Sam Dyson

Five Giants prospects who are underrated coming off big 2019 seasons

Five Giants prospects who are underrated coming off big 2019 seasons

The Giants are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. With shrewd international spending and some solid drafts from two regimes, they're generally considered to now have a top 10 farm system, one that could vault much higher in the coming years. 

That's how you build a sustainable winner, and the Giants are counting on Joey Bart, Marco Luciano, Heliot Ramos, Hunter Bishop and the rest to get them back to prominence. But you don't win a World Series with just first-round draft picks. You need contributions from guys who might not be all that well known as they're working their way through professional ball, and that's what made 2019 so exciting. 

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The Giants have plenty of prospects coming off sneaky-good seasons. Here are five who stood out from 2019:

Alexander Canario

The group that went through Salem-Keizer last summer is a big part of what gives the Giants so much hope. Bishop and most of last year's draft class did well, and lesser-known prospects like Franklin Labour and Sean Roby put up strong numbers. The guy who really stands out for what he did in Oregon and elsewhere is someone most fans are beginning to know. 

Canario, an outfielder, isn't fully under the radar anymore. He's starting to get more and more attention, but he still is not someone popping up on top 100 lists. Perhaps another season like 2019 will change that.

As a 19-year-old, Canario hit seven homers in 43 at-bats in the rookie-level Arizona League and that power carried over to Salem-Keizer. In 193 at-bats, he had nine homers, a triple and 17 at-bats, batting .301, albeit with a high strikeout rate. In all, Canario had a .318/.377/.623 slash line in 2019 and he entered this year No. 6 on MLB Pipeline's organizational top 30. 

Kai-Wei Teng

The Sam Dyson trade has the potential to be quite the heist for Farhan Zaidi, who did extremely well in two other deals made that afternoon (Mauricio Dubon from the Brewers; Mark Melancon's salary to the Braves). The Giants sent Dyson to Minnesota and he almost immediately went on the Injured List, ultimately having shoulder surgery (there are horrific off-field allegations against him, too). In return, they got Jaylin Davis -- who crushed in Sacramento and could be a big part of the outfield this year -- and two young right-handers. 

Prelander Berroa only pitched once in rookie ball, but Teng went to Low-A Augusta and built off everything else he's done as a professional. Signed for $500,000 out of Taiwan in 2017, Teng has a 2.28 ERA in the minors thus far. He made five appearances for Augusta after the trade, allowing five earned runs in 29 innings, with 39 strikeouts to just seven walks. He didn't allow a home run and has given up just one in 122 1/3 professional innings. 

Luis Matos

Want to feel old? We're about to discuss a prospect who was born in 2002.

Matos, an outfielder from Venezuela, is part of a 2018 international class that has the potential to be a game-changer for the Giants. In his professional debut as a 17-year-old, he showed why he's currently ranked as the organization's eighth-best prospect, per Pipeline. 

Matos played 55 games in the Dominican Summer League, batting .362 with an OPS of a 1.000. He had seven homers, two triples and doubled in 10 percent of his at-bats. Matos also stole 20 bases in 22 attempts and limited his strikeouts. He played five additional games in rookie ball in Arizona, going 7-for-16. Matos is a guy you hear about when you ask Giants people for underrated prospects, and the numbers back up the early hype.

Matt Frisbee 

Asked about the 2019 San Jose Giants, some players on that team pointed to Frisbee as the player who doesn't get enough attention. It's hard to shoot up prospect lists when you're a right-hander who doesn't throw 98 mph, but Frisbee got impressive results last season. 

After being taken in the 15th round out of UNC-Greensboro in 2018, Frisbee pitched out of the bullpen for Salem-Keizer. Last year he went back to being a starter, posting a 2.81 ERA in a quick cameo in Augusta before making 22 appearances -- 20 starts -- for San Jose. Frisbee had a 3.17 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 131 strikeouts to just 22 walks. He's not someone you'll find on top prospect lists, but thus far he has cruised through the low minors.

