The San Francisco Giants had many contributors to their 2016 post-season run, but nobody more unlikely than Conor Gillaspie. The former first round pick of Giants had as good an October as any Giant and that success is likely to lead to another year in San Francisco.
“He’s not gonna go anywhere, he doesn’t want to go anywhere,” Kuiper told the Murph and Mac show on Wednesday morning. “The Giants are not going to be cheap with this guy. If you’ve got to pay him a little extra, then pay him a little extra for what he did in the postseason against the Cubs, and of course the big swing of the bat against the Mets. He’s a great kid, and he’s very very popular in that clubhouse.”
Gillaspie is a former first round pick of the San Francisco Giants back in 2008. After being traded to the Chicago White Sox in 2013, the former 37th overall pick returned to the Giants in 2016. Gillaspie played mostly a utility role until Matt Duffy was traded and Eduardo Nunez went down with injury. Conor took over the everyday third base duties and became a solid contributor.
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His contributions exploded in October. His home run off Jeurys Familia in the National League Wild Card game helped Madison Bumgarner and the Giants finally take hold of an epic pitchers duel against Noah Syndergaard. Gillaspie would go on to slash .421/.421/.684 for an OPS of 1.105 in 19 post-season at bats in the Wild Card and National League Division Series against the eventual World Series champion Chicago Cubs.
He will likely head into 2017 competing with Nunez and possibly top prospect Christian Arroyo for the everyday third baseman job. His ability to hit from the right side and pinch hit should guarantee him a spot on the roster on Opening Day.
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