The SF Giants extended camp invites to 37 players this spring. They join the 40 players currently on the roster with the hopes of one or two of them making the Opening Day roster. The list of invitees is light on veterans, reflecting a confidence that the Giants may be able to get help from the farm system sooner rather than later.
SF Giants non-roster invitee list reflects confidence in farm system
At this point, Giants fans are well aware of the drought the farm system has experienced over the past 10 years. However, the narrative will, hopefully, begin to shift in 2023 as prospects like Kyle Harrison and Casey Schmitt debut with the club.
Typically, the non-roster list includes players who could help the team in the upcoming year. It gives the major league staff a chance to evaluate the organizational inventory in the upper minors. While most do not have a shot at making the team out of camp, many will be considered as the season progresses.
It is not just a 26-man roster or a 40-man roster. With how teams like the Giants leverage depth, fans may see as many as 60 players in a given season.
For the Giants, some of those players will likely be prospects in 2023. There are a handful of veterans on the non-roster list including Stephen Piscotty, Joe Ross, Sean Newcomb, Roberto Pérez, and Austin Wynns.
Piscotty is arguably the most accomplished player on the list, but the veteran outfielder has struggled over the past few seasons. Pérez is not too far behind as he has earned two Gold Glove awards behind the dish.
Outside of these five, the list of non-roster players lean in favor of youth. On the pitching side, Harrison is joined by notable arms in R.J. Dabovich and Sam Delaplane. In addition to this, offseason acquisitions Kade McClure and Erik Miller will look to mak a positive first impression in the Cactus League.
On the position player side, Schmitt is joined by a pair of catchers in Patrick Bailey and Andy Thomas to go along with Vaun Brown in the outfield and Ford Proctor, Tyler Fitzgerald, and Colton Welker in the infield.
Over the past few years, the Giants have leaned a little more heavily on veterans on the non-roster list. This gives those veterans a chance to make the club without guaranteeing a roster spot when they were signed.
If you go back to the 2019 spring training, the Giants have veterans like Donovan Solano, Gerardo Parra, Yangervis Solarte, and Rene Rivera in camp as non-roster players. This trend continued in the following spring with Darin Ruf, Yolmer Sanchez, and Billy Hamilton brought in for camp.
You get the idea at this point. I expected the Giants to be a little more aggressive on the minor league market this winter and they could still bring a few veterans into camp as players just want to land with a team in time to show what they can do at this point.
However, a short list of non-roster veterans could be a sign in the organization's confidence of its farm system. It suggests that they do not need to rely on bringing in veterans if they can get comparable production within the organization.
Of course, the 40-man roster is leaning on the younger side as well. Prospects like Marco Luciano, Luis Matos, and Keaton Winn were added this winter. And, David Villar is getting a shot to show what he can do with an everyday role.
The Giants have been one of the older teams over the past several seasons, but the shift to younger players is beginning to take place. That extends beyond just the 40-man roster and includes the non-roster players they have in camp.