San Jose Giants

Trio of Giants prospects listed in Baseball Prospectus Midseason Top 50

Trio of Giants prospects listed in Baseball Prospectus Midseason Top 50

For an organization that has not seen much consistent talent emerge from the minor league system, the Giants must be thrilled with the Baseball Prospectus Midseason Top 50 prospect rankings

A trio of Giants prospects was featured on the list, all of whom were acquired within the last three seasons. 

Joey Bart, No. 19

Baseball Prospectus on Bart's upside: "Bart has a rare combination of upside, polish, and defensive ability for a catcher. There’s big bat speed and big raw power. He’s an advanced receiver, to the extent that we can reliably observe such things about low-minors catchers. Basically, the bar for a two-way catcher is quite low these days, and Bart might exceed it by quite a lot."

Analysis: Bart was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 draft, and many see him as the heir apparent to franchise cornerstone Buster Posey. Bart spent the fall in Arizona and has been with the San Jose Giants for the entire first half of his first full professional season. While he currently is hitting below .250 in California League play, Bart has managed to hit six home runs and tally four doubles despite missing 45 games with a fractured left hand, suffered in mid-April. 

In addition, four of his six big flies this season have come after his return from injury, demonstrating that the hand clearly is not a detriment to his play. He got his first professional multi-home run game on June 8 when he crushed two home runs against the Stockton Ports

Bart also appeared in this year's MLB Futures Game, where he came off the bench and made a tremendous defensive play to throw out a runner trying to steal second base. 

Heliot Ramos, No. 33

BP Staff on Ramos' upside: "After an underwhelming 2018 on both a tools and performance level, reports have been much better on the still teenaged Ramos. The bat speed isn’t too far off the top of the scale, and there’s plus power that comes with it. While the rest of the offensive profile is more of a work in progress, he’s held his own in the Cal League, and there’s a not-overly-optimistic outcome where it’s plus hit as well."

Analysis: Ramos had a public goal of advancing to the major leagues in three years, a lofty goal for any prospect -- especially one who came into the organization at just 17 years old. But Ramos has been a solid contributor for San Jose this season along with Bart, as he has 57 hits and nine home runs in 191 at-bats. While it is just High-A competition, Ramos' batting average of .298 is a dramatic step up so far from his .245/.313/.396 campaign in 2018 with the Augusta Greenjackets in the Class-A South Atlantic League. 

The center fielder appeared in the 2019 Futures Game as well and got a single up the middle in his only plate appearance. 

Marco Luciano, No. 48

BP Staff on Luciano's upside: "Contestant number four was one of 2018’s top international signings, receiving a bonus of $2.6 million. Buzz from scouts started growing on Luciano before he even signed, and it has only grown since he came stateside. Like Robinson, you can dream on it all: hit, power, and speed. It’s very early, but his current numbers in the Arizona League look like he’s playing MLB: The Show on rookie difficulty. We keep hearing too many good things to not have him on this list."

[RELATED: How Heliot Ramos compares to other Giants who dominated in San Jose]

Analysis: Luciano has been making mincemeat out of Arizona Fall League competition at just 17 years old. The Dominican Republic native already has connected on seven home runs in his first 17 games in Arizona. The talented teenager has shown more than just a big stick, as he is slashing .368/.456/.779. These impressive qualities have drawn comparisons to another Dominican-born player, Alfonso Soriano, who appeared in more than a handful of MLB All-Star games. 

Giants prospect Jake Wong takes aggressive approach in first full season

Giants prospect Jake Wong takes aggressive approach in first full season

SAN JOSE -- Jake Wong doesn't model himself after any one pitcher, but when the right-hander was asked recently if there's anyone he likes to follow, he mentioned two of the most intense pitchers of the last decade: Max Scherzer and Madison Bumgarner. 

"My overall approach is to be aggressive," Wong said. "I'm pretty competitive by nature, so for me it's just about going out there and doing my thing and competing. I just like having a competitive edge out there, just pitching with a chip on my shoulder."

The Giants have always had that on their staff, whether it's Bumgarner or Ryan Vogelsong or Sergio Romo coming out of the bullpen and snarling at hitters. Shaun Anderson appears to be out of the same mold, pitching inside and staring down opponents as he stands tall on the mound.

