San Francisco Giants: A look at the 2018 Non Roster Invites
Ahh, the well discussed Steven Duggar. The heir to the center-field throne at AT&T Park. Duggar is going to be given a serious chance to get onto the 25 man roster. And that’s fair. This fall he made the Arizona Fall League “All Prospect Team,” voted upon by scouts and managers in the prospect league. Duggar became a regular fixture in center field for the Scottsdale Scorpions, giving most scouts a chance to see his improvements in 2017. He missed almost all of the 2017 season due to injury, and only got 164 at bats, mostly at the Single-A level.
Duggar performed well though, posting an .810 OPS after jumping into the fold straight from injury rehab, without a spring training of any sorts. Duggar’s defense is honestly big league ready according to most scouts, and frankly has been since he stepped into the organization. The biggest area of concern is his bat.
In the minors he’s done really well, posting an overall .292/.384/.427/.811 slashline in 900 at-bats in the minors. The problem is that only 46 of those at-bats have come above AA. While AAA isn’t where stud prospects are made, that still is a little concerning if they have any inclination to hand him the starting job come opening day. Duggar will be in the big league fold this year no matter what.
Barring injury he’ll be on the 25 man roster at some point. It’s no longer a matter of “If,” but “when.” The question is does he show enough in Spring Training that convinces them they don’t need to go get another center fielder, or does he show enough in Spring Training to get the 25 man nod? If the answer is no to either of those, then I wouldn’t put it past Evans to pull the trigger for a centerfielder out of place somewhere else.
Shaw is another intriguing prospect. He was listed in the top 10 1B for the last few seasons, until the Giants transitioned him to the outfield last season. Shaw has shown strides in his outfield play, but still isn’t ready to field the position. If he was ready to field the position, Bobby Evans thinks he could play right away. Evans said this to the then KNBR (Now Mercury News) reporter, Kerry Crowley:
Shaw’s bat has never been an issue barring him from a rise to the bigs. It’s his defense. This spring, we should hopefully see some extended run of Chris Shaw in the San Francisco Giants outfield. Take a good look at his defense. If it looks good and he’s raking, he could very well bump one of Jarrett Parker or Mac Williamson off the 40-man with a stellar spring.