I'll be honest and say that I don't know a heck of a lot about the A's farm system, and I probably couldn't tell you how many prospects either the A's or the Giants have in any given top 100 prospect list, or anything like that.
I've been a lifelong Giants, fan, and on principle alone, I'm not ACTUALLY considering jumping ship and going to the other side of the Bay, even if their stadium is a 2 minute drive from my house. However, the grass is looking mighty green on the other side of the fence.
I realize that the A's are playing way over their heads right now. On paper, I'd say they probably have a worse team than we do, even. On paper, that is--somehow all the players the A's decide to try out turn out to be huge successes (they get Cust, we get Velez). That said, I fully expect their team to take a huge turn for the worst, and end up around third in their division with about 80 wins, simply riding on a weaker division. Let's be real. Both the A's and the Giants SUCK right now. Neither has a chance to make the postseason unless a nuclear attack destroys the entire West half of the US other than the Bay Area.
The team right now is not the reason why I have a huge impulse to jump ship every time I hear about the A's--the reason is that while the A's have reason to be optimistic in the next few years, with big name prospects coming to them in trades, we really don't. Our biggest prospect by most people's count is almost at the Bocock line, and let's be honest--our farm system is pretty crappy. We don't REALLY have anyone to be really excited about until, oh, about 2011, when Noonan, D'alessio (who will have white hairs by this point), Alderson, Villalona, Bumgarner, Fairley (where is this guy, anyway?) and Sandoval all come at once and make the first all-rookie team to win the World Series. As a rule, really young prospects all seem exciting because usually they have extremely high ceilings. Probably at least 80% of these players will flame out, with Villalona looking like the most likely to flame out out of all of these. I've never really been a big fan of him--just some athletic looking guy with tools that make him look like he's going to hit 40 HR a year--hey, I mean the guy's hit six already.. in 300 ABs.
The A's farm system isn't AMAZING, like it has a reputation of being historically. However, all levels have legitimate prospects in them (unlike us, where our high A team has a million prospects and none of the others have anyone even slightly interesting). A comparison of the average ages of players in the system says it all:
Pitchers-- A's: 25.9 Giants: 28.1
Batters--A's 25.5 Giants 27.4
Pitchers--A's 23.4 Giants 25.0
Batters--A's 24.7 Giants 24.9
Pitchers--A's 22.1 Giants 22.2
Batters--A's 23.0 Giants 23.3
Pitchers--A's 22.5 Giants 22.2
Batters--A's 22.9 Giants 21.3
Basically, what these numbers tell me is that the higher levels of our organization is filled with loser AAAA players that other teams got rid of. And it's true--we have guys like Scott McClain and Justin Leone jamming up our Fresno roster. It's funny, because you would think that these veteran players would be there so that if one of our big leaguers went down, we wouldn't have to disrupt the development of one of our real prospects. Oops, I guess we forgot a SS somewhere in there. Anyway, the point is that they have real, legitimate prospects at every level in their farm system, while we basically have our 2007 draft class that we have to put all our hopes in. I could name names, but do you really want to hear about the A's here?
I'm a big fan of young players, and I get excited every time a new player is called up. My fantasy teams are generally composed of high risk, high reward young guys and I generally follow those the most. I'll be biased toward the young guy, even when he's batting .200 and killing my team. By this disposition, you would think I'm an A's fan, right? But way back when, before I knew anything about baseball, I probably decided that the Giants stadium looked cooler and orange and black are much better colors than green and gold, which happen to be my high school's colors as well (boring). Now I'm just sticking on principle. Why do I hang on?