Farm Director Kyle Haines on Prospects' Challenges
Does the anticipation of another desk lunch of baby, carrots and ranch dressing. Keep you up at night. Here's a cure, extra spicy and New San Francisco. Chronicle podcast by me Soleil how? Justin Phillips. You can subscribe to extra spicy now on apple, spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Hi Everyone I'm John Shea of the San, Francisco Chronicle and welcome to the giants splash podcast. Our guest is Kyle Haines the giants director of player development who knows all about the top prospects in the sixty man player pool, the seven players drafted and the six who were signed as undrafted free agents. Kyle speaks of the challenges facing these young players without a minor league season, and what the giants are doing to keep them in baseball for. Thanks for joining US Kyle and we're we're. We're talking about today. The giants suspended workouts at Oracle Park. As we wait for tests from the weekend, but. Baseball is a major challenge these days and I'm wondering how you're doing. No first of all thanks for having me John. I'm doing good. I think we're all navigating just such an unknown. Environment and and world and his. You know it's like any other trying time. You just kind to navigate it the best. You can then come out at the end You know a little more comfortable so. Just very uncomfortable times and baseball's not immune to that, so we're all doing well and and. I know We're just getting through it the best we can. You and I guess the best part of Your Day is actually the hours at the Ballpark when there's baseball, but if I could but jump jump right into what people love to talk about, and that's Mark Luciano and I know you love this kid Actually. My final player interview in spring training eighteen year old, but seemed so much more mature got all the tools shortstop six to? He said he two hundred pounds now, and he was added to the sixty man player pool. I thought I'd give you a chance to offer some glowing comments about Marco Luciano. Yeah Nah. He's very naturally gifted kid and we're obviously very excited has been you mentioned his maturity? you know it's It's easy to get excited about Marco for sure and I think the the most exciting time for us. You know being able to get him in a low. Pressure situation, and just you know adapt to San Francisco and the ballpark can being around our major league veterans, and our major majorly coaches and you know having our minor league soccer minor league staff here in San Francisco in him, and this this is just great one that he's playing baseball working out, but number two is that he's able to to experience San Francisco experienced ballpark and You know hopefully become comfortable in this environment so that way someday if if he's ever called up here to the big leagues and in the near future there, there's a few less You know shocking. Thanks to him such as. Being the time in the city and I I'm the ballpark and things of that nature and seeing that third level now so. Maybe he's a little more. adapted to the environment. Well. You get to see what we don't get to see because the media allowed into the ballpark during these times during a certain. Segment of the day, so the earlier group, which includes all these great prospects come and go before we arrived, but I've heard some great things about Luciano at the plate and some of these other kids. How's he looking at the Big League ballpark? Yeah. He's looked great He looks strong healthy Some some of these guys. You just don't know what they were able to do. When they're home. He was able to still stay kind of working out back in the Dominican safely and you know some guys had very little or nothing, and some guys had a lot and. and. He did a nice job. Stand ready so He looks really good. honestly I think it's been. It's been great to see him out on field moving around. Excited to not only here, but also maybe get him to the the taxi squad site. Even work with more and. Being around these veteran players and picking their brain is going to be something that helps them a lot, but easily great so far and you know I'm hoping that at some point, the media's going to be able to get in and out you know. Watch him out on the on the field. Move around and and kind of get more first hand experience on the the. League's have been able to see for. A year plus now yeah, that's happening soon I hear, but there's also joey. Barton. Elliott Ramos and Patrick Beverley the first pick in last month's draft. These are all players. Invited into the. Sixty Man Pool Louis. Toribio, right yes, only be the one who gets the least pub of all those I mentioned How tough is it or was it easy of a call to have those people in knowing that? Some of them wouldn't even play in the big leagues, but it's just about advancing their development. What went into the decision making to keep those kids as part of the pool? Yes, I think. You know it's. It's never an easy decision to leave the people off that. We left off. That doesn't exclude them from being added at some point, but. At the same time. I think it was a no brainer that you know. Some of these young kids near the developmental reps in the experience that came I think in a perfect world. They'd be playing in their minor league cities right now, but with the. The minor league season, being cancelled and the uncertainty this fall about whether you know we're going