Giants

Giants farm system jumps up to No. 15 in Baseball America ranking

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ALI THANAWALLA

Giants farm system jumps up to No. 15 in Baseball America ranking

Times are changing for the San Francisco Giants.

Over the last few seasons, the Giants have had one of the worst farm systems in baseball. They entered the 2019 season with the No. 28-ranked system, according to Baseball America.

But they aren't No. 28 anymore.

Baseball America updated their organizational rankings on Thursday, and they moved the Giants all the way up to No. 15.

Here's what BA wrote about the Giants:

"The Giants' 2018 draft and its international signing haul last year are quickly boosting what had been a bottom-tier farm system."

The summer of 2018 was very fruitful for the Giants. After drafting their top prospect, Joey Bart, with the No. 2 overall draft pick, they selected 6-foot-11 right-handed pitcher Sean Hjelle in the second round. Another college arm, Jake Wong, was taken in the third round. All three are already with the High-A San Jose Giants.

The Giants also saw success on the international market as they signed the No. 4 overall July 2 prospect Marco Luciano. The shortstop didn't play last season, but has been one of the standout players in the Arizona Rookie League as the 17-year-old is slashing .330/.425/.661 with eight homers and 25 RBI in 27 games.

Another July 2 prospect, Jairo Pomares, isn't as highly rated as Luciano, but is playing just as well in the AZL. In 23 games, he's hitting .394 with three homers and 25 RBI. Last week, he was named to the MLB Pipeline Prospect Team of the Week.

Those five players joined 2017 first-round draft pick Heliot Ramos, who is leading the San Jose Giants with 11 home runs at just 19 years old.

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This past June, the Giants selected outfielder Hunter Bishop with the No. 10 overall pick in the MLB Draft, but the Arizona State product is struggling in his first taste of professional baseball.

President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi was expecting to add prospects to the system ahead of the July 31 trade deadline, but an incredible run by the Giants in July has put a wrench in those plans. Now, instead of selling Madison Bumgarner and a few relievers, the Giants reportedly could be buyers and might have to dip into their stash of prospects in order to add players.

Giants honor Bruce Bochy with cannon water salute before final flight

Giants honor Bruce Bochy with cannon water salute before final flight

Talk about going out with a bang. 

As Giants manager Bruce Bochy prepared for his final team flight back to San Francisco on Sunday after his team's 4-1 win over the Atlanta Braves, his squad paid tribute with commemorative t-shirts, hats, and Bochy’s No. 15 plastered on the outside of the chartered plane in sticker form.

Just before the team plane prepared to depart the Atlanta airport, the Giants arranged for a ceremonial salute fitting for a three-time champion and winner of over 2,000 games as a manager.

[RELATED: Giants' improved road record provides silver lining for 2019 season]

The Giants will close out the 2019 season with six home games in what will be a week-long recognition of one of the franchise’s most successful managers.

Maybe Bochy can use that time in the air to enjoy some of the many gifts he received from opposing teams during his final season.

Giants' Madison Bumgarner convinced balls are juiced: 'No denying it'

Giants' Madison Bumgarner convinced balls are juiced: 'No denying it'

Madison Bumgarner isn't one to mince words, and recently the Giants starting pitcher said what everyone has been thinking.

The balls are juiced.

"There's no denying it," Bumgarner told the San Francisco Chronicle in a story published Friday. "I don't think anybody at this point is denying the ball is different. It's definitely different, and it's affecting a lot of the all-time stats."

The proof is in the pudding, as they say, and a simple glance at the home-run leaderboard serves to confirm Bumgarner's suspicion. While New York Mets slugger Pete Alonso is the only player thus far to reach the 50-homer plateau, there are another seven players in the forties, and another 47 in the thirties.

The league's previous home run record -- 6,105, set in 2017 -- was surpassed two weeks ago. There's still a week left in the season. Those are the only two seasons in MLB history with at least 6,000 home runs.

The Giants haven't had a single player with 20 home runs in any of the last three seasons. They already have two this year, with Evan Longoria knocking on the door with 19.

So, it's not as if the Giants' hitters haven't similarly benefitted from a juiced ball. Still, Bumgarner isn't a fan.

"I just don't like it when they change the game so much," he said. "This changes it a lot."

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Given that the current game has basically been turned into a nightly home-run derby, it's not surprising that a pitcher would complain. Of course, Bumgarner has only hit one himself after five previous multi-homer seasons, so maybe he's just frustrated he hasn't been able to take better advantage.