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Giants plan to take long look at slugger Shaw

MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- In the wake of trading Andrew McCutchen to the Yankees on Friday, the Giants looked within the organization to find a replacement corner outfielder, selecting the contract of Chris Shaw from Triple-A Sacramento.

Shaw, ranked the No. 4 prospect in the Giants' system by MLB Pipeline, slashed .259/.308/.505 with 24 home runs and 65 RBIs in 101 games with Sacramento this season. He assumed McCutchen's spot on both the 25-man and 40-man rosters.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- In the wake of trading Andrew McCutchen to the Yankees on Friday, the Giants looked within the organization to find a replacement corner outfielder, selecting the contract of Chris Shaw from Triple-A Sacramento.

Shaw, ranked the No. 4 prospect in the Giants' system by MLB Pipeline, slashed .259/.308/.505 with 24 home runs and 65 RBIs in 101 games with Sacramento this season. He assumed McCutchen's spot on both the 25-man and 40-man rosters.

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"It's something that you dream about your entire life," Shaw said of being called up, "and to finally have that vision, that dream come to fruition, I still can't even put it into words. I can't even really recall a lot of what happened right after because it's such an emotional whirlwind."

Manager Bruce Bochy wasted little time inserting the 31st overall pick of the 2015 Draft into the lineup. Shaw received the start against the Mets on Friday, batting sixth and playing left field.

"[Shaw] will get a lot of playing time out [in left field]," Bochy said. "He's a bat that we think is going to play here at some point on a regular basis, so he's going to get a chance to show what he can do up here in September."

Tweet from @SFGiants: #25 & #26@BarryBonds & @SHAWESOME24 LF then & LF now#SFGiants pic.twitter.com/TS706aDHMb

With the departure of McCutchen and fellow outfielder Steven Duggar (shoulder) sidelined for the season, the Giants are poised to give Shaw regular at-bats in September.

"I'm just going to approach it the same way I've been approaching my everyday work in Sacramento," Shaw said. "Still go up there looking to get a good pitch to hit and just try to hit it hard. Stick with my game -- it's what's gotten me here. I can't really try to vary from that now."

The Giants aren't looking for Shaw's power to instantly translate to the next level. Bochy is hoping Shaw can continue to barrel the baseball, something that has helped fellow left-handers Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt have success in a spacious AT&T Park.

"I don't want him coming up trying to hit home runs," Bochy said. "Just try to hit the ball hard. I don't want to put that pressure on him. He's a hitter. It's only going to get better with him. This will give him a chance to see what he has to face up here."

Injury updates on Posey, Duggar
Buster Posey was at AT&T Park on crutches before Friday's game. The catcher underwent season-ending hip surgery Monday.

"He's doing fine," Bochy said. "It's good to have this behind us knowing he'll be back sooner than later instead of waiting until the end of the season."

The Giants are hoping Posey will be ready for Spring Training next season. Recovery is expected to be between six and eight months.

Expectations are similar for Duggar, who fielded questions from his locker in a sling Friday. An MRI on Wednesday revealed Duggar sustained a labrum tear in his left (non-throwing) shoulder, which will be surgically repaired. The procedure has yet to be scheduled.

"I should be normal by right around December, to be honest," Duggar said. "I can do everyday stuff around then. I'll be full go, baseball activity ramped up, 100 percent right before camp starts if there's no setbacks."

Despite his promising season cut short, Duggar was encouraged by his first stint in the Majors and felt he was producing good at-bats.

"Just reflecting back, there was obviously some trials along the way," Duggar said. "I knew that coming into it; I knew I was going to fail. But I felt like I stayed with it and made adjustments along the way. And I really felt like I was starting to put some things together."

Martin Oppegaard is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @MartinOppegaard.

San Francisco Giants, Steven Duggar, Buster Posey, Chris Shaw

Bart headlines Giants' impressive farm system

MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- On Saturday, as the Giants celebrated a historic run of World Series championships ('10, '12, and '14) with three new Wall of Fame inductees, it was impossible not to think about the Giants' present and future.

Before Sunday's series finale against the Brewers, the Giants were 7 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West -- their largest deficit of the season.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- On Saturday, as the Giants celebrated a historic run of World Series championships ('10, '12, and '14) with three new Wall of Fame inductees, it was impossible not to think about the Giants' present and future.

Before Sunday's series finale against the Brewers, the Giants were 7 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West -- their largest deficit of the season.

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And while the future might not be entirely in San Francisco the remaining two months of the season, it can be found in MLB Pipeline's latest ranking of the Giants' farm system.

Joey Bart's name has recently become synonymous with the future. A catcher from Georgia Tech, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft immediately became the organization's top prospect, and is ranked No. 36 on MLB Pipeline's Top 100.

Merely days before he was inducted onto the Wall of Fame on Saturday, Ryan Vogelsong, whose baseball career lives on as a special-assistant with the Giants, was in Salem, Ore., watching Bart.

"I didn't see any [home runs]," Vogelsong said. "But I saw a couple lasers, that's for sure."

The 21-year old has hit nine home runs in 19 games and posted a .338/.388/.779 slash line.