to be able to do much with our our young minor-league players. It was important that that some of these guys got out and played a Patrick Bailey who you mentioned. Obviously, it's important that we learn him and he learns us that we can help them. Grow, but also he missed all fall. You know there situations like he missed the fall because It NC state because he had a yeah, I believe it was like a broken jaw right, he couldn't. He couldn't play, so he missed fall Baldwin into spring and spring got cut short, so it was important that he gets back on the field and his his getting some developmental reps, because otherwise he'd be almost a over a year with very little playing time if we would held off if if some happened in the fall so. that goes for Joey and in Romo's as well So you know Joey had stints cut short last year with a hand injury, and you know getting cut short. This year just just seemed like it was not going to be healthy for Joey so You know we made the decision to to go ahead and far on obviously when it through, and we picked a few guys that needed this, and obviously there's a lot more than these guys need it, but we only had so many spots. Yes, we can have joey. Bard is kind of a shame. You mention the injuries and now this. Not exactly the. The course that Buster Posey took a tenor twelve years ago. you know there's so many comparisons being drawn, but in his case only seventy eighty seven plate appearances above Class A and they were all AA last year. Never in any and AAA. So that was the idea going in for him to open in the League's. We were told, but but now with the shortened season and. You know the fact that sixty games at the big league? And he'll be developing, but also perhaps available. Who knows they have the universal the h this year? What do you see what bark could do for this team or this organization in twenty twenty. Yeah I mean I think in some regard. Joey probably could help the major league team. You know some regard that We also want to make sure that were were not. Cutting developed short so I think there's always gonna be that tough. Call about. When is the right time? To make sure that Joey is ready for the for the major leagues and ready to to be the best version of himself that he can be when he does. Get there and. you know I think that's going to be a debate probably all summer long to be quite honest is. A win is the right time and. It'll vary day by day, and that'll be a decision nine so. Far. Scott era, and and gave Kappler and others that will be bouncing off each other all the time so. you know there's no doubt that Joey could help in some shape or form probably right now but at the same time we also don't want to stall joys development by you know wanting to see him just in in the big lakes before he's ready. Okay makes sense and Far Hans, Eighty! Said something I've never heard before. You can never have too. Many catchers never have too much. Catching and I knew that about hitching I didn't know that about catching a sure enough. You Have Bailey. You have bark and you have posed in the big leagues. All Star and three time World Series Champs, so that's a pretty deep position in this organization now. How do you see that playing out with two catchers who are elite elite prospects And you know well decorated and on the fasttrack, maybe not to the big leagues, but maybe one day they'll be teammates with the giants. Yeah itself. These things have a way of playing themselves out and. you know who knows probably it seems like. We're looking towards A. Universal D. H. here soon probably, and you know honestly. Personally I kinda I. Kinda liked the national. League style. Not because I like watching pitchers hit I just always like how the pitcher spot is always seems. To interact with big innings and ended up playing apart and and you know creates a lot more of a jockey, but you know we're looking at that D. H., and and as we get the DA with buster and enjoy both being right handed hitters and and Patrick being switch vendor. There's ways to be creative to probably get enough playing time for all of them. This needed when that time comes, and you know these these situations tend to work themselves out and. Having too many good players. Is that good Crompton half? I San Francisco giants, obviously not the fairest thing for for those guys, but I think. Instead of looking for someone who's just adequate, enough and one of them each. You know having having too many good options to pick from is never a bad thing. We'll hundred bishops was your first round pick last year? And what is new with him? He tested positive for the covid before the sixty man pools were set, so he went into quarantine. What's his situation now in? Could we see him soon? Situation Analyses. His home and it will his home in Arizona currently. Corinthian making sure, he gets through his health protocols. The way supposed to he feels great. Talk to him pretty regularly I and He says he's feeling great, and he did the right thing he you know he. He knew he was exposed to someone who did test positive. He tested himself. What, while I was still feeling great, and and the test unfortunately came back positive, and he reported it right away, and He decided to. Shelter in place there, so he didn't expose other people and He very easily could have been greedy and hit from it, and and you know something like that, but instead he knew what the right