3 non-roster SF Giants position players to follow during spring training
2. Catcher Adrian Sugastey
You can never have enough catchers in camp. Adrian Sugastey will be one of the younger players in camp after finishing his age-20 season in 2023.
Not surprisingly, Sugastey is still raw in just about every facet of the game. However, he has excellent bat-to-ball skills, and boasts a quality hit tool with the chance of adding more power as he matures. The right-handed bat registered a .298/.333/.423 (104 wRC+) with four home runs, 23 RBI, and 20 runs in 264 High-A plate appearances. This includes a 4.9 percent walk rate, 14.0 percent strikeout rate, and a .125 ISO.
Sugastey's .125 ISO was a modest increase from the .093 ISO he posted with the San Jose Giants in 2022. Plus, he managed to bring down his strikeout rate from 15.6 percent in 2022 to 14.0 percent in 2023. These are encouraging signs given that he advanced up a level.
His defense is still very raw. His blocking and throwing skills need to be refined but that comes with more experience. With catchers, the path to development is usually slower, so there is a chance that he does become adequate behind the dish with time. The experience in major league camp should help his development.
3. Infielder/outfielder Yoshi Tsutsugo
Of the non-roster position players in camp, Yoshi Tsutsugo is the only one with any type of meaningful major league experience. And, he has had moments of success against major league pitching as well.
The Giants signed the veteran bat late in the 2023 season and there was a good chance that he appeared with the Giants if he had not sustained a fractured thump during a game with the Sacramento River Cats in September.
Tsutsugo had an excellent 10-year career in the NPB before joining the Tampa Bay Rays prior to the 2020 season. He struggled during that time and bounced around from the Rays to the Los Angeles Dodgers to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
During his stint with the Pirates in 2021, the lefty bat tallied an .883 OPS with eight home runs in 144 plate appearances. Pittsburgh re-signed him for the following season, bit he was unable to replicate his 2021 performance.
Tsutusgo registered a 1.014 OPS in 55 plate appearances with the Richmond Flying Squirrels before getting 16 plate appearances with Sacramento to finish the season. He became a free agent after the season but re-signed with the club in December.
While he has not had much success in the majors, the Giants do like his at-bat quality. The 32-year-old has an excellent 11.8 percent walk rate in his three-year career.
However, finding playing time might be tough as he is limited to first base and left field. The Giants have both of those positions covered, but they like what he brings to the table. If the depth at either position takes a hit, Tsutsugo could be one of the first names called.