The 2021 Giants farm system is not perfect. But it’s about as strong as it’s been in at least a decade, and certainly deeper.
In the offseason, the Giants have watched the Padres, already having promoted one of the game’s top prospects in Fernando Tatis Jr., make several trades for MLB stars, and yet still has one of the sport’s best farm systems, with seven players on the Baseball America Top 100 prospects. (The Giants have three.) Of course, the Padres did it supported by five straight years of picks in the top 10 of the draft (by being really bad for years) and many years of trading away top players for prospects.
The Giants aren’t close to keeping up with that method of building.
The good news is that the Giants have made three very good looking first round picks from 2017-2019, who all are sitting in this list’s top 5 prospects (the jury is out on 2020), landed a bombastic 2018 international signing class, and quietly made some incredible signings for lower bonus amounts internationally despite penalty limitations in the years before.
That gives the Giants a list that contains both multiple high impact players, but also some interesting depth they haven’t had in years.
I originally intended to keep this list at 15 players, because after you get past 15, the differences start to get very small from player to player. But, due to another project, I was pressured to go longer. So, here’s my top 30, with my reasonings for the Top 15.
Click on the name of the players to see the full prospect reports!
#1 – Marco Luciano
Come on, who else was going to be at Number 1? Marco Luciano is nearly the consensus #1 guy across the lists, and if you read the press, they talk about him like he’s the next big superstar. Well, baseball has a new one of those each season, and futures are fickle…but it’s hard not to be excited. We’ll see how things look after his first full season.
#2 – Joey Bart
Bart made his debut and…frankly, he sucked. But as they say in my day job, he was set up for failure, with barely any time in Double-A and none in Triple-A, almost no experience against breaking pitches and he got eaten up by them. On top of it, the team took another catcher in the first round, suggesting he’d move to first. Those things took a little luster off of his shine, but his second chance in the bigs will be more important to watch. It may not be in 2021, but keep an eye on it. Bart can still be a superstar.
#3 – Heliot Ramos
Ramos has been around for a few years, and has had ups and downs (and downs to the injured list), but he still shows a ton of potential and is a mainstay on Top 100 lists. He doesn’t have a top-tier plus tool, but he has a mix of good ones, and looks like he’ll deliver on them. It’s crazy to remember that he was available to the Giants at #19 overall in the draft.
#4 – Hunter Bishop
The Giants’ 2019 first round draft pick felt like an ideal pick at the time, with his mixture of tools and his Bay Area background. Bishop had some struggles in his first pro short season, and so some concerns have been raised about his short track record and whether or not he’ll hit enough to reach his potential. Still, he has amazing athletic ability and will be an excellent defender, and have power and speed, so his ceiling is very high if he does.
#5 – Luis Matos
Reports were positive about Matos when he was signed as part of the 2018 class, but I don’t think anyone expected the breakout 2019 season he had. Matos is another prospect with a lot of all-around tools, but his best tool is his hit tool. Matos could be the lynchpin of an excellent future Giants outfield of all-around tools, whether in center field or right (but I’m guessing center).
#6 – Kyle Harrison
It’s a bit of a stretch to put a high school draftee that hasn’t thrown a pro pitch as the team’s top pitching prospect, but I’m willing to make that stretch because of Harrison’s ceiling and, honestly, the shallow pitching currently in the Giants system. Harrison showed some significant fastball improvement when the Giants worked with him in the fall, which is part of his push. He’s not an ace-type of pitcher, but could still be at the front of a rotation.
#7 – Seth Corry
More pitching! Corry has always been high ceiling, but it was his 2019, particularly the second half, where he showed he might have just enough control to make his fantastic curveball work, as he dominated Augusta. 2020 stole his chance to really follow that up, so he still needs to prove himself a bit, but he could be a fast riser again.
#8 – Patrick Bailey
I’ve made my feelings known about the choice to draft Bailey often, but he is a good prospect as a defense first catcher with at least a decent switch-hitting offensive upside. He’ll have a lot to prove, and his future is going to be a little interesting with a #2 overall pick catcher ahead of him in the depth chart, but those choices will be for the future.
#9 – Sean Hjelle
Hjelle wasn’t really talked about much in 2020, as the Giants lets the pitchers mostly do their own work at home, but that might be as much a comment on how solid a pitcher he is. Hjelle is one of the lower risk pitching prospects that a pitching prospect can be (because, you know, injuries), but he’s not only got a solid set of tools, he has a bit of uniqueness that should help propel him over the top…and no, that’s not an intentional height pun.
#10 – Luis Toribio
Toribio sits a tad higher on some lists, but I held him back because his defense (or lack of an assured position) holds him back a tad. Toribio looks a bit like Pablo Sandoval in terms of some of his offensive skills, which might be setting him a bit high, but he just seems to have that bat-to-ball skill that was what made Pablo what he was at the plate. And Sandoval also went through defensive struggles at the level Toribio is at now, so we’ll see how Toribio develops.
#11 – Alexander Canario
Alright, some might have some issues with this placement, as most rankings put Canario a bit higher in the Giants’ team rankings. Canario is the definition of a high-volatility, high-reward prospect. He has very real power and hitting ability, but his strikeout numbers are terrifying. His labrum surgery late in 2020 probably will only delay his development, rather than impair it significantly, but it’s one more reason I’ve got him a touch lower.
#12 – Will Wilson
The Giants’ free* 2019 first round pick doesn’t have the highest ceiling, but he’s got solid all-around tools (other than the speed). A future second baseman doesn’t feel like the most exciting future piece, but every piece helps. Wilson has the potential to develop into a solid roster piece, which the Giants have thrived upon with guys like the Brandons over the successful early parts of the decade.
#13 – Logan Wyatt
Wyatt gets a higher spot from me than some will rank him, because there’s a high ceiling with his skills. He has that Brandon Belt-like eye at the plate, and it should help him develop his power into a usable skill. That last bit is the key with Wyatt turning into a plus player. If he does, he and Wilson should anchor a solid future on the right side of the infield.
#14 – Jairo Pomares
Pomares looks like’s got those tweener skills in the outfield, but he’s got plus hitting skills and should be able to make that work to stay productive. Pomares was the third guy in the international signing class that included Luciano and Matos, and will probably go down as the best class in Giants history. Pomares will be limited to the corner spots in the outfield, and may have a little competition ahead of him in that area, but he still can hit, and that’s an amazingly rare skill in baseball.
#15 – Blake Rivera
The Giants don’t have any really sure-fire closer prospects, but Rivera has just a whiff closer ability, and not just because of that guy who went to the same community college that everyone keeps bringing up. Rivera’s been a starter, but I see him with his hammer curveball becoming a reliever, where his cutting fastball can pair with it into a very good one-two punch. Even if he’s not a closer, he should be a high-leverage guy in the bullpen you bring in to get a strikeout when you need it.
#16 – Tristan Beck
#17 – Camilo Doval
#18 – Casey Schmitt
#19 – Kai-Wei Teng
#20 – Nick Swiney
#21 – Gregory Santos
#22 – Ricardo Genoves
#23 – Tyler Cyr
#24 – Trevor McDonald
#25 – Jaylin Davis
#26 – Aeverson Arteaga
#27 – Grant McCray
#28 – Sean Roby
#29 – Garrett Frechette
#30 – Connor Cannon
Remember, click on any player’s name to see their prospect reports. And if you’d like to see the rankings by position, with even more player reports, you can find them here!