For better or worse, the roster churn never ends with the SF Giants front office. Even though the end of the season is near, they continue to aggressively turn over the back-end of the 40-man roster. On Friday, it was announced that they had claimed first baseman/corner outfielder Taylor Jones from the Houston Astros.
SF Giants add power-hitting 1B/OF on waiver claim from the Astros
Jones, who is a certified large human, is listed as 6-foot-7 and 230 pounds and will be assigned to Sacramento for now. To make room on the 40-man roster, versatile infielder José Rojas was designated for assignment.
The Giants claimed Rojas earlier this month and he appeared in a handful of games for the River Cats, recording seven hits, including two home runs, in 27 Triple-A at-bats. He could remain with the organization for the remainder of the season if he clears waivers and accepts an assignment to Sacramento.
On the other hand, Jones is the type of player that the Giants have targeted on the waiver wire in that he has had success in the upper minors but that has not necessarily translated to big league success yet.
The Astros drafted the right-handed bat in the 19th round of the 2016 draft out of Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. In six minor league seasons, Jones has posted a .271/.368/.453 line with an 11.8 percent walk rate against a 22.4 percent strikeout rate. The 28-year-old has demonstrated solid game power as he has eclipsed the 10-homer threshold in each of the last four minor league seasons.
Jones' numbers in Triple-A this year have mirrored his minor league career as he has registered a .263/.370/.456 (108 wRC+) with 12 home runs, 43 RBI, and 52 runs in 322 plate appearances for the Sugar Land Space Cowboys. That is a real team name. I did not make up that name. I am not that creative.
However, Jones has struggled to the tune of a .655 OPS with only three home runs in 131 sporadic plate appearances in parts of three seasons with the Astros. This does include a 117 wRC+ in a tiny sample of 36 plate appearances against left-handed pitching, so he could give the Giants the platoon leverage that they seek in a righty bat.
The first baseman/corner outfielder will not have any minor league options remaining after this season, so the Giants will need to see how he can perform if they are going to keep him on the 40-man roster this winter.