"He had an off day when I was there too," Vogelsong added. "But he probably would have hit [a home run]"

Bart is joined on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 by 18-year-old outfielder Heliot Ramos, ranked No. 87. The 19th overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, Ramos has collected 87 hits in 93 games for Class-A Augusta.

Outfielder Steven Duggar, right-hander Shaun Anderson and outfielder Chris Shaw rounded out the Giants' top five prospects. Duggar has hit safely in five consecutive games for the Giants as he continues to audition in center field.

Anderson and Shaw are both contributing in Triple-A Sacramento.

Bart visited AT&T Park in early June, and he was on the cover of Baseball America in July. Bart was asked when he would like to make his Major League debut, and the star prospect said hopefully soon.

"I'd love to be out here as soon as possible," he said, "but I trust the staff will put me in the best position."

With their present in flux, the Giants have watched their cornerstone prospect embark on his career with a start they may have envisioned.

Martin Oppegaard is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @MartinOppegaard.

San Francisco Giants

Duggar leads charge to open Battle of the Bay

MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- Steven Duggar harmlessly grounded out to the pitcher in his first-bat of Friday's game. But from that 11-pitch at-bat, in which Duggar fell behind 1-2 and fouled off five pitches, it became evident the leadoff hitter was locked in.

The Giants won, 7-1, to capture the first installment of the Bay Bridge Series. Duggar had a hand in five of those runs. In just his fourth career game, the 24-year-old went 2-for-3 with three runs scored and two RBIs.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Steven Duggar harmlessly grounded out to the pitcher in his first-bat of Friday's game. But from that 11-pitch at-bat, in which Duggar fell behind 1-2 and fouled off five pitches, it became evident the leadoff hitter was locked in.

The Giants won, 7-1, to capture the first installment of the Bay Bridge Series. Duggar had a hand in five of those runs. In just his fourth career game, the 24-year-old went 2-for-3 with three runs scored and two RBIs.

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Manager Bruce Bochy praised the youngster's performance Friday.

"He was in the middle of everything today," Bochy said. "All of the rallies, got the big hit to break it open, and the first at-bat was a good at-bat. He looks like he's comfortable already from the get-go; he's throwing out some good at-bats, playing good defense. Just a really nice ballgame by him."

Video: OAK@SF: Duggar lines a 2-run double to right in 7th

Ranked the Giants' No. 3 prospect by MLB Pipeline, Duggar faced his biggest moment since his Major League callup Sunday in the seventh inning. Trailing, 2-1, the A's brought in a left-hander to face Duggar with the bases loaded. Down 0-2 in the count, the center fielder ripped his second double of the game, putting the Giants up 4-1.

"I was locked in, ready to go," Duggar said. "I had a feeling they were going to go to that lefty in the 'pen when I was in the hole if the bases were loaded. I just tried to mentally prepare for that and just tried to make the most of that situation."

Buster Posey capped the five-run inning with a double and his second RBI of the game.

Video: OAK@SF: Posey rips RBI double down third-base line

Starter Madison Bumgarner (3-3) threw six-plus innings of one-run ball to earn the win. He allowed three hits, struck out five and walked three, two of which came in a laborious seventh inning. The Giants have won four of his last five outings.

Video: OAK@SF: Bumgarner tosses 6-plus innings of 1-run ball

Not only did the Giants win, they seem to have found their leadoff hitter of the future. It's something Bochy said he is going to think about.

"The thing you like about Steven is he's a patient hitter," Bochy said. "He usually sees a lot of pitches, battles up there, he's got some pop, too. And then he gives you the speed, he can steal a base or take the extra base. I think that [leading off] is going to be his role."

Duggar is comfortable in the leadoff spot. It's where he hit in his ascent through the Giants' farm system, and where he's hit in three of his four Major League starts thus far.

"I think up here the emphasis is just to get on base," Duggar said. "Work a good at-bat to lead off the game. Just try to find a way on because the guys behind me are All-Stars, they swing. Just try to get on base, make something happen and score some runs."

Video: OAK@SF: Duggar races home on wild pitch in the 7th

On Friday, Duggar showcased his entire skillset. He was poised at the plate, he manufactured runs with his speed and he played terrific defense. It was everything the Giants were hoping to see from the highly touted July callup.

"I'm glad he's here," Bumgarner said. "I've been waiting, I think a lot of people have. We're all excited to have him here and see what he can do."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Reyes Moronta entered Friday night's game in the seventh inning with the bases loaded and nobody out. The right-hander exited to a standing ovation after escaping from the jam that Bumgarner induced by allowing a leadoff single and issuing consecutive walks, both on full counts.

"Unbelievable job right there," Bumgarner said. "It was a tough spot to put somebody in and he did as good of a job as you can do, especially in a one-run game. I think that was the big momentum shifter. I think that particular inning won the game for us."

Video: OAK@SF: Moronta induces groundout, leaves bases full

Bochy agreed.

"You always look at a point in the game that could be the turning point and that certainly was," Bochy said. "Bum threw a great ballgame but a base hit, walk, and then he walks the next guy. At that point he's coming out and we've done that a few times to Moronta, put him in a tough situation. But he handles it so well, that's going beyond, not to give up a run. He has that kind of stuff and poise, and that's the turning point in the game, really."

