Down on the Farm: Giants Making Big Minor League Bats Versatile on Defense

Through 11 games this season, the Giants have already used 14 different position players. That number also includes four left fielders (Jarrett Parker, Chris Marrero, Gorkys Hernandez, and Aaron Hill) plus three third basemen in Eduardo Nunez, Conor Gillaspie and Hill.

Look at the team's lineup so far with Hill, a veteran infielder, getting starts in left and it's clear how much Bruce Bochy values versatility on defense, giving him more options with is lineup.

Down in the minor leagues, the Giants are making sure some of their biggest bats are becoming versatile as well with their glove. One week in, big prospects are increasing their chances with options around the diamond. 

Here's a look at how three of the Giants' top hitters in the minors are being used in the field. 

Christian Arroyo, 21, Triple-A Sacramento River Cats

2017 stats: 7 G, .407/.448/.630, 11 H, 1 HR, 3 2B, 7 R, 5 RBI

Positions: SS/3B/2B

Defensive stats: SS (3 G, 29 Inn., 0 E), 2B (2 G, 16 Inn., 0 E), 3B (2 G, 14 Inn., 0 E)

The Giants' top hitting prospect has exceeded expectations in his first week of Triple-A ball. Arroyo is on a seven-game hitting streak and belted his first home run of the season on Thursday. The Giants are doing exactly what they should be by moving him around the diamond, speeding up his track to the majors and making him more valuable when he reaches San Francisco.

If his glove is solid at multiple positions, the Giants have a possible star on their hands that can help them later this season. 

Jae-Gyun Hwang, 29, Triple-A Sacramento 

2017 stats: 7 G, .280/.357/.400, 7 H, 1 3B, 1 2B, 4 R, 3 RBI

Positions: 3B/1B/LF

Defensive stats: 3B (3 G, 26 Inn., 0 E), 1B (2 G, 18 Inn., 1 E), LF (1 G, 8 Inn., 0 E)

Hwang made his first career professional start in left field Thursday and caught all four balls hit his way. The bat-flipping internet sensation was a power-hitting star in Korea as a third baseman before signing a minor league deal with the Giants in the offseason. He showed his pop with five home runs in 27 spring training games.

Hwang also stood out to his teammates in spring with his hard work and won the Barney Nugent Award.

"Players love him, and the way he's come out every day and the effort he puts in. He's been inspiring with how hard he has gotten after it every day," Bochy said on Hwang winning the award

Chris Shaw, 23, Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels

2017 stats: 8 G, .269/.387/.462, 7 H, 1 HR, 2 2B, 1 R, 6 RBI

Positions: 1B/LF

Defensive stats: 1B (4 G, 40 Inn., 1 E), LF (3 G, 26 Inn., 0 E)

Shaw has major-league power. His bat will be his ticket, but his ability to play left field is a key to a whole other door. He never played one game in the outfield in two minor league seasons before this year, however, he did mostly play right and left field while starring at Boston College. 

It's still early in the process, but the Giants may be grooming an option for their left fielder of the future. There's a reason the Giants have put out 10 different Opening Day left fielders in 10 straight seasons and it's not to play into the "Torture" slogan. 

Around The Horn

- Veteran outfielder Drew Stubbs made his debut with the Sacramento River Cats on Thursday. He was used as the DH and went 0-for-4 with 3 strikeouts. 

- Here's video of Arroyo's first Triple-A home run. He hit three all of last season. That number will certainly go up this year. 

- Slade Heathcott is another interesting outfielder to watch. The former 2009 first-round draft pick of the Yankees is hitting .346/.414/.423 in eight games for the Richmond Flying Squirrels. 

Copyright CSNBY - CSN BAY
Contact Us