From the moment Farhan Zaidi was hired as president of baseball operations by the Giants after the 2018 season, he said to pay attention to the younger players.
That’s who Zaidi believed ultimately would make the biggest difference in turning around the Giants organization. It certainly has paid off as the team has received accolades for developing a more respected minor league farm system.
ESPN recently released their ranking of MLB farm systems and the Giants now are listed at No. 12 -- up four spots from last year, and now ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers (No. 16).
Here’s what ESPN prospect analyst Kiley McDaniel said about the Giants:
“The Giants lost only Mauricio Dubon and Logan Webb to graduation last season, while adding strong talent in the draft and seeing some value created at the alternate site/instructional league with a few international prospects. The Giants are in an intriguing position as a franchise. They are a potential financial heavyweight that is over $50 million below the competitive balance tax threshold and could have over $100 million coming off the books after the year, depending on what they do with the options on Johnny Cueto’s and Buster Posey’s contracts. They have a solid farm system that’s trending up and has some solid high-end, upside talent, but nowhere near enough to plug in and replace what they might be losing.”
The Giants did well in the 2020 MLB Draft with seven picks including switch-hitting NC State catcher Patrick Bailey, who was selected in the first round. They also picked two-way player Casey Schmitt from San Diego State. Schmitt can pitch, but is expected to be developed as a third baseman.
Both Cueto and Posey have team options on their contracts in 2022 and there’s a lot of star-studded options in free agency next offseason, so we don’t know if either will be back, but as it stands, the Giants are sitting pretty with .
The San Diego Padres, with their young core leading them to the 2020 MLB playoffs, was ranked at No. 7. The Tampa Bay Rays, who possessed nine players on ESPN's top 100 prospects list, was ranked as the No. 1 farm system.
The Giants have four prospects in ESPN’s top 100 list including Marco Luciano, who was ranked No. 7 overall. Bailey, Heliot Ramos and Joey Bart also made the list.
Bart will start the 2021 season in the minors and after talking to manager Gabe Kapler, he plans to use this season to get more reps in and develop behind the plate.