Video: OAK@SF: Bochy talks Duggar's night, Moronta in win

Moronta has not allowed a hit in 12 straight appearances and lowered his ERA to 1.76 with a scoreless frame Friday.

"I just go out there and the first thing I think is to do my job," Moronta said through translator Erwin Higueros. "Try to throw strikes and let the ball find the strike zone."

Bumgarner was the first person to greet Moronta at the dugout steps, a formal handshake followed by an appreciative hug. A bevy of Giants came next.

Asked what Bumgarner said when he met him in the dugout, the right-hander smiled.

"He just hugged me."

SOUND SMART
Posey entered Friday's game 1-for-17 in his career against Edwin Jackson. It was the fewest hits among all pitchers he has faced at least 16 times. Posey collected his second career hit off Jackson, an RBI single in the sixth inning.

Video: OAK@SF: Posey plates Duggar with a single to left

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Duggar manufactured the first run of the game by leading off the fourth inning with a double. He advanced to third on Brandon Belt's groundout and scored when Jackson balked.

"My front spike just caught the dirt," Jackson said. "It's a first. I guess when you play this long there's a first for a lot of different things, but that's the first time that I've had that happen where someone is on base and a run gets brought in."

Video: OAK@SF: Duggar comes home on balk for game's 1st run

HE SAID IT
"He competes and he's not afraid when he goes out there. He's picked me up more than once this year. It's nice to be able to keep battling, making pitches and not give in and just try to just throw a strike in that situation. I saw him down there; I knew depending on what was happening, he was getting close. Like I said, I didn't give in and kept trying to make pitches and we made some good ones." -- Bumgarner, on his confidence in Moronta

UP NEXT
Jeff Samardzija (1-5, 6.42 ERA) will get the nod for the Giants on Saturday in the second game of the Bay Bridge Series at AT&T Park. Last Saturday, in his first start in 35 days, the right-hander went five innings and allowed three earned runs. Samardzija will be looking to get ahead of batters early; he threw first-pitch strikes to only 12 of the 23 batters he faced in his last outing. The A's will counter with veteran Brett Anderson (1-2, 5.75 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. PT.

Martin Oppegaard is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @MartinOppegaard.

San Francisco Giants, Madison Bumgarner, Steven Duggar, Reyes Moronta

SF calls up Black, Duggar after deal with Texas

MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- In a convenient sequence of transactions Sunday, the Giants trimmed payroll by trading two expendable veterans, whose departures create playing opportunities for a pair of prospects.

San Francisco swapped outfielder Austin Jackson and right-hander Cory Gearrin, along with Minor League right-hander Jason Bahr, to the Texas Rangers for a player to be named or cash considerations.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- In a convenient sequence of transactions Sunday, the Giants trimmed payroll by trading two expendable veterans, whose departures create playing opportunities for a pair of prospects.

San Francisco swapped outfielder Austin Jackson and right-hander Cory Gearrin, along with Minor League right-hander Jason Bahr, to the Texas Rangers for a player to be named or cash considerations.

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That freed the Giants to raid the cupboard at Triple-A Sacramento by purchasing the contracts of outfielder Steven Duggar, widely considered the organization's leadoff batter and center fielder of the future, and right-hander Ray Black, the triple-digit-fastball-throwing reliever who's finally healthy.

"For us, it cleared up a couple spots there for these two kids," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "In fairness, Austin's playing time was cut back. He wasn't getting a lot of starts recently. I can't say enough about him and Cory, what great teammates they were. Even times they weren't getting the playing time that they were probably hoping, they were great. They were pulling for the guys. They were awesome in the clubhouse. Two class guys that we're going to miss."

But, Bochy added, "We were hoping to find a way to get Duggar up here along with Black."

By jettisoning Jackson, who signed a two-year, $6 million deal as a free agent last offseason, and Gearrin, who has a $1.675 million salary, the Giants gave themselves a better chance to operate under the $197 million threshold of the Competitive Balance Tax. Each team's figure won't be determined until the end of the season.

By comparison, Duggar and Black will be paid the pro-rated portion of the $545,000 minimum salary.

"What this does is it does create some additional buffer and flexibility below [the CBT] that we can use as a way to improve the club if the opportunity comes at the [non-waiver Trade] Deadline or along the way," Giants general manager Bobby Evans said.

Bochy wasted no time in giving Duggar a chance to prove himself, installing the 24-year-old in center field and atop the batting order Sunday. Bochy indicated the left-handed-batting Duggar and the right-handed-swinging Gorkys Hernandez, whose emergence limited Jackson's playing time, will platoon at times but not daily. Bochy added that Hernandez will remain a regular, occupying left field when Duggar's in center.

Sacramento manager Dave Brundage interrupted Duggar's dinner Saturday to give him the big news.

As Duggar related, Brundage said, "'You can go to the Triple-A All-Star Game or you can go to the big leagues.' It was exciting, to say the least."

