They might be Giants again in 2023, but 2022 was a weird year by the bay. Buster Posey is the best defensive catcher I’ve ever seen. Easy to underrate his value on a day to day basis. His absence was felt in the win/loss column. Still, they’ve got a smart front office with plenty of money to spend, so it shouldn’t be long before they’re pushing the Padres and Dodgers again. 

 

1. SS Marco Luciano  | 21 | A+ | 2023

Luciano has lost some of that new-car shine over the years as people settled into the reality that he was unlikely to steal many bases, but I think 2022 was his most encouraging season as a pro. Nothing was particularly loud (.263/.339/.459), but his plate skills looked okay (9.6% BB, 22.2% K) and he was 20 percent better than league average against older players during something of a grind-it-out season with a two-month injury slicing it down the middle.

 

2. LHP Kyle Harrison | 21 | AA | 2023

Harrison will likely be first or second on every public-facing list, and he’s earned it. For what it’s Werthers, I won’t have him in any league just because he should be ranked really high on all the real-baseball lists. Not many 20 year-olds rolling through Double-A with 127 strikeouts and a 3.11 ERA in 84 games. Even fewer 20-year-olds bringing three easy plus offerings from the left side (fastball, slider, changeup). Should work well in San Fran.

 

3. OF Vaun Brown | 24 | AA | 2024

Incredible outcomes in 2022 from Brown, a 6’1” 215 double-plus athlete who hit 23 home runs and stole 44 bases across two levels, slashing .346/.437/.623 in 103 games. Sure, he was old for his levels, but you can’t fake that kind of dominance. Brown reminds me a little of Hunter Pence in that he looks different doing it, but his actions are all so quick-twitch that he can be deceptive. I might be higher than other sites on Brown and McCray, but some of that is non-fantasy pitcher inflation, and some is that this group of three through six is too tight for the ultimate landing spots to matter much.

 

4. OF Grant McCray | 22 | A+ | 2024

McCray turns 22 today, so happy birthday, Grant! Always brings me a smile when it lines up this way. Best to stay positive on his special day and ignore the strikeout problem, which he might not even have to solve to hang onto a big league gig thanks to plus athleticism, defense, power and excellent base running skills. McCray went 23/43 last season. Did get caught stealing ten times in Low-A but zero times in eight attempts at High-A. I didn’t watch enough to know, but I might chalk some of that Low-A stuff to learning to exploit the three-throws-over rule.

 

5. OF Luis Matos | 21 | A+ | 2025

My apologies to everyone who went after Matos on my recommendations. His slash line of .211/.275/.344 undercut most if not all the dynasty value he brought into the 2022 season. That’s not to say he can’t rebuild it. The premium bat speed remains. He just needs to develop better plate discipline. He has the hands to make contact with most pitches, so he swings at most pitches. That has to change. Development is not linear. He’s got time.

 

6. SS Aeverson Arteaga | 20 | A | 2025

Not related to Allen Iverson but does prefer you avoid the subject of practice. A prototype shortstop at 6’1” 170 lbs with smooth defensive actions and plus athleticism, Arteaga is just scratching the surface on his baseball life.

 

7. 3B Casey Schmitt | 24 | AAA | 2023

Mighty Casey strikes out in the end, yet he’s the only name that lives on from the poem. I mean what the fuck. Not even the writer. If I started talking about Ernest Thayer right now, you’d think he was a relief prospect the Giants are going full pitch-lab on. Jimmy Blake tears the cover off the ball in that game, by the by. He’s the only reason Casey even gets to the plate. Anywho, Schmitt is fine. Not like capital PH PHINE but, ya know, he aight. Corner bat. Plate skills and power. Might have enough of both at 6’2” 215 lbs. But now I’m thinking about Frankenstein and Shelley and what cultures remember and pass down and quickly becoming disillusioned. Onto the next player. My daughter has been sick for a month, and I am very tired.

 

8. LHP Carson Whisenhunt | 22 | A | 2025

Carson Whisenhunt used to call plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers then spent a season or two coaching Kurt Warner in Arizona. Helluva run. Can’t believe he’s only 22. 66th overall pick of this year’s draft. 6’3” 209 lbs. Fun to watch due to Bugs Bunny changeup and plus command. Probably a pick-up and flip for dynasty purposes as he dominates the lower levels.

 

9. LHP Reggie Crawford | 22 | CPX | 2026

Crawford’s the kind of guy you want in the dugout in case of a brawl. At 6’4” 235 lbs of pure unadulterated man muscle, Crawford can throw a baseball 99 miles per hour and hit a baseball 99 miles. How that all pans out on the field is anyone’s guess, but I’m eyeball emojis ready for it. Man I hate that emoji. OMG four straight eyeball emojis!? Guess I’ll certainly have to watch these 200 players who received such emoji-fueled analysis today!

