Though the Giants' .445 winning percentage in 2017-20 represents their worst four-year stretch since 1943-46, there's real hope for the future. Their farm system hasn't been this strong since Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner, Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt were advancing to San Francisco to help spark three World Series championships at the beginning of the last decade.
In the last four years, the Giants have assembled a formidable collection of position prospects via first-round picks (catchers Joey Bart and Patrick Bailey, outfielders Heliot Ramos and Hunter Bishop) and the international market (led by shortstop Marco Luciano and outfielder Luis Matos). That group should end the organization's long droughts without developing a homegrown international All-Star since signing Pablo Sandoval in 2003 or one from the Draft since taking Joe Panik in 2011.
San Francisco also has some pitching on the way as well. It has paid seven-figure Draft bonuses to left-handers Seth Corry, Kyle Harrison and Nick Swiney and bolstered its pool of right-handers with trades for Gregory Santos, Kai-Wei Teng and Tristan Beck.
Bart wasn't quite ready when the Giants rushed him as part of a 2020 playoff push that fell just short, and Ramos may be the only other potential difference-maker who surfaces at Oracle Park this year. It may be 2023 before most of their top prospects get to the big leagues, but better days do lie ahead.
Here's a look at the Giants' top prospects:
Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the 2020 preseason list to the 2021 preseason list.
Jump: Garrett Frechette, 1B (2020: NR | 2021: 21) -- A well over-slot $797,500 signing in the fifth round of the 2019 Draft, he has the tools to hit for power and average and may have enough athleticism to handle left field.
Fall: Jaylin Davis, OF (2020: 13 | 2021: 26) -- Though he hit 10 homers in 27 Triple-A games after first joining the organization in July 2019, he hasn't shown the ability to make consistent contact or drive balls in the air in the big leagues.
Players are graded on a 20-80 scouting scale for future tools -- 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average. Players in parentheses have the same grade.
Hit: 55 -- Marco Luciano (Luis Matos, Jairo Pomares, Luis Toribio)
Power: 65 -- Marco Luciano
Run: 60 -- Grant McCray (Aeverson Arteaga, Hunter Bishop)
Arm: 60 -- Casey Schmitt (Joey Bart, Alexander Canario, Ricardo Genoves, Marco Luciano, Heliot Ramos, Luis Toribio)
Defense: 55 -- Casey Schmitt (Aeverson Arteaga, Patrick Bailey, Joey Bart, Hunter Bishop, Ricardo Genoves, Luis Matos, Grant McCray)
Fastball: 70 -- Camilo Doval
Curveball: 60 -- Seth Corry (Blake Rivera, Mick Swiney)
Slider: 55 -- Gregory Santos (Kyle Harrison, Trevor McDonald)
Changeup: 55 -- Nick Swiney (Seth Corry)
Control: 55 -- Sean Hjelle (Kervin Castro, Kyle Harrison, Kai-Wei Teng)
How they were built
Draft: 16 | International: 9 | Trade: 5
Breakdown by ETA
2021: 5 | 2022: 9 | 2023: 14 | 2024: 2
Breakdown by position
C: 3 | 1B: 2 | 3B: 2 | SS: 4 | OF: 7 | RHP: 9 | LHP: 3