Why Johnson believes Giants' ‘frustrating' farm system trending upward

Why Johnson believes Giants' ‘frustrating' farm system trending upward originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

As the Giants have been riding a youth wave in their recent surge up the standings, San Francisco chairman Greg Johnson believes it has to do with the franchise’s improved farm system.

Speaking to The Athletic's Tim Kawakami on “The TK Show,” Johnson explained the exasperation he and the Giants have had with their farm system and how much it has improved in recent years.

“It has been frustrating, we looked at our first-round picks over the last 5-7 years and we were probably ranked near the bottom of the league in WAR contributions and that’s just going to make it really tough to be competitive with the team,” Johnson told Kawakami. “I think drafting position players is extremely difficult and you need a little bit of luck in there.

“Unfortunately, a lot of our younger players did have injuries, so it took them a while to get up to the majors. But if you look today, look at where we are and give credit to [president of baseball operations] Farhan [Zaidi] and the scouts for the depth we have, we have a lot of young players right now in the minors that are winning awards every week playing extremely well. Even Hunter Bishop now, he was a top pick and had injuries, is playing extremely well and that bodes well for us.

“I think there’s a lot of depth there in the farm system, so the trend is absolutely in the right direction.”

The Giants made a series of big offseason free-agent acquisitions, hoping that the moves would vault the franchise back into playoff contention. However, numerous injuries and poor play piled up, forcing San Francisco to call up top prospects Heliot Ramos, Luis Matos and Marco Luciano, with the youngsters’ solid play helping the team stay in the thick of the NL wild-card race.

Having a solid farm system is critical to most MLB teams' success, as only a few franchises can stomach the hefty luxury tax bills for constantly signing superstar free agents. Good, young, cheap players can make or break a team, and San Francisco’s young core has been the difference this season, bringing loads of excitement and energy to each game.

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