A handful of Giants prospects have placed themselves among the best of the best in the Arizona Fall League this year. The Fall Stars Game -- the AFL's All-Star Game -- rosters were revealed Wednesday morning, and the Giants are well represented.
Catcher Patrick Bailey, outfielder Hunter Bishop and pitchers R.J. Dabovich and Gregory Santos were named to the East Division team. Shortstop Marco Luciano, who is the Giants' top prospect, is part of the final vote.
The Fall Stars Game will be played Saturday, Nov. 13, at 4 p.m. PT on MLB Network.
As the Giants look to replace the retired Buster Posey, Bailey is a big reason why catcher remains a long-term strength for San Francisco. The North Carolina State product was the Giants' top pick in the 2020 draft, and had a slow start to the 2021 season. He struggled so much in High-A with the Eugene Emeralds, and also dealt with a back issue, that the Giants sent him to the Arizona Complex League for a short stint. When he returned, he was sent to Low-A for the San Jose Giants and was a completely different player.
In 47 games for San Jose, Bailey, 22, hit .322 with seven home runs and a .946 OPS. That success has followed him to the desert too. Coming into Wednesday, Bailey is batting .308 with an .848 OPS in 11 games for the Scottsdale Scorpions. He has hit hit one homer and three doubles.
Bishop, the Giants' top pick in the 2019 draft, missed most of the 2021 season with a shoulder injury and has been a pleasant surprise in the AFL. Healthy and back to being on the field consistently, Bishop has shown off his big-time potential. Through 11 games, he's batting just .235 but also has five doubles, five RBI, five walks and has one steal to his name.
Dabovich, like Bishop, is a former Arizona State Sun Devil happy to be back near his college home. The right-hander who can hit 100 mph has appeared in eight games and has pitched 9 2/3 innings. He has 13 strikeouts but 11 walks. Dabovich has allowed only two earned runs so far and opposing batters are hitting .125 against him.
The 22-year-old reliever spent 11 games in High-A this season and 20 in Double-A with the Richmond Flying Squirrels. He had a 1.42 ERA for Eugene and a 3.66 ERA in Richmond. Between the two levels, Dabovich had 62 strikeouts in 32 1/3 innings and walked only 13 batters. He had a 0.87 WHIP and opposing batters hit .133 off him.
There's a real chance Dabovich could be the latest young reliever on the fast track to San Francisco.
Santos made his MLB debut this past season but was suspended 80 games in late June after testing positive for Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance that violates MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. He has a 3.38 ERA over 10 2/3 innings with 10 strikeouts and four walks in the AFL.
Luciano is the youngest prospect in the AFL, and while he has shown eye-opening flashes with two home runs and 10 RBI, he's batting just .210 thanks to 26 strikeouts in 17 games. He also has walked 10 times and has a .329 on-base percentage.
Every fall, a long list of the best prospects in baseball compete against each other in Arizona. The Giants have to be happy with what they have seen from their prospects, again giving more reasons for hope in the future.