Inbox: Giants' 2019 focus to shift toward future?

Beat reporter Maria Guardado answers fans' questions

May 27th, 2019

Seems [getting swept by the D-backs] was the turning point in either competing for a postseason spot this season or playing for the future. Do you agree the future is now?
-- @NewsManLou via Twitter

Memorial Day weekend is often held up as an important mile marker during the regular season, a time to take a step back and make honest evaluations, so I think it was deflating for the Giants to arrive here following what manager Bruce Bochy candidly said was the club’s worst series of the year. After being outscored 34-8 and swept by the D-backs at home, San Francisco is 10 games below .500 and on pace for a 97-loss season.

While the club has been reluctant to use the word “rebuild” to describe its outlook for this season, I think it’s clear their struggles have forced the Giants to approach personnel decisions with an eye toward the future. The turnover has already opened the door for some new faces, including Shaun Anderson, Sam Coonrod and Mike Yastrzemski, all of whom made their Major League debuts this month.

That process will likely accelerate once the July 31 Trade Deadline draws closer and compels the Giants to begin weighing offers for some of their more desirable assets, including Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith.

In advance of the Draft, I’m interested in reading about how the new amateur scouting structure is different (or the same?) as with the previous regime. (More scouts? More statistics being poured over? More collegiate presence or HS presence? Scouting priorities?)
-- @SSvendsen19 via Twitter

The biggest change to the department came at the top, as president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi hired Michael Holmes away from the A’s and named him the Giants’ new director of amateur scouting over the offseason. Holmes came up through the ranks with Zaidi in Oakland and had served as the A’s assistant scouting director since 2009.

Former amateur scouting director John Barr, who oversaw the Drafts that brought Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford and Joe Panik into the organization, remains in the front office and will likely provide input as well.

“Michael Holmes, I’ve been in 10 Draft rooms with him,” Zaidi said at the Winter Meetings. “A lot of successful A’s Drafts, I know how important he was to those. I think for him to inherit a staff that’s produced many big leaguers, many guys that were key members of the world championship teams, for him to have John Barr’s counsel also going forward is going to be a huge asset for him.”

Given the lackluster state of their farm system, the Giants will need a series of strong Drafts to bring an infusion of talent into the organization that has the potential to develop into the club’s next core of homegrown stars.

Any idea who the Giants might take with their top selection in the Draft next month?
-- Bradley C., Fremont, Calif.

In his latest mock draft for MLB Pipeline, my colleague Jonathan Mayo has the Giants selecting shortstop Bryson Stott out of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, with the 10th overall pick. Stott is batting .356 with 10 home runs over 58 games and has walked more times than he has struck out this year. The Giants have also been linked in previous mock drafts to West Virginia right-hander Alek Manoah, who has a 1.85 ERA with 135 strikeouts over 102 1/3 innings.

Given the recent struggles of the pitching staff, are there any prospects in the Minors who could be close to helping the Giants?
-- Kevin L., Palo Alto, Calif.

Logan Webb appeared poised for a quick rise, but he received an 80-game suspension after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug earlier this month. One of his rotation mates at Double-A Richmond has continued to impress, however. Left-hander Conner Menez has logged a 2.40 ERA over 48 2/3 innings this season, with 15 walks against 55 strikeouts. The 23-year-old already made a pair of spot starts for Triple-A Sacramento last year, and he seems likely to return to the Pacific Coast League soon. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him pitching for the Giants at some point this season.