 mph fastball and a cutter that tops out at 91.

Hunter Dula, RHP: Dula helped Wingate (N.C.) win the 2021 NCAA Division II College World Series as a two-way star before the Giants selected him in the 18th round. Armed with a 91-95 mph fastball and an upper-80s cutter, he compiled a 4.11 ERA, .229 opponent average and 56 strikeouts in 46 innings between Single-A and High-A.

Tyler Myrick, RHP: A 14th-round pick out of Florida International in 2021, Myrick features a mid-90s fastball and an upper-80s slider. He had a 2.85 ERA with 41 strikeouts in as many innings between Single-A and High-A.