Mike Krukow

Mike Krukow calls Giants' improved farm system, future 'really exciting'

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Ali Thanawalla

Mike Krukow calls Giants' improved farm system, future 'really exciting'

The Giants' offseason has been full of signings like Kevin Gausman, Tyson Ross and Tyler Heineman. Those aren't exactly stars. 

Farhan Zaidi, San Francisco's president of baseball operations, has been more focused on adding depth like the players mentioned above, who could turn into intriguing trade options or help in the event of a playoff run. But the Giants are building stars down on the farm. 

MLB Pipeline recently named the Giants as one of baseball's five most improved farm systems. That honor makes broadcaster Mike Krukow very, very excited for San Francisco's future. 

"This is something we haven't heard for a while," Krukow said Friday on KNBR

Krukow lauded the fact that the Giants have talented teenagers such as Marco Luciano (18) and Alexander Canario (19). Led by catcher Joey Bart, San Francisco has four prospects on MLB Pipeline's top 100: Bart, Luciano, Heliot Ramos -- who was 19 years old all last season -- and Hunter Bishop. 

"With one year of Farhan Zaidi and his system in place, now you're starting to see more prospects," Krukow said. "Prospects that are legitimate. Prospects that are everyday starters at the big league level. That is really exciting. To me, I've always felt that the strength of an organization starts with a farm system.

"To get that type of recognition early on in just a year of Farhan's tenure is pretty amazing, and I'm excited about." 

While the Giants are in a bit of a rebuild mode -- despite still having veterans like Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija and more -- fans might not have to wait too long to see these budding stars. Especially Bart and Ramos. 

Both prospects likely will start the season in Triple-A Sacramento. They started last season in High Class-A San Jose and promotions to Double-A Richmond. Could they move two more levels in 2020? 

It won't be easy, but don't count them out. 

[RELATED: 2020 expectations for Joey Bart, other top prospects]

The Giants also essentially bought 2019 first-round draft pick Will Wilson in a trade with the Los Angeles Angels at the MLB Winter Meetings, too. Wilson already is a top-10 prospect for the Giants. Not to mention, San Francisco owns the No. 13 overall pick in this June's draft. 

There's a chance the 2020 season tests the patience of Giants fans once again. Take a deep breath, though. Talent is on the way.

Yasiel Puig signing with Giants isn't crazy thought, Mike Krukow says

Yasiel Puig signing with Giants isn't crazy thought, Mike Krukow says

The thought of Yasiel Puig as a member of the Giants is ... weird. Or is it?

With president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi having a past with the Dodgers, it wouldn't be an acquisition out of left, or right field. It's certainly an intriguing thought, according to Mike Krukow.

The Giants broadcaster stopped by KNBR on Thursday and didn't shut down the possibility of the Giants acquiring Puig. 

"Would I like to see Puig? I always thought 'I don't know about that," Krukow said. "He's energy, he's strength ... "

Krukow then referred to a tweet by The San Francisco Chronicle's Henry Schulman that made Kruk smile and had him thinking -- well, why not?

“Here’s a guy that’s got some credentials, got some power, got a great arm. How much fun would it be to watch that arm in right field?”

The need for a power bat stretches across the league, but even more so for someone playing half of his games at the pitcher-friendly Oracle Park.

Despite Giants fans not liking the former Dodger with extra pizazz, Zaidi is one to at least consider all options. And Puig has seven years in the league and has seen his fair share of the NL West opponents, having spent six seasons with Los Angeles.

"With Farhan Zaidi, it never stops," Krukow said. "He's always looking to improve his club."

[RELATED: What Gable Kapler has learned since becoming Giants manager]

Plus, Giants CEO Larry Baer recently said he wants to embrace the bat flips (or in this case, bat licks) and authentic personalities of the game as MLB tries to find better ways to market players. Puig certainly would fit right in that mold.

Last season for the Dodgers and Cleveland Indians, Puig slashed .267/.327/.458 with 24 home runs and 84 RBI.

Mike Krukow says he was 'hurt' Giants didn't re-sign Madison Bumgarner

Mike Krukow says he was 'hurt' Giants didn't re-sign Madison Bumgarner

Mike Krukow heard the rumors, he saw the reports. The longtime Giants broadcaster refused to believe Madison Bumgarner would play for a city other than San Francisco. 

He saw the Giants hold onto Bumgarner at the MLB trade deadline last year and felt that could be a sign of things to come. And then, Bumgarner stayed in the NL West as a free agent, but signed a five-year, $85 million contract to join the Arizona Diamondbacks. 

"I was shocked. Shocked," Krukow said Tuesday on KNBR. "And I was hurt by that. I just didn't want to see the big man go. We closed a chapter on what I think is one of the most brilliant chapters ever for a San Francisco Giant -- really any San Francisco or New York Giant. He was special." 

Krukow was in the booth for all of MadBum's 11 years with the Giants. He saw him make his MLB debut as a 20-year-old, and play World Series hero only a few years later. 

Krukow called Bumgarner the greatest playoff performer in Giants history. To him, the burly left-hander is everything the Giants stand for. 

"I really held back hope that he'd be a Giant forever," Krukow said. "I loved that about Matt Cain. Matt Cain was a Giant. And if there's anybody that has symbolized the grittiness and the toughness of our city and the uniqueness of our city, it was Bumgarner. Here's a guy who's from North Carolina, yet he embodied everything we're all about in the Giants organization." 

But Bumgarner's next chapter of his career will come in the desert. And Krukow can't believe how cheap the D-backs signed him for. 

The fact that former Giants prospect Zack Wheeler -- who nearly missed two seasons to arm injuries and has an empty trophy case with no accolades -- signed a $118 million contract with the Phillies, blew Krukow's mind. 

"To me, that's an absurdity," Krukow said on Wheeler getting a larger contract than Bumgarner.

Krukow believes Bumgarner still has plenty of years ahead of him on a big-league mound. Whether it be the deception of his windup or pure competitiveness, this isn't even close to the end for the three-time champion in Krukow's eyes. 

Now, the Giants will have to face their former ace, who reflected on his time in San Francisco during his introductory press conference on Tuesday. 

[RELATED: Memory lane: MadBum's best moments in his Giants career]

Krukow clearly will miss Bumgarner, and he sure isn't alone. He watched the lefty grow before his eyes and it still doesn't feel real that the franchise legend has left the building. 

Throughout the years, Krukow has seen the Giants make plenty of changes. None, however, were as emotional as this for him.