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Tyler Cyr 

He was on the fast track a few years ago, pitching in the Arizona Fall League in 2017 and then getting an invite to big league camp the next spring. But the right-hander suffered an elbow fracture early that season and had season-ending surgery.

Cyr returned to Double-A Richmond last year, making 37 relief appearances with a 2.05 ERA. He struck out 57 batters in 48 1/3 innings. Cyr was back in camp this spring and could be a candidate for the taxi squad if the Giants resume play. 

Fellow right-hander Sam Wolff, who came over in the Matt Moore trade with the Rangers, has had a similar path. He also has dealt with injuries but had a 1.78 ERA for Richmond last year and was in camp this spring as well.

Farhan Zaidi confident Giants did nothing wrong in Sam Dyson trade

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AP

Farhan Zaidi confident Giants did nothing wrong in Sam Dyson trade

SAN FRANCISCO -- If you had walked up to Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi half an hour before the July 31 trade deadline and asked him who his 2020 closer would be, he likely would have said Sam Dyson. That's how much faith Zaidi had in the right-hander, who ended up going to Minnesota in the final minutes before the deadline and suffered a shoulder injury that might keep him out all of next season

Zaidi said Tuesday that he has no concerns about a potential MLB investigation. The Twins had looked into whether the Giants knew Dyson had a sore shoulder when they dealt him to Minnesota for three prospects, including outfielder Jaylin Davis. 

"From a record standpoint, injury standpoint, our guys do a great job and we didn't have any concerns from that standpoint," Zaidi said. "You always want trades to work out for both sides. We traded three relievers and two of them (Mark Melancon and Drew Pomeranz) have pitched as well or I think exceeded expectations for their club and I think unfortunately with Sam it hasn't gone as well."

Dyson gave up nine runs in 11 1/3 innings for the Twins before getting shut down. He reportedly told the Twins that his shoulder was sore in July. Surgery to repair his shoulder capsule will likely make him a non-tender this offseason and could threaten the 31-year-old's career.

Zaidi said he felt for the Twins and Dyson, who had a 2.47 ERA before the trade. He said the reliable Dyson was the hardest pitcher to part with and pointed out that -- after the deadline -- Reyes Moronta suffered his own shoulder injury, Trevor Gott had forearm tightness and groin surgery, and Tony Watson suffered a season-ending wrist fracture.  

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"That's some of the uncertainty and the occupational hazard of being a Major League pitcher," Zaidi said. "I'm disappointed for Sam and for the Twins, obviously, but from a standpoint of anything untoward about the deal, there are no concerns about that at all." 

Ex-Giants reliever Sam Dyson has shoulder surgery, could sit out 2020

Ex-Giants reliever Sam Dyson has shoulder surgery, could sit out 2020

Sam Dyson's season took a turn for the worst Wednesday.

The former Giants reliever underwent capsule repair surgery on his right throwing shoulder Tuesday, Twins manager Rocco Baldelli announced to reporters. The procedure could keep Dyson out all of next season. 

Dyson was traded from the Giants to the Twins at the July 31 MLB trade deadline, but was a much different pitcher in Minnesota than in San Francisco. He went 4-1 with a 2.47 ERA in 49 games as a Giant this year, but had a 7.15 ERA in 12 games for the Twins. 

The Twins believe the Giants might have known Dyson was damaged goods at the deadline, too. The Star Tribune's La Velle E. Neal III reported Monday that the Twins have investigated whether the Giants were aware that Dyson had a sore shoulder when he was traded for three minor leaguers -- pitchers Kai-Wei Teng and Prelander Berroa, and outfielder Jaylin Davis. 

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Now that Dyson officially has had surgery, even more eyebrows will be raised. There were no red flags on Dyson's medicals from the Giants when the Twins acquired him, but according to the Tribune, Dyson told Minnesota he had been pitching with some shoulder discomfort since mid-July. 

As Dyson might not be on a mound at all next season, don't expect this story to go away anytime soon.