After the completion of the regular season and alternate training sites, most player development staffs have turned their attention to instructional league play. In the past, instructional leagues have been populated by new draftees, recent international signings and players at the bottom rungs of their organizational ladder. This year, in an attempt to make up for lost time due to the pandemic, it’s been expanded to include many more players. MLB Pipeline will be providing position-by-position reports from instructional league camps in Florida and Arizona.
Ivan Armstrong, RHP; Solomon Bates, RHP; Tristan Beck, RHP (Giants' No. 19 prospect); Prelander Berroa, RHP; Wilkelma Castillo, RHP; Kervin Castro, RHP; Seth Corry, LHP (No. 5); R.J. Dabovich, RHP; Camilo Doval, RHP (No. 25); Matt Frisbee, RHP; Norwith Gudino, RHP; Kyle Harrison, LHP (No. 12); Wil Jensen, RHP; Caleb Kilian, RHP; Haydn King, LHP; Jorge Labrador, RHP; Mac Marshall, LHP; Jose Marte, RHP; Trevor McDonald, RHP; Manuel Mercedes, RHP; Ryan Murphy, RHP; Taylor Rashi, RHP; Blake Rivera, RHP (No. 16); Julio Rodriguez, RHP; Randy Rodriguez, RHP; Patrick Ruotolo, RHP; Juan Sanchez, LHP; Gregory Santos, RHP (No. 17); Nick Swiney, LHP (No. 15); Esmerlin Vinicio, LHP; Cole Waites, RHP; Ty Weber, RHP; Preston White, RHP; Keaton Winn, RHP; Jake Wong, RHP (No. 27); Chris Wright, RHP
When they constructed their 60-man player pool for the 2020 season, the Giants went with pitchers in position to help the big league club this season. As a result, none of their best young pitching prospects attended their alternate camp at their Triple-A affiliate site in Sacramento. So to get their most promising arms some much-needed work, they invited 36 pitchers to instructional league.
That group includes their best pitching prospect, left-hander Seth Corry, who broke out in his full-season debut a year ago by topping the low Class A South Atlantic League in ERA (1.76, second in the Minors), strikeouts (172, fourth), strikeouts per nine innings rate (12.6, fifth), whiff rate (34 percent, fifth) and opponent average (.171, third). He made tremendous progress in the last two months of 2019 with his control and command, and he has continued to focus on the finer points of his craft this fall.
"He's really just trying to continue to do what he did in the second half of last year," Giants farm director Kyle Haines said. "Seth is doing a great job of working on the mental game and he's able to regroup a lot better. He's doing a really good job of commanding his pitches well.
"His stuff is still good. His velocity is up a hair in shorter stints and he's sitting at 93-95 mph. His breaking ball is maybe a little firmer too and he's working on throwing it for strikes even more."
Brett Auerbach, Patrick Bailey (No. 6), Rob Emery, Ricardo Genoves, Rayner Santana, Adrian Sugastey
In a typical year, the Giants would have given first-round pick Patrick Bailey a couple hundred at-bats in pro games this summer. The cancellation of the Minor League season made that impossible, so San Francisco has tried to make up for it by bringing him first to the alternate camp and now to instructional league.
Joey Bart reached the big leagues with just 130 games of pro experience after the Giants made him the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 Draft. Though Bailey won't move quite that fast, he's definitely on the fast track and likely will make his pro debut in high Class A next spring. He projects as a 20-25 homer threat who will provide solid defense behind the plate.
"We might look back and think that Patrick's personal development accelerated because of this," Haines said. "We challenged him right away after the Draft and he's gotten four really good months of development. Every day, he gives us a steady effort, both catching and at the plate. He consistently has good at-bats at the plate."
Connor Cannon, 1B; Tyler Fitzgerald, SS; Garrett Frechette, 1B; Jimmy Glowenke, SS (No. 30); Marco Luciano, SS (No. 2); Sean Roby, 3B (No. 28); Dilan Rosario, SS; Ghordy Santos, 2B; Casey Schmitt, 3B (No. 23); Luis Toribio, 3B (No. 8); Simon Whiteman, SS/2B; Will Wilson, SS (No. 11); Logan Wyatt, 1B (No. 20)
Slugging shortstop Marco Luciano draws most of the attention among San Francisco's infield prospects, but it has several others of note. Luis Toribio, who could man third base next to Luciano in Oracle Park a few years from now, might be the best pure hitter in the system.
Toribio ranked third in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League with 10 homers in his 2018 pro debut, then posted an .887 OPS and topped the Rookie-level Arizona League with 45 walks in 51 games when he came to the United States last summer. He has impressive bat speed and feel for the barrel, and he also displays a strong arm at the hot corner.
"Luis is working on developing more of his power," Haines said. "I think there's a lot more raw power than he's shown. He's also working every day on his defense.
"He's a good left-handed hitter with huge walk rates who will hit for power and plays third base. There's a lot to like there."
Shortstop Will Wilson has yet to officially debut with his new organization after coming from the Angels as part of their Zack Cozart salary dump last December, but he has impressed the Giants at the alternate site and in instructional league. The 15th overall pick in the 2019 Draft and a teammate of Bailey and 2020 second-rounder Nick Swiney at North Carolina State, he stands out most with raw power that could translate into 20 homers per season.
"Will is an incredibly well-rounded player," Haines said. "He hits and controls the strike zone. We're playing him a lot at shortstop but we've also moved him around to other positions.
"He's just so steady in all areas of the game. He consistently gives you something good every game."
San Francisco signed a potentially impactful international class in 2018 with Luciano ($2.6 million, Dominican Republic) and outfielders Luis Matos ($725,000, Venezuela) and Jairo Pomares ($975,000, Cuba). A cousin of Giants outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe, Matos batted .367/.438/.566 in his 2019 pro debut, finishing third in the DSL in hitting (.362) and OPS (1.000).
Matos uses his advanced pitch recognition and plate discipline to pepper line drives all over the field. He also features some sneaky pop and has solid to plus speed with an aggressive nature on the bases and in center field.
"The big thing Luis is working on is his angles on defense," Haines said. "He's a good runner. A lot of times, young players just rely on their speed in center field, so he's working on his jumps, reads and angles. At the plate, it's just don't screw him up."