Wong is in his first full professional season, but the Giants felt he was underrated coming out of Grand Canyon University in Phoenix when they took him in the third round of the 2018 MLB Draft and are hopeful he can develop with what looks to be a budding future core at the low levels of the minors. 

Joey Bart and Heliot Ramos started the year with San Jose, and the club got a major boost when Wong and right-hander Sean Hjelle joined after a strong early-season run in Low-A Augusta. While Hjelle has taken quickly to the California League (he has a 1.94 ERA since a promotion), Wong has had to make more adjustments. 

But overall the track record is a strong one since the Giants drafted him. Wong was the highest draft pick out of Grand Canyon since Tim Salmon in 1989 and had a 2.30 ERA in 11 starts for short-season Salem-Keizer. He started this season with a 1.99 ERA and 0.91 WHIP in Augusta, holding opponents to a .186 average in eight starts. 

Wong, 22, has a 4.74 ERA in San Jose, but he was sharp in his last start, allowing two runs in 5 2/3 innings while striking out six. 

"I got started off on a pretty good note in Augusta," he said. "The lack of consistency has been there (in San Jose), but each and every day I come out here with the same attitude. I'm trying to learn and develop. Being on a staff like this with the different kind of talents we've got and different personalities, it's cool to pick each other's brains and come out here and try to learn and develop and continue to progress."

Wong primarily relies on his fastball, which he throws as a two- and four-seamer and has gotten up to 97 mph in the past. Scouts generally have him more in the low 90s, with a curveball and changeup along with a slider he has mixed in this season. 

"I have a pretty aggressive approach in the way I attack hitters," he said. "I think everything plays off the fastball. I like to work inside, make hitters uncomfortable. For me that kind of plays off my fastball."

Bart and Ramos are the big names, the ones headed to the Futures Game this Sunday. But the Giants will need much more to turn this around long-term, particularly on the pitching side. They're starting to see improvement at the lower levels of the minors and hope Wong can be right in the middle of a wave headed towards Oracle Park. 

Wong said the players don't talk much about moving through together, but they know eyes are on their draft class. He thinks there's plenty of talent in the dugout in San Jose.

[RELATED: Giants spread bonus money, add 25 prospects]

"We've got lots of guys who can contribute and it's going to be a collaborative effort," he said. "To win a World Series and to start winning games, it comes from everyone. It's pretty cool because we've got an exciting young core and we've got some guys in the farm system that I think are going to contribute. 

"I think we're starting to build something pretty special."

Watch Heliot Ramos hit ninth homer, end slump in huge way for San Jose

Watch Heliot Ramos hit ninth homer, end slump in huge way for San Jose

The first half of the 2019 Minor League Baseball season couldn't have gone better for Heliot Ramos. The Giants' No. 2 prospect was a California League All-Star after hitting eight homers and leading the San Jose Giants in multiple offensive categories, despite missing four weeks with a knee injury. 

And then the start to the second half happened. 

Some players need a break to regroup and give their body a rest at the halfway point. For Ramos, it drastically threw off his rhythm at the plate. All that changed Tuesday night in San Jose. 

Ramos, 19, started off the second half 2-for-20 with nine strikeouts in the Giants' first five games after the break. He also went 0-for-4 on the final day of the first half. It was time for the slump to en. 

The center fielder went 3-for-4 with a home run, two runs scored and two RBI in San Jose's 8-4 comeback win over the Modesto Nuts. He finished a triple shy of the cycle. 

Ramos just missed clearing the wall in the fourth inning when he crushed a double to the opposite field off the right-field wall. 

Two innings later, Ramos hit his team-leading ninth homer of the year with a two-run blast high over the left-field fence. 

Ramos is now slashing .282/.372/.526 with an .897 OPS. He has 20 extra-base hits in 43 games, and his nine homers are only two fewer than he hit all of last year, in 124 games. 

Giants top prospect Joey Bart also caught plenty of attention with his power and, to the surprise of some, his speed. Bart unloaded on a ball to right-center field in the second inning, and the 235-pound catcher easily legged out a stand-up triple. 

The triple was Bart's first extra-base hit in 11 games. 

[RELATED: Madison Bumgarner passes Matt Cain in career strikeouts]

While the focus in San Francisco shifts to the July 31 trade deadline, Bart and Ramos remain two of the leading factors who can lead a bright future in the Bay.