Outfielder Chris Shaw, who leads the Giants organization in homers, will be called up, according to Alex Pavlovic:
Per source, the Giants are calling up outfielder Chris Shaw. He hit 24 homers in Triple-A this season.— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) August 31, 2018
Shaw has spent all year playing left field for the River Cats. In 2018, he’s put up a slash line of .259/.308/.505 with 24 homers for Sacramento. He’s struggled a little bit more this year than he did last year, but
Shaw was going to have to be added to the 40-man roster this offseason to protect him from being taken in the Rule 5 Draft, so after the Andrew McCutchen trade opened up roster space, the path was clear for Shaw to get called up.
There are knocks on Shaw’s game. The two most prominent are strikeouts and defense. In Shaw’s minor league career, the strikeouts hadn’t been too prominent until this year; as a River Cat this year, Shaw’s strikeout rate jumped to 34%, which, for comparison, is more often than Jarrett Parker ever struck out in AAA. And while he’s not going to give Giants fans some memorable Velezian gaffes in the outfield — he’ll catch what he gets to — Shaw’s range out there is limited compared to some of the other outfielders who we’ve seen come up through the minors recently, including Austin Slater and Mac Williamson.
In a conversation with Bryan, SB Nation’s prospect guru John Sickels had this prediction for Shaw, assuming 30-40 plate appearances:
If I had to guess, I’d say he strikes out in 40% of his at-bats but also hits a couple of home runs.
Say, he goes 6-for-31 with two homers and 12 strikeouts.
Still, the Giants have been in desperate need of power this year, and now that McCutchen is a Yankee, they’ve dipped into their minor league system to find some. Welcome to the Giants, Chris Shaw. May you hit many, many dingers.