The further Farhan Zaidi looks into the Giants’ farm system, the happier he gets.
But those closest to the surface? That’s where the Giants need to improve.
The Giants’ president of baseball operations, talking to media as the first half closed Sunday at Oracle Park, hinted at what he will look for in trade returns considering how the farm system has shaped up.
“One of our main priorities coming into the year was making sure that we had a pipeline of potential prospects,” Zaidi said before the Giants beat the Cardinals, 1-0. “And we feel a lot better about that. When you go out and maybe make your traditional deal as a seller, a lot of times you are looking at those guys further down the system in A-ball, short season, rookie ball. That’s an area of strength for us now.
“I think it’s possible if we wind up having some of those conversations, we’re going to be looking at more guys at the upper levels.”
Zaidi would like prospects ready or nearly ready to contribute. The further away the Giants’ prospects get, the more impressive they get. Joey Bart and Heliot Ramos, both at High-A San Jose, represented the team at the Futures Game on Sunday (the highlight being Bart throwing out star prospect Wander Franco at second). Their No. 3 prospect, shortstop Marco Luciano, is in rookie ball.
“We’re not as deep at the upper levels,” Zaidi acknowledged.
The ones who have emerged at Triple-A Sacramento Zaidi would like to see more of, though. He specifically mentioned Conner Menez, who has a 3.22 ERA with 116 strikeouts in 89 1/3 innings split between Sacramento and Double-A Richmond, as someone to watch for in the second half. Reliever Sam Selman also figures to get a quick call.
“I think this has been a very good year for our farm system. Not just the way Bart and Ramos have played, the fact they’re representing us at the Futures Game. But some of the other guys,” Zaidi said. “Luciano, Conner Menez has done a great job at Triple-A. There are a handful of guys on that Triple-A roster that I think are going to help us down the stretch.”