The SF Giants swung a minor trade earlier this week, acquiring minor league infielder Will Toffey from the New York Mets in exchange for left-handed pitcher Anthony Banda. Interestingly, Toffey will receive a bit of a promotion as he was assigned to Triple-A despite never playing above Double-A in four seasons as a professional.
SF Giants: Will Toffey acquired in exchange for Anthony Banda
The Giants were hoping that Banda could serve as a potential major league option in a bulk innings rule but his performance never warranted it. The lefty originally came over to the Giants from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for cash after being designated for assignment by Tampa Bay.
San Francisco removed him from the 40-man roster this past winter, but he returned on a minor-league pact with an invite to spring training. The 2021 season has been a tough one for Banda as he has struggled to regain the form that once made him a top prospect in a stout Rays farm system.
In 10 appearances, the 27-year-old has registered a 6.86 ERA, 1.78 WHIP, 9.6 K/9, and a 2.33 SO/W ratio with the Sacramento River Cats. He yielded 52 hits across 39.1 frames in a tough Triple-A West environment that tends to favor the hitters. Hopefully, Banda will find better success in the Mets organization.
In exchange for Banda, the Giants acquired Will Toffey. In a lot of ways, Toffey fits what the Giants target in a position player in that he has a selective eye with modest power and can play several different positions. Of course, it helps that the left-handed bat went to Vanderbilt University as it seems that the front office wants as many Vanderbilt players as possible.
Despite these qualities, Toffey’s hit tool has not yet developed as a professional. In four minor league seasons, he has slashed .235/.360/.373 with 21 home runs and 115 RBI. This includes a 15.5 percent walk rate against a 25.2 percent strikeout rate.
The 2021 season has been a mixed bag for the 26-year-old infielder. In 123 plate appearances, he has slashed .178/.317/.386 with six home runs and 15 RBI. Despite a rough batting average, Toffey is still finding a way to get on base with a healthy 13.7 percent walk rate.
The power output is the number that stands out. Toffey’s six home runs represent a career-high as a professional and that is with nearly two months remaining in the minor league season. The Giants likely see his power as a tool that can be further developed.
In the field, the Vanderbilt University has spent the bulk of his time at the corner infield positions but he is beginning to see time in right field and left field as well. The Giants like his ability to move around the field, and he will join a River Cats team that has a bevy of versatile players on the roster.
This trade gives the Giants a better organizational fit in Toffey as it seemed unlikely that Banda would make an appearance for the major league club this season. Toffey has an interesting skill set that the front office continues to target and it will be interesting if his 2021 power output continues to grow down the stretch.