Extra attention will be paid to the San Francisco Giants farm system this year, as the organization already has one eye on the future. With that in mind, we'll check in on some of the standout MiLB performers each week with our Wednesday top prospect update.
The San Francisco Giants front office have already shown that they see the MLB roster as a work in progress, with plenty of comings and goings in the first two weeks of the season.
Farhan Zaidi seems willing to give prospects and players with limited big league experience the chance to prove themselves worthy of a place on the 25-man roster.
While Bleacher Report’s 2019 farm system rankings have the Giants in the bottom five for overall prospect talent, there are still plenty of players in the minor league ranks who have a chance to be important long-term pieces.
With the focus increasingly on the future, and with a long season ahead, you would expect there to be opportunities for some of those prospects to show they are ready in 2019.
With that in mind, over the course of the season, we’ll be taking a regular look at some of the standout performers in the organization's farm system, and highlighting some reasons for optimism.
With the minor league season not yet a week old, here are three prospects who have impressed so far.
Note: All prospect rankings referenced in the following article refer to those found at MLB.com.
C Joey Bart, High-A San Jose Giants
It has been a great week for the Giants No. 1 Prospect, who hit an RBI single in his first at-bat with the High-A San Jose Giants and has hardly looked back since.
Although the team dropped their opening series against the Visalia Rawhide 3-1, Bart hit well throughout, batting fourth in the lineup behind the Giants No. 2 prospect, Heliot Ramos.
Rightfully touted as a future star—and the top catching prospect in all of baseball—Bart put up impressive power numbers for Low-A Salem-Keizer after signing last year, hitting .298/.369/.613 with 14 doubles and 13 home runs in 45 games.
Then again, that was far from surprising after he hit .359/.471/.632 with 16 home runs during his junior season at Georgia Tech before going No. 2 overall in the June draft.
Five games into the 2019 campaign, he's hitting .300/.417/.650, with the highlight so far being a three-run homer to left field in a 10-1 blowout victory over the Stockton Ports on Monday.
If he keeps this up, it might not be long before the 22-year-old is moved up to Double-A as he continues on the fast track to San Francisco.
RHP Shaun Anderson, Triple-A Sacramento River Cats
It was also a good week for San Francisco's top pitching prospect.
On Saturday, No. 4 prospect Shaun Anderson pitched five solid innings to pick up the win against the Seattle Mariners Triple-A affiliate Tacoma Rainiers.
The 24-year-old allowed only four men to reach base in his strong start, striking out five and walking one as the River Cats came away with an 11-5 victory.
The only blemish was a solo home run to center off the bat of Austin Nola in the top of the second.
Anderson, 24, emerged as the team's top pitching prospect last season when he went 8-7 with a 3.69 ERA while striking out 127 batters in 141.1 innings between Double-A and Triple-A.
Anderson will look to repeat his positive start on Thursday when the River Cats head to Las Vegas to take on the Aviators—the Triple-A affiliate for the Oakland Athletics.
C Aramis Garcia, Triple-A Sacramento River Cats
While runs have been at a premium for the MLB team, the River Cats have had no such problem, averaging an impressive 7.3 runs per game through the first six games of the season. That includes a three-game stretch against Tacoma where they plated 32 runs in three games.
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Catcher and No. 21-ranked prospect Aramis Garcia has played his part in the team's hot start.
The 26-year-old backstop enjoyed a late-season cup of coffee with the big league club last year, hitting .286/.308/.492 with four home runs in 65 plate appearances.
Even with that performance, the Giants still opted to go outside the organization to replace Nick Hundley as Buster Posey's primary backup, adding several low-cost veterans before settling on Erik Kratz.
Despite losing out on an Opening Day roster spot, Garcia still had an .800 OPS with four home runs during spring training, and that good form seems to have carried over to the start of the Pacific Coast League season.
The 26-year-old is 4-for-16 with one double, one home runs and five RBI in his first 19 plate appearances, good for a .500 slugging percentage.
As much as any prospect in the system, Garcia is a good bet to see MLB playing time at some point this year, so it will be interesting to see how things progress for him in Sacramento.