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SF Giants: Outfielder Ka’ai Tom signed to minors deal

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 16: Ka'ai Tom #60 of the Pittsburgh Pirates at bat against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on June 16, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 16: Ka'ai Tom #60 of the Pittsburgh Pirates at bat against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on June 16, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
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SF Giants, Ka'ai Tom
WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 16: Ka’ai Tom #60 of the Pittsburgh Pirates at bat against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on June 16, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)

The SF Giants made another late-season addition by signing outfielder Ka’ai Tom to a minor league contract. He joins first baseman John Nogowski as the second player signed by the Giants this week.

SF Giants: Outfielder Ka’ai Tom signed to minors deal

Beyond the fact that it was a minors contract, the other terms of the deal are not yet known. Nogowksi inked a two-year contract earlier this week that keeps him in the organization through 2022.

It would be a bit odd if the Giants signed Tom just for the final two weeks of the season, so it is possible that his contract runs through 2022 as well.

The similarities between Nogowski and Tom do not end there as they were both members of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization as recently as a couple of days ago. Both played for the Pirates at the same time, were released at the same time and signed a contract with the Giants within days of each other.

For Tom, it is the third stop he is making in 2021. The outfield prospect was originally selected by the Cleveland Indians in the fifth round of the 2015 draft out of the University of Kentucky. After five seasons in the Indians organization, Tom was plucked away in the Rule 5 Draft by the Oakland A’s in December of 2020.

He struggled in his brief tenure with the A’s, collecting just one hit in 16 at-bats before being placed on waivers and claimed by the Pirates. Oddly, the 27-year-old did pitch one scoreless inning in a blowout game with the A’s as well.

His struggles continued with the Pirates, slashing .152/.308/.261 with two home runs, 11 RBI, and nine runs scored in 117 plate appearances. However, this includes a stout 14.5 percent walk rate against a 25.6 percent strikeout rate. Furthermore, he only swung at 27.7 percent of pitches outside of the strikezone in 2021, which is an area that the Giants have been improving upon since Farhan Zaidi took over as team president of baseball operations in November of 2018.

While his surface-level stats are not too promising, the front office likes his patient approach and selective eye at the plate. As a minor leaguer, Tom posted a solid 19.7 percent strikeout rate so the Giants likely see him as someone that they can develop into a more effective hitter thanks to his selective approach and contact skills.

Related Story. SF Giants: Reyes Moronta clears outright waivers

The Giants are focusing on winning the National League West as they hold a two-game lead with seven games left to play. That said, adding depth still remains a priority for the front office as they continue to quietly make moves with an eye towards 2022 as well.

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