A hectic trade deadline day that saw the Giants acquire slugger Kris Bryant. After that, a big aspect all teams are looking at is the state of the farm system. After all, many teams had to give up some major prospects in order to get players that would help them win now. The Giants were no different, trading away Alexander Canario and Caleb Kilian to get Bryant. So let’s take a quick look at five of their top prospects and see how they’re holding up in their respective leagues.
Brandon Crawford‘s heir apparent, Luciano is 19 years old and is already the most exciting prospect in the Giants’ system. Recently promoted to high-A Eugene from Low-A San Jose, Luciano is raking, hitting for a .908 OPS with 19 home runs in 327 plate appearances for both teams. The defense isn’t quite there yet, as a .930 fielding percentage is too low for a shortstop of his caliber. Still, there is plenty of time to fix those issues. How does Luciano fit into the current Giants? There are a few prospects that are blocking Luciano from being the starter in the majors, as well as Crawford. As Luciano is a longer-term project and Crawford is approaching the end of his career, he is not a problem. Other minor leaguers, such as Mauricio Dubon, may prove to be a bigger issue, even with his versatility. However, it won’t be surprising if the Giants trade him or others in favor of Luciano.
The big scare. On the trade deadline, a fake account managed to convince people that the Giants were trading Bart and LaMonte Wade Jr. to the Cubs for Bryant. Many fans were relieved to hear that was not the haul, and for good reason. Bart is currently slashing .314/.379/.536, and paired with a fielding percentage of .992 and 13 base runners caught stealing out of 28, he looks primed to make an impact for the Giants in September and maybe even the playoffs. The only things blocking Bart from entering the majors are the stellar play of Buster Posey and the solid back-up option of Curt Casali. Bart could cover the gap and attempt to establish a foothold in the majors if one of those two injure themselves.
Right now, Ramos is one of the Giants’ biggest minor-league concerns. After a successful 2019 season where he slashed .290/.369/.481 in high-A and AA, Ramos is struggling this year, hitting only for a .242 batting average with a .751 OPS. The power seems to be there, with 10 home runs, but for an average defender like him, he needs to increase his production in order to be considered for a call-up. The Giants have a crowded outfield right now, with Austin Slater, Alex Dickerson, and Wade fighting for playing time. Steven Duggar and Jaylin Davis are on the 40-man roster and have seen major-league time this year. There is a lot of congestion, and Ramos, while never likely to make the majors this year, needs to show a lot more to make it for the next.
One of the newest faces in San Jose, Harrison was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2020 MLB draft. He currently boasts a 3.96 ERA with a 1.541 WHIP, which is not bad for someone playing their first professional season. Some encouraging signs are the low HR/9 rate and the high K/9 rate, with 0.2 and 13.7, respectively. An area of concern is the high walk rate, where he is walking 5.2 batters per 9 innings. While the Giants slightly lack in starting pitching, he won’t be in the majors next year. However, it would make sense if he does get some major-league playing time in September of 2023. The Giants don’t have many starting pitchers blocking the path to the majors as they do in other positions. If Harrison improves, and he should, he could be the starter of the future for San Francisco.
Matos is another youngster currently in low-A who is absolutely on fire right now. Slashing .324/.359/.486 and swiping 18 bases, Matos is showing off his ability to get on base and do damage while on the base paths. Add 9 home runs to those totals, and Matos seems to be becoming more and more dangerous. It’s important to note that this is being done against well below major league pitching, but it’s hard not to get excited about a prospect putting up numbers like that. Matos is facing some of the same issues Ramos is facing when it comes to the outfielders ahead of him. Unlike Ramos, he has more time to develop and wait than Ramos does. If he continues hitting like this, he will be someone to watch when he’s in the majors.
These were only some of the exciting prospects currently in the Giants farm. Giants fans should be excited about the future of their franchise. It can support this current run of form in the future, as well as create trading opportunities moving forward.
Featured photo: @EugeneEmeralds, Twitter