Ever since Pablo Sandoval left the Giants (the first time), the Giants have had some troubles bringing up a third baseman and keeping them. Players like Matt Duffy and Christian Arroyo were a pair of options that didn’t pan out before the Giants traded for Evan Longoria. But Longo’s tenure won’t last forever, and the team will need to bring forward some replacements.
The bad news is that the Giants don’t have any clear cut future third basemen in their system right now. There is certainly some potential, especially in Casey Schmitt, whose defense at third is not only the best at third in the system, but is the best infielder at any spot in the system.
But the news may not be entirely bad at third base. Sometimes players, especially shortstops, can move over to third. And right now, the opinion is split about the Giants’ top shortstop prospect, Marco Luciano, and where he will end up. Some think he can stay at shortstop when he gets promoted and move to third later, some think he’ll move to third before he comes up…one even thinks he’ll go to left field. For now, I’ve got him still at shortstop, but there’s a chance the Giants future at third is already set.
Until we know that for sure, here are the top three third baseman in the Giants system right now.
#1 – Casey Schmitt
There are a lot of prospects who have very unsure positional futures, but for Schmitt, it’s not what you might think. Schmitt is a surefire third baseman defensively, with range, good hands, and a strong arm. The only question is whether he’ll be able to hit enough to keep moving up the system. San Jose was a bit of a struggle for him in his pro debut, but there’s time. If there isn’t for Schmitt, there is another option: his arm could move him into relief pitching, like he did in college.
#2 – David Villar
For the couple of years before the pandemic, David Villar had an understated performance through then-High-A San Jose. The Double-A Eastern League has long humbled good Single-A performers, especially power hitters, but after a year off Villar added more power and put forth a good season. Villar doesn’t have the overwhelming tools some prospects do, but he could have the ability to have an impact still.
#3 – Sean Roby
The last time Roby was in the Northwest League, he won the All-Star Game’s home run derby at the level (against the now defunct Pioneer league). Now, the Northwest League is High-A, not Short-A, and Roby came back. His season was a season of two halves, with an ice cold first few months but a white-hot six weeks to finish the year. Which one is Roby? It will determine where this slugging third baseman ends up.
Other Prospects To Note:
After starting the year in Arizona, and a late promotion to San Jose, Yorlis Rodriguez had a solid year and shows a lot of promise. He’ll make his full-season debut in 2022…Jason Vosler was one of the team’s minor league free agents, and put together a strong year in Triple-A, though he struggled a bit in SF. He remains a top backup option for the big league team, though his 40-man spot is not assured…Carter Aldrete, nephew of former Giant Mike Aldrete, spent most of the year in Eugene and remains a very dark horse to have an impact.