San Francisco Giants invite Kelby Tomlinson to spring training


This is the eighteenth 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.

In spring training camp as a non-roster invitee for the San Francisco Giants, is Kelby Tomlinson, shortstop/second baseman, who is trying to gain some recognition for those tools which earmark him as the kind of player who fits into AT&T Park well. He plays good defense and is fast, having stolen 49 bases in 2014 at the AA level.

Tomlinson was drafted in the 12th round out of Texas Tech in 2011, primarily as a defensive shortstop, with some speed. The 24-year-old is six three, weighs 180 pounds, and he bats and throws right-handed.

He was invited to the Giants 2014 spring training camp and appeared in seven games altogether, with one run batted in and one stolen base.

Tomlinson’s brand is speed. It’s why the Giants are taking a close look at him.

He was inserted into the game Thursday as a pinch-runner for

Guillermo Quiroz

, against Chicago, and scored one of the Giants’ runs from second base when

Gary Brown

singled. The Giants came back from a 5-0 deficit, after

Hunter Pence

was removed from the game, having been struck with a pitched ball. Here is a look at Tomlinson’s stats:

Feb 19, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy during spring training workouts at Scottsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

2011: 2 teams, Rookie and A levels

39 G/149 AB,  34 R/53 H/27 RBIs,  10 2B/5 3B/2 HR   11 SB/2 CS     .356/.416/.530/.946

2012: South-Atlanta League, Augusta GreenJackets

123 G/450 AB,  57 R/101 H/36 RBIs,  9 2B/4 3B/1 HR   36 SB/11 CS    .224/.309/.269/.578

2013: Three teams, three leagues, rookie, A+ and AA

72 G/258 AB,  35 R/64 H/22 RBIs,  13 2B/1 3B/1 HR   9 SB/3 CS   .248/.330/.318/.648

2014: Richmond Flying Squirrels, AA

126 G/433 AB,  63 R/116 H/32 RBIs,  9 2B/6 3B/1 HR   49 SB/12 CS    .268/.340/.323/.663

Basic defensive stats:

4 seasons: 353 G,  1,565 Ch,   526 PO,   977 A,   62 E,   219 DP,    Fld% .960,   RF/G 4.26

In a game summary from last May 10th, Kelsie Heneghan described how the fleet infielder stole a team-record five bases, as the Richmond Flying Squirrels pulled out a 7-6, 13-inning win, in a game that was delayed ninety minutes by rain, making it a four-hour and forty-six minute contest.  Tomlinson bunted for a single in the fifth and stole second and third, and singled again in the seventh and stole second.

His total would have ended at three, except his team rallied for three in the ninth, bringing him to bat in the eleventh, when he singled and then swiped second and third for his fourth and fifth steals. Ironically, it was fellow Giant, Matt Duffy, who doubled to lead off the thirteenth in that game, and came around to score the tying run with Mario Lissan scoring the winning run right behind him.

This is the kind of scenario that will get Tomlinson a close look at the big league level. It’s not that the Giants would expect him to steal five bags in a game, but the fact that he has the ability to change the course of a game in this way, makes him attractive.

He stole 49 bases last year at the AA level, and he wants to show that he can do it on the major league level. He gets the briefest of chances to do so this spring.

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, Mitch Delfino, and Brandon Hicks.