thing to do was. He's feeling great. He's doing great. He's just unable to. Leave until we get through this. Protocol for for positive case and. You know I think the plan would be that once. We can get them cleared. Get Him healthy that we we can maybe somehow get him some register ups in if it's here if it's in Sacramento in that time or is. Okay and there are. Players who you know, some pretty big time prospects who are not on the sixty man pool Shan't Jelly set corey. Alexander Canario and many others How how do you monitor them? How do you know that they're doing what they need to do? and. How tough is it that they're really going to miss a full season because they're not part of this at all? Yeah, so I mean. We're still hoping for some fall. first of all which obviously get a lot of guys, some help with with wraps if possible, so we're still crossing our fingers on that as for Alexander Canario were actually gonna go ahead and add. He's San Francisco right now waiting out is intake testing just to make sure that when he arise that he's completely clearly. Of the nineteen and and he's feeling strong before he ever enters the stadium, so it's a process that every single person including myself as went through and Sometimes it can be a little slower He had to fly all the way in excetera, but he's. He's GonNa Join I. I believe here soon. and You know further pitching. I think it's. It seems like You know one one area that we really leaned on is trying to make sure that the position players are here getting as many development arrests they count on the field hitting and that the the pitching prospects than are much more able to stay. Home is still working whether it's in San Francisco locally where they're at so I know Sean is working really hard I. Know Seth Working Really and others as well that we haven't mentioned. On the pitching side, so I'd say in general, the the pitching prospects are are kind of guys that guy from sixty man through unfortunately, but we also feel like. They're development. Can still taking steps forward all much easier than the position players? Will have more of Kyle Haines right after this quick break. Does the anticipation of another desk lunch of carrots and ranch dressing. Keep you up at night. Secure Extra Spicy and New San Francisco Chronicle podcast by me so Leho the Justin Phillips Look. I I thought I was going to have to go defend ranch wholeheartedly right now, but. I see what's happening. I'll chill. I'll be cool. Leave it for next time. You'll hear that and more slander every week. Subscribe to extra spicy now on apple, spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. How serious do take those rankings? Because the giants are higher than I recall at covered the team for a long long time, and they've gotten a lot of twenty five to thirty twenty to thirty somewhere on the back end, but the you know the way you're drafting bringing in the international talent. You seem to be rising on the charts. Yeah, no, we're very proud. Obviously it'd farm system. One of our goals is not to not to win. The farm system rankings the win in the big leagues, so I think our hope. Is that You know we can. We can translate a Lotta. These guys and it won't be all of them. hopefully it all, but you know you can't count on on everyone turning out, but. You know if you can create a good. depth pool of talented players in. You got better odds of creating that next. Wave. Home grown talent or Or players that you know can can help at least challenge other players for jobs. and. you know obviously when you're when you're competing for so hard baseball. To build a good farm system because you're always needing to trade for pieces, otherwise, you're just living in free agency, and then you never pick in the draft so it makes are really challenging on the teams who are consistently winning to never make mistakes almost in any traitor or in in the draft, which is or the international signing period, which is really tough. It's tough to do you're GONNA make mistakes on kids this young but You you really, it's hard, it's it's really difficult to win an pharmacist at the same time, but that's up. We're GONNA TRY TO DO. We're very proud of our farm system, but. The bottom line is. We got a lot of really good players. The players deserve the credit obviously our our coaching and some change some player development philosophies has really. Helped a lot of those in between prospects like Louis Toribio at some of the Canarios who are. Signing. But, you know players make price, so the the talent of the players makes us look really smart the minor, leagues. The draft held last month we spoke about Patrick Bailey of NC state at number one, but a couple of other guys who really jump off and you took seven picks in five rounds because of the supplementary picks. having lost Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith. But Casey Schmidt Third Baseman closer out of San Diego State and in the fifth round. Kyle Harrison local kid out of Dallas. L. Lefty who was targeted for Ucla but seems like he is going to turn pro, but what about those two guys? Casey seems to be just a Jack of all trades baseball player. Great Kid I recently. Met Him during his physical role, briefly helped him sign his contract and see my great kid barely excited to get started. He's going to be a third base only for us so even though he did pitch I college team and