The SF Giants published its list of non-roster invitees last week. While it includes a handful of the organization's top prospects, there are plenty of lesser-known intriguing players as well. We will be looking at the non-roster minor league position players.
SF Giants News: Top 3 non-roster minor league position players to follow in camp
Yesterday, we looked at some of the top non-roster minor league pitchers to follow this spring and we are going to follow that up with position players. The Giants did bring in some experienced veterans in Stephen Piscotty and Roberto Pérez this winter. Austin Wynns will be in camp as a non-roster invitee as well.
While none of the three currently occupy a spot on the 40-man roster, it would not be too surprising to see at least one of the three players make the Opening Day roster. That said, Piscotty, Pérez, and Wynns have some track record at the major league level, so they are excluded from today's list.
Why is it important to look at minor league depth? The 162-game season is a grind and teams will often exhuast their depth by the end of the year. The roster at the end of the season often looks much different than the Opening Day roster for a lot of reasons, so it is important to get to know some of the players.
1. Ronald Guzmán
Similar to Piscotty and Pérez, Ronald Guzmán has quite a bit of major league experience. He has appeared in each of the last five seasons, but he is coming into camp as a two-way player.
He was originally a power-hitting first base prospect for the Texas Rangers, but will try his hand on the mound as well. Per a report, Guzmán flashes a mid-90's fastball on the mound with a slider and a changeup.
The left-handed pitcher has tallied a total of 0.1 innings on the mound as a pro, so he has no track record to evaluate. He comes into camp truly as an unknown on the mound.
Becoming a two-way player is extremely difficult. Not everyone is a Shohei Ohtani.
However, the Giants are relatively thin in terms of left-handed-hitting first baseman. They enter camp with LaMonte Wade Jr., Joc Pederson, and Guzmán as the three top options. Pederson is taking ground balls at first base as a way to get him onto the field, but it sounds like he is getting work there in case of an emergency.
On the other hand, Guzmán does have plenty of experience at first base and a .767 OPS against right-handed pitching in the majors. That bat should not be an issue, but if he proves that he can be effective on the mound, Guzmán might just carve out a role on the Giants roster.