For a time, the SF Giants were the standard of Bay Area sports. From 2010-2014, the Giants won three World Series championships in 5 years and were the team to watch in the Bay Area. Now, things have changed as the San Francisco 49ers are the team to watch in the Bay Area. The Giants could do well to learn from the success of the 49ers and try to replicate it.
This is not to say that the 49ers just got good. Obviously, they were the team of the 1980's and won a Super Bowl with Steve Young in the 9190's. They even had great success at the same time that the Giants were winning the World Series every other year, but they had no titles to show for it.
After 2014, the Golden State Warriors became the hottest thing in town as they dominated the league in an exciting way led by the best shooter of all time in Steph Curry. But with the Warriors and Giants both on the decline currently, the 49ers have provided a blueprint for the Giants to follow if they want to get back to their championship ways.
What the SF Giants can learn from the continued success of the 49ers
On both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, the 49ers have a core of homegrown talent that has been there for their entire run of making the NFC Championship Game 4 out of the last 5 years and reaching their second Super Bowl under head coach Kyle Shanahan who took over alongside general manager John Lynch in 2017.
On offense, the 49ers are brimming with talent that they drafted. Quarterback Brock Purdy, wide receivers Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, Jauan Jennings, and tight end George Kittle are all players that the 49ers selected in the NFL Draft. Even if they did not have their star running back Christian McCaffrey, they would still have 2021 draftee Elijah Mitchell who would be a number one running back on many teams in the league.
On defense, the 49ers also have a core of guys they drafted. Linebackers Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw as well as defensive linemen Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead were all selected in the draft. And although he tore his ACL earlier this year, safety Talanoa Hufanga is a key part of that core.
The pieces have changed around a bit around these guys, but they are the heart and soul of the 49ers and they were all acquired via the draft. In general, championship teams are built through the draft. That is true whether we are talking about football or baseball.
The Giants have an opportunity to replicate this success. It would also not be anything new as the SF Giants championship teams of the 2010's were filled with homegrown talent in their rotation as well as the infield.
The 2024 SF Giants have lots of exciting homegrown talent like Logan Webb, catcher Patrick Bailey, infielder Marco Luciano, pitchers Kyle Harrison, Keaton Winn, and potentially guys like Carson Whisenhunt or Mason Black that they will be counting on to contribute.
Not all of these guys will pan out. They didn't all work out for the 49ers. But sometimes you get lucky and find a diamond in the rough like Purdy.
The Giants are similarly situated to build a core of talent that can support the team going forward. In a perfect world, Luciano and Harrison will be the building blocks going forward for the SF Giants. Perhaps, they can be like Deebo Samuel and Nick Bosa, who were both selected in the 2019 NFL Draft and had an immediate impact on the team and helped to lead them to a Super Bowl.
The turnaround may not be that quick for the Giants, but if they are going to succeed going forward and compete with the Dodgers, they are going to have to rely on players they draft and develop just like the 49ers have in becoming the most consistent team in the NFC the last five seasons. At the end of the day, the Giants just need a little luck. They need some breaks to fall their way when it comes to prospect development.