When the SF Giants claimed outfielder Luis González off of waivers from the Chicago White Sox, it was not a move that received a lot of attention. However, after a strong camp, González has put his name on the map, especially after injuries to a pair of outfielders including Mike Yastrzemski and LaMonte Wade Jr.
SF Giants minor league outfielder having breakout camp
Wade Jr. will likely begin the season on the injured list after experiencing knee discomfort, whereas Yastrzemski's status is more of a question mark with quad tightness. Neither injury is expected to create a 40-man roster spot, but if the injuries continue to pile up, González could position himself for a promotion if he proves that Triple-A is no longer a challenge.
The left-handed-hitting outfielder was originally drafted by the White Sox in the third round of the 2017 draft out of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Despite not having standout tools, González generally ranked as one of the better prospects in a stout White Sox farm system.
In four minor league seasons, he has slashed .266/.345/.414 with 32 home runs, 201 runs scored, and 165 RBI. This comes with a solid 10.3 percent walk rate against an 18.6 percent strikeout rate.
He received a brief promotion with the White Sox in 2020, recording just two hitless at-bat. He followed this up with two hits and three walks in eight at-bats with the White Sox in 2021 before sustaining a shoulder injury that required season-ending surgery.
Oddly enough, the White Sox decided to place him on waivers rather than put him on the 60-day injured list, which would have cleared a 40-man roster spot while keeping him in the organization. The Giants saw this as an opportunity, so they claimed him and placed him on the season-ending injured list.
González received a bit of a financial reward from the Giants with this maneuver as he continued to receive a higher salary by being on the major league roster. When the offseason began, the 26-year-old outfielder was non-tendered, thereby becoming a free agent but the Giants re-signed him to a minor league deal.
This is a move that could pay dividends in 2022. The outfield prosect has recorded six hits in 17 at-bats with two doubles, one home run, and six RBI. The at-bat quality has been good and he has flashed a little more power than he has previously in his career.
Whether that translates against Triple-A pitching remains to be seen. However, González has made a good impression this spring and he will be a name to watch in 2022. If an opening arises on the 40-man roster, he could be one of the first names called to help the Giants this season.