Since his promotion from Triple-A, San Francisco Giants outfielder Austin Slater has impressed with not only his bat, but with his arm.
Is Austin Slater the real deal for the San Francisco Giants?
He certainly looks like a different guy than the one we saw in 2017 and 2018 when all he managed was pedestrian offensive numbers at the MLB level.
Thus far in the 2019 season, he has turned that around as he is hitting .391 with 9 hits in 23 at-bats, three of which have left the yard.
It’s obviously a small sample size, but it appears that the swing change he made during the offseason is working. It clearly worked in the minor league, where he was hitting .308 with 12 home runs and 45 RBI prior to his call-up.
Saturday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers was the perfect example of why Giants fans should be excited about his progress.
He entered the game in the top of the seventh and promptly gave the Giants the lead, doubling into the left field game to drive in Brandon Crawford.
His contributions didn’t end there, though.
In the bottom of the eighth, with reliever Sam Dyson in the process of coughing the lead, Slater delivered an absolute seed to home plate. It was such a good throw that Keston Hiura was forced to hold up at third base.
The next batter flew out to Slater again, and he threw another dart to Buster Posey at home plate, but an excellent slide from Hiura allowed him to score.
Then, in the top of the ninth, Slater again played a pivotal role in the Giants really, hitting a line drive single to right field and eventually coming around to score the tying run.
The Giants ended up losing the game, but without Slater’s efforts, it never would have been close in the first place. Clearly, he has become a valuable part of the team.
While it is certainly too soon to make any rash judgments, Slater’s early performance with his arm and bat have been impressive, to say the least.
If he can continue to produce at the plate and in the field, then he could become an extremely valuable piece of the puzzle going forward.