- Editor's note: Every Monday, Dalton Johnson will keep you updated on the latest Giants news around the minor leagues.
As the Giants continue to surprise many and sit atop the NL West, Minor League Baseball is back after a 600-plus day hiatus for most affiliates. While San Francisco is off to a much better start than many expected, it still is clear the focus is on the future.
The Giants will do what they can to compete this season. They slowly have been on the rise ever since Farhan Zaidi showed up, and a handful of veterans are trying to prove they still belong. But after teasing fans in spring training with Marco Luciano, Heliot Ramos, Joey Bart and others, everyone wants to know when the next wave of talent will arrive to Oracle Park.
Some are on the cusp, while others will arrive later down the road. The good news is, every Giants affiliate is either .500 or above right now. Starting from Triple-A down to Low-A, here's where each affiliate stands early on: Sacramento River Cats (2-2), Richmond Flying Squirrels (5-1), Eugene Emeralds (5-1), San Jose Giants (3-3).
With all that being said, here's how the Giants' top prospects and others have started out early on in the 2021 minor league season.
Ramos Keeps Raking
After Ramos dominated his first big league camp and kept it going at the alternate site, many wondered if he would start the season in Triple-A Sacramento. The Giants opted to send the 21-year-old to Double-A Richmond, where he spent his final 25 games of the 2019 season.
The Flying Squirrels play in a much more pitcher-friendly park and league as a whole, which was evident on Opening Day. Ramos struck out three times in Richmond's season opener, but his slump didn't last too long.
Ramos homered in both his next two games and now is batting .429 with two homers and three doubles and has a 1.377 OPS over six games. He has a .520 on-base percentage and .857 slugging percentage. Not a bad response to a tough first game.
Starting Ramos in Richmond was far from disrespectful. After last season's cancelation, he only had 95 at-bats at the Double-A level under his belt. If he continues raking like he has the past few months, he should soon be in Sacramento and on his way to San Francisco later this season.
As far as the other top prospects go, Luciano is batting just .136 in San Jose. Bart homered on Opening Day and is batting .308 with a .973 OPS. One name to keep an eye on is Alexander Canario, who is batting .313 with a 1.039 OPS in San Jose and has shown a much-improved eye at the plate.
Zaidi of course has his eyes on all the big names down on the farm. But there has to be one player who really is sticking out to him. That's first baseman Logan Wyatt, who is in High-A for the Eugene Emeralds.
Wyatt, 23, has been an on-base machine in Eugene. And that's putting it lightly. He has eight walks in five games and has a .600 (!) on-base percentage. Wyatt has struck out just twice, is batting .412 and also has five RBI.
The Giants selected the first baseman in the second round of the 2019 draft. The Louisville product immediately received Brandon Belt comparisons for his patience at the plate and gap-to-gap power. Early this season, it's clear why the Giants coveted him two years ago.
This is Farhan's future, and we're all living in it.
Pitching Help on the Way?
The Giants' top prospects list is very hitter-heavy, but don't think that means there are no arms on the farm.
Kyle Harrison and Seth Corry are the young names to watch on the mound, but there could be some arms that might be able to help the Giants in the near future.
Scott Kazmir's comeback tour continued Sunday for Sacramento. After the first two batters of the game singled off him, the veteran lefty then retired nine straight. He allowed one earned run, struck out three and sat between 90 and 93 mph with his fastball over three innings.
Tyler Beede made his first rehab appearance Thursday on Opening Day for the River Cats. He threw 17 pitches -- nine strikes -- and struck out two batters while walking one. Beede is back on the bump for Sacramento on Monday night as he looks to re-join the Giants after missing all of last season to Tommy John surgery.
One other name to know in Sacramento is reliever Dominic Leone. The 29-year-old is yet to allow an earned run in his first 2 2/3 innings. He has allowed one hit, hasn't walked one batter, has three strikeouts and one save.
There's no doubt Leone could be a bullpen option at some point for San Francisco.