Duggar, rated the organization's No. 3 prospect by MLB Pipeline, was batting .272 with 27 doubles, four triples, four homers and 21 RBIs in 78 games at Sacramento.

Black, the Giants' 29th-rated prospect according to MLB Pipeline, was 2-0 with a 2.27 ERA in 22 games with Sacramento and 10 with Double-A Richmond. He had 58 strikeouts in 31 2/3 innings at the two classifications, bringing his career Minor League totals to 240 strikeouts in 125 2/3 innings.

Drafted in the seventh round out of the University of Pittsburgh in 2011, Black has endured multiple injuries and mishaps since high school, beginning with Tommy John elbow surgery in 2009, knee and hand surgeries, labrum surgery and the removal of a bone spur from his elbow. Before this season began, he seriously considered retiring from baseball to work at the family farm in Hanover, Pa.

"It's been a crazy road," said Black, 28. "There have been a lot of ups and downs. Roller coaster of emotions. A few months ago I didn't know if I was going to be playing any more to get to this point right now. It's incredible. I'm just grateful for the opportunity to be here."

Jackson, who batted .242 with 13 RBIs in 59 games, received significantly less playing time as Hernandez established himself as a reliable performer. More recently, outfielder Austin Slater's arrival from Sacramento limited Jackson's activity primarily to pinch-hitting. Jackson started one game since June 16.

Gearrin, 1-1 with a 4.20 ERA in 35 games, was an integral part of the bullpen but was used less frequently in high-leverage situations that were entrusted more often to the likes of Sam Dyson, Reyes Moronta, Tony Watson and Will Smith.

Evans noted that Bahr, 23, was not just a throw-in. He owned an 8-4 record and a 2.55 ERA in 16 starts at San Francisco's pair of Class A affiliates, San Jose and Augusta.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants, Ray Black, Steven Duggar

Giants agree with No. 2 int'l prospect Luciano

MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO - The San Francisco Giants announced the signings of 11 International prospects on Monday, including 16-year-old shortstop Marco Luciano. Baseball America and MLB.com have both ranked the 6-foot-3 power hitter from the Dominican Republic as the No. 2 International prospect in this year's class.

SAN FRANCISCO - The San Francisco Giants announced the signings of 11 International prospects on Monday, including 16-year-old shortstop Marco Luciano. Baseball America and MLB.com have both ranked the 6-foot-3 power hitter from the Dominican Republic as the No. 2 International prospect in this year's class.

:: 2018 International Signing Period ::

Jairo Pomares, a center fielder from Cuba, is ranked as Baseball America's No. 11 International prospect. Luis Matos, a right fielder from Venezuela, has been recognized by MLB.com as their No. 27 International prospect and as the No. 37 International prospect by Baseball America.

The club confirmed the deals late Monday, along with eight other signings: right-handers Melvin Marte and Odue Civada, left-handers Aaron Peniche and Anthony Torres, shortstop Roberto Monegro, center fielder Victor Bericoto, catcher Eduardo Jaramillo and second baseman Yeiver Torrealba.

Luciano's hitting ability and his power -- both projected to be above average -- are what separate him from similar players in the class. Some scouts believe he is the best overall player. The teenager is athletic enough to play shortstop and center field, but he might end up at one of the corner outfield spots because of his overall skillset.

Matos is a polished player with a solid hit tool, plus-plus makeup and a successful track record on Venezuela's junior national teams. He also projects to have a plus arm.

Video: Top International Prospects: Luis Matos, OF

Pomarez has also showed a good feel for hitting and has a balanced approached at the plate. He should develop more power as he gets stronger.

According to the rules established by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, clubs that received a Competitive Balance Pick in Round B of the MLB Draft received a pool of $6,025,400, while clubs that received a Competitive Balance Pick in Round A of the Draft received $5,504,500. All other clubs, including the Giants, received $4,983,500.

Teams are allowed to trade as much of their international pool money as they would like, but can only acquire 75 percent of a team's initial pool amount. Additionally, signing bonuses of $10,000 or less do not count toward a club's bonus pool, and foreign professional players who are at least 25 and have played in a foreign league for at least six seasons are also exempt.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants

Giants option Williamson, recall prospect Slater

MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants' revolving door in left field continued to spin Saturday as they optioned Mac Williamson to Triple-A Sacramento and recalled Austin Slater from the same club.

As of right now, the Giants don't have a starting left fielder, or even one who will receive most of the playing time at that spot. "We have four guys who can play left field," manager Bruce Bochy said, referring to Alen Hanson, Austin Jackson, Hunter Pence and Slater, who is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Giants' No. 5 prospect. "It's hard to rotate."

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SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants' revolving door in left field continued to spin Saturday as they optioned Mac Williamson to Triple-A Sacramento and recalled Austin Slater from the same club.

As of right now, the Giants don't have a starting left fielder, or even one who will receive most of the playing time at that spot. "We have four guys who can play left field," manager Bruce Bochy said, referring to Alen Hanson, Austin Jackson, Hunter Pence and Slater, who is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Giants' No. 5 prospect. "It's hard to rotate."

