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SF Giants: Six prospects who could make an impact this season

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA - MARCH 28: Kervin Castro #76 of the SF Giants pitches in the sixth inning against the Oakland Athletics during the MLB spring training game at Scottsdale Stadium on March 28, 2021 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA - MARCH 28: Kervin Castro #76 of the SF Giants pitches in the sixth inning against the Oakland Athletics during the MLB spring training game at Scottsdale Stadium on March 28, 2021 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
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SF Giants, Thairo Estrada
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – JULY 10: Thairo Estrada #39 of the SF Giants reacts to a ground ball against the Washington Nationals in the top of the seventh inning at Oracle Park on July 10, 2021. The Giants are wearing an alternate uniform called City Connect. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The SF Giants have had the best record in MLB for most of the regular season up to this point. After getting off to an unexpectedly hot start, the Giants have kept their momentum going despite consistent questions about whether they had a playoff-caliber roster. Now into the third week in August, no one is arguing that the Giants aren’t a legitimate contender.

The SF Giants depth will be tested soon.

With a three-game lead in the National League West and a 12-game lead over the final Wild Card, it would take a historic collapse for them to miss the playoffs. However, even after the Giants added pieces at the trade deadline, their depth will be tested in the coming weeks. MLB removed the 40-man roster expansion in September, meaning teams will not be able to call up a dozen reinforcements to bulk up their pitching staff and give their starters ample rest. Instead, after playing a shortened 60-game season in 2020, teams will be forced to push their players back to a 162-game season with even fewer replacements than most fans are accustomed to.

While teams like the Giants will be aggressive on the waiver wire and minor-league free agency hoping to add the finishing touches on a championship contender, organizations will have to primarily rely on their own farm systems to replace injured or struggling players. Fans have already seen players like Thairo Estrada, Jay Jackson, and Mauricio Dubón contribute this season, but if the front office decides to turn to some less-proven players, these are the six prospects best prepared to make an impact over the coming weeks.

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