The SF Giants 2020 season is the next step in the franchise’s transition to contention. As they try to evaluate which young pieces can be a piece of their team going forward, here are ranks and grades for the older, former prospects who’ve already appeared in the big-leagues.
If you haven’t already read Around the Foghorn’s SF Giants updated top 31 prospect rankings you definitely should give it a read to familiarize yourself with the Giants farm system. In the short time since Farhan Zaidi became the president of baseball operations in San Francisco, the organization has improved its minor league depth at nearly every position.
Zaidi’s impact has actually been felt most at the big-league level than among the top prospect lists though. Most of the team’s top 10 prospects remain players inherited from Bobby Evans’ regime.
Perhaps aware that his system already had the cornerstones of a future contender, Zaidi has been active acquiring older, more advanced players on the edge of MLB. Since many of those guys get missed in traditional prospect rankings, we decided they were worthy of a post too.
It’s somewhat subjective what makes someone a post-prospect. The primary criteria was that they’ve reached the majors, but not had more than one full season’s worth of accumulated at-bats, games relieved, or starts depending on their position.
Players are ranked based on their future-value grades on the scouting 20-80 scale. A system’s talent tends not to be evenly distributed. Just because someone is ranked one spot away from another, the grades are better indicators of how I classify players than their rankings. Here’s a breakdown of what to make of each grade.
80: Top 5 player in baseball (8+ WAR per season at peak)
70: Top 10 player in the baseball (5-8 WAR)
60: All-Star (3.5-5 WAR)
55: Above-average everyday player (2.5-3.5 WAR)
50: Everyday player/Elite reliever (1.5-2.5 WAR)
45: Platoon player/High-leverage reliever (0.8-1.5 WAR)
40: MLB backup/middle reliever (0.5-0.8 WAR)
35: Quad-A player (0.0-0.5 WAR)
30: Triple-A player
20: Organizational player
1. The grades next to the players are current expected values, meaning you can think of those grades as the 50% outcome. Obviously, most prospects have a wide range of potential outcomes so those grades are an attempt to quantify the average expected outcome.
2. Some players will have grades with + signs next to them (40+, 45+, etc.). This has to do with the way players grades work. Some 40-grade players are closer to moving up to a 45-grade than others. Hence, the plus. A strong half-season from a 45+ player will almost definitely jump them up to a 50 grade. Same with a 40+ player going to 45.