The first move of the Winter Meetings has officially been made for the Giants. And no, it’s not Brandon Belt.
According to the Detroit Tigers PR account, the Giants have claimed 26-year old left-handed outfielder Mike Gerber off waivers:
OF Mike Gerber has been claimed off waivers by the San Francisco Giants. The Tigers 40-man roster is now at 37.— Tigers PR (@DetroitTigersPR) December 10, 2018
Gerber spent most of last season in triple-A playing centerfield for the Toledo Mud Hens, batting .213, 13 home runs, and striking out 103 times (yikes-territory).
He has played just eighteen games at the big league level, first getting called up on April 20th to help out in a doubleheader against the Royals but being optioned back the very next day. He bounced back and forth from AAA to Detroit several times that season but didn’t make much of an impact with the Tigers, batting only .095 in his 47 plate appearances and 21 strike outs.
In his limited time in the big leagues, he was used primarily in a platoon situation, facing lefties only six times and yielding no results other than a walk. This trend is consistent with his career in the minors.
According to his prospects report on Fangraphs, he is below average in hitting, about average in terms of power, speed, and above average in details. In other words, this is not a particularly remarkable addition but could have some potential.
In a more detailed report on our Tigers’ sister site, Bless You Boys:
Gerber doesn’t have a standout tool, but does everything fairly well. He has an above-average arm and average speed, and can capably field all three outfield positions (though he shouldn’t spend extended time in center). His swing is a little long, leading to more swings and misses than one might like, but he has displayed solid plate discipline throughout his ascent up the minor league ranks. His power might be a tick below average, but he would still likely produce a solid average and double-digit home runs if given enough at-bats.
This is Farhan Zaidi’s first add to the 40 man roster from outside of the organization and I think it’s certainly interesting. Zaidi seems to recognize that the Giants have a lot of holes to fill, particularly in the outfield positions and that there needs to be more depth built into the system, and particularly where on base ability and power potential is concerned.
This is probably the tip of the iceberg, but I like that Zaidi is hitting the ground running. Fingers crossed for more moves in the next few days from the hot stove.