The San Diego Padres trimmed down its minor league talent pool on Saturday by releasing former SF Giants pitching prospect Franklin Van Gurp. He will immediately become a free agent. Giants fans may not recognize the name, but he was apart of a key transaction for the new front office. San Diego acquired Van Gurp from San Francisco in exchange for outfielder Alex Dickerson.
The end of spring training is usually a time where a lot of minor leaguers hit the open market. The timing for this may be a little different this year given that minor-league camp is occurring after major-league camp. Normally, the two camps take place concurrently. Nonetheless, Van Gurp has hit the open market.
The San Diego Padres released former SF Giants prospect Franklin Van Gurp
The move is somewhat surprising given Van Gurp’s previous performance in the minor leagues. The right-handed hurler was originally drafted by the Giants in the 25th round of the 2017 draft out of Florida International University. Van Gurp was moved up the minor-league ranks aggressively, reaching as high as Double-A by 2018.
Despite this, he began the 2019 campaign back at Class-A where he registered a 3.77 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 12.6 K/9, and a 4.44 SO/W in 28.2 frames with the Augusta Greenjackets. This earned him one more trip to Double-A where he yielded five runs in a brief showing across only five innings.
Midway through that season, the 25-year-old was traded to the Padres for Dickerson. Of course, the move has paid off handsomely for the Giants. Dickerson had been an oft-injured player buried on the depth chart in San Diego. The Giants were clearly betting on better health and more consistent playing time.
The left-handed bat has done nothing but hit since joining San Francisco. In parts of two seasons, he has slashed .294/.361/.552 (144 OPS+) with 16 home runs, 23 doubles, and 53 RBI.
Interestingly, the Giants have put him in a position to succeed while managing his workload, which may have been the key to his relatively good health since the trade. The 30-year-old is a platoon player as he mashes right-handed pitching to the tune of an .863 OPS over his career.
The Giants have recognized this and they have limited his exposure to left-handed pitching. This not only improves his bottom-line stats but gives him chances to recover during the grind of a 162-game season.
Franklin Van Gurp’s tenure in the San Diego Padres organization has likely come to an end. His inclusion in the trade to acquire Dickerson serves as an example of the list of shrewd moves Farhan Zaidi has made since taking over as team president of baseball operations for the SF Giants.