clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Giants have five prospects on Baseball America’s midseason top-100 list

They had just one to start the season, so the farm system is apparently improving.

Elsa/Getty Images

It’s something of a truism that the Giants don’t have a great minor league system, and that they haven’t had one since the days of Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey years ago. They’ve steadily produced position players and, you know, won baseball games, but their prospects haven’t had the wow factor that you might find with other organizations. Back in February, for example, they landed just one prospect on Baseball America’s top-100 list — Christian Arroyo at #62 — which is pretty standard for them these days.

However, there’s good news on this front. On Friday, Baseball America released their midseasons top-100 prospects list. I went through my usual routine of opening the link, sighing, hitting command-f, and searching for the word "Giants." This is usually a disappointing routine.

The Giants had five prospects on the list.

Five! For perspective, the Giants haven’t had five top-100 prospects on BA’s preseason list since the 1991 season, when Royce Clayton and Steve Decker were all the rage. (Note: They almost had five before the 2003 season, as Francisco Liriano was a part of the list shortly after he was included in a little-known offseason deal.)

Here are the five Giants prospects who are among the top 100 in baseball according to Baseball America:

Phil Bickford, #50

Bickford was drafted in the first round twice, so it’s not like he’s an under-the-radar prospect, but he wasn’t ranked in the top-100 before the season because there wasn’t enough available evidence. We have that evidence now, and it suggests he’s very, very, very good at throwing baseballs.

The 20-year-old Bickford is going to represent the Giants at the Futures Game, and he talked to our own Jen Mac Ramos about that here. He’s struck out 94 batters in 77 combined innings between Low-A and High-A, and Roger called his Cal League debut the most exciting the "Giants had seen since Tim Lincecum a decade ago." Which seems odd, considering that Lincecum is still a prospect and he was just called up last year or so, right? We’ll let that slide.

Here’s Bickford doing his thing:

That fastball has some serious movement, and it’s going to help him succeed while he gets his other pitches under control.

Hopefully he’s figuring that out with the Giants, cough.

Christian Arroyo, #56

Worried about Arroyo’s raw numbers (.273/.311/.377)? Nah, they’re fine. He just turned 21, and he’s putting those up in a tough hitter’s park in a tough hitter’s league. This ranking validates that his numbers need a lot of context to appreciate.

Arroyo shouldn’t be thought of as someone who can help in 2016, of course, which is what we should have figured before the season. It was always odd how much his name was brought up whenever an infielder got hurt, as if he were a polished prospect being held back in a numbers game. But next year at this time, he should be forcing the Giants (or Yankees! or Rays!) to make a decision.

Tyler Beede, #81

Another two-time first-rounder, Beede shouldn’t be that much of a surprise. But he got his 97-mph fastball back — surprise! — gently suggesting to the Giants that he would be much more effective with his old repertoire.

Beede is unlikely to be the foundation of a future rotation, but his future is much brighter this year than it was when he stumbled in his introduction to Double-A. Over his last 10 starts, he has a 1.93 ERA, while keeping the ball on the ground and missing just enough bats.

Chris Shaw, #83

Dingers! The last time the Giants had a prospect who hit dingers like this, he was 26 and expendable and traded and now he’s in the Home Run Derby and that’s sad and I’m going to start over.

Dingers! It’s been a lengthy spell since the Giants had a prospect like this, hitting dinger after dinger at an age-appropriate level. The Giants are enjoying the stats and they’re enjoying the scouting, too, as Shaw was recently promoted to Double-A. He’s hitting .291/.354/.546 across Class-A and Double-A, and he already has 17 homers on the season. He could use a little more bat control and plate discipline, but so could Paul Goldschmidt at that age.

Is that to compare Shaw to Goldschmidt? No, silly. Shaw is left-handed. That’s the only difference, but it’s a notable one.

Adalberto Mejia, #91

Mejia made the list before the 2015 season, but he was suspended for a stimulant, and then he had a lackluster return. The left-hander has his strikeout stuff back, though, and he’s already in Triple-A. While the Giants are happy with what Albert Suarez has done in an emergency capacity, don’t be surprised if they use Mejia for an extended stretch in the second half.

A pretty good look at him showing his current repertoire to Nick Noonan:

That might play in the majors, alright.

The bad news about this list? There’s about a five-percent chance that all of these players are still with the Giants by August 2. The Giants need to make some trades to shore up the bullpen, and they’re not going to sneak Ruben Tejada in the place of a prospect.

The good news about this list? The Giants have a disproportionate share of top-100 prospects compared to the rest of the league, and that’s going to help them make a needed deal. It’s going to be a bumpy trade deadline, but at least the Giants have a lot more to offer in a deal than we thought they might before the season started.