The Atlanta Braves continued to bolster infield depth on Tuesday by signing their second former SF Giants infielder this week.
This time, it is former SF Giants middle infielder Ehire Adrianza who will be competing with Pablo Sandoval for a roster spot in March.
The switch-hitter originally signed with the Giants as a 16-year-old during the 2005-2006 J2 signing period out of Venezuela. As a glove-first infielder, Adrianza made a very gradual and deliberate ascent up the minor league ranks.
Ehire Adrianza Signs with the Atlanta Braves
In 12 seasons in the minors, the 31-year-old has slashed .254/.338/.356 with 149 doubles, 27 home runs, and 269 RBI. He earned a cup of coffee with the Giants in 2013 where he recorded four hits in 18 at-bats.
Over the next several seasons, he filled in capably as a utility infielder while showing off a solid glove, good range, and a strong arm. However, it never fully came together with the bat as he posted just a .605 OPS with the Orange and Black while battling injuries.
Following the 2016 season, San Francisco placed him on waivers with the hopes of sneaking him through. The Milwaukee Brewers had a different plan in mind as they placed a claim on him. Though, his stay was short-lived given that the Brewers had a roster crunch of their own.
He ended up on waivers again, and the Minnesota Twins won the claim this time. Since then, the middle infielder has carved out a nice role with the Twins. In four seasons, he slashed .253/.317/.377 (87 OPS+) 13 home runs and 88 RBI while being worth 1.6 WAR before becoming a free agent.
In the field, Adrianza was a swiss-arm-knife for Minnesota. Shortstop is where he has the most experience, but he appeared regularly at second base, third base, and even made a few starts in left field during his Twins’ tenure.
Given his light bat, the more positions he can handle, the better his odds of making an impact. Adrianza is set to face some pretty stiff competition with Sandoval and Johan Camargo also competing for a utility role with the Braves.
As the Twins discovered, he has the skill set to be a traditional player off of the bench in that he can play multiple positions while also bring some offensive value to the table. Nevertheless, he will need to show that again early and often with the Braves in Spring Training if he wants to make the club.