In a recent discussion thread, a reader asked for a report on San Francisco Giants outfield prospect Steven Duggar. We aim to please, so here it is.
First, the basic background from the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book:
Steven Duggar, OF, San Francisco Giants
Bats: L Throws: R HT: 6-2 WT: 195 DOB: November 4, 1993
Duggar was a sixth round pick last June out of Clemson. He was a successful player in college and performed well with wooden bats in the 2014 Cape Cod League (.329/.416/.366 with 15 steals) but concerns about lack of distance power held his draft stock down a bit. Speed is his best attribute by far, though he also features a strong throwing arm and above-average range. Duggar will take a walk and understands the importance of getting on base, but it remains to be seen if he’ll show enough pop at higher levels to get beyond fourth outfielder status. Grade C for now, but sometimes one of these guys develops into Brett Gardner or Michael Brantley.
Duggar opened 2016 with San Jose in the High-A California League, hitting .284/.386/.462 in 264 at-bats with nine homers, 44 walks, and 66 strikeouts. Promoted to Double-A Richmond in July, he's hitting .317/.378/.400 through 180 at-bats. All told, in 172 professional games in 2015 and 2016 he's slashing .296/.385/.413 with 33 doubles, 10 homers, 96 walks, and 151 strikeouts in 673 at-bats.
Interestingly, he's only stolen 19 bases in 38 attempts in his pro career; in college he stole 50 bases in 65 attempts over 184 games and drew praise for his speed and successful aggression on the bases. He earns 65/70 grades for his pure speed from scouts, so his lack of success on the pro basepaths is both unexpected and concerning.
On the other hand, he's shown more power than anticipated, his on-base skills have been quite good, and his outfield defense draws praise; both his range and throwing arm are above-average.
Grade-wise the pre-season Grade C was cautious. I'd move him up to a Grade C+ now. He's performed well so far and the Giants have a good track record getting the most out of similar college types.
Unanswered questions: his isolated power has dropped off since his promotion. Will that come back, or was he merely taking advantage of lower level pitching? Will he improve his ability to use his speed on the bases? Right now he profiles well as a strong fourth outfielder due to his on-base skills and defense, but the answers to the other questions will determine if he can become a regular someday.