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SF Giants Prospects

SF Giants Prospects: 2021 Preseason Top 31 Rankings

Joey Bart #21 of the SF Giants looks on walking back to his position against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the top of the eighth inning at Oracle Park on September 07, 2020. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Joey Bart #21 of the SF Giants looks on walking back to his position against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the top of the eighth inning at Oracle Park on September 07, 2020. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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SF Giants, SF Giants Prospects, Heliot Ramos
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA – MARCH 04: Heliot Ramos #80 of the SF Giants makes a catch during the sixth inning of a spring training game against the Chicago White Sox at Scottsdale Stadium on March 04, 2021 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Marc Delucchi continues Around the Foghorn’s SF Giants prospect week with his rankings of the top 31 prospects in the organization. Make sure to check out some of his other prospects week content, including his overview of the system and a ranking of 15 breakout candidates that missed his top-31 list. If you have a question for Marc about his ranking, you can submit a question here for his fan Q&A that will be released on Saturday.

The SF Giants farm system has been on a continuous rise since I wrote my first rankings back in 2019. Even without a minor-league season in 2020, the list is deeper than it has ever been but comes with an unprecedented amount of uncertainty. I’ve assigned five more 40+ FV grades or better than I have before.

However, that’s partially a reflection of the uncertainty created by no minor-league season in 2020. Without games, prospects have been stuck in this space where they can garner great press and attention from a quote by a team official or an exciting video highlight without actual numbers to confirm or counter the positive attention their receiving. Outside of an injury, something that negatively impacted Alexander Canario‘s stock, or off-field incident, it was harder for me to move prospects down a grade than up. That’s going to lead to a lot of movement very quickly once a minor-league season gets underway.

Prospects are ranked based on their future-value grade on the scouting 20-80 scale. A system’s talent is never 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 the expected peak of a player with each grade looks like.

80: Top 5 player in MLB (8+ WAR per season at peak)
70: Top 10 player in MLB (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
25: Double-A player
20: Organizational player

Two important notes:

1. The grades are current expected values, meaning you can think of those grades as the 50% outcome. These grades reflect my attempt to quantify their average potential outcome NOT their ceiling.

2. Some players will have grades with + signs next to them (40+, 45+, etc.). Probably 70-90% of top prospects in each organization fall somewhere from the 40-50 grades. It gets difficult to differentiate prospect No. 11 from No. 23. 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.

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