It’s sad that Steven Duggar is out for the season because he came into the year as one of the most promising young players on the San Francisco Giants roster. Now, after a putrid offensive season (.619 OPS), he is firmly on the roster bubble going into next year.
The flip side is that the Giants pieced together a decent outfield mix in Kevin Pillar, Mike Yastrzemski, Alex Dickerson, and Austin Slater. All are slated for a decent number of at-bats through the rest of this season, and all are under team control for the 2020 campaign.
Despite the emergence of that group, the Giants could still consider bringing in another outfielder, potentially eyeing a more established veteran given the fact that Yastrzemski, Dickerson, and Slater are all relatively unproven.
The top free-agent outfielders will be Marcell Ozuna, Nicholas Castellanos, Yasiel Puig, Corey Dickerson, and Nick Markakis.
If no one from that group catches the front office’s eye, the Giants could roll with what they have on hand and count on improved minor league depth and another year of in-season waiver claims and trades to buttress that outfield group. That approach certainly worked this year.
In September, we’re likely to see a few new faces patrolling Oracle Park’s vast outfield.
Mike Gerber, Chris Shaw, and Joe McCarthy are all on the 40-man roster and could be called up come September. Shaw has focused on improving his plate discipline this year and raised his on-base percentage from .308 to .344 at the Triple-A level.
Jaylin Davis could be the X-factor.
While the 25-year-old is not currently on the 40-man roster, the team has an open spot right now and he’s made a strong case to claim it. Acquired from the Minnesota Twins in the Sam Dyson deal, he’s hitting .308/.402/.605 with 26 doubles, 35 home runs, and 92 RBI in 121 games between Double-A and Triple-A on the year.
If Davis can make some noise down the stretch or Shaw can maintain his improved approach at the highest level, maybe the team doesn’t have to look at free-agent outfielders after all.