The SF Giants promoted versatile infielder Daniel Robertson to the big-league roster. He replaces Joey Rickard who was placed on the team’s 60-day injured list yesterday.
The SF Giants acquired utilityman Daniel Robertson in exchange for cash or a player to be named later on Sunday from the Tampa Bay Rays. He’ll now be joining the big-league roster, according to multiple Giants beat writers. The team had an open spot on the roster after placing outfielder Joey Rickard on the 60-day injured list with a shoulder injury.
Robertson was drafted in the first round of the 2012 MLB draft by the Oakland Athletics. Current Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi was a part of the A’s brass at the time.
In 2014, with the A’s High-A affiliate in Stockton, Robertson mashed 15 home runs and walked nearly as much (72) as he struck out (94) at just 20 years old. That offseason, as Robertson began appearing on top-100 prospect lists, he became a centerpiece in the A’s acquisition of Ben Zobrist from the Tampa Bay Rays.
After switching organizations, Robertson failed to replicate the home run power he’d flashed at Stockton. While he reached the majors in 2017, he looked more like a future utilityman than an everyday player. That still appears to be the case.
In 2018, Robertson flashed some everyday player upside, posting a .797 OPS with 9 home runs in just 87 games. However, an injury ultimately prevented him from getting a more extended look. The Rays incredible system depth alongside Robertson’s regression in production ultimately buried him on the depth chart and eventually left him on the outside of the roster looking in.
With sporadic playing time over the past three seasons, Robertson has produced a .231/.340/.352 triple-slash in 836 plate appearances. Still, even if he doesn’t produce to a much better clip than that, he has value on the defensive end.
He’s a strong shortstop and carries that ability across the infield. Furthermore, he’s also played some left field as well. Paired with Mauricio Dubon, the Giants now have a backup at every position except catcher.
If you want to dream about Robertson, you probably look to his strikeout rate. While he has struck out in over 25% of his big-league plate appearances, over his minor-league career, Robertson’s 17.4% strikeout rate suggests a swing adjustment could enable him to more consistently tap into his power without an overwhelming amount of punchouts.
Just a few months older than Dubon, Robertson’s profile isn’t too dissimilar. Dubon has done a better job putting the ball in play but also walks at a substantially lower rate than Robertson. Given how well Dubon has taken to centerfield, Robertson offers another versatile infield piece to allow the SF Giants to more freely deploy Dubon their and still have another strong defensive option on the infield.