Spring Training is the best way for fans to get their eyes on the Giants top prospects. Especially the ones they’ve spent the last four months reading about. The San Francisco Giants farm system currently ranks 11th in baseball, according to MLB.com. It features four players cracking the top-100. Here is a breakdown of the Giants top prospects and their Spring Training performances.
San Francisco Giants Top Prospects
Hunter Bishop: Top 100 rank #83
The San Francisco Giants selected Bishop with the 10th overall pick in 2019. The selection came on the tails of a bonkers junior year at Arizona State. Bishop batted .342 and blasted 22 homers in 57 games. With plus speed, Bishop could have 30-30 potential. Hunter Bishop could be the everyday center fielder of the future for the San Francisco Giants.
Before his Arizona State days Bishop attended high school at Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo. Serra was the high school to a former Giant you might have heard of, Barry Bonds. The workload was minimal this spring for Bishop. He appeared in only seven games and started none. Bishop recorded two hits on ten plate appearances, add to that one walk, and four strikeouts.
In 2020 the Minor League season was lost. Meaning Bishop hasn’t played above rookie ball. He will need more at-bats in the Minors before being able to be effective against big-league pitchers. Bishop did show a glimpse of what’s to come by ripping a double down the right-field line off Cincinnati Reds reliever Edgar Garcia.
From Overrated to Underrated
Heliot Ramos: Top 100 rank #82
It was a bit of a surprise when the Giants drafted Ramos with the 19th overall pick in 2017. Ramos was 17 at the time and was the #40th ranked prospect in that draft. The young Puerto-Rican-born outfielder showed major upside with plus arm strength, power, and speed.
Ramos was playing in Double-A at 19 years old and has continued to flourish. Now 21, Ramos has excited Giants fans everywhere with the monster spring he showcased. Ramos has also made an impact on the organization. He was named the Barney Nugent Award recipient for 2021. An award voted on by teammates, coaches, and training staff to recognize the player who best exemplifies the Giants spirit in their first big-league camp.
San Francisco gave Ramos a chance to play this spring, appearing in 21 games. He had 40 plate appearances, smacking 16 hits—three being homers and three being doubles. Ramos swung himself to a .410 batting average.
His Time Will Come
Ramos was resigned back to the Minor Leagues but has a real possibility of making his big-league debut in 2021. One can’t deny the talent Ramos has, and the Giants shouldn’t hold him back. Whether Ramos starts the season in Double-A or Triple-A, he needs to focus on two areas specifically to make a big-league impact.
Defense. Ramos was originally projected to be a center fielder in part due to his speed. He has since lost some of that speed and profiles better as a right-fielder as he has matured. Ramos has plus arm strength but needs to continue to improve defensively.
Patience. Who cares if he doesn’t walk if he hits over .400, right? Well, not so fast. In the 40 plate appearances Ramos received this spring, he walked just once. His walk-rate in the Minor Leagues is below 8%. That will need to be a point of emphasis for Ramos to succeed as an everyday big-league outfielder.
The Successor to Buster Posey
Joey Bart: Top 100 rank #23
The most well-known of all the Giants top prospects is Joey Bart. Bart was the second overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft out of Georgia Tech. Having a Junior year to remember, Bart batted .359 with 16 homers and 38 RBI in 57 games.
Bart was forced into action due to Buster Posey’s opt-out in 2020. The struggle, however, was genuine for Bart. A good word for Joey Bart last year in the majors, abysmal. Bart finished with a .233 average, striking out 41 times while walking just three. A strikeout percentage of nearly 40% and a base on balls percentage under three isn’t going to cut it in the bigs.
Bart’s struggles, though a hard pill to swallow for fans, were understandable. Before making his big-league debut, Bart had played only 22 games above Single-A. Whether Bart starts the season in Double-A or Triple-A, the experience he gathers getting at-bats below the Major League level will be imperative to Bart’s development and future success.
Have yourself a spring, Joey! Failing to hit a long ball in 2020, Bart has sent two long-ones for a ride this spring. Bart finished with a .423 batting average, recording 11 hits in 14 games.
Bart is coming, and similar to Ramos, most likely at some point in 2021. Once Bart is up, he’s likely to stay there. With 2021 figuring to be Buster Posey’s last year as the Giants starting catcher, the future is near for Joey Bart.
The Giants Top Prospect
Marco Luciano: Top 100 rank #16
If Giants fans are unfamiliar with the name Marco Luciano, it’s time to do some research. Luciano sits atop the list of the Giants top prospects and has major upside. The young slugger has the potential to flirt with being the league’s number one prospect in years to come. Luciano was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2018 rated the top middle infielder in that year’s international class.
Lucianos power and bat-speed rank amongst the best in the Minor Leagues, and at 19 years old, his strength should continue to develop further. Also a plus defender, Luciano has All-Star potential at both shortstop and third base if the Giants choose to move him over to the hot-corner.
In 38 games at Rookie Ball in 2019, Luciano put up video game-type numbers. Smacking 47 hits, including nine doubles and 10 homers, leading to a .322 average. It’s more than simply getting hits for Luciano, who walked 27 times and stole eight bags.
Luciano’s first spring start came against Dustin May and the defending champion Los Angels Dodgers. May sat down Luciano in three pitches. Those three pitches were probably the best pitches the 19-year-old had ever seen. Two fastballs at 100 mph followed by a knee-buckling breaking ball Luciano couldn’t even swing at.
Luciano got to experience what being a big-leaguer really means. The top prospect was humbled this spring. In 30 plate appearances, Luciano posted a .138 average, striking out 18 times. Nothing to fear for someone so young with minimal experience against competition above Rookie Ball.
The Future is Bright for Giants Top Prospects
A Giants roster that has looked very similar for the past six years is about to look very different. The household names of the last decade are soon to move on. Fans should be excited about what the future holds. The soon-to-be new-look Giants will be a fascinating young team for many years to come with the development of top prospects such as Joey Bart and Marco Luciano.
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