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SF Giants sign former Diamondbacks infielder to minor league deal

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 07: Wyatt Mathisen #27 of the Arizona Diamondbacks bats against the San Francisco Giants in the top of the eighth inning at Oracle Park on September 07, 2020 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 07: Wyatt Mathisen #27 of the Arizona Diamondbacks bats against the San Francisco Giants in the top of the eighth inning at Oracle Park on September 07, 2020 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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SF Giants, Wyatt Mathisen
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – SEPTEMBER 09: Wyatt Mathisen #27 of the Arizona Diamondbacks runs back to the dugout after scoring a run against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the second inning Chase Field on September 09, 2020. Mathisen signed with the SF Giants this week. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

The SF Giants signed corner infielder Wyatt Mathisen to a minor league contract earlier this week. They assigned him to their Triple-A affiliate, the Sacramento River Cats, according to a River Cats press release. Mathisen was drafted in the second round of the 2012 MLB draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates and appeared in MLB games with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2020 and 2021 but was recently released by the Seattle Mariners. In 50 Triple-A games this year, Mathisen has hit just .193/.321/.333.

Mathisen has a limited track record of exceptional offensive performances but has always received praise for his ability to record above-average strikeout and walk rates. Mathisen has struggled to consistently generate power but did show signs of progress from 2019-2020.

The SF Giants signed infielder Wyatt Mathisen to a milb deal.

Mathisen was considered the best high school catching prospect heading into the 2012 draft despite rarely playing the position. Scouts were confident his strong arm and above-average athleticism would profile well behind the plate, but that never translated to professional ball. After a pair of middling seasons in the lower minors

For most of his career, Mathisen was a contact-oriented player with power potential that never consistently played in games. However, the Corpus Christi, Texas native seemed to make some adjustments in 2018, his final season in the Pirates organization, that helped him reach double-digit homers in a season for the first time in his career.

Suddenly, in Mathisen’s first season with the Diamondbacks, he began hitting for power like never before. Across 95 minor league games in 2019 (87 of which at Triple-A), Mathisen blasted 22 doubles and 23 home runs after never posting more than 27 extra-base hits in a single season. Needless to say, Mathisen’s .288/.412/.592 triple-slash got the attention of Arizona’s front office, and he was rewarded with a big-league callup in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. While he only played nine games for the Dbacks, Mathisen hit two homers and recorded a solid .222/.364/.444 triple-slash in his stint.

Coming off his solid performance, Mathisen received a longer look this year but struck out in 21 of his 51 plate appearances and hit .119/.255/.190. Ready to move on from the veteran minor leaguer, the Tampa Bay Rays traded cash considerations for Mathisen and optioned him to Triple-A. Less than two months later, the Mariners traded cash considerations to the Rays for Mathisen before he was released on August 26th.

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Wyatt Mathisen becomes the latest professional veteran to join the SF Giants organization. A well-traveled infielder with recent big-league experience, Mathisen could help find his way back to the majors with a strong finish to the season at Triple-A.

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