Undrafted free agency — a new concept for baseball, instituted because the 2020 MLB Draft had only five rounds instead of 40 — began on Sunday morning. And as of Monday morning, the San Francisco Giants had reportedly signed two players.
According to Baseball America, the Giants have signed right-handed pitcher Ty Weber from Illinois, and outfielder Carter Williams from North Carolina Central.
We don’t know much about either player, but here’s what we do know.
Carter Williams, OF, North Carolina Central
Williams is a 22.4-year old senior, who is listed as 6’3 and 210 pounds. A four-year starter (mostly in left field), he didn’t have a great senior season, but only played 9 games in the coronavirus-shortened season. In that time he hit .316/.422/.368.
But digging into previous seasons paints a nicer picture of Williams’ ability. As a junior in 2019, he slashed .328/.394/.475, and as a sophomore those numbers were .307/.407/.521.
What might really appeal to Farhan Zaidi and the Giants brass is his control of the plate. Williams finished his collegiate career with 81 walks to just 85 strikeouts, and walked more than striking out in each of his final three seasons. Add in the above-.300 batting average in all four years, and it would seem as though Williams has some potential with his bat skills and plate control.
Giants signed OF/LHH Carter Williams (22.5Y, 6'3" 210) to a NDFA contract, per d1baseball. Played at North Carolina Central, mostly in LF. pic.twitter.com/2HrPG4yGrd— GPT (@giantsprospects) June 14, 2020
Senior: 45PA .316/.422/.368, 7K%, 11BB%
New England Collegiate League (summer): 177PA .353/.441/.400, 14K%, 12BB%.
Ty Weber, RHP, Illinois
Weber is a 22.2-year old senior, who is listed at 6’4, and 215 pounds. He was very strong in the coronavirus-shortened 2020 NCAA season. Weber started 4 games, and in 20.2 innings allowed 17 hits, 2 walks, and struck out 15. It would seem he limited hard contact, as 12 of those hits were singles, and the other 3 were doubles.
Add it all up, and he ended up with a 1.31 ERA in the small sample size that is this season.
In his sophomore and junior seasons, Weber pitched 161.2 innings, and allowed 140 hits and 64 walks, while striking out 99. His ERA was 3.57.
Looking at the raw numbers, you can try to draw one of two conclusions from Weber: On the glass half-empty front, his 2020 stands out as an outlier in a small sample size. On the glass half-full front, he figured something out before his senior year.
As is often the case, the pessimistic take is more likely than the optimistic one, but for a $20,000 signing bonus it’s worth the gamble. Or, more accurately, the Giants deemed his tools worthy of working on a little further.
According to some smart prospect people on Twitter, Weber has a high-80s fastball and some quality secondary pitches.
Giants sign Illinois righty Ty Weber. Weber was having a career year as a SR with greatly improved command/control. Watched Weber during the Frisco classic where he showed well against Texas A&M. 87-89 with the fastball, above avg changeup, and curve that flashed average.— SF Draft Talk (@brian_recca) June 15, 2020
Giants signed RHP Ty Weber (22.2Y, 6'4" 215) to a NDFA contract. He played at Illinois, made 47 starts over 4 years.— GPT (@giantsprospects) June 15, 2020
Senior: 20.2IP 17H 2BB 15K 1.31ERA. High 80s FB with a good curveball. pic.twitter.com/hBjHKSKVz8
It’s likely that the Giants will add some more prospects in the coming days, but for now enjoy the two newest members of the organization, who join the team’s seven 2020 draft picks.