clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Kyle Harrison, Casey Schmitt headline list of Spring Training invites

The team announced 37 invites, including veterans Sean Newcomb and Stephen Piscotty.

MLB: Spring Training-Texas Rangers at San Francisco Giants Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been over three years since I last wrote about Spring Training invites for the San Francisco Giants. The last time was before all the... unpleasantness of a global pandemic, and while a lot has changed in the world since then, this is a good time to track just how much has changed for the Giants, as 2020 and 2023 represent two different eras of our favorite baseball franchise.

First, here’s the team’s announcement:


RHP Melvin Adon
LHP Raymond Burgos
RHP R.J. Dabovich
RHP Sam Delaplane
RHP Nick Duron
RHP Jorge Guzman
LHP Kyle Harrison
RHP Trevor Hildenberger
RHP Mauricio Llovera
RHP Kade McClure
LHP Erik Miller
LHP Sean Newcomb
RHP Ljay Newsome
LHP Darien Nunez
RHP Joe Ross
RHP Drew Strotman
LHP Daniel Tillo
RHP Miguel Yajure


C Brett Auerbach
C Patrick Bailey
C Brett Cumberland
C Ricardo Genoves
C Roberto Perez
C Austin Wynns
OF Vaun Brown
OF Clint Coulter
OF Bryce Johnson
OF Stephen Piscotty
IF Armando Alvarez
IF Tyler Fitzgerald
IF Ford Proctor
IF Casey Schmitt
IF Donovan Walton
IF Colton Welker
IF Brady Whalen
IF Will Wilson


LHP/IF Ronald Guzman

~ ~ ~

In 2020, the Giants invited 18 players to join, so this reflects a considerable jump. It’s even an increase over last year, when the team invited 25 players. This year, it’s a 19/18 hitter/pitcher split, with Ronald Guzman standing out as the two-way player. You can read a bit more about Guzman’s efforts to become a two-way player here. A lefty who throws 95-96 and bats right-handed with a pull-side swing at Oracle Park would seem to have some potential value, and the Giants will spend some time this spring finding out.

On the pitching side, though, all eyes will be on Kyle Harrison, the Giants’ top prospect. A great spring plus an injury or two could see him break camp with the major league team, but with a full 40-man roster, it’s more likely we’ll be waiting around at least six weeks for the team or other injuries to sort that out.

Other things that stand out on this pitching list:

  • Thee Joe Ross signing stands out because the last time I wrote up NRIs in 2020, his brother, Tyson was under a similar deal. That didn’t work out.
  • Sean Newcomb has never been a great pitcher (career 95 ERA+), but a 6-5 left hander capable of starting and relieving (though, to be clear, he has not been a full-time starter since 2018) who throws 95 mph has some valuable, and at 29 (turns 30 in June), there’s got to be some thought that Bannister Labs can bring about a renaissance. Looking at the public data, I see a dude who can throw a 95mph sinker and a high spin curveball. The tweak would seem to be getting him to ditch the 4-seamer (thrown 55% of the time last season) in favor of that sinker.
  • Reupping the R.J. Dabovich comment from Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS Projection writeup on the 2023 Giants:

R.J. Dabovich is a ZiPS Special here, a pitcher with velocity approaching 100 mph but some control issues. [...] His skill set coupled with the fact that his other pitch is a curveball makes me think of another reliever at a similar point in his career: James Karinchak.

  • I’m intrigued by Kade McClure, whom I don’t remember, but whose minor league track record as a starting pitcher with the White Sox — 9.1 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, 1.31 WHIP in 366.2 IP (5 seasons) — strikes me as an arm worth having around for depth purposes. Could be the next Dereck Rodriguez.

Hitting-wise, it’s clear the Giants have some degree of concern for their catching situation, and not necessarily just with the backup catching part of the equation. Roberto Perez could be a starter. Austin Wynns could be, too. Joey Bart still has a minor league option remaining.

Bailey will get a lot of attention not because he’s an heir apparent, but because he might soon become the face of the Giants’ player development troubles. And that’s even if Kyle Harrison emerges as a reliable rotation presence. Other batter thoughts:

  • Casey Schmitt! CASEY. SCHMITT! Can he impress? Will he struggle? He has the potential to enamor or disgust, but odds are he’ll just be there to edge the prospect hounds who are desperate for a Giants hitter to breakthrough. But even with a strong spring, the Giants’ 40-man is pretty well locked down, especially at his position, and with David Villar both the only optionable guy they have on the infield right now and the very real possibility that he could be the team’s next solid everyday player, Schmitt just has to show that he’ll be ready when they need him. Plus! Marco Luciano (on the 40-man roster), will, perhaps, get a lot of focus, too, since he’s the team’s second-best prospect.
  • Here’s a picture of Vaun Brown:
Syndication: Sarasota Herald-Tribune HERALD-TRIBUNE STAFF PHOTO / THOMAS BENDER via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The team has come a long way from the Joey Bart-Sean Hjelle days. The list represents a decent mix of guys they’ve drafted/acquired within the last year and a half and 2022-2023 offseason signings. I’m not sure if that indicates comfort with or anxiety over their organizational depth, but at least we know none of these guys will be counted on to save the season.


... right?