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.
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.
Gary Brown | Age 25
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.
Javier Herrera | Age 28 (Turns 29 on April 9)
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.