Major League Baseball’s owners may have locked out the players, triggering the league’s first work stoppage since 1994-95 and bringing the offseason to a halt, but that doesn’t mean we’re letting it derail our typical offseason plans. Indeed, CBS Sports is in the process of highlighting the top three prospects for all 30 teams, as well as naming the top 50 prospects in the minors, regardless of team affiliation.
That journey finds us today focusing on the San Francisco Giants‘ farm system.
Do note that these lists are formed after conversations with scouts, analysts, and player development folks from around the league. There is personal bias baked in, as one would expect from subjective exercises, so some disagreement is to be expected.
Now, onto the gasbaggery.
1. Marco Luciano, SS, No. 12 on the top 20
As with Noelvi Marte of the Seattle Mariners, Luciano is a young 20-year-old who projects as a middle-of-the-order hitter with positional question marks. (Marte gets the higher spot because he seems more likely than Luciano to remain at shortstop.) Luciano did scuffle after reaching High-A for the stretch run — he hit just .217/.283/.295 with a 37 percent strikeout rate — but it’s not worth panicking or pressing the eject button just yet. The sample size is too small and his upside, particularly with the stick, is too big. He should get the opportunity to vindicate himself to begin the 2022 season.
2. Luis Matos, OF
Although the 19-year-old Matos was more than two years the junior of his average Low-A competition, he hit .313/.358/.494 with 15 home runs in 491 plate appearances. That’s a positive sign; ditto for him striking out in just 12 percent of his trips to the plate, and for a well-rounded tool box that could feature above-average or better grades across the board. Matos has a fast bat and he just might be able to stick in center field for the long haul. Given his age, his performance, and his physical attributes, he has a good chance of cracking the top 20 next year.
3. Joey Bart, C
Bart, the second pick in the 2018 draft, still has his rookie eligibility despite appearing in 35 big-league games the past two seasons. (He hit .239/.291/.321 in those contests.) The book on him remains the same it has been for years, which is to say he continues to be of the slug-and-glove mold. Bart has good raw power at the plate, but he’s prone to swinging and missing and could run some ugly strikeout-to-walk ratios. Defensively, his reputation consistently outpaces the metrics. Bart is big-league-ready and seems like a safe bet to produce enough value to become a second-division starter; there are worse fates for a No. 2 pick to suffer.