The SF Giants saw a small wave of rookies impact the team in 2023. With that came some growing pains, but at least one top infield prospect is expected to assume an everyday role in 2024. Now that the youth movement has slowly begun, which rookies could the Giants see next season?
Which rookies could the SF Giants see in 2024?
I think there was some expectation of a youth movement this past season. After all, the Giants added Marco Luciano, Luis Matos, Tristan Beck, and Keaton Winn to the 40-man roster last winter. They also acquired Blake Sabol in a deal with the Cincinnati Reds.
The 40-man roster spots are valuable and teams usually leverage every person on it during the grind of a 162-game season. Of course, the Giants also added Casey Schmitt, Patrick Bailey, and Kyle Harrison throughout the year. There were others as well but you get the idea.
The front office wanted to build a farm system that consistently feeds the major-league roster. There is no telling if that will be the case in 2028, but the Giants should have a handful of prospects who can help the club out as soon as next year.
Fortunately, we do not have to think too hard about who those might be. In his end-of-the-year press conference, team president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi recognized that the Giants' strength in the upper minors is on the pitching side. Zaidi identified Carson Whisenhunt, Hayden Birdsong, Mason Black, and Landen Roupp as four pitching prospects who could help the club next year.
Whisenhunt really shot up the prospect charts in his first full season as a pro. He is currently listed as the No. 70 prospect according to MLB.Com. The left-handed pitcher posted a 2.45 ERA, 12.7 K/9, and a 3.61 SO/W ratio in 16 starts across three levels while reaching as high as Double-A. Whisenhunt finished the year on the injured list.
Birdsong had an impressive first full season as well. The 22-year-old tallied a 3.31 ERA, 13.3 K/9, and a 3.39 SO/W rate while in 28 outings while finishing the year with Richmond. He is arguably one of the most underrated prospects in the system.
Both Roupp and Black were drafted in 2021 and they have quickly emerged as the top arms from that class for the Giants. Each has had some success thus far with the latter finishing the year in Triple-A. Roupp really had a strong showing in Double-A, recording a 1.74 ERA with 42 strikeouts against nine walks in 31 innings. Similar to Whisenhunt, Roupp finished the year on the injured list.
Black might be the closest of the bunch to the majors, but no one is that far behind. The 23-year-old produced a 3.71 ERA in 29 starts across two levels. This includes a 3.86 ERA in 13 outings in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League following a midseason promotion.
The front office is in a tenuous position at the moment, but its stock can certainly improve with some more prospects on the way. These four should be able to help the Giants out before the end of next season.