Giants

Conner Menez rises, Chris Shaw falls on new Giants' top prospects list

Conner Menez rises, Chris Shaw falls on new Giants' top prospects list

The Giants entered this season with one of the worst farm systems in baseball. That has changed in a flash, just as the team looks to make another magical run in manager Bruce Bochy's final year sailing the ship. 

As top prospects Joey Bart, Heliot Ramos and Marco Luciano have lived up to their hype, many others have been pleasant surprises. Everything can't be perfect, however, and there certainly have been a few disappointments this year as well. 

MLB.com recently released their new top-30 rankings for each organization and there are a plethora of changes for the Giants. Here are the risers and fallers, and who joins the list from the team's 2019 draft class. 

Risers

Conner Menez (No. 16): The left-hander wasn't even ranked in the Giants top 30 prospects to enter the season. Menez, 24, had average numbers at best his first two seasons in the minor leagues. 

He broke out last season and led all lefties in the minors with 171 strikeouts in 135 1/3 innings between three levels -- Advanced Class-A San Jose, Double-A Richmond and Triple-A Sacramento. Menez started the season in Double-A this year and jumped all the way to making his major league debut. 

Between Richmond and Sacramento, Menez has gone 5-3 with a 3.27 ERA and has 129 strikeouts in 99 innings. He struck out six and allowed two earned runs over five innings in his Giants debut.

Seth Corry (No. 8): Corry, the Giants' third-round pick in 2017, has developed slowly but it's paying off now. The fellow lefty has been downright filthy this season in Low-A Augusta. Corry tossed 5 2/3 innings of no-hit ball with 10 strikeouts Monday night before hitting his pitch limit. 

The 20-year-old struggled with his command at the start of his career. This season, he's greatly improved in that area and hasn't allowed more than two walks in his past seven starts. Corry is 8-2 with a 1.85 ERA on the year and has 129 strikeouts in 92 1/3 innings. 

Franklin Labour (18): Labour, 21, also entered the season unranked. The Giants signed Labour out of the Dominican Republic in 2015 for $70K and have slow-played the start to his career in the minors. This year, though, he's enjoying a huge season at Class A Short Season with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes. 

The 6-foot-1 outfielder has raw power and that's translated to 14 home runs in 39 games. He's also hitting .312 with a 1.053 OPS. 

Fallers 

Chris Shaw (19): The former first-round pick keeps sliding down the rankings. Shaw made his major league debut last season but struggled in 22 games with the Giants. He then started the year back down in Double-A.

Between Richmond and Sacramento, Shaw has done everything that's asked of him. He's slashing .302 with 20 home runs and has a .371 on-base percentage. Shaw could be a late bloomer in the bigs or he simply could be a "Quadruple-A" player. 

Heath Quinn (30): Quinn, 24, came into the season as the Giants' No. 13 prospect. He has some of the most power in the farm system, but can't stay consistent or healthy. After starting the year in Double-A, he's back in Single-A San Jose. 

2019 MLB Draft Class

Hunter Bishop (4), Logan Wyatt (13), Grant McCray (22), Trevor McDonald (24), Tyler Fitzgerald (27), Garrett Frechette (28), Dylan Rosario (29)

Bishop clearly is the cream of the crop from the draft class. He's only hit .194 since being promoted to Salem-Keizer, but he still only has one more strikeout than walk to start his career in the minors. 

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Frechette is a name to watch who can rise up the ranks. He has a sweet swing and his 6-foot-3 frame should help him unlock his natural power. At only 18 years old, keep an eye on him in the coming years.

MLB rumors: Yankees offer Gerrit Cole record seven-year, $245M contract

MLB rumors: Yankees offer Gerrit Cole record seven-year, $245M contract

Gerrit Cole is going to get paid. Everyone knew that headed into this offseason, but now we know the benchmark for his payday. 

The New York Times' Bob Klapisch reported Sunday that the Yankees offered the superstar pitcher a record-breaking, seven-year, $245 million contract. Those figures would surpass David Price's $217 million deal, and Zack Greinke's average annual value of $34.4 million per year. 

While Giants fans surely would love to see Cole pitching in San Francisco, it should be seen as a win if he does wind up in pinstripes. Cole, a Southern California native who just happens to be Brandon Crawford's brother-in-law, reportedly is being courted by the Dodgers and Angels as well. 

The Giants last faced Cole on May 22, 2018. The right-hander struck out eight batters over six innings in an 11-2 Astros win in Houston. In seven starts, Cole is 5-1 with a 3.15 ERA against the Giants. 

It's safe to say, the last thing San Francisco's front office wants to see is the 29-year-old returning to the NL to be a Dodger. The fewer times you face Cole in a season, the better. 

Cole taking his talents to the Bronx certainly would be a welcome sight for the A's, too. Sure, he still would be in the AL, but it definitely beats having him in the same division. 

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Oakland faced Cole twice last season, and he was brilliant in both starts, allowing only three earned runs over 13 innings to go with 15 strikeouts. He is 4-1 with a 3.08 ERA and 65 strikeouts over 50 2/3 innings in eight career starts against the A's. 

As Shohei Ohtani returns to the mound in 2020, the A's will have their hands full when they face the Angels. Adding Cole could be a disgusting cherry on top. 

MLB rumors: Cardinals 'entering the fray' to pursue Madison Bumgarner

MLB rumors: Cardinals 'entering the fray' to pursue Madison Bumgarner

With the Winter Meetings rapidly approaching, MLB free agency is heating up.

One of the top available pitchers -- Madison Bumgarner -- is expected to be in high demand, particularly now that Cole Hamels has signed with the Braves and Zack Wheeler reportedly has agreed to a five-year contract with the Phillies. For teams who scoff at Gerrit Cole's price tag, Bumgarner might be the logical compromise.

The Giants have been "in communication" with Bumgarner, but rumor has it another interested team has entered the mix.

MLB.com's Mark Feinsand reported Thursday that the St. Louis Cardinals have been linked to Bumgarner, citing a source.

St. Louis already has brought back veteran Adam Wainwright on a one-year deal, and after he, Jack Flaherty, Miles Mikolas and Dakota Hudson, there appears to be an opening for Bumgarner in the starting rotation. Signing with the Cardinals would not only allow Bumgarner to continue pitching in the National League, but would also allow him to continue taking his own at-bats, which we know he loves so much. He also has been linked to teams such as the Twins and White Sox, but would forfeit his at-bats to a DH in each of those situations.

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While Bumgarner is expected to receive a contract in excess of $100 million, Feinsand suggests Wheeler's reported $118 million payday might serve to increase the total.