Spring Battles: Outfield

Despite the logjam of infield bench candidates, I’d say the front office has made it pretty clear they’ll keep a 5th outfielder on the roster. That’s not something they always do, but considering Blanco will likely replace Morse late in games, it makes sense to have another option, even if it’s mostly a pinch-hit role. So, let’s take a look at the contenders.

Tyler Colvin | Age 28

MLB: 1167 PA, .743 OPS, 47 HR, 13 SB/4 CS

MiLB: 2352 PA, .790 OPS, 72 HR, 51 SB/20 CS

Outlook: Colvin is the newest addition to Giants organization, coming in on a minor league deal after Baltimore turned him away for supposedly failing his physical. Obviously, Colvin wasn’t very happy about that, but his MLB pedigree probably gives him a good chance at earning the 5th OF spot out of camp. I really like Juan Perez’ overall game, but Perez doesn’t offer near the offensive potential that Colvin does, and that could prove to be the difference if Colvin can stay healthy this spring. Oh, and if you watched the video below, you know the new guy can hold his own in the field as well.

Odds of Making the 25-man Roster: 65%

Juan Perez | Age 27 on Opening Day

MLB: 97 PA, .650 OPS, 1 HR, 2 SB/0 CS

MiLB: 2,499 PA, .748 OPS, 47 HR, 93 SB/46 CS

Outlook: Although I don’t think he’ll ever hit enough to be a starter, I love Perez’ all-around game. He’s a game-changer on defense, plain and simple. His speed and arm are weapons, and he could be a useful pinch runner as well. I’d say the final roster spot was his to lose until Colvin entered the picture, but now Juan will have to play that much better if he wants to break camp with the big club.

Odds: 45%

Roger Kieschnick | Age 27

MLB: 95 PA, .521 OPS, 0 HR

MiLB: 1995 PA, .816 OPS, 71 HR, 28 SB/14 CS

Outlook: It’s crazy to think that Kieschnick is 27 years old now. He finally got the call last year, and wasn’t overly impressive at the plate during his MLB stint. Sabean mentioned recently that he’d be keeping an eye on Kieschnick this spring, as his power could be a nice weapon off the bench… if he can tap into it. I do think he’s got a chance of breaking camp with the team, but he’ll have to severely outplay the rest to make that happen.

Odds: 20%

Gary Brown | Age 25

MLB: None

MiLB: 1,699 PA, .767 OPS, 34 HR, 105 SB/49 CS

Outlook: The former top prospect is looking to re-establish himself after a disaster first try in the PCL. Don’t doubt that Sabean and his player personnel crew will have a close eye on Brown this year, but I think it makes much more sense for him to start the season in Fresno where he can work on making adjustments at the plate. His defense and speed should play in at least a reserve role down the road, but for now it would behoove the Giants to see if they can squeeze some life out of his once very promising bat.

Odds: 15%

 

Javier Herrera | Age 28 (Turns 29 on April 9)

MLB: None

MiLB: 2,456 PA, .855 OPS, 81 HR, 106 SB/29 CS

Outlook: Herrera is a guy who many of us have been intrigued by since last year, when he posted impressive offensive numbers from start to finish in Richmond. He’s a former A’s prospect who was often injured throughout his time in the minors. He bounced around independent leagues before the Giants picked him up, and I think his combination of speed, defense and pop can play in a reserve outfield role at the major league level. Can he win a job this spring? Yes, but everything will have to break just right in his favor.

Odds: 10%

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2 thoughts on “Spring Battles: Outfield”

  1. I mostly agree with you regarding Colvin winning the spot (and it’s a minor quibble, I might go a little higher on the odds).

    His power is one commodity we don’t have on the bench, and while Perez plays great defense, he’s basically in the same category box as Blanco, a strong defensive replacement, only less offense but even more defense. I see Perez now being prepped to be the guy who takes Blanco’s spot on the bench once Gregor hits free agency and his price maybe goes way up. So I don’t really see Perez getting on the team now, barring injury, as he still has options too.

    Kieschnick is now the guy who needs to step up, as Colvin is taking his category, power off the bench. He needs to let loose and see what happens. But unless he’s the second coming of Bonds, or Colvin totally tanks, even a mediocre spring by Colvin probably gets him the bench job, just because of his power and his professed health. Or so my thinking goes.

    1. There are so many scenarios that can play out each spring, I guess that’s why I still give Perez a fighter’s chance at making the team. Colvin does seem like the clear choice, but he’s battled injuries, and he really didn’t hit well at all last year. Perez is a game-changer on defense. If he can just develop his bat even a little, he’ll be an incredibly valuable player.

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