SF Giants Retrospective: Re-Ranking The Top Ten 2010 Prospects

Could Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Zack Wheeler return to the SF Giants organization in a trade? (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)
Could Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Zack Wheeler return to the SF Giants organization in a trade? (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) /
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SF Giants, Buster Posey
SF Giants catcher Buster Posey. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

In the Spring of 2010, the SF Giants had one of the best farm systems in baseball. Now that we know what happened, how would those prospects rank now?

It’s been over a decade since the SF Giants won their first World Series in the city by the Bay. Looking back, the Giants farm system consistently ranked among the best in baseball from 2008-2011. Of course, things would work out alright for the franchise in the years to come.

However, before all that, the Giants headed into the 2010 season off a solid 88-74 campaign without having reached the postseason since 2003. It had been over 50 years since their franchise’s last World Series victory. With several top prospects left in their minor leagues, many were on the cusp of their MLB breakouts.

More than a decade later, we have decided to look back and re-rank the organization’s ten best prospects at the time. Prospects are normally ranked based on their future-value grade on the scouting 20-80 scale. However, now, a grade represents the results of their big-league career.

80: Top 5 player in baseball (8+ WAR per season at peak)
70: Top 10 player in baseball (5-8 WAR)
60: All-Star (3.5-5 WAR)
55: Above-average everyday player (2.5-3.5 WAR)
50: Everyday player (1.5-2.5 WAR)
45: Platoon player (0.5-1.5 WAR)
40: MLB backup (0.2-0.5 WAR)
35: Quad-A player (-0.2-0.2 WAR)
30: Triple-A player
20: Organizational player

All WAR values are from FanGraphs.

SF Giants Top 10 Prospects In 2010
#1 Buster Posey, C

Grade: 80
2010 Baseball America Rank: 1
Career WAR: 52.7
WAR Per 162 Games: 6.79

I mean… who else could this be? Posey would win the Rookie of the Year in 2010 and help carry the Giants to the first of three championships in five seasons. Even after suffering a catastrophic injury in 2011, Posey returned to carry the team to another title in 2012 en route to the Most Valuable Player award.

At the moment, Posey’s Hall of Fame case may not be as strong as most might expect. However, he was undeniably the best player at his position in the 2010s and has accumulated the second most WAR in baseball from 2010 through 2020. Assuming he can continue to be a competent catcher for a few more seasons, his case for Cooperstown should be complete. A resurgence to some of his early-career form would begin to put him in the conversation as one of the best catchers in MLB history.