San Francisco Giants Top 2016 Prospects: #21-25
#21: Michael Santos, RHP, Age 20: Santos is a guy who’s battled weight and durability issues his entire professional career, but he’s got a big arm and arguably one of the highest ceilings in the system (heavy low-90’s fastball, plus-potential curve). The 6-ft-4, projectable Dominican right-hander was #19 on my list last winter, and entered the season in Augusta’s rotation with big expectations. He exited the mound mysteriously after 2.2 IP in his first start of the year, however, and wouldn’t return to action until mid-July. He was used cautiously over the season’s final few months, making only 9 starts for the Greenjackets in 2015. Here’s a detailed scouting report (and video) on Santos, who could again be a breakout candidate this year, from Augusta beat David Lee. I expect him to start the season in Augusta, but wouldn’t be shocked by an aggressive Cal League assignment.
#22: Mikey Edie, CF, Age 18: He’s not a real well-known player in the system yet, but if you’re into toolsy CF’s with in-game success (and really, who isn’t?), then Edie is your player to dream on. He won’t turn 19 until mid-season, and to date the former Venezuelan Little League World Series star is a career .294 hitter with 24 SB in 86 rookie ball games (’14 in the DSL; ’15 in AZL). It’s not recommended to get too worked up over low-level stats, but the fact that Edie has shown the ability to succeed at such a young age is a good sign for me. Combine that success with his speed, athleticism, a plus arm in CF (one of the strongest in the organization), and in my opinion a beautiful swing that you can see here, and you’ve got a kid with a pretty significant ceiling. There’s a lot here to compare him with Fargas, the next guy on the list, and I’ll admit they’re very similar prospects (Fargas is older and more accomplished). At the moment I give the edge to Edie, who I ultimately believe will be the better offensive player of the two.
#23: Johneshwy Fargas, CF, Age 21: As I mentioned, Fargas’ profile and overall skillset are quite similar to Edie. Fargas, however, is 3 years older and was drafted from the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy in 2013 (Edie was an international free agent signing). He’s a couple inches taller than Edie, but both are skinny bodies who could stand to add some weight. Fargas is one of a handful of players in the system who has the ability to play CF at the highest level. He is also the owner of a very strong outfield arm, and reports last year out of Augusta were that he loves to show it off. Fargas held his own as the Greenjackets’ everyday CF and leadoff hitter last summer, posting a .278/.347/.349 slash line. He didn’t show much extra-base power, but made up for it by swiping 59 bases on the year (19 CS). While his speed made him an impact player in low-A, it doesn’t sound as if he’s a truly elite-speed player. The big question with Fargas, as with most toolsy CF’s, is whether he will hit as he moves up the ranks.
#24: Steven Okert, LHP, Age 24: The longer I research and evaluate prospects, the more I’m beginning to understand that relievers are a very volatile group. Okert had a breakout 2014 season, capped off by arguably the most dominant performance of any pitcher in the Arizona Fall League. He generated a ton of buzz in MLB spring training, showing off his mid-90’s fastball and sharp slider from the left side. When the year began, Okert headed to Sacramento with the notion that he could be in the majors quickly if the Giants suffered an injury. He had a very nice start to the season, but ran into some inconsistent stretches as the summer progressed. Ultimately, Josh Osich stepped up and earned the mid-season bullpen spot in San Francisco. While Okert doesn’t throw as hard as Osich, his stuff can be just as electric. If he can find the control that made him so dominant in 2014 (2.9 bb/9), he could help form a dominant southpaw duo in SF for a long time.
#25: Mac Marshall, LHP, Age 20: Marshall was a top 100 draft prospect in 2014, but his commitment to LSU dropped him to the 21st round to Houston. Surprisingly, it indeed sounded as if he was going to sign, but Marshall’s negotiations fell apart in the aftermath of the Brady Aiken contract fiasco. Both prep lefties lost hefty chunks of change in the process. Instead of enrolling at LSU, Marshall went to Chipola JC in Florida, with the intent to re-enter the 2015 MLB draft. The Giants tabbed him with their 4th round pick, and he logged 20.2 innings between Arizona and Salem-Keizer. Marshall stands at 6-ft, 180, and is known more for his secondary offerings (strong changeup) than he is for his fastball. He struggled with control during his short sample last summer, and I’m hesitant to rank him higher until I see if he can lower those walk rates. If he happens to add a couple mph to his fastball in the process, we could see him shoot up the system.