Giants

Brian Sabean sees 'very bright futures' for Giants top two prospects

Brian Sabean sees 'very bright futures' for Giants top two prospects

Joey Bart was behind the dish and batting third in an All-Star Game two months after the Giants made the Georgia Tech catcher the No. 2 pick in the 2018 MLB Draft.

This doesn't come as a surprise to Giants executive vice president of baseball operations Brian Sabean, the man who played a large role in San Francisco selecting Bart. Once Bart reaches the bigs, Sabean sees more MidSummer Classics in the catcher's future. 

"We think he's gonna be an All-Star," Sabean said Friday on KNBR

In Bart's first taste of an All-Star Game, he flashed his power bat that has Giants fans buzzing, blasting a three-run homer in his first trip to the plate. 

The Giants' top prospect showed his future All-Star potential in his 45 games for the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes. At Class A Short Season, Bart slashed .298/.369/.613 with 13 home runs, 14 doubles and 39 RBI.

With Buster Posey's health and age concerns -- he recently underwent season-ending hip surgery and will be 32 years old all next season -- Bart should be on the fast track to San Francisco.

One year before drafting Bart, the Giants took a five-tool teenage outfielder in Heliot Ramos. It sure sounds like the two are untouchables in trades for Sabean. 

"Those two guys, I think are front burner, whether it be for us or the outside world," Sabean said. 

Ramos crushed his competition last season, batting .348 with six home runs, six triples and 11 doubles in 45 games of the Arizona Rookie League. But in 2018, Ramos didn't see the same numbers in Single-A. Ramos slashed .245/.313/.396 for the Augusta GreenJackets, but did add 11 home runs, eight triples, 24 doubles, and hit .282 in August.

"They're obviously on different tracks, but should have very bright futures," Sabean said on Bart and Ramos. 

The Giants' top pick from 2017 just turned 19 years old on Sept. 7, playing the entire season at only 18 years old. The center fielder was one of the youngest players in the South Atlantic League and still showed flashes of his promise, it just came in bunches instead of consistent runs. 

Bart and Ramos are the Giants' top two prospects by Baseball America and MLB Pipeline's rankings. The two embody what the Giants need more than ever -- power and athleticism. 

Bruce Bochy recounts his favorite memories from tenure as Giants manager

Bruce Bochy recounts his favorite memories from tenure as Giants manager

"Even though I'm retiring, I'm looking forward to one more shot."

The Giants' world was rocked Monday, when Bruce Bochy announced that this coming season would be his last as manager for San Francisco. It had been on Bochy's mind for some time, and he thought it best to have everyone on the same page heading into what will be his final season in the dugout.

"It was important for me to tell them that, and really to get it out," Bochy told NBC Sports Bay Area's Amy Gutierrez during an exclusive interview following his announcement. "So I could be honest with everybody and get it behind us and it wouldn't be a distraction for myself, Farhan (Zaidi), Larry (Baer), the team ... everybody. We can concentrate on baseball."

Suddenly, the 2019 season has taken on a whole new meaning for the Giants. Yes, a return to contention after the last two dismal years is certainly high on the list of goals. But now, each time they take the field, there's going to be an element of, 'Win one for the skipper' to it.

There are bound to be numerous pit stops along the way at which point Bochy will be honored for his vast contributions to the Giants franchise, including, of course, three World Series titles in a span of five years. Of the nine other former managers in MLB history to win at least three World Series titles, all of them are already in the Hall of Fame. Bochy will surely join them there.

[RELATED: Next stop, Cooperstown: Why Bochy is Baseball Hall lock]

But if it's up to Bochy, those in-season ceremonies will be kept to a minimum. "That's not what this is about," he told Gutierrez.

Whether or not he gets his wish remains to be seen. But no matter what, you can count on a whole lot of reminiscing over the next seven or eight months, depending on how successful Bochy's final season is.

Heck, it's already begun. In their conversation, Bochy was asked about his favorite memories as the Giants' skipper. One immediately came to mind, and for good reason.

"This one's probably pretty obvious, but when I handed the ball to my son coming out of the bullpen, that's a moment I'll never forget."

Outside of specific memories, a constant one that holds a special place in Bochy's heart is the endless support he's received from Giants fans over the last 12 seasons.

[RELATED: Giants' players determined to send Bochy out on high note]

"That was the one constant that I always had and the team always had over my tenure there," Bochy said, "is that they've always been there."

Bochy and the Giants plan to figure out a future role for him with the organization, so it's not as if he'll disappear from AT&...err....Oracle Park altogether. In fact, Bochy doesn't intend to go far at all.

"It's just amazing how well I've been treated up there," Bochy said of San Francisco, "and that's where I'm sure I'm going to end up making my home because that's home for me."

Giants' veterans determined to defy odds, send Bruce Bochy out on high note

win4bochap.jpg
AP

Giants' veterans determined to defy odds, send Bruce Bochy out on high note

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A few longtime Giants knew what was coming Monday morning, but for most of the players gathered in the clubhouse at Scottsdale Stadium, Bruce Bochy’s announcement was a stunner.

Bochy gives a speech every year before the first full-squad workout of the spring, and he started Monday’s by telling his players that he’s retiring at the end of the season. He then quickly moved on to discussing the spring schedule. As players started to digest the news, many came to the same conclusion.

“The main thing definitely is that we’ve got to end this on a high note,” left-hander Derek Holland said. “We’ve got to take him to where he needs to be and get him that last game in October, not September.”

Despite what happened the past two seasons, veterans have spent the last two weeks talking about getting back to the postseason. They now have a rallying cry: Win one for the skipper. Make sure Bochy's career doesn't end Sept. 29 with the final game of the season. All three veterans who spoke after Monday’s announcement gave some variation of “we have to help Bochy end on a high note.”

[RELATED: Next stop, Cooperstown: Why Bochy is Baseball Hall lock]

It was an emotional day for the Giants, and Holland, Brandon Belt and Pablo Sandoval spoke of what Bochy has meant to them. Holland pointed out how cool it was to face Bochy with the Rangers and then get to pitch for him. Belt pointed out that Bochy is the only manager he has played for. Sandoval chose to honor Bochy at the Coaching Corps Game Changer Awards last month, and he was hit hard during the Monday morning meeting. 

“It was emotional,” Sandoval said. “But at the same time, we’ve got to go finish strong for him.”

Sandoval said he’ll stop by Bochy’s office soon to reminisce a bit about their time together. That will continue all year, especially for players like Belt, Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford and Madison Bumgarner, who have never known anything but a Bochy clubhouse. 

Those who have played for Bochy for years thought this news was coming, but that didn’t soften the blow. 

“I was a little shocked,” Belt said. “You think it might be coming, but it’s still a little surprising to hear coming out of his mouth.”

[RELATED: Giants, Bochy plan to figure out future role with team]

Belt said Bochy told the Giants how much he believes in the group. Bochy is happy with the free agent additions, and the Giants believe they’re flying under the radar. That would add to one last Bochy run. 

“Nobody is expecting us to do it,” Holland said. “That makes this story even better.”