So it was an ever year last season and just when it looked like the Madison Bumgarner-led San Francisco Giants were going to race all the way back up to the top again, the Chicago Cubs got in their way. But still, even if that was the end of their even-year title pattern, it was certainly fun to watch while it lasted.
The Giants will be back it again. They have a very strong core of players with guys like Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner, Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford. And while their farm system does not offer a ton of potential upside, but there are some solid players who could play a part in the next Giants title run. And just as they will help the Giants win another title, so too might they help you win your dynasty league at some point in the future.
By the way, if you are interested in more MLB prospects columns, head on over to our 2017 fantasy baseball rankings dashboard. Throughout the offseason, you will find the rest of our team prospect breakdowns, fantasy baseball prospect rankings, tiered positional rankings, keeper values articles, and more - all in one easy place.
San Francisco Giants Top Prospects for Dynasty Leagues
Today I am finishing my list of prospect systems in the NL West. I have already covered the Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres. Next week, I will begin ranking prospects by position. To read more about my prospect coverage, click here.
Top Overall Talent: Bryan Reynolds
Top Prospect who won’t debut in 2017: Bryan Reynolds
Reynolds was an absolute force coming out of Vanderbilt, demonstrated a strong combination of power and speed while also showing his ability to hit for average with a solid .338 number. Many projected him as a first round talent and yet, somehow, he slid down to 2nd round, 59th overall. But the Giants are certainly going to be happy they landed him.
He has gone through the minors quickly so far, already having risen up to Advanced Class-A for the team’s playoff run where he will likely open the 2017 season. In 56 games between Low-A and Class-A, he hit six home runs with three stolen bases while batting .313. His plate discipline was not overly great and strikeouts could limit his potential, but he has the highest upside of any player in this system and owners should consider him worth the risk.
Top Prospect to Debut in 2017: Christian Arroyo
Reynolds may have the highest upside in this system, but Arroyo has the highest floor. Arroyo has never struck out more than 20 percent of the time in the minors and has only once ever posted a batting average below .270. He has been one of the most consistent prospects in the minors and should continue to hit well going into the big leagues. With that said, he is not going to be great at anything else besides batting average, but he should get a chance to play at some point this season and could be a solid prospect to own as depth.
Biggest Boom or Bust: Matt Krook
Krook has got some electric stuff and has insane upside, but his command could really hurt his value. The primary pitch of the 6-foot-4 southpaw is a mid-90s fastball with heavy sinking action, but he also utilizes a plus curveball, a reliable slider and average changeup. But again, there is really just so much risk associated with him as he really scuffles with his command. His delivery is strange and can be difficult to repeat. If he can make the necessary adjustments, he could be an outstanding starting pitcher, but his future looks to be in the bullpen.
Biggest Sleeper: Austin Slater
Slater had not put together a great season before 2016, but boy oh boy did he hit well in 2016. Between Double- and Triple-A, Slater combined for 18 home runs and eight stolen bases with a .305/.369/.439 slash line. Scouts have often praised average or better grades in all categories, though also acknowledged that he may not be a full-time starter. Slater is likely going to make it to San Francisco as a platoon outfielder, but if he hits like he did in 2016, he may force himself into the everyday lineup.
Top Prospect Hitters
Best Power Hitter: Chris Shaw
Throughout his Minor League career, Shaw has done nothing but mash home runs. After being selected 31st overall back in 2015, he played in 46 games at Low Class-A and blasted 12 home runs. Then in 2015, he played in both High- and Double-A where he combined for 21 home runs and a .267 average in 132 games. Scouts fully expect him to hit 25+ home runs per season if given full playing time, but they would really like to see him improve his plate discipline (consistent strikeout rate above 20 percent and walk rate below 10 percent at every level). If he can do that and carve out a permanent spot in the Giants’ lineup, he could be an excellent source of home runs for dynasty owners.
