The SF Giants swung a trade with the Minnesota Twins on Thursday night to add depth in a much-needed area.
Outfielder LaMonte Wade Jr. was traded to the SF Giants in exchange for right-handed reliever Shaun Anderson. The move adds to a surplus of outfielders that San Francisco currently has on the 40-man roster, but it is one that makes a lot of sense.
Wade gives the Giants a versatile outfielder who hits from the left side and has two options remaining. He was originally drafted by the Twins in the ninth round of the 2015 draft out of the University of Maryland.
SF Giants acquisition adds to key area
In five minor league seasons, the 27-year-old slashed .276/.389/.407 with 40 home runs and 238 RBI. He does not hit for a lot of power, but he boasts a stout 14.6 walk rate against a 13.5 percent strikeout rate as a minor leaguer. He has an idea of the strike zone and when he swings, he generally makes contact.
He debuted with the Twins in 2019. Since then, he has posted a .684 OPS with two home runs in 113 plate. That said, when he hits a home run, he makes sure it counts:
On the surface, his numbers do not jump off of the page, but he does hit right-handed pitchers well enough (.238/.354/.393 line in 99 PAs) to envision a niche role. He adds depth to the outfield that Steven Duggar and Jaylin Davis have yet to establish in that he has somewhat of a predictable track record. In a sense, Wade raises the floor of the 40-man roster.
San Francisco needed more depth and they achieved that by adding the left-handed bat. The Giants’ primary outfield mix consists of Mike Yastrzemski, Alex Dickerson, Darin Ruf, Mauricio Dubon, and Austin Slater.
However, both Slater and Dickerson have a history of injuries, so the Giants need to protect and prepare against this. On top of this, the Giants do not have a reliable center fielder that they can pencil in behind Dubon. Yastrzemski has some experience in center but he looks to be better suited for a corner outfield role.
Wade has gotten a lot of work in center field since being drafted in 2015, so he should allow the Giants to better manage Dubon’s workload in 2021. At the end of the day, the addition of Wade gives San Francisco an extra outfield bat who hits from the left side to pair with Dickerson and Yastrzemski on days they are facing a tough righty.