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Slater came into Saturday's 5-3 win as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning and added an insurance run when he drove in Brandon Crawford with a sacrifice fly.

For instance, Hanson started Saturday against San Diego. Bochy said that Pence likely will start Sunday. "We have to find ways to get them in the lineup," Bochy said.

As for Slater, Bochy said, "It's going to be up to us to give him as many at-bats as we can." Slater, who has experienced four recalls from Sacramento, was hitting .344 with 24 doubles, five home runs and 32 RBIs for the River Cats.

Entering Saturday's game against San Diego, left field ranked as San Francisco's least productive offensive position, other than pitcher. The eight players to occupy left for San Francisco (including Gregor Blanco, Gorkys Hernandez and Brandon Belt) had combined for a team-low slash line of .227/.287/.347. Left fielders also contributed seven home runs and 28 RBIs, well behind positions such as first base (14 homers, 42 RBIs) or third base (12 homers, 46 RBIs).

Not long ago, Williamson appeared poised to claim the position. After beginning the season in Sacramento, he joined the Giants on April 20 and collected three homers and five RBIs in his first five games.

Then Williamson sustained a concussion while colliding with the left-field wall in foul territory in an April 24 game against Washington at AT&T Park. Four days later, he went on the disabled list, missed 28 games and lost his hitting groove. Upon being optioned, Williamson owned a .213/.295/.383 slash line with four homers and 11 RBIs in 28 games.

Bochy said that Williamson "was in a very good place. Then we had to shut him down for quite a while. It would have been nice if he didn't have to deal with that and kept playing and staying with the roll he was on."

Even with these moves, speculation remained that Steven Duggar, the club's No. 3 prospect and widely considered San Francisco's center fielder of the future, soon will be summoned to the Majors. "I'm not saying no," said Bochy, who added, "It's not been talked about."

• Bochy announced that right-hander Jeff Samardzija will start Tuesday for Sacramento at Albuquerque. This most likely will be the right-hander's final Minor League rehab start before he rejoins San Francisco's rotation.

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

San Francisco Giants, Austin Slater, Mac Williamson

Giants first-round pick Bart visits AT&T Park

Catching prospect meets with club officials, coaches, players, including Posey
MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- Sunday, the San Francisco Giants signed Georgia Tech catcher and No. 2 overall pick Joey Bart to a $7.025 million bonus. Emphasis on catcher.

Bart, the Giants' highest pick since Will Clark was selected second overall in 1985, possesses the athleticism and versatility to play around the field. As an 11-year-old, Bart made the switch from center field to catcher, but has no desire to change positions again.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Sunday, the San Francisco Giants signed Georgia Tech catcher and No. 2 overall pick Joey Bart to a $7.025 million bonus. Emphasis on catcher.

Bart, the Giants' highest pick since Will Clark was selected second overall in 1985, possesses the athleticism and versatility to play around the field. As an 11-year-old, Bart made the switch from center field to catcher, but has no desire to change positions again.

View Full Game Coverage

"I like being in the game, I like calling pitches," Bart said Monday during a visit to AT&T Park, where he met with players, reporters and club officials. "You're very involved as a catcher, obviously. I like to say that I'm a leader, so moving people around vocally, that's kind of what's drawn me to catching."

At 14, Bart was cut from a travel baseball team and picked up by the Georgia Roadrunners, fittingly coached by 12-year veteran catcher Michael Barrett in his first year out of MLB. Barrett became Bart's biggest influence.

"He poured a lot of knowledge into my mind," Bart said. "Basically on the mental side of the game. I was kind of in between baseball and football back then but after that, I really found a love for baseball and it was what I wanted to do full-time."

Bart amassed a laundry list of accolades this past season. The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Player of the Year led the conference in batting average (.369) and finished second in slugging percentage (.632) and hits (79). He had 24 multi-hit games and a .471 on-base-percentage, earning first-team All-American honors from five national outlets. He won ACC Defensive Player of the Year and calls the pitches himself instead of at the coach's behest.

"Me and Coach [Danny Hall] have a great relationship," Bart said. "About halfway into last year, he kind of let me start taking that over and this year, I never really looked over in the dugout for the coach. Obviously, if they wanted a call or two here or there, they would signal something in. But I'm extremely lucky for them to have that faith in me to call the pitches."

Video: Draft Report: Joey Bart, College catcher

With Bart, the Buster Posey comparisons are inevitable. Both are Georgia-born catchers who played in the ACC and were selected within the top five picks of the MLB draft. Bart grew up watching and admiring Posey, and got the chance to meet him before the Giants' series opener against Miami.

"He [Posey] was asking me where I'll be," Bart said. "He said that his college roommate is going to be on the staff in Salem, so I'll get to meet him."

Bart is looking forward to catching alongside Posey and picking his brain in Spring Training. For now, the No. 2 overall pick is working out at the Giants spring training facility in Phoenix before shipping out to Salem-Keizer, the organization's short-season, rookie-level affiliate.

"You can't really choose who drafts you but if I had to go and do it, this is how I would have done it," Bart said. "I'm extremely lucky."

Martin Oppegaard is a contributor to MLB.com based in San Francisco.

