Stat line: 11 plate appearances, 3-11, 3 Ks, .273/.273/.273
Abiatal Avelino spent his short 2018 San Francisco Giants tenure representing the (hopeful) shift in organizational philosophy. The alliterative middle infielder arrived in the Bay as part of the package that put Andrew McCutchen in pinstripes - the be-brutally-honest-with-your-reality-and-take-this-time-to-boost-the-farm move that most modern franchises make with regularity, but the Giants have been hesitant to partake in (including this year, when McCutchen was the only moved player in a field of eligible applicants).
But while the move likely represented what we’ll see from the next iteration of Giants upper management, what followed was a harsh indictment of the reigning regime. Upon his arrival, Avelino - not a top prospect, but certainly a noteworthy one - was relegated to full-time bench duty.
Avelino was with the big squad for nearly all of September, but saw only 11 plate appearances. And as such, we barely got to see him.
Role on the 2018 team
Essentially none. Avelino should have had a role, but even after the team waived the white flag, someone (I don’t know how to allocate the blame/credit for these decisions between Bobby Evans and Bruce Bochy) opted to keep his butt superglued to the pine.
The Giants played 23 games since Avelino first suited up, meaning there were 46 starts to be had across the middle infield positions. Here’s how they were divvied out:
Brandon Crawford: 18
Joe Panik: 17
Alen Hanson: 4
Kelby Tomlinson: 3
Abiatal Avelino: 3
Chase d’Arnaud: 1
They say that in good writing the author brings 50% to the table, and the reader brings 50% to the table, so I’ll let you draw your own conclusions here.
Role on the 2019 team
It’s impossible to know until we see the moves the newfangled front office makes, which requires the newfangled front office coming into existence.
There’s a chance that they trade or non-tender Panik, and give Avelino and Hanson a chance to prove their worth while the team mashes the tank button with admirable tenacity.
There’s a chance that Panik sticks around to recover some trade value, or is replaced with an affordable veteran, in which case Avelino likely falls below Hanson in the middle infielder pecking order . . . for now, at least.
The latter chances seem more likely, so Avelino’s role will probably be to stay ready in AAA, and bounce up to San Francisco with some regularity when the team is in need of more depth.
You can’t earn an A-grade in 11 plate appearances, but Avelino stayed ready despite not playing with any regularity, and still managed to grab a few hits. So he gets a B. Why not?
The 2018 Giants: Why not?