The first SF Giants roster move of the offseason has been made. Speedy outfielder Bryce Johnson became a free agent according to the team's transaction log. This was a formality as he had reached six years of minor league service time.
Speedy outfielder who appeared briefly with the SF Giants this year elects free agency
Players who were selected in the 2017 draft and not currently on their team's 40-man roster should be eligible to reach free agency. For the Giants, this should include former top pitching prospect Seth Corry and infielde/outfielder Shane Matheny. Those moves have not been announced yet.
The Giants originally selected Johnson in the sixth round of the 2017 draft out of Sam Houston State University. Despite being a college bat, the switch-hitter made a gradual ascent up the minor league ladder, reaching Triple-A for the first time in 2021.
Johnson put together solid numbers in Triple-A, slashing .286/.373/.429 with a 10.9 percent walk rate against a 25.4 percent strikeout rate across three seasons. He never hit for a lot of power, but did bring an element of speed that has evaded the Giants as he swiped 79 bases in 92 opportunities for the Sacramento River Cats.
On top of this, the 27-year-old was a recipient of a minor league Gold Glove award in the outfield when he was with the San Jose Giants in 2018. He does a lot of little things that can help teams win.
Johnson debuted with the Giants in 2022 where he recorded two hits in 18 at-bats. Last winter, he was outrighted off of the 40-man roster but remained with the organization. He put together an impressive camp, flashing yet again his excellent base-stealing ability that resulted in being added back to the 40-man roster.
Though, he struggled in limited playing time as he tallied seven hits in 43 at-bats this past season. This did include his first career homer, so he was able to add that notch to his belt. The Giants used him primarily as a pinch runner or a defensive replacement, so at-bats were a bit sporadic.
Johnson was designated for assignment at the end of August to make room for Mitch Haniger. He cleared waivers but decided to remain with the club until the end of the season. This will be his first foray into free agency.