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Best San Francisco Giants Prospects in 2022

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With the 2022 season underway, several of the Giants top prospects have already made an appearance. Let’s get to know the prospects that could make an impact in 2022.

Catcher – Joey Bart

Former Georgia Tech catcher Joey Bart was picked by San Francisco second overall in the 2018 draft. Bart tore up the minor leagues at every level. In three seasons, Bart had a slash line of .287/.348/.512. The catcher has been classified as an above-average fielder to go along with the highly ranked bat. In 2020, he was ranked 11th on MLB Pipelines Top 100 Prospect list, and, in 2021, he was ranked 16th.

Bart was called up in 2020 and played 33 games of the 60-game season and played only two games in 2021. In that span, Bart struggled, putting together a triple-slash line of .239/.291/.321. Instead of backing up Posey in 2021, the Giants went with veteran Curt Casali, giving Bart an opportunity to get at-bats in AAA. Bart continued to put up elite numbers from the catching position but also spent time on the sidelines with injuries. Although Bart no longer has prospect status anymore, he still hasn’t been given many opportunities due to Buster Posey occupying the catching position.

With Posey Retired, Bart has been given the opportunity to be the main catcher in 2022. He started off the season with an Opening Day home run.

Outfielder – Heliot Ramos

Heliot Ramos was selected 19th by the Giants in the 2017 MLB Draft. Ramos is a right-handed hitting outfielder. He has above-average tools in every aspect but does not excel in any particular category. Ramos posted solid numbers at every level but regressed slightly at each step. In five minor league seasons, Ramos posted a .790 OPS, hit 48 home runs, and stole 42 bags. He is currently ranked fifth among Giants prospects according to MLB Pipeline.

As of right now, Ramos is on the Major League squad. Ramos could be a viable option to fill in for starts if needed but he could also find himself being a defensive replacement late in games. Ramos is only 22 years old, meaning there is still time to develop and outplay his projections. In his lone start, Ramos went 2-4 and scored a run.

RHP – Gregory Santos

Gregory Santos is a 22-year-old pitcher out of the Dominican Republic. After signing with the Boston Red Sox in 2015, he was sent to the Giants organization two years later in the Eduardo Núñez/Shaun Anderson trade. In 2021, Santos transitioned to be a full-time relief pitcher. With this major change, he ramped up his velocity and his fastball now touches triple digits. To go along with the hard fastball, his slider sits between 88-90 mph. Santos struggled in 2021 in 15.2 innings, posting a 5.17 ERA in AAA Sacramento. He did make three appearances in the big leagues but struggled in those as well.

Santos deals with control issues as most young relievers do. If he figures out how to get his control dialed in, he can be a real weapon out of the pen in 2022. Santos has started the year in AAA.

RHP – Kervin Castro

Kervin Castro is a familiar name from the 2021 season after making ten appearances. He is a 23-year-old reliever from Venezuela and has produced good results every stop he has made. He signed in 2015 but needed Tommy John surgery in 2017, so he was not able to get consistent minor league time until 2019. In 2019 he made 14 starts in Short-Season A Ball. He threw 67.2 innings, posted a 2.66 ERA, and struck out 61. In 2020, there was no minor league season, but he jumped up to AAA to start 2021.

He was put into a reliever role in 2021 and took a big leap forward. In AAA, he threw 44 innings with a 2.86 ERA. The biggest change was his strikeout numbers. His K/9 in 2019 was 8.1, in 2021, his K/9 jumped to 12.3. Castro said he used the pandemic time to gain strength and his fastball velocity jumped from 91-92 mph to 92-97 mph. He was given a shot as a September call-up on the big league squad. He tossed 13.1 scoreless innings in 10 games.

Castro has started the season in AAA but could be one of the first call-ups if the bullpen needs an arm.

RHP – Sean Hjelle

Sean Hjelle is different. He stands a 6-foot-11 and weighs 228 Lbs. He is a starting pitcher that was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2018 draft out of the University of Kentucky. Hjelle has been a solid minor league starter in 4 seasons. In 2019 he appeared in A ball, A+ ball, and AA. He pitched 143.2 innings and had an ERA of 3.32. In 2021 he threw 119 innings in AA and AAA while posting a 4.31 ERA. Hjelle has not dominated the minors, sporting a higher-than-desired WHIP than you’d like and slightly above average strikeout numbers.

Hjelle’s fastball sits in the mid-90s and has been less effective the higher the level. When in trouble, he tends to utilize hig biggest weapon: a knuckle-curve. He also has a change-up that has shown inconsistency. Hjelle can eat innings, and this may be valuable if the Giants get low on depth. Once he makes his debut, Hjelle will tie Jon Rauch as the tallest big leaguer ever.

2022 Season Update

The Giants have looked strong thus far and are 4-2 (as of 4/14). Logan Webb has put together two dominant starts. The starting rotation has been solid and the offense, led by Brandon Belt, has found ways to score runs when needed. The Giants magic may be carrying over from 2021.

Even more magic is potentially in store in the near future. The Giants crop of prospects poised to make their debut in 2022 is slim compared to what the crop is projected to be for 2023 and 2024. Though unlikely to crack the big league squad this season, shortstop Marco Luciano (No. 1 Giants Prospect, No. 13 MLB Prospect) and outfielder Luis Matos (No. 2 Giants Prospect) could be appearing just around the corner.

Main image credit Embed from Getty Images

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