SF Giants:Parker and Williamson Making Decisions Difficult
At the beginning of the winter, the San Francisco Giants looked like a team that had little room for free-agent additions. The team, hoping to add depth and push the younger prospects, went out and signed Kyle Blanks, Gorkys Hernandez, Conor Gillaspie, and Grant Green. Barring injury, one of them might keep Jarrett Parker or Mac Williamson in the minors to start the season.
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Both Parker and Williamson are primarily outfielders for the SF Giants and both are power hitters who hit the ball extremely hard. Parker hits from the left side, giving him a slight edge, even if they had equal numbers, due to the need for a lefty off the bench.
Today, both Parker and Williamson continued to make the decision difficult on Bruce Bochy and his staff. In a split-squad game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, in which the Giants lost 9-5, Parker went 2-5 with 2 runs driven in and blasting his second home run of the spring. He has also done a strong job in right field, and seems to have enough speed to play center if needed.
Williamson provided some punch in a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim which ended in the same fashion, a 9-5 loss. He hit a two-run home run in the 5th, which gives him 3 on the young spring.
Hernandez has a good look out in the outfield, and can also handle the bat. But his abilities are similar to Gregor Blanco, and therefore, not as essential.
Blanks is the most intriguing of the group, as his power, and ability to handle first as well as the outfield are benefits. But he may need more time in the minor leagues to build up to a more consistent role. He may be a player who needs to play every day in order to hit well.
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If the Giants carry 12 pitchers and 13 position players, and assuming Kelby Tomlinson has shown enough to take over Joaquin Arias‘ utility job, there are two spots left on the bench for this entire group.
Green has major league experience and looks like a serviceable infielder/outfielder and is handling the bat well so far (2-4 today and .333 batting average for the spring). His biggest asset is his ability to play third base as well as the outfield.
Gillaspie also has significant big league experience after leaving the Giants a few years back. He has the advantage of hitting left-handed, and can hit to all fields. He could really exploit the gaps at AT&T, is now a more veteran presence, so a role coming off of the bench may not bother him. He has played third and first this spring, and is hitting .286 so far.
Whatever route they take, the Giants have made a habit of choosing the right mix of guys coming out of spring training. The player must mesh with a close-knit team, and their chances of getting a ring increase with the chance of playing in the orange and black.