San Francisco Giants

No. 2 overall pick Bart signs for record bonus

MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- The Giants officially launched the Joey Bart era Sunday. The first order of business for the Georgia Tech catcher is to loosen up.

Bart, San Francisco's top selection in the MLB Draft earlier this month, signed for a $7.025 million bonus, according to MLB Pipeline's Jim Callis. The figure represents the largest upfront bonus ever given to a position player.

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LOS ANGELES -- The Giants officially launched the Joey Bart era Sunday. The first order of business for the Georgia Tech catcher is to loosen up.

Bart, San Francisco's top selection in the MLB Draft earlier this month, signed for a $7.025 million bonus, according to MLB Pipeline's Jim Callis. The figure represents the largest upfront bonus ever given to a position player.

View Full Game Coverage

• Draft Tracker: Every Giants pick

Bart's bonus wasn't disproportionately high, since his pre-Draft slot figure as the No. 2 overall pick was $7,494,600. The Giants are banking on Bart to be worth the expenditure.

History is on the Giants' side.

Their previous No. 2 overall pick, first baseman Will Clark, helped transform the franchise after he was plucked from Mississippi State in 1985. The last catcher they drafted in the first round, Florida State University product Buster Posey, played a major role in the Giants' trio of San Francisco-era World Series-winning seasons.

Video: Joey Bart on being 2nd overall pick

First things first, however. General manager Bobby Evans pointed out in a text message that Bart hasn't performed competitively since May 23. So the 6-foot-3, 225-pounder will join San Francisco's other draftees in a mini-camp at the organization's Scottsdale, Ariz., training facility. Once Bart's again game-ready, he'll join the Giants' Class A Short-Season Salem-Keizer affiliate.

Though Bart is projected as a catcher, Giants scouting director John Barr said the right-handed hitter possesses the athleticism to switch positions if necessary.

This season as a junior, Bart led the Atlantic Coast Conference in batting average (.359), finished second in slugging percentage (.632) and hits (79) and ranked among the league's top 10 in home runs (16), runs scored (55) and on-base percentage (.471). Defensively, he had a career-best .992 fielding percentage.

Bart was named the ACC Player of the Year, the first Georgia Tech player to win the award since Mark Teixeira in 2000. He was also named first team All-America and first team All-ACC, as well as ACC Defensive Player of the Year.

Including Bart, the Giants have come to terms with 23 of their first 25 selections and 29 of their first 33.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants

Johnson recalled; Belt's return still uncertain

Right-hander is corresponding move for Longoria to DL; Giants sign second-round Draft pick Hjelle
MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- Opting for short-term depth to help steady the pitching staff, the Giants recalled right-hander Pierce Johnson from Triple-A Sacramento before Friday night's series opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Activating first baseman Brandon Belt, who has recovered from a June 2 appendectomy, was another possible personnel move. But Belt's biggest semblance of game competition occurred only Thursday, when he got five at-bats in an intrasquad game among players at extended spring training in Scottsdale.

View Full Game Coverage

LOS ANGELES -- Opting for short-term depth to help steady the pitching staff, the Giants recalled right-hander Pierce Johnson from Triple-A Sacramento before Friday night's series opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Activating first baseman Brandon Belt, who has recovered from a June 2 appendectomy, was another possible personnel move. But Belt's biggest semblance of game competition occurred only Thursday, when he got five at-bats in an intrasquad game among players at extended spring training in Scottsdale.

View Full Game Coverage

Johnson began the season with the Giants, posting a 3-2 record with a 5.83 ERA in 23 appearances. He'll absorb some of the multiple innings that San Francisco's relievers have been asked to complete on a daily basis.

Entering Friday, Giants starting pitchers totaled 24 quality starts this season, the seventh fewest in the Major Leagues. Meanwhile, five Giants relievers ranked among the National League's top 26 in appearances: Sam Dyson (33, tied for fifth), Hunter Strickland (32, tied for 11th), Reyes Moronta and Tony Watson (31, tied for 26th).

Johnson replaced third baseman Evan Longoria on the big league contingent. Longoria fractured the fifth metacarpal on his left hand during Thursday's game at Miami. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said that Longoria and the team's medical staff had yet to agree on whether surgery might accelerate the healing process.

Bochy said that Pablo Sandoval likely would receive most of the playing time at third base, though Alen Hanson started Friday.

Giants ink second-round Draft pick
The Giants were all too happy to sign right-hander Sean Hjelle, their second-round pick in the recent MLB Draft. After all, just selecting the 6-foot-11 product of the University of Kentucky was enough of a thrill for the ballclub, whose braintrust wasn't certain whether he would be available with the 45th overall selection.

"We're glad he was there," Giants general manager Bobby Evans said Friday after MLB.com's Jim Callis reported that Hjelle agreed to a $1.5 million bonus. "We didn't necessarily expect him to be there."

Video: Draft 2018: Giants draft RHP Sean Hjelle No. 45

With his stature, Hjelle might be expected to struggle with his pitching mechanics, as is the case with many too-tall hurlers. But Hjelle impressed observers, including the Giants, with his all-around polish.

