The Richmond Flying Squirrels have been the beneficiary of a handful of promotions from the Eugene Emeralds including Carter Aldrete. As a result of these promotions, middle infielder Shane Matheny was bumped up to Triple-A after a strong season with the Flying Squirrels.
SF Giants promote versatile middle infielder to Sacramento
The Sacramento River Cats had an opening as outfielder Willie Calhoun was placed on the injured list whereas infielder Jason Vosler was recalled by the Giants. There were several openings on the River Cats' roster and the addition of Matheny fills that void. Of course, the promotion is more of a reward after a strong season in Double-A.
The Giants originally drafted the 26-year-old prospect in the 23rd round of the 2017 draft out of Washington State University in Pullman, Washington. He moved deliberately up the minor league ladder, reaching Triple-A in his fifth season as a pro.
The left-handed bat has not typically been known for his bat, but he changed that narrative in 2022. In 273 plate appearances with the Flying Squirrels, Matheny slashed .258/.391/.443 (132 wRC+) with 10 home runs, 38 RBI, and 44 runs. This included a 16.8 percent walk rate against a 27.8 percent strikeout rate.
He has not hit for a ton of power in the past as he has reached 10 home runs just twice in five seasons. However, he does grind out at-bats as he has posted a 12.4 percent walk rate since 2017.
Plus, Matheny can play just about everywhere on the field. With Richmond, he appeared at shortstop, second base, third base, and center field. He has also spent time at first base as a pro as well as a random appearance at catcher with the Augusta Greenjackets in 2018 where he did not actually accrue an inning. I bet if you put him on the mound, he knows his way around it.
He does not have the prospect status or pedigree that typically comes with a high draft pick, That said, he does a lot of things on the baseball field that get noticed by the coaching staff. Not every pro baseball player reaches Triple-A and that is especially true for players drafted after the 10th round like Matheny.