San Francisco Giants: Prospect Peter Maris making an immediate impact
By Jeff Young
This past winter, the San Francisco Giants selected Peter Maris in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft.
The 25-year-old was assigned to the San Francisco Giants High-A affiliate, the San Jose Giants, so he is not on the cusp of forcing his way on to the San Francisco Giants roster.
While he is not considered a prospect at this stage of his career, he was targeted by Farhan Zaidi for a reason. With Zaidi’s reputation for finding diamonds in the rough, every transaction like this is worth dissecting.
Interestingly, Maris was never actually selected in the actual amateur draft. Rather, he was signed as an undrafted free agent out of UC Santa Barbara in 2015 by the Tamp Bay Rays.
Maris, who is not related to Roger Maris, is a middle infielder. Despite being able to player multiple positions, Maris has recorded generally poor defensive numbers at every position.
That said, Maris may not be playing in the field any time soon:
The Giants are likely trying to ease Maris back into game action by assigning him to San Jose. When he is able to play the field again is not yet known.
Throughout his minor league career, Maris has posted a solid .280/.361/.405 slash line. He has good bat-to-ball skills, as evidenced by his 14.0 percent strikeout rate.
In addition to this, he has a stout 11.2 percent walk rate. Since Zaidi is a fan of strike zone awareness, that is likely the trait that caught his attention.
Maris debuted for the San Francisco Giants High-A affiliate in San Jose this past week, and he made an immediate impact.
In his first four games, Maris has gone 6-for-10 while posting a 1.650 OPS. He has also drawn six walks, thereby living up to his reputation of having good on-base skills.
The highest level Maris has played at is AA. It is possible the California League’s competition level is below his skill set. During his time in AA last season, Maris batted .248 with a .782 OPS.
However, if Maris continues to hit like he has, he will not be in San Jose for long. The upper levels of the Giants minor league system are thin on middle infielders, and a player with Maris’ skill set could help that situation once his arm is fully recovered.
Given his immediate impact, the question is not the bat at that level. It is when he will be able to return to the field.
So while Maris is not currently listed among the San Francisco Giants top prospects, he’s one to watch thanks to his hot start in San Jose.