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Giants minor league review: Key to winning 2019 Twins trade originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
July 30 slowly but surely snuck up on us. The closer we get to the MLB trade deadline, the more eyes will be locked on prospects all around the minor leagues.
Unlike the past few seasons, the Giants won't be a team looking to add to the future. If they do strike a deal by the deadline, it will be a win-now move for a first-place team.
That brings us to Farhan Zaidi's first trade deadline with the Giants in 2019, and a trade with the Minnesota Twins that San Francisco will win no matter what happens next.
Prelander Berroa Opening Eyes
Let's state that again. The Giants already have won their trade with the Twins that sent reliever Sam Dyson to Minnesota for three prospects, based on Dyson violating the league's domestic violence policy. Dyson was suspended in March for the entire 2021 season.
Now back to who the Giants received in return. The Twins sent San Francisco outfielder Jaylin Davis, along with pitchers Kai-Wei Teng and Prelander Berroa. Davis has dominated at times in Triple-A but has dealt with injuries and inconsistencies in the majors. Teng, 22, had a very strong 2019, though he has struggled this season in High-A with the Eugene Emeralds and has a 6.27 ERA in 12 starts. And then there's Berroa.
He's who could be the key to this deal on the field. Berroa, 21, was seen as a high upside prospect with real high risk when the Giants acquired him. He's a smaller pitcher at 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds. He also is an explosive one, and he now looks like one of the Giants' best pitching prospects in their entire farm system.
Berroa had a 5.86 ERA between three levels in 2019. This season, he looks like a much different pitcher. After allowing one hit and striking out nine over six innings on Saturday, Berroa now has a 2.47 ERA to go with 80 strikeouts in 58 1/3 innings.
The young right-hander struck out 9.8 batters per nine innings in 2019. That number has increased to 12.3 in 2021. His fastball reaches 98 mph, and while the command isn't perfect, it has improved.
Berroa isn't seen as a top prospect right now. Before we know it, that should change.
How Heliot Ramos Has Looked In Triple-A
Batting average is a dying stat in baseball. Here's your latest reminder you have to look past it sometimes.
Ramos has a .083 batting average through his first five games in Triple-A with the Sacramento River Cats. He's just 1-for-12 with one single. Sounds bad, right? Kind of ...
Despite that ugly batting average, Ramos is improving where he needed to most: Getting on base and taking his walks. He has six walks and five strikeouts with Sacramento. That's good for a .421 on-base percentage. In Double-A Richmond, Ramos had a .323 on-base percentage and struck out in 31 percent of his at-bats.
The important numbers here are six, five and .421. Not .083.
More Love For Jairo Pomares
From Ramos to Luis Matos, Hunter Bishop and Alexander Canario, the Giants have some big-time prospects in the outfield. There needs to be another name at or near the top. That would be Jairo Pomares.
This isn't my first time praising Pomares. I've long loved his easy and natural left-handed swing. He started the season on the shelf and has crushed Low-A West pitching ever since he was placed on San Jose's roster this season. Last week, Pomares hit .458 (11-for-24) in six games with one home run, four doubles, seven RBI and a 1.250 OPS.
Pomares now is batting .344 with 10 homers and a 1.087 OPS in 33 games this season. He should soon be challenged with a promotion to High-A Eugene.