Luis Toribio

Giants add four more to player pool, including two top infield prospects

Giants add four more to player pool, including two top infield prospects

It was a poorly kept secret that catcher Chadwick Tromp and shortstop Will Wilson would be part of the Giants' 60-man player pool. Both had posted on social media this week that they were in San Francisco. 

The Giants officially added both Saturday morning, along with two of their more intriguing prospects: Luis Toribio and Camilo Doval. Their pool is at 56, leaving three more spots with the likelihood that Hunter Bishop also gets added once he recovers from the coronavirus.

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Toribio, a 19-year-old third baseman, becomes one of the youngest players in a big league camp this summer. Signed out of the Dominican Republic, he has a .282/.428/.467 slash line in 118 games but has not played above rookie ball yet. He likely would have started this season at Low-A Augusta. 

Wilson already is somewhat known by Giants fans because he came over in a December trade, when the Giants took on Zack Cozart's $12.6 million -- now their most expensive contract -- to get a player they had considered taking with the 10th overall pick last June. Wilson had a .768 OPS in 46 games after getting drafted by the Los Angeles Angels last year. He joins former North Carolina State teammate Patrick Bailey in camp. 

Doval is an intriguing addition, and he was officially added on his 23rd birthday. He has a fastball that has reached triple digits and has averaged nearly 13 strikeouts-per-nine in the minors. Doval was in San Jose last season, and he's the type who should move quickly through the organization as a hard-throwing reliever.

Tromp was in big league camp this spring and gives the Giants additional catching depth. He put up good OBP numbers in the Cincinnati Reds' system before the Giants added him as a minor league free agent. 

[RELATED: A running diary of Giants' first day back at Oracle Park]

Toribio is the organization's No. 6 prospect per Baseball America, and No. 7 according to MLB Pipeline. Wilson is ranked in the top 12 on both lists.

With the addition of Toribio and the possibility of Bishop being added, the Giants would have much of their top 10 in camp. Alexander Canario, Luis Matos, Sean Hjelle and Seth Corry stand out as prospects still waiting for the call. 

Giants prospects Luis Matos, Luis Toribio named as potential breakouts

Giants prospects Luis Matos, Luis Toribio named as potential breakouts

Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has tirelessly worked to overhaul the organization’s farm system for just under the last two calendar years while he has been at the helm.

The result is a system that, once barren, already has begun to produce some young MLB talent with more on the way.

Baseball America recently began forecasting for its next Top 100 list, and identified a pair of Giants prospects who have breakout potential in 2020 -- who just so happen also to share a first name.

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Luis Matos and Luis Toribio both were listed as players who could burst onto the scene whenever this baseball season can get underway.

Matos hit .362 over 55 games in the Dominican Summer League, also finishing with the league's third-best OPS (1.000). He was the Giants’ No. 8 prospect at the end of the 2019 season.

Toribio is the Giants’ No. 6 prospect according to Baseball America, and is a potential long-term option for the organization at third base. 

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Keith Law mentioned both Matos and Toribio while discussing the gems of the Giants’ farm system on KNBR last month.

“Alexander Canario, Luis Toribio, Luis Matos,” Law said. “These guys have at least performed well enough in the early going at young ages to increase my confidence levels that at least some of them will turn into really elite prospects.”

Expect to see Zaidi’s hard work begin to pay even more dividends in the coming years at Oracle Park.

Why Giants' improving farm system continues to rise in Keith Law's eyes

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Ali Thanawalla

Why Giants' improving farm system continues to rise in Keith Law's eyes

When The Athletic's Keith Law was asked late last month which team is building the next elite farm system, all he needed was one word: Giants. 

Law further explained his reasoning Friday with KNBR's Mark Willard. While the prospect evaluator isn't head over heels about one player in general, he believes San Francisco is building its system where the sum is greater than its parts. And it all goes back to teenagers like shortstop Marco Luciano. 

