Former SF Giants Infield Prospect Hits the Waiver Wire

The Atlanta Braves announced a series of roster moves on Tuesday including designating former SF Giants infield prospect Charlie Culberson for assignment.

Since being traded by the SF Giants to the Colorado Rockies in 2012, Culberson has strung together a solid career as a utility player.

Giants history might look a little different if they never swung that deal as they received Marco Scutaro in exchange for the Georgia native.

Scutaro became white-hot upon touching down in San Francisco. In 268 plate appearances down the stretch in 2012, the right-handed hitter slashed a .362/.385/.473 line (144 OPS+) with a 4.9 percent walk rate against a 5.2 percent strikeout rate.

Yes, his bat-to-ball skills were a perfect addition to a lineup that generated a .327 on-base percentage and executed fundamental and situational hitting as well as anyone.

The Giants easily slid into the playoffs with a 94-68 overall record. Upon reaching the playoffs, Scutaro did not take his foot off of the gas.

He went 14-28 with six runs scored and 4 RBI as he earned NLCS MVP honors against the ST. Louis Cardinals and led the Giants to the World Series on the thinnest of margins.

Former SF Giants prospect is back in the news

Eight years after that trade, Culberson is back in the news as he was placed on waivers today while the Braves made a series of roster moves.

Culberson did not see much action in 2020. He collected one hit in only seven at-bats with four strikeouts. That was a large enough sample for the Braves to move on from the veteran utility man.

Throughout his career, the 31-year-old has slashed a .249/.293/.391 line (80 OPS+) with 23 home runs and 111 RBI.

The 2018 season was a career year for the right-handed bat as Culberson generated a strong .792 OPS with 12 home runs and 45 RBI.

That said, Culberson’s value has come from his ability to handle multiple positions. He has seen extensive time at shortstop, second base, third base, and even left field.

Culberson, who the Giants originally selected in the first round of the 2007 draft, came up as a middle infielder so his ability to move around the diamond should not be surprising. He did, however, learn to play the outfield on the fly when he was with the Rockies.

He continued to see time in the infield and outfield with both the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Braves while playing a key utility role.

Despite his lengthy career, Culberson never saw much action with the Giants. He accumulated just 23 plate appearances with three hits, one RBI, and seven strikeouts with the Orange and Black as a 23-year-old in 2012.

Despite the short tenure, he was a regular presence in the Giants minor league system as he made a gradual ascent through the minor league circuit before debuting with the Giants.

After today’s news, Culberson finds himself in unfamiliar territory as he sits in DFA limbo. Given his versatility and experience, there should be plenty of interest in the right-handed bat. Though, I do not think the Giants will be one of those interested teams. Their roster is full of right-handed hitting, middle infielders as is.