Most Likely to Hit over .300: Christian Arroyo
Arroyo does not take a ton of walks, but he makes such prolific, solid contact that he should still be able to hit for a high average. While it is no guarantee that he will hit .300, scouts believe he will eventually improve his approach enough to be the closest hitter currently in this system to reach that milestone.
Best Burner on the Bases: Steven Duggar
Duggar is an incredibly fast runner, but the big knock on him has always been that he doesn’t run the bases all that well. Though he has stolen 21 bases in 188 MiLB games, he has also been thrown out 17 times. Scouts believe the issue for him is that he gets poor reads and does not get the kind of jumps elite baserunners typically get. But they believe he should be able to rectify those issues with some more development time. If he does, he could be an annual 30-stolen base threat.
Top Prospect Pitchers
Strikeout Machine: Tyler Beede
Beede put together his strongest campaign of his professional career in 2016. For the first time in his pro career, he stuck at the same level for the entire season and set career-highs in innings pitched (147.1), strikeout rate (22.1 percent) and opponent’s average (.245) while also putting up a very solid 8.7 percent walk rate and producing an outstanding 2.81 ERA. His stuff looked outstanding as well as he demonstrated a mid-upper-90s fastball, sinking changeup, plus curveball and average cutter. With his outstanding stuff and solid command, he certainly has the ability to rack up some high strikeout totals in the big leagues.
Best Command: Andrew Suarez
Suarez has always been something of a control specialist in the minors. Since he debuted in professional baseball in 2015, he has never posted a walk rate higher than 5.6 percent. He has also only once allowed an opponent’s batting .282. He doesn’t miss a ton of bats and his stuff is only average to slightly above-average at best, but with his ability to consistently fill the strike zone up helps him maintain a relatively high floor. He will not be the next Madison Bumgarner, but this southpaw should be able to provide some solid innings for the Giants and dynasty owners as early as this season.
Top 10 Dynasty Prospects for the San Francisco Giants
1. Bryan Reynolds (OF, A+)
Solid power/speed combination could make Reynolds the top player to come out of this system if he proves he can hit well enough at the higher levels of the minors.
2. Christian Arroyo (2B/3B/SS, AA)
A contact-first utility prospect, Arroyo is a potent enough hitter to start at the big league level, but he is not going to hit for much power or speed.
3. Tyler Beede (SP, AA)
If Beede can keep making steady improvements in his command, he could reach his ceiling as a well above-average No. 3 or solid No. 2 pitcher.
4. Chris Shaw (1B, AA)
Powerful first base bat will need to improve his plate discipline if he hopes to carve out a full-time role with the ball club.
5. Steven Duggar (OF, AA)
Duggar has a ton of raw speed and could become a legit base-stealing threat if he learns to get better reads on the pitcher.
6. Heath Quinn (OF, A+)
Quinn has some pull-side power and could be a 15-20 home run threat in the big leagues, but he will need to improve his plate discipline a bit first.
7. Albert Suarez (SP, AA)
Suarez is a control specialist with limited upside and low risk. He should be a productive backend of the rotation starter for the Giants as early as this season.
8. Austin Slater (OF, AAA)
Slater can do a little bit of everything and could be a decent depth piece if he gets playing time.
9. Matt Krook (SP, A-)
Krook has a ton of upside, but he will need to prove he can reign in his command if he’s going to reach that lofty ceiling.
10. Sandro Fabian (OF, ROK)
Fabian has a raw swing that could allow him to develop into a solid middle-of-the-order presence, but he has a long way to go before he’s ready for the big leagues.
This is not a super great farm system. None of the prospects in the top 10 are super bad per say, but there is not a single prospect who looks like a future All-Star. On the bright side, almost none of their top prospects carry a ton of risk. While the upside is limited, Beede, Arroyo, Shaw and Reynolds all look bound for the big leagues in some form or another. There are not a ton of prospects who are absolutely worth owning in all leagues, but at least some of these guys could help owners out at some point down the road