Giants not worried top prospects Joey Bart, Heliot Ramos will miss time

Giants not worried top prospects Joey Bart, Heliot Ramos will miss time

SAN FRANCISCO -- The most exciting San Jose Giants team in a decade will be without some serious star power as the weather heats up. 

Joey Bart (fractured finger) and Heliot Ramos (knee sprain) will both miss about another month with injuries suffered in April. This was certainly a small blow for the organization and sets both players back a bit, but the president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said there could be a silver lining here. 

In an interview that aired on The Giants Insider Podcast this week, Zaidi said he's excited by the April numbers of both top prospects, and he's now hopeful that they can return without the pressure of trying to make it to the big leagues this September. 

"You're always disappointed when guys get injured, but by the same token, it's kind of nice to have those guys go back under the radar a little bit," Zaidi said. "I don't think we should be expecting those guys to save our 2019 season. I think we need to be focused on the group that we have here and some of the guys we have in Triple-A and let (Bart and Ramos) develop.

"It might be a blessing in disguise that those guys have some time off. They'll be able to come back. I think they'll hit the ground running when they get back, but maybe it'll take some of the clock pressure off those guys as they develop." 

Zaidi has always liked to move his best prospects quickly and present them with new challenges, and he said he's "not ruling anything out" with Bart and Ramos, who entered the season on different timetables. Bart, 22, had an outside chance at a call-up later this year. The bat is advanced, and he was a standout defensively before getting hurt. 

At 19, Ramos is one of the youngest players in the California League, and he seemed likely to spend most of the season there. But he, too, was showing signs of progress that could have led to a quick promotion. Ramos hit five homers in 19 games before hurting his knee on a swing, but what really stood out was the 14 walks. Last year, Ramos walked just 35 times all season while striking out 136 times. 

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"That's really exciting and that's obviously a point that's been emphasized with him and is a point for us in player development overall," Zaidi said. "We want guys to have quality at-bats and take their walks and put the ball in play and not swing and miss at really high rates. We have a few guys who have really taken that to heart. It's been really encouraging seeing what he's done.

"A guy like Chris Shaw, who started the year in Double-A, but to see his walk rate and strikeout rate improve the way they have, we're looking for those positive indicators and those two guys have definitely shown them."

Archie Bradley praises D-backs GM for Madison Bumgarner alter ego comments

Archie Bradley praises D-backs GM for Madison Bumgarner alter ego comments

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Nobody at the Diamondbacks' spring training facility had uttered the name "Madison Bumgarner," despite seeing him numerous times.

He goes by Mason Saunders for now. That is his alter ego after all -- the one he uses to win cash prizes at rodeo events.

The sports media world had a field day when the information on MadBum's alias surfaced, but D-backs general manager Mike Hazen had his back.

"Madison is a grown man and we know he's committed to helping us achieve our goals as a team," Hazen told media on Monday. 

Arizona pitcher Archie Bradley said that resonated with him as well.

"It's great. I personally have a lot of respect for Mike Hazen, but that was something I was actually talking to CC Sabathia yesterday," Bradley told NBC Sports Bay Area on Tuesday. "You're seeing this new wave where guys aren't afraid to showcase the other side of their life. I think there's kind of been this build of 'You just have to be a baseball player.' LeBron started with 'More Than an Athlete,' I think guys are kind of catching on."

He also loves the fact that MadBum now is on his team instead of facing him as much as he did during their NL West matchups when Bumgarner was on the Giants. MadBum has made a huge impression on the 27-year-old.

"He just raises everyone's level of awareness and preparation," Bradley said. "When you win a World Series, that holds a lot of weight, it puts your name in bold font. You know, Madison Bumgarner is a big-time name, not only because of his talent level, but because of how he competes, but how he's won."

"When you add a guy like that who is very old school and very hard-nosed, you kind of perk up a little bit."

[RELATED: MadBum's young teammates ready to see what he's about]

Bradley said MadBum, after winning multiple World Series championships, is bringing that mentality to his new team in Phoenix. 

"This is a guy that has not only done it but is vocalizing how he wants to do it here."

Giants prospect Hunter Bishop believes performance will be rewarded

Giants prospect Hunter Bishop believes performance will be rewarded

Joey Bart already displayed his power with an opposite-field homer on his first swing of the spring. Sean Hjelle gave us a glimpse of his potential with a 95-mph fastball

Both Giants prospects are in big league camp this spring, while others like Heliot Ramos and Hunter Bishop are not. On Tuesday, however, both young center fielders joined the big squad for a game against the Chicago White Sox. 

Bishop, the Giants' first-round pick in last year's draft, believes the front office won't shy away from calling young players up if they play well for their respective team. 

"I think it's been apparent to a lot of the minor leaguers that if you perform, you'll get rewarded," Bishop said to reporters before Tuesday's game. "People are gonna say they're not gonna worry about their performance, but I think everyone that's human does. If I can just take it day by day and at-bat by at-bat, then hopefully something good will turn out." 

Farhan Zaidi has echoed the same message for quite some time now. Bart and Ramos both made it to Double-A by the end of last season, and figure to have a shot at the bigs this season. 

Zaidi, the Giants' president of baseball operations, knows San Francisco is in a bit of a rebuild right now. That doesn't mean he will shy away from bringing  young stars up to San Francisco

"Promoting guys aggressively and rewarding performance, rewarding guys addressing areas of weakness that have been pointed out to them as things that they need to address, that's a real positive," Zaidi said late last month on KNBR. "I expect us to continue on that path in 2020." 

Bishop, 21, played seven games in the Arizona Rookie League after the draft. He then joined the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes for 25 more in Class A Short Season. Between the two levels, he hit .229 with five homers and an .867 OPS. 

With his powerful swing and keen eye at the plate, Bishop could be a quick riser in the farm system. The former ASU Sun Devil needs to cut down his strikeouts, though, and that will be a big factor for him this year and beyond. As for where he starts the season, Bishop couldn't care less. 

[RELATED: These four Giants made Keith Law's top 100 prospects list]

"For me, whatever team I'm on -- help them win," Bishop said. "That's really all I can control. I can't control where I'm gonna go or what team I'm gonna make. If I can just worry about what I can do and help the team win, that's all I'm focused on for this season." 

The Bay Area native certainly has his eyes set on San Francisco. For now, he's looking to improve in all aspects of the game and end every day with a win.