In the age of Prospect Mania, fans want the shiny new piece and they want it now. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't.
But coming off a year where Minor League Baseball was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was extremely hard for teams to gauge how prospects would look this season. The Giants took full advantage last year of Summer Camp, the alternate site and even fielded two teams in the fall Instructional League. Still, there's no perfect formula to how a young player can react to lost development.
The Giants have one of the fastest rising and most impressive farm systems in the game right now, and president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi expects the franchise to ramp up that development in the near future.
"Like we've talked about, some of these placements out of the gate might be a little bit conservative but in the next few weeks, we will probably be looking to move some guys up if they can keep up this early pace," Zaidi said Tuesday on KNBR's "Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks" show.
This has been Zaidi's way of thinking for months now. Heliot Ramos opened eyes in big league camp during spring training and continued to do so at the alternate site ahead of Opening Day in the minors. Still, the Giants sent Ramos to Double-A Richmond, where he finished the 2019 season, to begin the year.
The hope is that with some conservative placements, players will quickly prove they're ready for the next level. That's exactly what the 21-year-old Ramos has done so far, too. Ramos struck out three times on Opening Day but has been on fire ever since, and now is batting .429 with two home runs and a 1.377 OPS.
Ramos is just one prospect who has stood out so far to Zaidi.
"He's obviously off to a great start, and again, in a park that's not that easy to hit in," Zaidi said. "That Richmond park is a pitcher's park. He's been off to a great start. Logan Wyatt, Will Wilson's also swinging the bat really well for Eugene, our new affiliate in High-A."
Wilson, 22, is batting .385 with a 1.176 OPS over six games for the Eugene Emeralds, and Wyatt, 23, is batting .348 and has a .516 on-base percentage in seven games with Eugene. Zaidi also mentioned Kyle Harrison, the Giants' top pitching prospect, who struck out seven batters in three innings for the San Jose Giants in his minor league debut.
The Giants are at the perfect balancing point right now. They're tied for the most wins in the majors, and they have a handful of top prospects making noise. Soon, they could be making their way up the ladder to San Francisco.
If you live in the area of a Giants minor league affiliate, don't wait to get to a game. Their top prospect could soon be gone.