The San Francisco Giants continue hunting for bargains on the waiver wire with their latest claim of John Andreoli. Derek Law was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Andreoli.
Andreoli has definitely bounced around the league recently. He was with the Cubs, then he signed with the Mariners, then he joined the Orioles, then he returned to the Mariners, then he caught on with the Rangers, and now he is a member of the San Francisco Giants.
The good sign is Andreoli is in demand. The bad sign is teams have not held on to him for long. In addition to this, he has posted a .230/.284/.262 slash line at the major league level. That type of production does not inspire long-term staying power.
Regardless, Andreoli offers some intrigue. He carries an extensive sports pedigree. His dad was a lineman for the New England Patriots, his grandfather was a college baseball coach, and his cousin is relief pitcher, Daniel Bard.
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On the baseball field, Andreoli has a defined skill set. He is fast, and has experience at all 3 outfield positions. He has posted a .270/.373/..388 slash line throughout his minor league career. However, this includes a .261/.371/.408 slash line in four AAA seasons.
The good news is that advanced minor league pitching has not exposed holes in Andreoli’s swing and approach. The bad news is he does not offer much power. Though, he has seen a slight uptick in his homerun figures in recent seasons. His power surge has come at the cost of a much higher skrikeout rate than he had demonstrated earlier in his professional career.
Andreoli’s bat is not going to win any batting titles. He probably will not win any home run titles either. He does have a skill with the bat. He has posted a 13.7% walk rate across 4 seasons at AAA.
This is a type that Farhan Zaidi has seemingly targeted. Getting power hitters to play at Oracle Park (that feels weird to type) is not going to be easy. It probably does not help that the Giants have not developed power hitters in recent seasons either.
However, as a team, the San Francisco Giants posted a .300 OBP in 2018. This is an area the Giants might be able to improve. Andreoli is another example of player with a robust walk rate that the Giants have added.
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This is the type of player Zaidi has targeted both through waiver claims and while handing out minor league contracts. There is value in a player demonstrating a patient approach, and forcing pitchers to work.
In addition to this, Andreoli is fast. He has stolen 258 bases across all minor league levels. Similar to what we saw with Alen Hanson last season, Andreoli seems to have the type of speed to wreak havoc on the bases.
Sadly, Andreoli’s waiver claim came at the expense of Derek Law. Law had a promising rookie season, but has struggled mightily ever since.
Whether Andreoli makes an impact at the major league level remains to be seen. His acquisition could be similar to Mike Gerber in that Zaidi brings him in to the organization, but not keep him on the 40-man roster.
Zaidi is building depth at the minor league level. He has added several players who are not on the 40-man roster, but who might be able to fill a niche role next season.
With the players Zaidi has added, it is easy to find a skill set. Some have shown a good, patient approach while others have shown improved production in recent seasons suggesting a mechanical adjustment. Andreoli is more of the former, but it is easy to see what he brings to the table.