It has been a fascinating couple of months for SF Giants rookie outfielder Luis González. The left-handed bat did not make the club out of camp but he has quickly become an important piece to this 2022 roster
SF Giants outfielder takes home Rookie of the Month for May
González joined the Giants on a waiver claim from the Chicago White Sox last season but he was immediately placed on the 60-day injured list after undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery. The decision to place him on waivers made absolutely no sense from the White Sox's standpoint, but the Giants have capitalized on it.
The 26-year-old outfielder is off to a hot start in a Giants uniform, slashing .324/.361/.454 (129 OPS+) with two home runs, 19 RBI, and 12 runs in 119 plate appearances. This includes a 5.9 percent walk rate against a 19.3 percent strikeout rate.
He excelled at getting on base by way of the walk in the minors as he posted a 10.5 percent walk rate in five seasons. That is one area that should improve as he continues to develop.
González thrived in the month of May. The left-handed bat registered a .368/.410/.500 line with one homer, 13 RBI, and eight runs in 83 plate appearances. He capped off his strong month with a four-hit game against the Philadelphia Phillies in his final game of May.
Since his promotion to the major league club in April, González has entrenched himself as a productive hitter in the lineup. At some point, the Giants will be back to full strength as Brandon Belt and LaMonte Wade Jr. are nearing a return from their respective knee ailments.
However, their return should not impact González's roster spot. The Giants can put together a left-handed-heavy lineup with González, Belt, Wade Jr., Joc Pederson, and Mike Yastrzemski all receiving plenty of at-bats. The introduction of the designated hitter in the National League makes this possibility a reality.
For González, he earned a cool honor that has only been awarded to two Giants rookies (Pedro Feliz - 2001and Buster Posey - 2010) since 2000. Of course, it was not all good news for the Giants rookie outfielder today as he had to be removed after taking a pitch off of the foot in a 15-6 victory against the Miami Marlins. He was diagnosed with a lower leg contusion, so the hope is that he will not go on the injured list.