In Farhan we trust
With great success normally follows a rebuild, and in the Giants case, an extended period of success has given them a major uphill task of returning to the glory days. Enter Farhan Zaidi, a man with a proven track record of drafting shrewdly, finding gems in the rough and being a competent wheeler and dealer. The Giants front office led by Larry Baer, in my opinion, have selected the right man for the job.
Taking over one of the worst farm systems in Major League Baseball, Farhan set out in his first year to start replenishing the system. With very limited assets within the ballclub to work with and ageing stars on costly contracts, it’s clear the current policy is to take a chance on low risk, high reward players. Looking at the offseason’s pickups: Kevin Gausman, Tyson Ross, Billy Hamilton, Yolmer Sanchez, Drew Smyly and Wilmer Flores, this is set to continue. The hope is to get good production and work to flip them at the deadline for future assets. So far, so good on this front, turning Drew Pomeranz into Mauricio Dubon (currently the Giants number 8 ranked prospect) at the last trade deadline fills me with hope that this rebuild is in safe hands.
For someone that has a real fascination with draft prospects and younger players, I am extremely impatient when it comes to waiting for the day they get the call-up. It’s clear Joey Bart will report to Triple-A Sacramento River Cats once spring training comes to a close, however, why not see what you have now? Bart showed the power potential during his recent visit to the plate against the Dodgers in the Giants first spring training game. Who wouldn’t want to see Bart behind the plate and Posey at first base? Throw in Dubon at second base, and the outlook already looks brighter!
On the flip side of a rebuild is the actual product on the field; the Giants are predicted by fangraphs.com to finish the season 77-85. This is slightly optimistic for me, maybe 74 wins at a push, depending on how many of the players mentioned above turn into serviceable, everyday players. It’s going to be a long year watching the Giants, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Listening to Kruk and Kuip calling Giants games can’t come soon enough.
Finally, I want to mention how impressed I have been so far with Gabe Kapler. To be honest, I was completely against the appointment when it was first mentioned and then made a reality. However, listening to the man speak, I like the apparent positivity flowing through his veins. He looks like a real player’s manager, who has the unenviable task of following on from a legend like Bruce Bochy. Hopefully, his partnership with Farhan bears fruit in the end.
Let’s go, Giants!
Russell Keddie is covering the San Francisco Giants during 2020 as part of the growing team of writers at Bat Flips and Nerds. Follow him on Twitter @RussellKeddie2