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SF Giants promote hot-hitting infielder Thairo Estrada

WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA - MARCH 12: Thairo Estrada #71 of the New York Yankees at bat against the Washington Nationals during a Grapefruit League spring training game at FITTEAM Ballpark of The Palm Beaches on March 12, 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA - MARCH 12: Thairo Estrada #71 of the New York Yankees at bat against the Washington Nationals during a Grapefruit League spring training game at FITTEAM Ballpark of The Palm Beaches on March 12, 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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SF Giants, Thairo Estrada, New York Yankees
Current SF Giants infielder Thairo Estrada #71 during his time with the New York Yankees catches a ball thrown by Kyle Higashioka #66 of the New York Yankees as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 of the Toronto Blue Jays slides safely into second base while stealing during the sixth inning at Sahlen Field on September 07, 2020 in Buffalo, New York. (COVID-19). (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)

The SF Giants placed third baseman Evan Longoria on the injured list with a sprained left shoulder and recalled infielder Thairo Estrada from Triple-A Sacramento. Longoria is expected to miss four to six weeks while he rehabs his injury. Estrada has previously appeared in the big leagues with the New York Yankees and was acquired by the Giants for cash considerations.

The SF Giants placed Evan Longoria on the IL and recalled Thairo Estrada.

Estrada was originally signed by the New York Yankees as an international free agent in 2012. A shortstop prospect with an advanced feel defensively, he progressed through the minor leagues and became one of the Yankees top prospects despite never posting a slugging percentage above .400 from 2014-2018. Then, in 2019, Estrada seemed to change his approach in his first extended look at Triple-A.

After flashing minimal power alongside high contact rates, Estrada’s strikeout rate spiked to nearly 20% for the first time in his career. At the same time, he posted a career-high .452 slugging percentage and .186 isolated power. At 23, the Yankees decided to call him up to their big-league roster. He played all around the diamond and posted a respectable .250/.294/.438 triple-slash.

In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic shortened season, Estrada struggled mightily in limited playing time. He received 52 plate appearances across 26 games, striking out 19 times against just one walk and managing a meager .167/.231/.229 triple-slash. Heading into 2021, Estrada has an uphill battle to the Opening Day roster. He blasted three homers and generated an impressive .556 slugging, but the Yankees were confident enough in their infield depth to designate him for assignment and send him to San Francisco.

Since joining his second organization, Estrada has excelled. Through 25 games with the Sacramento River Cats, Estrada hit .381/.435/.629 with eight doubles, six home runs, and a solid strikeout-to-walk rate in 115 plate appearances. The 25-year-old has struggled defensively, already committing eight errors. However, his career track record suggests he should be a trustworthy option at second base and shortstop. He has some experience at third base, but the Giants will likely be better served playing Estrada up-the-middle and using Jason Vosler at the hot corner.

SF Giants Key Bat Finally Turning A Corner. Next

The SF Giants will thoroughly miss Evan Longoria while he recovers from his shoulder sprain. However, former New York Yankees prospect Thairo Estrada could be another intriguing young player who could make an impact at the big-league level.

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