Top 2016 San Francisco Giants Prospects: #16
#16: Hunter Cole, OF, Age 23: Cole had 3 steady seasons for Georgia, but his power didn’t develop as hoped after hitting 7 HR as a freshman. He seemed like a pretty good bet to return for his senior year when he fell to the 26th round in 2014, but the Giants were able to sign him anyway. A year later, and he was rising levels at a rapid pace. 2015 saw him in San Jose after just 10 games with Augusta, and in Richmond for the final 51 games. Between all 3 stops, Cole hit .301/.358/.474 with 9 HR, 9 3B, and 33 2B. The Giants tried him at 2B (he played 3B and OF in college), but in AA he was a full-time RF.
Like Austin Slater, Cole doesn’t take a ton of walks and is not immune to strikeouts. Also like Slater, he was able to put the ball in play and impact a lot of games consistently during 2015. While the Giants appear to still have Slater working in the infield, it seems that Cole could end up as a corner OF only. They’re overall profiles are very similar, but I have a hunch Cole’s bat will be the difference maker. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him add more power to his right-handed swing, and eventually work his way into at least a platoon MLB left fielder role if the opportunity presents itself.