Chris Shaw Keeps Working In Left Field

Best Player: OF/1B Chris Shaw

The 2015 first-round pick capped an excellent 2017 season by hitting an opposite-field, two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to tie Triple-A Sacramento’s finale. It was Shaw’s second homer of the game as the River Cats prevailed 10-9 against El Paso in 10 innings.

At Double-A Richmond and Sacramento, the 23-year-old Shaw hit a combined .292/.346/.525 with 24 home runs in 125 games.

The lefthanded batter began the year as a first baseman at Richmond, but the Giants have a glaring hole in left field, so they converted him there. He last played outfield at Boston College. He will go to the instructional league and the Arizona Fall League to work on his defense.

“We’re trying to get him as prepared for left field as we can,” general manager Bobby Evans said.

Best Pitcher: LHP Andrew Suarez

Like Shaw, the lefthander opened the season at Richmond and earned a promotion to Sacramento. Suarez worked a combined 155.2 innings and had a 3.30 ERA. The 2015 second-round pick doesn’t overpower batters (7.8 strikeouts per nine innings) but shows good control (2.4 walks).

At one point in July and August, Suarez put together an eight-start stretch in which he lasted at least five innings and did not give up more than two earned runs in each of those outings.

One asset you could ascribe to Suarez: reliability. He has made 24 starts in each of the past two seasons. He threw a combined 143.2 innings at high Class A San Jose and Richmond in 2016.

Keep an Eye On: LHP Garrett Williams

Williams went 4-3, 2.25 in 64 innings at low Class A Augusta, then moved to San Jose and thrived there as well, going 2-2, 2.45 in 33 innings.

Evans said that the 23-year-old Williams’ in-season promotion “just bodes well, given how young he is. It’s very encouraging.”

A 2016 seventh-round pick from Oklahoma State, Williams struck out 96 batters and walked 35 in 97 innings. He allowed 87 hits.

“He’s very aggressive in the strike zone,” Evans said. That aggression didn’t hurt Williams—he allowed just three homers in 2017, none in his 64 innings at Augusta.

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