SF Giants Under The Radar Targets
1. Travis Shaw
Travis Shaw is a 30-year-old left-handed-hitting infielder who spent last season playing for the Toronto Blue Jays. Before that, he was a member of the Milwaukee Brewers and the Boston Red Sox.
Focusing on his numbers though, he did not set the world on fire in 2020, hitting .239/.306/.411 with 6 home runs and 17 RBI. However, 2020 was a stark improvement from 2019, his last season with the Brewers in which he hit a dismal .157/.281/.270. Those numbers should inspire caution. At the same time, he is not far removed from incredible 2017 and 2018 seasons, where he looked like one of the best third basemen in baseball.
In 2017 he hit .273/.349/.513 with 31 home runs and 101 RBI. He backed up that great year with another solid one in 2018, hitting .241/.345/.480 with 32 home runs and 86 RBI. Now, it is doubtful that Shaw would put up the kind of numbers he did in 2017 and 2018 if the SF Giants ended up signing him. But his return to competence in 2020 suggests he’s heading in that direction.
Even if his true talent level is below his 2017 and 2018 play, it’s also probably better than what he has done over the past two seasons. He can play first base, second base, and third base, and, knowing Farhan Zaidi, with a little work he could probably play the corner outfield spots if need be.
In all, Shaw would be a low-risk, high-reward acquisition for the Giants. They could give him a chance to compete in Spring Training in 2021 as they did with Darin Ruf and see if he can rekindle some of that hitting he displayed in 2017 and 2018.