In addition, BA published on Sports Illustrated an article on the "MLB's best and worse farm systems." There, the Giants rank third in the majors for the best farm system. Here is what BA wrote about the Giants:
The odd thing is that they didn't even mention Zach Wheeler, who they ranked 3rd on their Top Ten Prospect list for 2010, nor mention Tommy Joseph, who was 6th. Still, the Giants farm system had the best record in the majors, going 411-286 (.590) with four of the six affiliates reaching the playoffs and San Jose and Salem Keizer winning their league titles.
3. Giants: San Francisco has two elite talents in catcher Buster Posey and left-hander Madison Bumgarner, both of whom should contribute to the major league club in 2010. The Giants also have depth, despite the uncertain status of slugger Angel Villalona, who was stripped of his U.S. visa after an off-season murder charge in his native Dominican Republic. San Francisco has shortstop options, some solid bats (such as outfielder Thomas Neal) and solid depth, but it's really about the stars.
And I found the SI article because of an article on Baseball Analysts titled, "The Value of a Good Farm System" by Sky Andrecheck. The author was wondering about the value of the Baseball America annual rankings, so he did statistical regression analysis, using many variables, to see how much value is delivered in the future to the team based on where Baseball America ranked them in any particular season. What he found is that any team's ranking has a statistically significant relationship with the team's winning percentage still eight years later. This implies that when things are going well, they continue to do well for many years afterward.
The Giants are among the top teams expected to reap additional wins from their farm system, I roughly estimate 18 additional wins due to their farm system. As I noted above, the Giants were ranked 3rd for 2010 with their farm system by BA. The ranking will probably fall greatly for 2011 because Bumgarner should not be a rookie anymore, and Wheeler should not be ready to equal Bumgarner's status unless he comes out the chute like Lincecum, which is doubtful since he's a high school draftee. With the Molina signing, Posey is all but assured to spend 2010 in AAA learning defense and honing his hitting, presumably becoming the starter in 2011. But BA is not infallible, they severely misjudged what Pablo Sandoval could be, which should have boosted their ranking in 2007 and 2008 above wherever they were.
I think the Top Ten ranking next year will include some solid prospects in Neal, Joseph, Dominguez, Roger Kieschnick, Brandon Crawford, Francisco Peguero, Rafael Rodriguez, Nick Noonan, Jason Stoffel, Hector Sanchez, and I still expect good things from Angel Villalona. And, of course, it will be led by Buster Posey.