"We got a chance to see him a good bit. He impressed us at every turn," Evans said of Hjelle, who finished 22-10 with a 3.68 ERA in 54 games (31 startss) in three seasons at Kentucky. In 228 2/3 innings, Hjelle struck out 222 batters and walked 66.

"I think he takes advantage of his height well," Evans added. "Hopefully we can help him do more of that."

Evans said that Hjelle, like most draftees, will report to rookie camp at Scottsdale and has a definite chance to end the season with the Giants' short-season, rookie-level Salem-Keizer affiliate. The Giants project Hjelle to develop into a middle-of-the-rotation starter.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants, Pierce Johnson

Giants draft son of former MVP Bell in 13th

Special to MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- It seems that the sons of former Dominican star sluggers are in demand these days.

Draft Tracker: Follow every Giants Draft pick

SAN FRANCISCO -- It seems that the sons of former Dominican star sluggers are in demand these days.

Draft Tracker: Follow every Giants Draft pick

In the 13th round of the 2018 MLB Draft, with the 376th pick, the Giants selected 20-year-old outfielder George Bell Jr., one of eight sons of 1987 American League MVP Award winner George Bell, out of Connors State College (Okla.).

:: 2018 Draft coverage ::

As a sophomore in 2018, Bell slashed .360/.484/.512 with five homers, 51 RBIs and nine steals in 57 games to lead Connors State to a 49-9 season.

After growing up in the Dominican Republic, the younger Bell didn't draw enough interest from MLB clubs to be signed or drafted, leading him to Connors State, a perennially successful junior college where 12-year MLB veteran and fellow Dominican Julio Lugo had also honed his skills.

If he were to sign, George Jr. would become the third Bell son to play in the Minor Leagues.

Younger brother George Bryner joined the Oakland organization during the 2016-17 international signing period and hit .140 in 39 games in the Arizona League last season. Older brother Dean spent three years at the Rookie level in the Blue Jays' organization before his release in November 2015.

The elder Bell hit 265 homers and drove in 1,002 runs as part of a 12-year MLB career with the Blue Jays, Cubs and White Sox. During his MVP season with Toronto, he slashed .308/.352/.605 with 47 homers and 134 RBIs. He was a three-time All-Star, won the Silver Slugger Award three times and finished in the top 20 of MVP voting six times.

Do-Hyoung Park is a contributor to MLB.com based in San Francisco.

San Francisco Giants

Giants dig deep to draft pitching talent

Day 2 features arms from colleges below Division I
Special to MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- On Monday night, Giants assistant general manager John Barr reiterated his team's "best player available" approach to drafting, as opposed to drafting to fill any perceived need on the Major League roster.

Draft Tracker: Follow every Giants Draft pick

SAN FRANCISCO -- On Monday night, Giants assistant general manager John Barr reiterated his team's "best player available" approach to drafting, as opposed to drafting to fill any perceived need on the Major League roster.

Draft Tracker: Follow every Giants Draft pick

If the Giants' selections in Rounds 3-10 of the 2018 MLB Draft on Tuesday were any indication, it seems that they're identifying a wealth of collegiate pitching talent at schools off the beaten path.

The Draft concludes Wednesday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 9 a.m. PT.

Giants pick C Bart 2nd, tall righty at No. 45

San Francisco used six of its eight picks Tuesday on college pitchers, but only one came from a major conference school (Solomon Bates, USC), and Grand Canyon University right-hander Jake Wong, the club's first selection of the day, was the only other Division I player taken by the Giants.

In Blake Rivera and Keaton Winn, the Giants redrafted two high-upside junior college arms they found last season but didn't sign, and they also claimed Ben Madison and Alex DuBord out of the NAIA, a lower division of college baseball, with their final two picks of the day.

Round 3: RHP Jake Wong, Grand Canyon University (Ariz.)
Tim Salmon, by far the most notable alum of Grand Canyon's baseball program, threw out the first pitch when GCU opened its new baseball stadium in 2018.

But Wong formally christened the stadium by throwing six shutout innings and nine strikeouts against No. 4 TCU. Playing in the Western Athletic Conference, Wong didn't get to face premier opposition often, but when he got those chances, he'd rise to the occasion. He hurled six more scoreless innings against Penn State a month later, striking out 10. He also held Oklahoma State scoreless in the 2017 season opener. He departs college with the second-best ERA (3.59) and third-most strikeouts (168) in GCU Division 1 history.

Though he made his name as the Friday starter at GCU after transitioning from the bullpen after his freshman year, Wong saw perhaps the best success of his career as a reliever in the Cape Cod League, typically considered to be the toughest summer league. He finished as the 2017 league leader in WHIP (0.74) and retired 34 of the 36 hitters he faced in a remarkable July. He uses a sharp curveball and a changeup to complement his best pitch, a fastball in the low- to mid-90s.

Round 4: RHP Blake Rivera, Wallace State Community College (Ala.)
Eleven years ago, in the 2007 MLB Draft, a freshman right-hander out of Wallace State was drafted in the 33rd round. He returned to college, improved his Draft stock and was drafted in the third round a year later.

