Giants claim Tony Abreu, former Dodgers prospect

Jason Miller

(... and, until this week, current Royals fringe player, which is a label that sure packs a lot of information in it.)

The Giants, because they care about you and yours, have provided us with some news that will help take your mind off the cancellation of the Super Bowl. News! Actual news! Give it to us,!

The Giants claimed infielder Tony Abreu off outright waivers from the Royals on Monday.

Giggle if you must, but the last time the Giants sifted through the Royals' recyclables, they got this guy:

And like Blanco before he came to the Giants, Abreu probably should have had a big-league job secured already. He has a prospect pedigree, switch-hits, and plays shortstop, and it usually takes just one of those for a guy to get an extended look. He can even hit a little:

2003 18 2 Teams Rk-A+ 190 7 5 0 12 26 .277 .342 .376 .718
2004 19 2 Teams A-A+ 430 24 9 8 9 67 .313 .338 .478 .816
2005 20 2 Teams A+-AA 523 26 9 4 19 77 .312 .342 .427 .769
2006 21 Jacksonville AA 509 24 3 6 33 69 .287 .343 .392 .734
2007 22 Las Vegas AAA 253 22 5 2 14 34 .355 .399 .517 .916
2009 24 2 Teams AAA-AA 326 22 4 11 13 49 .336 .361 .541 .902
2010 25 Reno AAA 102 7 1 2 4 21 .351 .386 .511 .897
2011 26 Reno AAA 529 26 5 10 30 84 .292 .335 .429 .764
2012 27 Omaha AAA 453 36 5 9 14 69 .322 .347 .492 .839
9 Seasons 3315 194 46 52 148 496 .312 .349 .456 .804

Reminder: Reno and Las Vegas play like Coors Field would with Baker Bowl dimensions, so those numbers aren't that exciting. And the plate discipline is obviously wanting. But if there are 30 to 60 utility infielders in the majors, I'd wager Abreu should be one of them. He's a career .252/.280/.355 hitter in 437 major-league at-bats, which means he's been a substantially worse hitter over his career than Ryan Theriot was last year. So we're talking about the fringes of a roster, here. But as depth in the minors -- or as a way to hedge against the loss of Theriot! -- the Giants could do worse.

And we've seen could-do-worse before. Baseball America ranked him #5 on the Dodgers' prospect list in 2006, so maybe there's some latent talent buried in there:

He won the 2005 high class A Florida State League batting title with a .327 average. Abreu is an aggressive, instinctual player with four plus tools. He has above-average bat speed and lashes line drives to all fields from both sides of the plate.

Tools! This probably means the Giants are going to get Andy LaRoche and Daric Barton, start them alongside Abreu and Joaquin Arias, and complete the set of disappointing mid-'00s prospects. Don't see a downside to that.

You probably won't see too much of Abreu in the majors. You might not see him at all. But the important thing is that you aren't thinking about the Super Bowl because you're so distracted with Tony Abreu news. Thanks, Tony! Now I feel bad that I never took the time to figure out which one was Tony Abreu and which one was Winston Abreu.

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