Baseball remains in a lockout, meaning that major league deals cannot be completed but the SF Giants have remained aggressive on the minor league market. According to the Giants transactions page, they have signed left-handed hurler Enmanuel De Jesus and catcher Jhonny Pereda to minor league deals.
SF Giants continue to bolster depth by signing pitcher, catcher
De Jesus spent the first seven seasons of his pro career in the Boston Red Sox organization, whereas Pereda was signed as an international free agent by the Chicago Cubs in 2013 but he was shipped to the Red Sox in 2020 in a move that sent pitcher Travis Lakins to Chicago.
In adding De Jesus, the Giants are getting a left-handed pitcher who has worked primarily as a starter and who has plenty of experience at the upper levels of the minor league ladder. Interestingly, the 25-year-old split time in the bullpen and the rotation in 2021 and the results were promising as he registered a 3.94 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, 10.4 K/9, and a 2.74 SO/W ratio in 64 innings.
He spent the bulk of his 2021 campaign in Double-A, but he made a cameo appearance for the Red Sox's Triple-A affiliate as well. De Jesus has done well to keep the ball in the ball park as he has recorded a 0.6 HR/9 in seven seasons as a pro. Oddly enough, the southpaw is more of a fly ball pitcher, but he does well to avoid the sweet spot of the bat.
Similar to De Jesus, Pereda gives the Giants added depth at the upper levels and at a key position: catcher. As currently constructed, the Giants will trot out a catching tandem of Joey Bart and Curt Casali in 2022. This leaves the upper minors exposed as Patrick Bailey has no experience above High-A, whereas Ricardo Genoves has recorded only 23 plate appearances above High-A.
Adding Pereda fills in the gap at the upper levels as both Bailey and Genoves climb up the ladder. It is likely that the Giants will continue to add catching depth given the current state of the position. In Pereda, San Francisco is getting a good defensive catcher with a selective eye and good bat-to-ball skills.
In 2021, the right-handed bat slashed .246/.343/.325 with zero home runs, 20 RBI, and 22 runs scored in 237 plate appearances split between two minor league affiliates. This includes a strong 13 percent walk rate against an 11.3 percent strikeout rate.
The number that stands out is the home run output, and that is characteristic of Pereda as he has struggled to produce extra-base hits throughout his career. Nevertheless, he still finds a way to grind out at-bats and get on base. At best, he is likely a third catcher, and the Giants will hope to squeeze more power out of his bat.
The Giants have a lot of work to do in rebuilding the affiliates as nearly 30 minor leaguers elected free agency earlier this offseason including some notable names. They have been aggressive on the minor league market and will likely continue to be aggressive as the offseason progresses.