25. Cory Taylor
Cory Taylor didn't seem to run into any problems pitching in the South Atlantic League in his first full season. He quickly built a reputation of throwing six or more innings with 90 or more pitches on a regular basis, while striking out just over one batter per inning on average. The big righty sits comfortably between 88 and 93 miles per hour with his two and four-seam fastballs, and has been known to reach back to touch mid-90s. He throws two types of breaking balls, but most often a slider in the low-80s with sharp bite. Taylor messes with a changeup, but is mostly a two-pitch guy. The former Dallas Baptist ace is definitely a prospect on the rise, making the Double-A Flying Squirrels roster to begin 2017.
26. Caleb Smith
One of the more unknown prospects in the system is left-hander Caleb Smith. Drafted in the 17th round in 2014, Smith began the season in Augusta — just 30 minutes outside his hometown of Aiken, S.C. Heading towards the end of July, Smith still held a FIP below 2.00 and continued to produce incredible strikeout totals. His career mark of 13 strikeouts per nine innings has only been increased in 2016. Since debuting in 2014, opposing hitters have recorded only 45 hits off Smith in 76.1 innings, including just one home run. Smith is a mid-to-upper 90s guy who uses a plus-potential slider to counter the heat. Goal for 2017? Get some footage of Smith, who will likely be San Jose's closer.
2016 Stats // ETA: 2019
27. Kelvin Beltre
2017 will be an important year for 20-year-old Kelvin Beltre, who is simply looking for his first full healthy season as a pro. He missed two months last season while in the middle of a solid South Atlantic League debut at age 19, and only logged 56 plate appearances a year earlier his first season in the United States. Beltre, in Augusta again for the new year, will be looking to quickly promote to San Jose where he could show the organization what his bat is capable of. His arm appears to be his best asset, thus the bulk of work in 2016 at third base for the Dominican who was signed as a shortstop.
28. Matt Krook
When you look at Matt Krook's walk rates in his debut season, you'll understand why the Bay Area native fell to the Giants in the fourth round last draft after being taken 35th overall three years earlier. But when you read what scouts have said about the action on his pitches, you realize why a guy like Krook was worth grabbing in any round. A mid-90s fastball, ridiculous curveball, and reasonably good slider, plus a changeup from a tall, lanky left-hander always makes for a hot item. But Krook averaged 7.7 walks per nine innings in 2016. That's why the Giants obviously had him working hard on control during the Instructional League this fall, hoping in 2017 he'll be able to showcase what he can do as a starter in the California League.