was a closer i. he definitely probably has the talent to try it, but we really believe him as a third baseman and You know he's just a baseball player. That's that's the best way to describe them, not just Cornerman to. Only a defender only Henry can probably do anything on the field that he wants to do. Defensive Third Baseman who who should be able to hit and you know it's our job. Fire development is to to bring out the most that bat and from all indicators is. He's going to be a really good defensive third base from the first days in our system. Obviously he's got a press throwing arm ninety five off the mound so That's that's a good thing and then from the from the bow. We think there's a lot more there and a lot of good qualities that are there, and it's our job part of to make those things come out China. And then Harrison. Yeah Harrison Young high school left-hander with plus deal for pitching Plus Command Hum, he's already got a good good fastball. Low Nineties maybe can bump it up a little higher fee needed to. Good slider with a lot of potential on it with good command. Feel like we. We got a great prior there. Hopefully he's he's still still got to. Finalize details signed but You know when that time comes we. We feel really good about the player that we're gonNA. Bring in. And being a local kid to help. Support, the the the bay area and have that. Local. you know feel to. The team is always an added bonus. will at and then after such an unusual twenty twenty and so many ways the draft is only five rounds, but then the opportunity to sign anybody UNDRAFTED free agents is what they're called in. The giants picked up six of them. What is it five college kids and a high school kid from Washington but There's there's some intriguing talent in. They're just going down the list the pitcher from Illinois. Tie Weber the outfielder from North Carolina Central carter-williams Will Johnson pitcher from pepperdine. Read our Baca a catcher from Alabama another catcher, from USF here in town Robert Emery than high school kid from Washington and outfielders tyler foreigner. Might address a couple of those including the emery catcher from from USF, and and what went into those signings and woody like about these guys. Yeah No, we. Can you Michael Holmes isn't amazing job administaff. amazing their preparation for the draft, and then that helped kind of bring these these names to the forefront. Of. Guys that we wanted to target You know some teams. these all these kids eligibilities left to some shape or form, and and obviously with the drafting. Bonuses, Being Limited I think a lot of people expected. This should be this amazing amount of talent. A lot of guys could go back to school so i. think we really just narrowed it on a on a on on specific targets that we really valued? Instead of signing guys that are not going to get a try because you have Canarios. and. Guys like that. Who Luciano's who? Who are going to play next year and instead of signing guys that are are not going to get playing time. retargeted the ones that we really wanted in pursuit, those heart and yeah mean we feel very blessed to get the guys we got and I can legitimately say everyone that we signed was a priority target for us. to some degree and it was. Identifies as scouts people that you know we we really needed to have. the our back. Who you mentioned? you know he was a huge priority for us. took a little while. Off Jeez I'm going to. Bet. Half to answer that question. It probably was over. Twenty of thirty teams were pursuing him and. You know he's a catcher utility guy can play. Everywhere does a little bit of everything and we were. We were extremely excited about him, and and I don't want to single him out because I could talk about all the guys because a lot of the guys that we did pursue as well that we have as priorities did return to college, so you Kinda, tip your hat and you know they take their education serious. And they went ahead went back and they have another shot of next year's draft, but. yeah I. Mean I think there's some gyms in there? I know. I was excited about each and every one of them personally but you know on Robert, emery. We would be a fool to ignore what he did it at USF and and how good of a curry had there, and and not to not the key for feet and far Hans saying. Too, much catching his. We'll we'll inert let them enter the system and and see how he plays from there, but we're excited to have the local kid who had a very nice accomplished career USF and Very, deserving of signing with his hometown team. In. Deep. You know everything about the minor league you had in camp in February, and March and multi most of those are now off. The away from the game or doing things on their own in the game, but just not at Oracle Park with the other prospects, and now you have a whole new list of draftees and undrafted free agents. That you haven't had in this system, but now suddenly are joining the system. How do you monitor those guys versus the guys that you know that you've had in the Organization for a year two or three compared to these folks? Yeah! I mean we just compare the best became We're standing contact with them. We're trying to get video from the ones that are working remotely. From what I can. You know it's tough. It's tough. Evaluate these guys. Do we get them side by side and? And really see how they they compare to each other, but. you know