Going into 2022, the infield corners were both notable weak spots for the Giants in the farm system. That has definitely changed, at least at third base.
The rise of Casey Schmitt has changed the Giants’ prospects at the hot corner, it seems. You never want to make too much of a single hot season, but he was limited by injury in his first pro season, and with a set of skills that is anchored by strong defense, Schmitt’s got a high floor. His year and quick ascent up the organizational ladder have landed Schmitt among the team’s top few prospects, and his big league impact could be happening very soon.
Behind Schmitt, things did get a bit deeper at the position as well. Sean Roby broke a home run record at Richmond that took ten seasons to set, and power at third base always will come off well. And Carter Aldrete, a name that should be familiar to long-time Giants fans, brings some versatility at third as well, all at the highest level.
So, he’s who’s bringing the heat at the hot corner.
While Schmitt didn’t have the biggest offensive 2022 season in the Giants system, it was pretty danged close. That performance, which took him all the way to a Triple-A cameo at the end of the season, has identified Schmitt as one of the team’s top prospects and in the contention for Top 100 overall prospect lists. Schmitt looks like he could be the next Giant prospect to make a big impact in the Majors.
Sean Roby has always had power, ever since he won the Northwest League home run derby back in 2019 when the minor leagues had All-Star Games, but he’s only plugged it into games since 2020. Roby had his best power year in 2022, hitting a career-high 25 home runs, which also was a Richmond franchise record, becoming the second Richmond hitter ever to reach the 20 home run level. While his contact skills aren’t top-shelf, the power is a carrying tool.
The nephew of former Giant Mike Aldrete has long been known for his versatility, going back to Arizona State, but he’s settling in more as a corner infielder. He was the only player other than Casey Schmitt to get a vote for best defensive third baseman in the 6-team Northwest League in a poll of its managers, and has began to show off his all-around offensive skills, both for contact and power. He’s been slow to adapt to new levels, but Double-A awaits.
Other Prospects to Note
Down in San Jose, 23-year old Yorlis Rodriguez played his first full season in the Giants system, and showed off some power with 16 home runs and 20 doubles in 105 games, but would do better with some better plate discipline…2022 16th round pick Andrew Kachel out of Fresno State hit .306/.409/.333 in 13 games after being drafted, and may skip to Eugene for his first full pro season…19-year old Elian Rayo had a .778 OPS in 52 games at the ACL for his first season stateside. If he grows into his power he could make an impact soon.