This is the sixteenth in a series of articles, here at Around the Foghorn, covering the 22 non-roster invitees joining the San Francisco Giants in their spring training complex this season.
Mitch Delfino is one of twenty-two non-roster invitees in spring training camp with the San Francisco Giants, a local lad from Cloverdale, California, who grew up a Giants fan along with the rest of his family. The former Cal Grad is six foot-two inches tall, and at 210 pounds, has become known as a contact hitter with some pop.
Delfino was a 20th round (628th overall) of the 2012 amateur draft, and and as a member of the Cal Bears, competed in the 2011 College World Series, finishing fifth in the tournament. He spent the 2012 season dividing time between the Arizona League Giants and the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes.
Over his first three professional seasons, Delfino has shown consistent development in key offensive categories, while simultaneously garnering accolades for his defensive play at the hot corner, being named San Jose’s Defensive Player of the year in 2014
In an effort to continue posting key stats, but also making them more user-friendly, I have pared down the number being presented, plus tried to make the information a little easier to access.
The ability to steadily improve at each step of the process, bodes well for Mitch Delfino in his quest for the hot corner.
So here is a glimpse at Mitch Delfino’s key stats from his first three years:
2012: Rookie League: Arizona Giants
12 G/53 PA, 7 R/10 H/2 RBI, 6 2B, 2 SB/0 CS, 4 BB/6 SO, 256/.307.340/.647, GDP 1
2012: Salem-Keizer Volcanoes
41 G/178 PA, 15 R/45 H/19 RBI, 12 2B, 2 SB/0 CS, 9 BB/34 SO, 269/.315/.341.656, GDP 3
2013: A level Augusta GreenJackets
122 G/522 PA, 63 R/129 H/76 RBI, 25 2B/2 3B/ 13 HR, 4 SB/4 CS,
35 BB/76 SO, .270/.324/.413/.737, GDP 14, SF 5
2014: A+ San Jose Giants
131 G/571 PA, 78 R/154 H/77 RBI, 28 2B, 4 3B, 12 HR, 5 SB/2 CS,
34 BB/77 SO, .289/.333/.424/.757, GDP 19, SF 2
Three seasons, defensive stats: 278 G, 744 Ch, 189 PO, 514 A, 41 E,
52 DP, .945 Fld%, RF/G 2.64
If ever there were a model of consistency, it would be Mitch Delfino. Without exception, when examining his slash line, there is improvement in each of the four areas, in each of his four stops in his career, thus far. When analyzing those factors which single out an individual player and places him above the others in the big picture, this steady improvement would a strong endorsement of Delfino.
His 2014 season was huge, during which he appeared in a team-high 131 games and upped his slugging percentage to .424. He was selected for the All-Star game and named defensive player of the Giants for 2014 on top of that. His .950 fielding percentage at third base was the best in the California League for the season, which is most likely why he was invited to partake in the proceedings in the desert. However, he has not yet played above the A level of the minors, so it means that barring possibility that we have a “phenom” sighting in Scottsdale, Delfino will begin the season at the AA level.
As with all of the prospects, Delfino comes equipped with some stellar moments in his short career, none more electrifying than his three-run-bomb off of former All-Star, Josh Beckett, on April 4th, in just the second game of the 2014 season, giving the Giants a 3-0 lead that they would not relinquish.
His power numbers are not overwhelming, but his 14.6 strikeout rate is commensurate with that of a contact hitter, and when we are talking about grooming a player for the Giants’ home field, this would seem to be an ideal formula. Power hitters and AT&T Park have an oxymoronic relationship, placing a hitter of Delfino’s capabilities, in a favorable light.
How favorable is up to him. Having demonstrated a propensity for improvement, resulting in a look-see at the major league level, the ball is square in the webbing of his own glove, awaiting further developments.
Brandon Hicks batting in Spring Training on March 10, 2014. Photo by Denise Walos.
I’d like to see him pull a Brandon Hicks of last spring, and club a big fly off of Clayton Kershaw, as the former second baseman of the Giants did last March 9th. That would make his Josh Beckett feat take a quick back seat.
No matter how he does in the desert, Delfino is getting the opportunity to debut for a position on the diamond that will be quite challenging to fill, with the recently-departed Pablo Sandoval still very much in our memories.
On the other hand, someone is going to do it, and it might as well be Delfino.
In doing this series on the prospects, I thought I would back the truck up, and list each of those prospects, with a link, so that if you missed some of the early ones, you could play catchup: Clayton Blackburn, Steve Okert, Juan Gutierrez, Adalberto Mejia, Nik Turley, Chris Stratton, Curtis Partch, Cory Gearin, Kyle Crick, Brett Bochy , Braulio Lara, Ty Blach, Mac Williamson, Justin Maxwell, Christian Arroyo