2020 has been a different year, one that started with great promise that has been slowed by Covid-19. Unfortunately we sit here at the beginning of May waiting for the chance to watch some of our favorite players and teams officially play for the first time in 2020. I remain hopeful a season will unfold as the year continues but when will that be? What will it look like? How many games will each team play? Will MiLB play competitive games? Time will only tell. My best personality trait is remaining positive when things look bleak, not letting negative situations change my outlook in life and not forgetting to breathe. Baseball will always be something I hold dearly to my heart, something that will always be on my mind, something that will always give me joy and with that, here I am attempting to provide you with something to read.
In past articles I gave you my 2020 Giants Top 50 Prospects, I have touched on players who I think you should target in redraft leagues and I’ve highlighted players outside of my Top 50 who deserve closer attention. Dynasty baseball leagues are often much deeper than traditional leagues most people play in. Roster sizes are much larger, often allowing MiLB players to be placed on their bench without penalty. Some leagues even have an entire minor league roster separate to their main rosters that allows you to build roster depth for the future. The Giants organization is starting to evolve into a system that needs to be given credit for finding quality talent. Many experts have admitted the improvement from the system and excitement is starting to build among people within the industry. Casual fans should start noticing more players showing up on other Top 100 lists and potentially a Top 10 overall prospect.
Last season brought you Marco Luciano as the top breakout prospect in the Giants organization and potentially all of MiLB. Luciano enjoyed a wonderful year in which he slugged 10 HR in 47 GP while compiling a triple slash of .302/.417/.564 while playing a premium position at SS. Luciano was signed for $2.6M in 2018 as one of the top overall hitters in his J2 class. Not exactly what many would consider a sleeper, however the skill set was so strong, the Giants started the 17 year old Luciano in the AZL instead of spending a year or maybe two in the DSL like many other international signings. Coupled with the strong start in the AZL and given the Giants started him stateside, smart dynasty owners should have taken notice and acquired him early in 2019 without it costing too much capital.
With the current roster construction for the Giants, I do not feel like they have many players within the system that can duplicate what Marco was able to do in 2019. Given this year has been unlike any other year, it’ll be hard for anyone in the system to even come remotely close to the helium Luciano has. Even if we are able to have a season in 2020, it’ll be brief as we look forward to 2021 being a year without abbreviation.
My prime breakout candidate within the San Francisco Giants organization this upcoming year and potential Futures Game participant plays another premium position currently in CF, Luis Matos. Luis comes from Venezuela and was signed for 5,000 by the Giants in the same J2 class as Luciano. Matos strung together a very strong 2019 debut in the DSL that saw him play 55 games while crushing 7 HR, driving in 47 RBI and added 20 SB to his stout stat line. The Giants rewarded Matos with a 5 game stint stateside in the AZL where he produced 7 hits in 16 at-bats. Luis should begin 2020 in the AZL, if there is a season.
Here is a short clip of game action of Matos:
Giants OF Luis Matos hitting one of his seven DSL HRs. The 17-year-olds professional debut was nothing short of spectacular. In 60G, Matos sported a 3/4/5 slash while stealing 20 bases. pic.twitter.com/RxBoCdv5Vi
— tyler j. spicer (@tylerjspicer) January 8, 2020
Here is another clip of Matos from April taking some swings in the cage:
— Luis Matos (@LuisMat80651635) April 28, 2020
As you can tell, there is a TON to like about Matos with the stick, but there is also a lot to like about the guy who could be patrolling one of the OF spots in the Bay. While 57 GP is brief, Matos showed why he has the potential to be an impact OF. In 2019, Matos had 125 Ch, committing only 2 E for a solid .984 Fld%. A solid runner currently, Matos should fill out some as he matures but with continued development in reading balls, he should have little to no restriction in remaining a part of the Giants future in the OF.
Matos is not the only player I expect a breakout from in 2020 and while I do like the next guys I list here, I do not feel like they will shoot up prospect rankings like Matos will in the near future. However you should keep a close eye on these guys to get a leg up on your competition.
Jairo Pomares, OF
Jairo Pomares puts some serious juice into this double, shot past the RF like he was playing the INF pic.twitter.com/1UqQ9LOB0w
— Roger Munter (@rog61) August 17, 2019