Outfielder Austin Dean is available on waivers and he could be a nice value pickup for the San Francisco Giants.
In order to make room for free-agent signing Francisco Cervelli on the 40-man roster, the Miami Marlins recently designated outfielder Austin Dean for assignment. Could he be of interest to the San Francisco Giants?
Team president Farhan Zaidi has actively scoured the waiver wire since taking control of the front office, and he hit on a waiver claim of Alex Dickerson last summer.
Dean, 26, has yet to find success at the MLB level, hitting .223/.268/.388 for a 75 OPS+ in 311 plate appearances at the big league level over the past two seasons.
However, he has flat-out raked at Triple-A the past two seasons, with numbers that definitely jump off the page:
- 2018: 358 PA, .326/.397/.475, 25 XBH (9 HR), 54 RBI, 58 R
- 2019: 282 PA, .337/.401/.635, 38 XBH (18 HR), 57 RBI, 48 R
A fourth-round pick in the 2012 draft, Dean began his first full season in the Marlins organization as the team’s No. 19 prospect, according to Baseball America. All told, he found a place among the team’s top 30 prospect six different times, peaking at No. 7 prior to the 2016 season.
MLB.com offered up the following scouting report back in 2018:
"Dean is a disciplined hitter with a quick swing and a knack for putting the barrel on the ball. Though he’s physically strong and shows good raw power during batting practice, his line-drive bat path and whole-field approach continues to produce more doubles than home runs during games. Dean gets out of the box well for a right-handed hitter and shows average speed when he gets going."
With an abundance of left-handed hitting outfielders, the Giants would stand to benefit from adding the right-handed hitting Dean to the mix.
Ideally, he would clear waivers and be signed to a minor league deal, so he doesn’t occupy a spot on the 40-man roster and can be easily stashed in Triple-A to start the year.
For now, he’s a name worth monitoring on the waiver wire as spring training draws ever closer.