The Giants are currently in the middle of a four-game series with the Atlanta Braves. The Orange and Black got the best of the visitors on Tuesday — with Joe Panik’s walk-off RBI — after falling 4-1 in the series opener.
The matchup is a test for San Francisco, considering Atlanta is one of the best young teams in Major League Baseball, and are fresh off a turnaround season that saw them win 90 games and make it to the NLDS. The series is also interesting because the Braves are an example of what the Giants hope to look like in the future.
San Francisco GM Farhan Zaidi explained why during his weekly hit with Tolbert & Lund on KNBR 680.
“I think they’re a pretty nice blueprint,” Zaidi began. “Alex Anthopoulos, the GM over there, is somebody that I worked with in LA and he’s done a nice job, and I think his predecessors did a nice job of setting up this talent base for them. That kind of what you hope. You hope that you get talent from different channels, from the draft, from trades, from the international market, and then you hope they kind of tie together and reach the big leagues and really get you to the next level all at the same time.”
Atlanta has built around a young core of position players including Ozzie Albies, Ronald Acuna Jr., Dansby Swanson, and Austin Riley, all three of which are under the age of 26.
“I think that’s what you’re seeing with that team between Albies, Acuna, and the kid Riley who’s come up and given them a real jolt as well. They’ve also done a nice job of surrounding those guys with veteran talent. Freddie Freeman’s been there a long time, (Nick) Markakis had a great year for them, they brought him back. Signing Josh Donaldson, he’s obviously a player I know well, but I think that’s added another element to that team.
“It’s kind of the perfect blend of developing internally and surrounding the guys with veteran talent. They’re gonna go pretty far this year, it’s an impressive team.”
Listen to the full interview below. To hear Farhan on the Braves, start from 13:00.