The SF Giants bolstered organizational depth earlier this month after welcoming back a familiar name on a minor league pact. Veteran infielder Jason Krizan agreed to a new deal with the Giants, per the Giants transactions page.
SF Giants reward veteran MiLB infielder with new deal
The terms of the deal are not yet known but it will, presumably, include an invite to spring training once a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) is ratified. Krizan gives the Giants a versatile option with plenty of experience in the upper minors.
The Detroit Tigers originally drafted the left-handed bat in the eighth round of the 2011 draft out of Dallas Baptist University in Dallas, Texas. Despite the amount of professional experience, the 32-year-old is still waiting for his first promotion to the big league roster.
It seemed like he had an outside shot of making his major league debut in 2021 on the heels of a strong campaign in Triple-A and given that the front office tends to reward players like Krizan with an opportunity. That call never came but versatile infielder continued to post up strong numbers with the Sacramento River Cats.
In 480 plate appearances, Krizan slashed .316/.367/.492 (112 wRC+) with 16 home runs, 73 RBI, and 67 runs scored. This included a stout 8.1 percent walk rate against a 14.6 percent strikeout rate. The left-handed bat has a contact-heavy approach as he has struck out in only 11.2 percent of his plate appearances as a pro.
Interestingly, the home run output (16) represented a career-high in 2021 for Krizan as he tried to add more lift into his swing. He has a swing built for line drives but his ground ball rate (40.7 percent) was one of the lowest in 10 minor league seasons. Generally, that is an indicator of a positive mechanical tweak.
In the field, Krizan came up primarily as a corner outfielder and first baseman with the Tigers, but the New York Mets began to expand his versatility to third base and second base in 2019. He did have some experience at these positions with the Tigers, but the Mets seemed more committed to letting him play all around the field.
Of course, the Giants continued that trend as he saw playing time all around the diamond and even on the mound. Yes, he made two appearances as a relief pitcher with the River Cats in 2021.
It goes without saying that the Giants have to rebuild organization depth after so many minor leaguers became free agents and after they lost six players in the minor-league portion of the Rule 5 draft earlier this month.
Retaining Krizan gives them a reliable bat who can play all around the field. He fits in seamlessly with the front office's philosophy and will, hopefully, get a chance to wear a major league uniform someday soon.