 

10. OF Jairo Pomares | 22 | A+ | 2024

Sorry for the all the salt in here this week, but things are not Pom-wonderful in Itch-ville. They’ll get better. Could always get worse, of course. Only time knows. What a rush! Pomares took a step back this year. Or rather, he failed to remedy the strikeout ills that plagued his late 2021. Strikeout rate rose from 31.7 percent to 32.9 percent. Could make a case for another twenty players at this spot, but Pomares posted a 113 wRC+ despite the strikeouts, and it wouldn’t take much improvement for him to look like a premium prospect again with a couple hot months as a 22-year-old at Double-A.

Thanks for reading! 

 

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Milarky
Milarky
1 month ago

Hey Itch, I’m not a Bot! I’ve got what I think will be a pretty tough one for you to answer. Every year we have a 3-round prospect draft at the all star break. We also allow each owner to protect 3 “prospect” players entering every spring draft, where only players who were drafted in that prospect draft can be kept as a prospect. We also can only keep any of those guys as prospect keepers for two years beyond the year they were drafted (unless we keep them as a “regular” keeper). I think I have some doozy choices to make. Here are my options:

Hunter Greene (last year eligible as prospect keeper)
Corbin Carroll (last year eligible as prospect keeper)
Eury Perez (one more year after this eligible as prospect keeper)
Jordan Lawlar (one more year after this eligible as prospect keeper)
Marco Luciano (one more year after this eligible as prospect keeper)

I think Luciano can safely be eliminated. Carroll is the #1 prospect this year, which makes him a lock. You’ve flagged Lawlar as potentially the #1 prospect next year. Eury could be the #1 pitching prospect after Grayson. Greene could be a young Max Scherzer if his development continues, albeit in a bandbox in Cincinnati.

Help me Itch!

fivepoundbass
fivepoundbass
Reply to  Milarky
1 month ago

I’m no Itch, but I would assume he’d say drop Lawlar and Luciano, in this format. Lawlar may not make the majors in the next two years.

Ante
Ante
Reply to  fivepoundbass
1 month ago

Milarky,

Also not The Itch, but I agree with fivepoundbass. Drop Lawlar and Luciano because others 1000000% whereas the others are just 1000%.

Cheers,
Ante

IntendedSteb
IntendedSteb
1 month ago

Hey Itch, quality stuff, as always.
Has Torkelson completely lost his luster? Used to be can’t miss sure thing. Now I don’t know what to make of him. Would you still take him over Andrew Vaughn, for example. Or that ship has sailed?
Thanks.

Philip
Philip
1 month ago

Like the “high-man” approach to Brown and McCray, Itch. But this list is not inspiring. Kinda crazy to me this team was willing to pony up so much cash for a 30-year-old Judge with so little else lying around. Maybe I’m short-sighted.

How does this order look for a Yahoo FYPD checklist for a Win-Now team. I have 9th pick.

Manzardo
Painter
Mervis
Senga
Masataka
Colas
The 4 high school studs
Rafaela
Julien
Stone, Bibee, Flores

Thanks, homie!

junior56
junior56
1 month ago

Morning Itch! Hope things get better for you and La Familia. Thanks for the Giant’s write up. Tried to get Lucky Luciano but price is still too high. Was able to get Canario tho.

Does the Bellinger signing mean he will get Reps at 1B as well as CF?

Of this list any of these spects a hold for you?

Kyren Parris
Carlos Jorge
Wenceel Perez
Cristian Santana
Peyton Burdick
Ryne Nelson

Thanks Itch!

Jose Hernandez
Jose Hernandez
1 month ago

Could Kyle Harrison make the opening day rotation? If not what is hIs ETA.?
and what kind of production do you expect out him?

joe shmoe
joe shmoe
1 month ago

Hey The Itch,
Hoping you and your family is well. I know it’s not classical literature, but I’m feeling the Water White from Breaking Bad characterization. An idol and pariah all mixed in with family drama.

galica1234
galica1234
1 month ago

The Itch!!!

Awesome!!!

a. Great write-up amidst all the turmoil around you. Wishing your daughter a speedy recovery.

b. George Carlin quote of the day for December 7, 2022

I was dancing with a woman. She told me she had a yeast infection. I said. “Well. Bake me a fucking loaf of bread. A couple of corn muffins, a jelly donut. I don’t give a shit. I’m always in the market for quality-baked goods. You couldn’t squeeze a birthday cake out of that thing by any chance, could you? No. No. I didn’t think so. No pressure, honey, no pressure at all. Why don’t you just turn around and give me a nice pineapple upside-down cake. And a dozen oatmeal cookies. Skip the raisins. Icksnay on the aisinsray.”

LIFE IS WORTH LOSING (2006)

Cheers,
Ante

Smitty
Reply to  galica1234
1 month ago

Carlin all day, every day. My absolute favorite, hilarious. Thanks Ante

Ante
Ante
Reply to  Smitty
1 month ago

The Itch!!

a. Yeah, I liked that one, especially the raisins.

b. Not really loving this list but as you 3-6 could all be lottery tickets at the end of a dynasty with a 20-man roster, right?

Cheers,
Ante