The SF Giants traded outfielder Alexander Canario alongside Caleb Kilian to the Chicago Cubs for Kris Bryant at the 2021 MLB trade deadline. Bryant helped the Giants finish out their 107-win season before he signed as a free agent with the Colorado Rockies last winter. While Bryant is no longer on the Giants, Canario is making a name for himself in the Cubs farm system. In fact, Canario had arguably the best performance in the minor leagues on Tuesday, blasting three home runs in a game for the Cubs Triple-A affiliate in Iowa.
In a back-and-forth slugfest between the Iowa Cubs and Omaha Storm Chasers (the Royals Triple-A affiliate), which Iowa won 12-11, Canario went 3-for-5 with three home runs, four runs batted in, and a walk. Canario was promoted to Triple-A at the end of August after crushing High-A and Double-A competition throughout the season. The 22-year-old outfielder had been struggling to adjust to Triple-A competition, posting an abysmal .152/.326/.182 triple-slash before his three-homer game on Tuesday.
The Giants signed Canario as part of their 2015-16 International Free-Agent Class. Canario was not a highly regarded prospect as an amateur, but he quickly put his name on the map with an excellent pro debut. Canario hit .294/.391/.464 in the Dominican Summer League back in 2017.
Canario continued showcasing his power when he moved stateside in 2018 to the Arizona Rookie League. Then, in 2019, while Canario was still a teenager, he hit .301/.365/.539 at the now defunct short-season level.
The canceled 2020 minor-league season probably played a big role in slowing Canario's development. Instead of making his full-season debut, he was forced to wait a year to return to organized baseball. When he did, Canario struggled a bit at Single-A San Jose, but he still showed off his power, recording 14 doubles, three triples, and nine home runs in 65 games before he was traded to the Cubs.
In his first full year with his new organization, Canario has been a minor-league star. Between three minor-league levels, Canario is hitting .252/.339/.552 with 34 home runs (more than any prospect in the Giants farm system) and 21 stolen bases. While Canario probably profiles best in right field, he has also held his own defensively in center field this year, further improving his prospect stock. Already crushing bombs at Triple-A before his 23rd birthday, it seems like it will not be long before Canario makes his MLB debut.
Alexander Canario was a consensus top-10 prospect in the SF Giants farm system when they traded him to the Cubs last summer for Kris Bryant. Since the deal, Canario has been one of the best performers in the minor leagues. After hitting three homers in a game earlier this week, it seems like he has the signature highlight to cap off a breakout season in 2022.