SF Giants Sign Left-Handed Hurler Sam Long to MiLB Deal

SF Giants hat. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
SF Giants hat. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images) /
SF Giants, Sam Long
SF Giants hat. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /

The SF Giants made a pair of minor-league signings on Wednesday that included a left-handed hurler Sam Long away from the Chicago White Sox organization.

Southpaw Sam Long was one of two free agents that signed minor-league contracts with the SF Giants on Wednesday. It was reported earlier yesterday that the team added 31-year old outfielder Jason Krizan to a minor-league pact. Long spent the 2019 and 2020 seasons in the Chicago White Sox organization.

Long, was originally drafted by the Rays in the 18th round of the 2016 draft out of Sacramento State and has made a slow ascent through the minor leagues. That said, the cancellation of the 2020 minor league season due to the COVID-19 pandemic obstructed what likely was going to be his first chance to pitch in the upper minor leagues.

Across three minor-league seasons, the 25-year-old has registered a 2.95 ERA, 1,169 WHIP, and a 27.2 percent strikeout rate against an 8.5 percent walk rate. In total, Long has appeared in 61 games as a professional with 43 of those games as a reliever. It would seem likely that the team will deploy him out of the pen as well.

His 3.20 SO/W ratio shows that he has strikeout stuff while being able to effectively command his pitches in the strike zone. According to GPT, his stuff does not look overpowering, but he seems to have a good feel on the mound:

Since Farhan Zaidi has taken over as the Giants president of baseball operations, he has been in an endless pursuit of pitching depth, especially from the left side. This pursuit has resulted in the Giants’ balance of arms to lean in favor of qualify left-handed arms. For example, seven bullpen arms accumulated over 15 innings of work in 2020, and five of those arms threw from the left side.

It is easy to see the strategy with this approach. The Los Angeles Dodgers, for example, have a number of good left-handed bats including Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, and Max Muncy, so the organization wants to have the arms to match up against those bats.

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Sam Long may not get promoted to the SF Giants big league roster at any point in 2021, but Zaidi’s habit for collecting left-handed arms has not gone unnoticed. Perhaps, the Giants feel like he is only an adjustment or two away from becoming an MLB arm.