The Austin Jackson signing by the San Francisco Giants signals to me that they are comfortable with calling up Steven Duggar up in 2018.
While we all had dreams of the Giants signing or trading for an impact center fielder, we knew it was more likely they would pick from the bottom of the barrel.
Not to down A-Jax, but he’s a complimentary piece and not a game-changer.
I do think he will be a significant upgrade defensively, but I don’t expect to get much from him on offense. However, of the low cost options out there he was my favorite — so good move.
But what this signing signals for me is that the Giants believe Duggar is ready for the show.
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The reason for that line of thinking is that Duggar and Jackson make a perfect platoon. Jackson crushed left-handed pitching last year hitting .352 against them. But that may be a short sample size as he’s actually hit righties better over his career.
But with Duggar being a left-handed hitter they could form a platoon in center field.
I’m not sold on the notion that Duggar starts the season in the big leagues. He doesn’t even have over 1,000 minor league at-bats in his career.
A lot will depend on how he does in spring training. If he starts a lot of games and looks good against big league pitching, then he possibly breaks camp with the team. Otherwise, I think he spends some time in Triple-A before getting called up.
Jackson is capable of holding down the every day job in center field for a while, but at some point he’s going to need help.
While it might not happen right away in 2018, I think this signing definitely shows the confidence the Giants have in Duggar. I’m not sure when, but we’ll see him in the majors at some point this season in a platoon role with Jackson.