It has been more than a decade since the SF Giants farm system ranked among the five most talented organizations, according to Baseball America. That is, until today. BA released an updated ranking of organizational talent on Monday, and the Giants moved up to the fifth spot. It’s the highest they ranked since slotting in fourth heading into the 2010 season, when Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Wheeler were their top prospects.
In a quick writeup, BA credits the Giants improved international free agency apparatus that has netted top prospects, like Marco Luciano and Luis Matos, for spiking the system’s rise. Baseball America currently has five Giants prospects ranked among their top 100 prospects in MLB: Luciano (6), Joey Bart (19), Heliot Ramos (64), Luis Matos (65), Kyle Harrison (85).
While BA didn’t mention this, it’s particularly impressive to see the Giants ranked this high given the struggles of their last two first-round picks Hunter Bishop and Patrick Bailey. If even just one of them can rebound in 2022, it could further solidify the Giants among the league’s elite farm systems.
Baseball America ranks the SF Giants farm system the fifth-most talented in MLB.
The Giants currently have the best record in MLB. Even after parting with four prospects, including Alexander Canario and Caleb Kilian, in a pair of deals at the trade deadline, their farm system still ranks among the league’s elite. In fact, only one other team in the top five (Seattle Mariners) has a record above .500 this season, and just three division leaders (Giants, Tampa Bay Rays, and Atlanta) rank among the 20 most-talented systems according to Baseball America.
While the Dodgers and Padres have long been credited for deep farm systems, it seems that aggressive trades, promotions, and some poor performances have taken their toll. For the first time since 2009, the Giants are the only franchise in the NL West ranked among BA’s ten most talented systems. The Diamondbacks (13), Dodgers (15), Padres (17), and Rockies (26) all ranked far below the Orange-and-Black.
Still, it’s important to remember how much uncertainty surrounds prospect evaluations. While the Giants top farm system rankings in 2009 and 2010 with Bumgarner, Posey, and Wheeler precipitated San Francisco’s three-championship dynasty over the next five years, several other highly-ranked systems never reaped the same rewards. In fact, in 2010, the same year the Giants were ranked the fourth-best system in MLB, the Tampa Bay Rays had the top spot. Here’s an excerpt from that ranking:
"“Tampa Bay led all clubs with seven players ([OF Desmond] Jennings, [RHP Jeremy] Hellickson, [RHP Wade] Davis, [LHP Matt] Moore, SS Reid Brignac, SS Tim Beckham and RHP Alex Colome) on our Top 100 Prospects list.”"
While all seven of those prospects had big-league careers, hardly anyone would claim that they formed the foundations of a dynasty. It will all ultimately come down to how each prospect develops. Only time will tell.
Even though it is far from a guarantee, it’s fantastic for SF Giants fans to see some of the most trusted experts in MLB rank their favorite team’s farm system among the five best in the league. With their biggest division rivals simultaneously falling further down the list, it could be a sign of even brighter days ahead at Oracle Park.