He won't be competing for an Opening Day roster spot, but there's a reason Joey Bart's locker is placed right next to Buster Posey's at the Giants' spring training complex. The future is near, and San Francisco wants Posey's heir apparent to soak up as much knowledge as possible.
Bart is considered the second-best catching prospect in all of baseball behind Adley Rutschman of the Baltimore Orioles, who was the No. 1 pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. But he is just one reason for the Giants rise as a respected farm system. Baseball America's latest team rankings are the latest reminder of how far they have come.
With spring training here, Baseball America released its list of team farm system rankings on Wednesday morning. The Giants came in at No. 14, the same spot the outlet placed them halfway through last season.
While the Giants have gone any higher since the midway point of the 2019 season, here's a reminder of how far they have come: San Francisco was ranked as the third-worst farm system in all of baseball going into last season. They were 25 in 2018 and 24 in 2017.
Former first-round draft picks and an international teenage sensation have the Giants climbing the ladder. Here's Baseball America's synopsis on San Francisco's farm system: If Marco Luciano is as good as scouts believe he can be, this will be the lowest the Giants will rank over the next few years. Some very astute signings on the international amateur side have helped pushed this farm system up the rankings.
Luciano, 18, is the Giants' top prospect in Baseball America's rankings, and No. 19 overall. The shortstop is one of three Giants prospects ranked in Baseball America's top one, joined by Bart (32) and center fielder Heliot Ramos (63).
Playing the entire season at only 17 years old in 2019, Luciano hit .322 with 10 home runs and a 1.055 OPS in the Arizona Rookie League before a late-season promotion to the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes in Class A Short Season. If he continues to ascend, the Giants could have a true star on their hands.
The only downside to Baseball America's latest rankings is that three NL West teams are ahead of the Giants. They still need to pass the San Diego Padres (2), Los Angeles Dodgers (3) and Arizona Diamondbacks (10).
Nonetheless, the latest farm system rankings still should be seen as a positive for the Giants fans. Bart and Ramos both should make their major league debuts this season, and other less-heralded prospects could soon be on the way as well.
Giants' farm system ranked No. 14 in MLB by Baseball America for 2020 originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area