SF Giants: Slugging Prospect Goes Unclaimed for Baltimore
By Jeff Young
The waiver wires never sleeps, but one former SF Giants prospect went unclaimed after a brief trip on waivers.
The Baltimore Orioles announced on Monday that outfielder Chris Shaw went unclaimed and was outrighted to Triple-A. Shaw was designated for assignment following the Orioles’ signing of shortstop Freddy Galvis.
This was Shaw’s second time being on waivers this offseason. The first was when the Giants designated him for assignment in November to make room for four prospects, who were eligible for the Rule 5 draft. Shaw would then get claimed by Baltimore, which seemed like a good landing spot given his power and the fluid state of the Orioles 40-man roster.
Former SF Giants Slugging Prospects goes Unclaimed
Shaw was originally drafted by the Giants in the first round of the 2015 draft out of Boston College. San Franciso received that pick as compensation after Pablo Sandoval rejected a qualifying offer and signed with the Boston Red Sox on a five-year, $90 million contract.
Despite being a college bat with a high draft pedigree, Shaw made a deliberate ascent through the minor league ranks. Over the years, the Giants challenged him to be more selective at the plate. This included a demotion to Double-A to begin the 2019 season. On top of this, the Boston College product was asked to start getting time in the outfield beginning in 2017 .
Across five minor league seasons, the left-handed bat slashed .279/.340/.520 with 109 home runs and 353 RBI. While Shaw posted some impressive power numbers, including a season in which he swatted 28 home runs in 2019, it came with a very high 25.3 percent strikeout rate.
In 2018, Shaw earned a promotion to the major league roster at the end of the year. He recorded ten hits in 54 at-bats with a massive home run, but it came with 23 strikeouts as well:
By the time 2019 rolled around, Farhan Zaidi has taken over as the Giants president of baseball operations and it appeared that Shaw had fallen down the depth chart. He was called up to the Giants roster yet again, but only mustered one hit in 18 at-bats.
In 2020, it seemed clear that Shaw was destined for another organization as he was initially left off of the list for the alternate training site in Sacramento. He eventually made his way over there, but it took an unusually long time for him to even get the call.
Baltimore looked like a good landing spot for the slugging outfielder. After all, Camden Yards is known as a hitter-friendly ballpark, and Shaw’s power would have played well there. It still could, but after being outrighted off of the 40-man, the left-handed bat has an uphill battle to climb to make it back. Nevertheless, the hope is that Shaw eventually taps into that potential that made him a first-round pick not that long ago.