September looms and the Giants are said to actually have space under the competitive balance tax threshold to afford adding players to the 40-man roster. That’s great news! However, the Giants currently have three members of that 40-man roster on the 60-day DL (Pablo Sandoval, Johnny Cueto, Julian Fernandez), meaning the Giants don’t have the roster space at the moment to add anyone new to the call-up list.
Does this mean we’re only going to see Kelby Tomlinson, Ryder Jones, Miguel Gomez, and a bunch of pitchers? Not necessarily. The Giants can transfer Buster Posey to the 60-day disabled list to clear a 40-man spot, however, which means, theoretically, the team could add one fresh-faced player without any major league service time for the duration of September.
There’s a nonzero chance that player will be the outfielding slugger Chris Shaw.
You’ve probably heard of him. He hits dingers. He’s the Giants’ top power prospect and, per MLB Pipeline, their #4 overall prospect:
Shaw has led all players in the Giants’ organization -- in the Majors or Minors -- in home runs in each of the past two seasons. He could be in the running for a starting job in 2019, so a callup would make a lot of sense.
He’s behind only catcher Joey Bart (#1), outfielder Heliot Ramos (#2), and RHP Shaun Anderson (#3). Bart was drafted in June, Ramos is holding his own in Augusta but is still just 18 years old, and Anderson very well could be a surprise September call up, but Shaw makes the most sense.
The Giants outfield bunch ranges from bad to leaving. Pence and McCutchen occupy both extremes, and in between are Gorkys, Slater, and Duggar, who all fill roles but not team needs. This creates a perfect situation for the team to give Shaw an extended look at big league pitching. He’s one of the few players in the organization with home run power.
Now, will he realize that power in a 10-20 games? Probably not. He also strikes out a ton and doesn’t walk very much. But if there’s even a chance he’s Joey Gallo Lite, the Giants should try to figure that out ASAP.
The River Cats’ final game is Labor Day in Las Vegas. The Giants will be in Colorado. They have a day game on Labor Day and play the following game Tuesday evening. A night game at Coors Field on a Tuesday night seems as good a time as any to make that move, though I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the Rockies’ best starters are left-handed.
Still, let’s circle the calendar. We’re probably about a week and a half away from the Giants carving out a roster spot for a power-hitting prospect because they’re desperate to put together a good team in 2019 and he could be a part of it.