The San Francisco Giants haven’t produced a legitimate outfielder out of their farm system in decades. That is all about to stop this year, thanks to Steven Duggar.
The San Francisco Giants farm system isn’t top ten, and likely isn’t in the top half of any rankings anywhere. But one prospect in Steven Duggar is turning heads this spring training.
Duggar has been in the conversations surrounding the Giants and their future, pretty much the entire offseason. We’ve written on him as a site, and it was clear in the Giants offseason planning that they were prepared for him to step up and take his spot. They acquired Austin Jackson, but immediately categorized him as a fourth outfielder by calling him, “a great depth addition” in their press release.
The question after that was whether or not they would fill the starter hole or let Duggar win them over. They handed him the chance, and so far he’s delivered.
Duggar has posted a .375/.412/.812/1.224 slashline in 16 at bats, with three homers and a couple stolen bases. Sunday, he flashed his plus rated defense with a couple good reads, and some rangey rundowns of fly-balls.
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A lot of times, players capitalize on lack luster pitching in the later innings of spring training. It’s usually the double-a and triple-a guys who end up getting the run out after the fifth or sixth innings. But Duggar’s homers haven’t come off slouches. Two of his three homers have come off of Homer Bailey and Kenta Maeda. Those are legitimate big league guys.
Everything from Scottsdale so far has shown that Duggar is ready to play. He’s hitting well, playing good defense, stealing bases; he’s the guy they thought he would be. Now the question of, “Do we start him on opening day” comes up.
As far as I’m concerned, they should. You could get an extra year out of service time from him, much in the mirror of Kris Bryant‘s situation, by sitting him in Sacramento until May. But the Giants don’t seem like the type of organization to do that, and Duggar isn’t as much of a “sure thing” prospect as Bryant was.
Hopefully, for me, Duggar gets the nod on opening day. My friend and I have a bet going that it will be either Duggar or Jackson. The loser has to buy the first round when our “crew” goes to Boston in may for a bachelor party. So personally, I’m hoping it’s Duggar all the way, and the early returns point to that.