The SF Giants made a minor move recently. According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, they have signed former 2017 seventh-round pick Chase Pinder to a minor league deal. There is no word as to whether this will include a camp invite.
SF Giants add 2017 7th-round pick on a minor league deal
Pinder, who is the younger brother of former Oakland A's utility bat Chad Pinder, had spent the first six years of his pro career in the St. Louis Cardinals organization before becoming a free agent in October. His foray into free agency did not last long as he quickly joined the Giants.
The right-handed bat was selected out of Clemson University and made a gradual ascent up the minor league ladder, reaching Triple-A for the first time in 2022. Like players drafted in the years leading up to the canceled 2020 season, his development was likely stalled to some extent.
Nevertheless, Pinder has put together a respectable career as a pro. Across six minor league seasons, he has registered a .250/.374/.377 line with a 14.9 percent walk rate, 21.3 percent strikeout rate, and a .127 ISO.
There were questions about his power coming out of college, but he reached double-digit home runs for the first time in 2022. Plus, Pinder's numbers have improved as he has faced off against more advanced competition.
In 279 plate appearances at Triple-A in 2023, the 27-year-old tallied a .265/.401/.417 line (114 wRC+) with six home runs, 34 RBI, and 43 runs. This includes a very strong 17.2 percent walk rate, 23.7 percent strikeout rate, and a .152 ISO. Power may not be his strength, but he offers good speed and a knack for getting on base.
Defensively, he has played primarily in center field as a pro but has experience in the corners as well. The former 2017 draftee could potentially be an above-average center fielder with speed, a strong arm, and good reads off of the bat.
The Giants are in the market for a pure center fielder. Pinder checks off that box, but certainly on the lower end of the organizational depth chart. More than likely, he is slated to Sacramento next season but could make some noise in spring training.