Image credit: Connor Joe
Connor Joe is headed to yet another new organization.
The Giants acquired the well-traveled prospect infielder from the Reds on Thursday night, sending minor league righthander Jordan Johnson and cash to Cincinnati in return. The Giants designated outfielder Drew Ferguson for assignment to make room on their 40-man roster.
Joe, 26, ranked as the Reds’ No. 26 prospect after they picked him sixth in the Rule 5 draft this past December. The Giants are Joe’s fifth organization in less than two years, joining the Pirates, Braves, Dodgers and Reds.
Connor Joe, 3B/1B
A supplemental first-round pick in 2014, Joe struggled with injuries and frequent position changes and appeared stalled in Double-A. But after joining the Dodgers last year, he returned to the open stance he had in college and broke out, hitting .299/.408/.527 with 17 home runs between Double-A and Triple-A. Joe’s best tool is his bat. Now that he’s rediscovered a workable stance, he shows flashes of being an average to above-average hitter with average power. He’s more limited defensively but has some versatility. He’s an average defender at first base and a below-average defender at third. He caught in college and saw some time at catcher in instructional league. He’s also seen time in right field and has an average arm. Joe will have to remain on the Giants’ active roster all season or be returned to the Dodgers, but his bat and defensive versatility give him a chance to do so.
Jordan Johnson, RHP
A strong 6-foot-3, 200-pound righthander, Johnson has loud stuff but has struggled to command it most of his career. Johnson works 93-96 mph with his fastball and can touch 99 mph, and his curveball and changeup both project average and have flashed plus. Johnson has long had the habit of throwing across his body, however, which has led to arm problems (he had Tommy John surgery in college) and shaky control (5.1 BB/9 at Triple-A last year). Johnson has been a starter his whole career and should begin back in Triple-A. If the Reds can tweak his command, he has a chance to make his major league debut in 2019.