PHOENIX — Out of the a few significant prospective clients to be a part of the Giants in their 2018 global class, Luis Matos was, at least by signing bonus, the 3rd of the team.
But he’s fast ascended to the prime of the Giants’ prospect lists — and he could be the best outfield prospect they have had in a long time.
Shortstop Marco Luicano led the 2018 class with a $2.6 million signing reward and outfielder Jairo Pomares bought $975,000. Matos was regarded well sufficient to sign for $675,000, but outdoors evaluators weren’t as positive of him as they had been of Pomares, let by yourself Luciano.
Just to identify a single prospect evaluator as an example, Fangraphs didn’t have Matos in its May well 2019 rating of the top Giants prospects — not in the Prime 29 or even in the honorable mentions.
But Hector Borg, the Giants’ coordinator of Latin American enhancement, remembers what stood out to him and the firm back again when they signed Matos was his commitment to his craft.
“He was a child with a great deal of electrical power, working,” Borg claimed. “He compensated interest to a whole lot of minor aspects and I consider that is why he’s developing so quick.”
And alternatively speedily, Matos set up quantities that made eyes pop. His sensational fifty percent-period in 2019 — when his OPS was over 1.000 in the two the Dominican and Arizona Rookie Leagues throughout 60 full game titles — shot the then-17-12 months-old Matos into the prospect stratosphere. In a November 2019 update of the prime Giants prospects, Fangraphs experienced Matos fifth in the full business.
Now, entering 2022, Matos is possibly second or 3rd in the Giants rankings, based on wherever you search, and is a consensus Major 100 prospect across the a variety of products and services. And it has grow to be a genuine query as to irrespective of whether he or Luciano has a increased ceiling.
The trio of Luciano, Pomares and Matos all opened 2021 at Low-A San Jose and experienced potent begins to the season (though an injuries saved Pomares sidelined right until June). Curiously, the Giants promoted each Luciano and Pomares to Superior-A Eugene but not Matos, who stayed in San Jose for all of 2021.
Both equally Luciano and Pomares both experienced some struggles at the larger level, placing out at significantly bigger clips with the Emeralds than they had prior to. Back again down in San Jose, Matos stored making, hitting .328 with 4 homers in 81 plate appearances and tallying a lot more walks (11) than strikeouts (seven).
Matos felt remaining down and ending with a flurry in San Jose was useful — and a important portion of getting household the Low-A West MVP trophy after ending the 12 months with an .853 OPS, 15 homers, 86 RBI and 21 stolen bases.
“I imagine it did assistance currently being there the total calendar year,” Matos mentioned by way of Spanish language translator Erwin Higueros. “I was able to be far more selective, be extra consistent with my figures. I imagine which is also what assisted me acquire the MVP.”
Whilst he needs to be additional selective on which pitches he swings at to make “more solid make contact with,” he’s received a strong tackle on the strike zone currently, only putting out 61 periods in 491 plate appearances while drawing 28 walks in 2021. That eyesight at the plate is something Borg suggests the Giants have viewed considering the fact that prior to they even signed him.
“I noticed that from the initially day,” Borg said. “I don’t forget when he was 15, I imagine he’s acquiring superior and improved and greater. I noticed the very same issue [then] and now he’s a minimal far better.”
Matos has various family users who have performed experienced baseball, a thing he credits with pushing him to do perfectly. It is also something Borg identifies as a critical element in his speedy rise.
“I feel which is why his function ethic is a small bit various. He will take treatment of business,” Borg explained. “The one particular issue that impresses me the most is that he thinks like a man, works like a gentleman and when you have a discussion with him about baseball, about get the job done ethic, he is aware of what he’s doing and he is familiar with what he suggests. I assume that is why he’s heading to move so rapid.”
Matos just turned 20 on Jan. 28 and reported he grew up seeing and admiring Ronald Acuña Jr. and Fernando Tatis Jr., undoubtedly a thing he does not comprehend helps make absolutely everyone else truly feel previous. And as a 5-foot-11 Venezuelan outfielder, the comparisons to Acuña (a 6-foot Venezuelan) are not new.
“I have listened to comparisons to Ronald Acuña due to the fact I can strike house operates, I can run, I can toss,” Matos explained. “But the purpose is to perhaps, just one working day, be much better than him.”
Luis Matos/Ronald Acuña Jr. HR swing comparison pic.twitter.com/CzCt3mQuxW
— MaysToPosey (@ManitoMarichal) March 7, 2022
Notes from slight league camp
As the MLB Gamers Affiliation introduced its hottest proposal to the league, the players at the Giants’ small league facility experienced a rather easy Day 2. There was no head-to-head simulated action at all for any of their minimal league teams.
Most hitters took batting practice at one of 4 fields becoming made use of, ostensibly broken up by their degree. At minimum by way of two times, a quantity of substantial prospective customers — Luciano, Pomares, infielder Will Wilson and outfielder Hunter Bishop — were with Double-A Richmond during batting follow. Matos was with Substantial-A Eugene.
But without the need of the locked-out players from the 40-guy roster, the Giants have shifted a chunk of their gamers up a degree to make confident Triple-A Sacramento and all other stages have a whole roster.
So when the Giants’ minor leaguers enjoy their to start with spring online games starting up March 15, you might see some prospective customers taking part in in higher-level minimal league game titles than exactly where they’ll start off the precise period. Think about this a warning from reading way too much into all those early assignments.