This is the second in a series of monthly check-ins on the farm system to see if the stock is up or down.
As we may recall from last month’s Stock Up/Stock Down episode, I proclaimed the status of the Giants’ system within the industry to be up (slightly), based entirely on the strong showing so far this year of Joey Bart and Heliot Ramos. Bart has already established himself as the highest ranked prospect the Giants have had since Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner (#16 prospect in baseball on most current Baseball America top 100), and the power that Heliot Ramos is showing as a 19 year old in the Cal League has him poised to be leaping well into Top 100 lists next winter (Ramos is #100 on BA’s most recent rendition of the Top 100). Even if Ramos’ batting average dips and his new emphasis on controlling the zone wanes a bit the rest of the year, he’s still a 19 year old who can stare down some of the nastiest stuff in the minor leagues and do this:
As we take a look around at the start of June, with a new draft class of talent — including #10 pick Hunter Bishop — ready to start streaming in, I know what you’re thinking: they must be moving up again!
Not so fast, young enthusiast! My Stock Up/Stock Down read for this month is:
To be clear: the Giants’ system has more talent this month than it did last. Hunter Bishop was a fantastic value at the #10 spot, and he’s likely going to be in San Jose next year, with the chance of moving quickly right behind Bart. It’s good to have a 10th overall draft pick joining the system!
But if the Giants were the 28th or 25th or 26th best system in baseball two weeks ago, they’re likely still the 28th or 25th or 26th best system in baseball. Despite Bishop, the Giants recent draft was not the sort that would change their position within the industry — nothing like Arizona, which literally had the largest bonus pool ever, or the Mets who made perhaps the loudest and gutsiest pick of the draft taking the presumed unsignable Matthew Allan in the 3rd round.
It’s good to have Hunter Bishop in the system. He offers one more player with a strong chance of being an above average major league starter. That’s maybe 4 now! That’s great! And the tools picked up in lower rounds (Armani Smith’s power, Grant McCray’s speed, Trevor MacDonald’s arm) offer lots of popup possibilities over the next few years.
But we still need some simmering before the Giants start moving up the org rankings. We need Bishop to show up and go all Joey Bart on the NWL. We need some trades to return talent. And more than anything, we need the group of teenage talent that’s just about to start their 2019 season to show up big. Those are the things — in addition to Bishop and his colleagues coming aboard — that can begin to tip the balance of things.
TRENDING UP: Blake Rivera
After a rough season debut, Rivera’s turned into a dominant force in the Augusta rotation, holding batters to a .197/.289/.253 slash line while striking out 63 batters in 49.2 IP. His stuff was compared favorably to Craig Kimbrel’s coming out of JC, by the coach who tutored them both. And at 21 years old he isn’t really old for the Sally Lg, though it might be time for him to join his former team (and draft) mates Sean Hjelle and Jake Wong in San Jose.
TRENDING DOWN: Jalen Miller
We’ve seen this in past seasons from Miller — a scorching hot start followed by a long stark fade. Miller started his AA season posting an .849 OPS in April with 5 HRs. But since the calendar hit May 1 he’s hit just .201/.277/.266 with a 34/15 K/BB ratio. The athletic Miller needs to find a brake for the slide and get his season turned back around.
Trades rumors will start coming hot and heavy next month. Short season ball starts this week. This swing is about to make its pro debut:
Marco Luciano hit a in today's #AZXST game. Jacked a 3-2 84-mph SL out to deep LF. (Scout behind home w/velo+pitch type). produce present + raw (from BP+game observations). Effortless, easy swing w/quiet load & approach. Parabolic bat path -> loft. Scary he is only 17 pic.twitter.com/RwIGDI0Ysw— Jason Pennini (@JasonPennini) June 1, 2019
As we wait for those things to happen, I leave you with the words of the Blog-father:
It’s possible that we’ll look back on that last week of baseball fondly. It’s true! I’m not setting up some dumb joke. On the night that Buster Posey was drafted, the Giants were 25-35, and they had just lost four out of their last six games. Matt Cain’s ERA was at 4.67 and he couldn’t stop walking batters. In their last game before the draft, Fred Lewis was hitting leadoff, Aaron Rowand was hitting cleanup and Travis Denker was hitting sixth, and yet they still lost.
It’s possible that we’ll look back on this time and realize the stock was up after all.