San Francisco Giants invite Carlos Triunfel to spring training


This is the nineteenth 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.

With the San Francisco Giants already engaged in spring training games in the desert, it would seem important to know who is in camp and who is competing for the two or three open spots on the 25-man roster. Among this group is Carlos Triunfel, who was originally signed out of the Dominican Republicas a sixteen-year-old in 2006 by the Seattle Mariners.

He signed as a non-drafted free agent, receiving a $1.3 million signing bonus and launched his professional career the following year with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. His first pro season Triunfel recorded 14 multi-hit games, including five three-hit games. On July 30th of that year, he recorded a career-high six hits-all singles-and was named to the Midwest League All-Star team, though he did not play due to injury.

In 2008, Triunfel, 18, hit .368 with 35 runs scored, eight doubles, two triples, five home runs, and fourteen stolen bases, in the final 38 games of his season at high-A High Desert (Adelanto, California), keeping himself in the spotlight.

Triunfel’s early success prompted much interest in this versatile infielder.

His early ascent was rapid and was rated Number 30 in 2008, in Top 50 Prospects.

A broken tibia sidelined him most of the 2009 season and 2010 saw his average dip to a lackluster .257 in 129 games with the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx. He brought his average up in 2011, warranting a late-season call-up to the AAA Tacoma Rainiers. Here is a look at his totals:

Minors career:   

796 G/3004 AB,   388 R/812 H/316 RBI,   145 2B/21 3B/40 HR

.270/.313/.373/.685,   140 BB/473 SO,    57 SB/43 CS

Fielding stats: Minors, shortstop:

678 G/3065 TC,   1117 PO/1771 A,  177 E/406 DP,  RF 4.26/.942 Fld%

Fielding stats: Minors, third base:

10 G/21 TC,        4 PO/16 A,    1 E/1 DP,      2.00 RF/.952 Fld%

Fielding stats: Minors, second base:

101 G/505 TC,     193 PO/291 A,    21 E/74 DP,    4.79 RF/.958 Fld%

Triunfel made his major league debut in 2012, in September, when he was called up by the Mariners. In ten games he had five hits in 22 ABs, for a respectable .227 average. His 2013 major league season was less inspiring, with Triunfel being able to muster only six hits in 44 ABs for a .136 average.

As is so often the case, after he was released from the Mariners once the 2014 spring training session was over, the Los Angeles Dodgers snapped him up and assigned him to the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes. He bounced back and forth between the Dodgers and the Isotopes, garnering two hits in fifteen at-bats during the year, including his fist major league home run on June 17th against the Rockies, but was designated for assignment on September 1st.

San Francisco signed Triunfel to a contract in November, and invited him to their camp this spring. I can’t pretend to have any insight into what Triumfel has going for him that would explain why the Giants are interested. With visiting hitting instructor Jeff Kent in camp and the rest of the Giants coaches on staff to take mental notes, one can only assume that they are looking for those traits which identify this kid as San Francisco Giants material.

San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy looks on. (15) Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants scouting combine has been at its job for a long time and one would expect that there are numerous reasons to give this twenty-five-year-old a close look in the desert. He bats and throws right-handed, and he has played extensively at second and third base, so there is the big picture to consider.

With so many talented players in camp, what will it take to make an impression on Giants’ management? Even on his best day, there are five others trying to jump through smaller hoops, with more flames leaping out of them. It’s a daunting task and one that so many are willing to attempt.

I wish they could all succeed.

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 DelfinoBrandon Hicks and Kelby Tomlinson.