we're just doing whatever we can at this point Some guys are progressing really well home gain in velocity, and really working on things that some guys are are kind of their growth, more stagnant so we won't really fully know kind of the effects of this this layoff in midseason. Maybe until next late next spring training after we gotta get guys all the same do and your same thing goes for the non-draft free agents. The drafted players where you know. They missed a huge part of their college season so. They're missing used development when those as well so There's still a lot of unknowns to be the now with with our players. The players that we recently signed. Sure before we sign off here I-. Jalen Davis so an intriguing I i. hear nothing, but good things from far Han from Gabe. And he did it all in triple A. and we saw a little bit in the big leagues. But how good can this young man be? Yeah I. Mean I think the sky's the limit? He showed us that last year between. The twins and AAA and in Sacramento when we made the trade there. He looked fantastic, and he got a brief a cup of coffee their in the big leagues, September and now he's got his feet wet and hopefully now he's ready to take off and I think he's kind of really came into his own last year, and and figured out a lot of things, and the hope would be that he's able to take those that he figured out in Aaa year and took a huge step forward. Announced Transition those to the major leagues which is easier, said than done, but you know now he's. He's got that rookie status already over with then called out he's. You know he's no longer having to carry that burden of my ever. GonNa play in the big leagues. He's He's played in the big leagues. And now it's just a up to him to go out and. Take advantage and seize the opportunity. That's that's in front of him and I think he's. The same player that we saw last year than he has a chance to be a a nice starting outfielder for us for a long time. Well Leslie Imagine how tough this roller coaster emotionally has been for you. Let alone the players, but how how have you dealt with it? From watching these prospects and spring training to having the game, suddenly shut down in mid March, two monitoring all these young players over the past few months to finally bringing them. Here in San Francisco and You know to to to monitor their progress, but I'll you know also to monitor those who aren't here? How's that gone for you? Because it's just a crazy twenty twenty for everybody, but you're overseeing the farm system and that's a whole bunch of people. Absolutely it said I mean I'm not. GonNa lie. It's been overwhelming at times for a lot of but you know this is what we do. This is what we signed up for and especially myself where? I think Mike Tyson always said everybody's got great plan until you get punched in the mouth and in a way we've been pushing her mouth by the by the pandemic here as far as plans go for the minor leagues and how we're going to operate. You know it's A. Big Part of what we do is being reactionary to problems that you can't predict and these these. This is a huge huge problem that we could not predict, and we've just been very reactionary and It's definitely not been easy. It's not been cleaned. It's not been perfect, but we're doing the best we can. I know that and I will our farm system and our coordinators and our staff How well they handled this whole situation. Our players I would put off up against anybody how we've handled this You know imperfect situation We're never going to handle it perfectly, but we're trying to handle in a very. Messy. Situation that the best we can, and we know we're not perfect, but you know there's there's no way to planet. We don't know the rules. what we can or can't do, and we're just waiting a lot and trying to plan for things. We don't know if we're allowed to do in the fall for example but. We're just doing the best we can. It's it's been a mess. We know we've made mistakes, but at the same time we'll put the. The way our staff in the PD side Zach handled the situation against anybody very proud of them. Well, that's great. Kyle! Thank you very much I want to. Thank you for your honesty and your time, and your thoughts, and the best of luck to you in the team moving forward in these challenging times. Thanks for having me on John. We're we're excited watching baseball I. Know It's tough Fra so everyone right now. It seems like everything's. Every of news is negative, but. You know I know I was in the ballpark today, and and everyone's looking at each other, but you know I know everyone in that ballpark safe as we can be, and we're safer there than we would be in a grocery store somewhere so. we're just excited to get on field and play some baseball and. And maybe gives some people back home. Something to watch and feel good about other than just Washington the negativity. That's just surrounding our lives nowadays. Thanks for joining us on the giants splash podcast. Henry Shulman and I will continue bringing you podcast approaching the start of the scheduled twenty twenty season. The giants splash is a production of the San Francisco Chronicle podcast producers King Kaufman and Allen Johnson. The theme Song Batter Up was written and performed by Lauren Gold and Ray East Louis support the splash in all of our great journalism by signing up for a chronicle membership at F Chronicle Dot. com slash pod.