Prospects like Joey Bart and Hunter Bishop, who already are 23 and 21 years old respectively aren't who make Law so intrigued. It's the players like Luciano (18), Alexander Canario (19), Luis Toribio (19) and Luis Matos (18) that excite Law.

"The No. 1 reason is because they have this really intriguing group of very young prospects, mostly guys from that large Latin American prospect class they signed a couple of years ago," Law said when asked why he's so high on the Giants' farm system "... Now, Marco Luciano looks like he might be a really elite prospect. Alexander Canario, Luis Toribio, Luis Matos, these guys have at least performed well enough in the early going at young ages to increase my confidence levels that at least some of them will turn into really elite prospects.

"When you add that to some of the guys who are already in the system like the Joey Barts and the Hunter Bishops, I am much more optimistic about what we're gonna think about this system in say a year from now." 

That's just the first reason for Law, too. While a handful of the Giants' top prospects and recent players to make their big league debuts come from the Bobby Evans era, Law is a big believer in president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi. 

He believes Zaidi will only take the Giants to the next level.

"I just really think highly of Farhan Zaidi and the group that he's put together there," Law said. "I think he's brought in some really smart people from other organizations on the scouting side and on the player development side.

"One, they have a lot of talent coming into the system. And two, they're going to continue to add to that going forward."

Giants fans will have to wait a while to see prospects like Luciano and Canario make their way to San Francisco. Bart is a different story. He dominated spring training once again, and if it weren't for the coronavirus pandemic he likely would have started the season in Triple-A Sacramento before making his big league debut. 

Law, however, doesn't exactly envision a superstar in Bart like many Giants fans do. He has Bart as No. 44 on his top 100 prospects list, much lower than a lot of other major outlets. 

"There's risk that he's maybe a backup catcher," Law says. "He's going to strikeout quite a bit, he's not going to hit for a whole lot of average." 

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Between Single-A San Jose and Double-A Richmond, Bart hit .278. He also struck out in 22.7 percent of his at-bats, which shouldn't be too concerning with the power he has. His swing is long and has some moving parts that could hurt him against higher velocity, though. 

While he doesn't love Bart, Law wants to make it clear he has him as his top Giants prospect for a reason. Law just sees a lot more floor than ceiling for Bart.

"The reason that I have him as the No. 1 prospect in the system is that he's got the highest floor of anyone in that farm system, because he's a big leaguer," Law said. "There's no chance that Joey Bart doesn't spend several years in the big leagues, unless he just has a catastrophic injury.

"He can catch and throw and he has some power. That's a backup catcher in the big leagues for 10 years or more. If he just stays healthy enough, he will play in the majors. But I do not view him as a slam-dunk everyday player."

[RELATED: What former Giants GM thinks of Bart-Posey comparisons]

Law also is hot and cold on the Giants' top draft pick from last year, Hunter Bishop. The powerful outfielder might have a higher ceiling than Bart, but there are reasons for concern. Many are the same as Bart's, too. 

"It's top-end power," Law said. "Some of the best exit velocity that I've ever seen for a college-hitting prospect. He's got the bat speed and the potential to hit for average and hit for power. He also strikes out too much. And when the competition got better last spring in the Pac-12, he got worse.

"He did most of his damage in non-conference play when he was facing better pitching in the Pac-12. His numbers did begin to dip."

Looking back at the numbers, Law is correct. Bishop hit .342 overall as a junior at Arizona State, but only .264 in conference play. He hit 22 homers overall and only seven against Pac-12 teams. 

The upside, however, is huge. 

"He may develop a little more slowly because of a lack of a lengthy track record of performance and there still is some swing and miss there," Law explained. "I just think the upside is so tantalizing. As long as he makes enough contact to hit for a decent average, he'll hit for more than a decent average because he makes such high-quality contact and he'll probably hit 25 to 30 home runs." 

There are plenty of reasons to be excited for the Giants' future. As Law notes, the real talent might take a little longer to see in the big leagues.