Three of the top performers camp in SF Giants are expected to receive good news in the next couple of days. Giants top executive Farhan Zaidi sounded optimistic that Sean Hjelle, Blake Sabol, and Bryce Johnson would make the Opening Day roster according to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area.
SF Giants News: Sean Hjelle, Blake Sabol, and Bryce Johnson expected to break camp with the club
As a Rule 5 pick, Sabol was always likely to make the club assuming that he performed and he definitely did that. The left-handed bat was one of the more impressive hitters in camp, slashing .341/.473/.659 with three home runs, nine RBI, 11 walks, and 13 strikeouts in 41 at-bats.
The Giants originally tabbed him to get a lot of work behind the plate and that is still likely the plan. However, injuries to Mitch Haniger and Austin Slater could create opportunities for playing time in the outfield.
If that is the case, the Giants will need to still have a backup catcher on the roster. Roberto Pérez is in camp as a non-roster invitee and has an opt-out decision looming, so that should be settled in the next couple of days.
Joining Sabol in the lineup will be Johnson. Giants fans briefly saw Johnson last season. He was outrighted off of the 40-man roster this winter, but he has earned a spot back on it with his play in the Cactus League.
The 27-year-old outfielder has registered a .914 OPS with four doubles, eight RBI, and 11 runs. This includes 12 stolen bases in 12 opportunities, which is the leader among spring training participants. Johnson brings a lot of qualities to the table including speed, a good outfield glove, and the ability to switch-hit.
Lastly, Hjelle quietly had one of the more impressive performances in camp. The 6-foot-11 pitcher came into camp with a couple extra ticks on his fastball and that paid immediate dividends. Hjelle tallied a 1.80 ERA with 18 strikeouts against only two walks in 15 Cactus League innings.
The Giants entered camp with a pitching staff that was mostly settled. However, a potential injury to Alex Cobb (knee) combined with Hjelle's strong spring has changed things. San Francisco still sees the 25-year-old pitcher as a starter, but he will likely serve in a bulk innings role to start the year given that the rotation is full.
Few would have guessed that all three players would make the club when the spring began. However, all three quickly garnered a lot of attention and their performances are being rewarded.