Last year, in the 2017 MLB draft, freshman Rivera of Wallace State was drafted in the 32nd round. He returned to college, improved his Draft stock and now finds himself a fourth-round selection of the Giants.

By the way, that first guy's name? Craig Kimbrel.

Drafted by the Giants for the second year in a row, the 6-foot-4 Rivera complements a power fastball with a changeup and a sharp curveball described as one of the best pitches in the southeast, and commands all three pitches well. He posted a 17-1 record with 170 strikeouts in 122 2/3 innings in two seasons for Wallace State, but scouts have inquired about his ability to close as well. He will always draw Kimbrel comparisons due to his circumstances -- and head coach Randy Putnam, who coached both at Wallace State, thinks Rivera is more polished now than Kimbrel was when he was drafted.

Video: Draft Report: Blake Rivera, college pitcher

Round 5: RHP Keaton Winn, Iowa Western Community College (Iowa)
Hailing from Ollie, Iowa, a small town of 215 located 40 miles from the nearest interstate highway, Winn largely escaped the notice of major college programs despite starring in football, baseball, basketball and track in high school.

But after going 5-1 with a 2.47 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 51 innings as a freshman starter in 2017 for powerhouse Iowa Western Community College, the 6-foot-4 right-hander's strikeout numbers blew up in 2018, when he converted to closer and punched out 59 hitters while walking only nine in 36 1/3 innings.

Winn, like Rivera, was drafted by the Giants for the second year in a row; he had been San Francisco's 20th-round selection last season but opted to return to school. His best pitch is a 83-85 mph slider, which complements a two-seam fastball with life and a four-seamer in the low 90s.

Round 6: OF P.J. Hilson, Nettleton Senior HS (Ala.)
Speed is the name of the game for Hilson, who stole 45 bases in 73 games in his Nettleton career, but the toolsy switch-hitting outfielder can do it all: He walked 42 times with only 27 strikeouts in high school and also developed a power stroke during his senior season, in which he hit six homers and 12 doubles in 87 at-bats while hitting .402. He is committed to the University of Alabama, where he could also pitch, with his fastball having been recorded as high as 93 mph.

Hilson supplemented his high school career with appearances in the American Legion League, a youth league for ages 13 to 19 that counts 72 members of the MLB Hall of Fame among its alumni, playing for a team based in nearby Paragould, Ark.

Round 7: SS Edison Mora, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy
You don't need to look too far to find a success story involving a shortstop from the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy -- Astros star Carlos Correa was educated there before he was selected with the first overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft.

At 6-foot-2, 165 pounds, the right-handed Mora doesn't have Correa's prodigious physical tools at shortstop, but has a frame to build on and bolsters a Giants farm system that only has three middle infielders in its top 30 prospects according to MLB Pipeline.

Round 8: RHP Solomon Bates, Southern California
A native of Victorville, Calif., just northeast of the Los Angeles area, Bates stayed close to home by committing to USC, where he played alongside older brother R.J., a walk-on, for the Trojans. He didn't make an immediate impact, redshirting his freshman season before recording a 1-1 record and 4.50 ERA as a sophomore reliever.

Bates then emerged as a do-it-all force as a junior in 2018, pitching the second-most innings on the team and leading Trojans starters with a 3.14 ERA and 79 strikeouts in 77 1/3 innings, though he did struggle with the long ball, allowing a team-leading 10 homers. He was named All-Pac-12 honorable mention.

Round 9: RHP Ben Madison, Central Baptist College (Ala.)
As a junior in 2018, Madison dominated hitters with a fastball touching 96 mph, setting a Central Baptist College record and leading the NAIA with 172 strikeouts in 96 2/3 innings, good for a 16.0 K/9 rate. He was named NAIA All-America honorable mention, America Midwest Conference Co-Pitcher of the Year and first-team all-AMC as he led Central Baptist College to its fifth straight 30-win season.

Round 10: RHP Alex DuBord, Faulkner
Though originally slated to enroll at Middle Tennessee State University, DuBord remained at Neosho County Community College in Kansas for his sophomore season before enrolling at Faulkner as a junior in 2018. The 6-foot-5 native of Fargo, N.D., was a three-sport athlete in hockey, football and baseball in high school and went 7-1 with a 4.01 ERA, 55 strikeouts and 14 walks in 51 2/3 innings for Faulker, the No. 1 seed in the 2018 Avista-NAIA World Series.

Do-Hyoung Park is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

San Francisco Giants

Giants pick C Bart 2nd, tall righty at No. 45

MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- When the Giants last owned the MLB Draft's No. 2 overall pick 33 years ago, they used it to select somebody who became an icon: Will Clark. Possessing that pick again Monday, they chose somebody who resembles and could replace Buster Posey, another icon.

Draft Tracker: Follow every Giants Draft pick

SAN FRANCISCO -- When the Giants last owned the MLB Draft's No. 2 overall pick 33 years ago, they used it to select somebody who became an icon: Will Clark. Possessing that pick again Monday, they chose somebody who resembles and could replace Buster Posey, another icon.

Draft Tracker: Follow every Giants Draft pick

:: 2018 Draft coverage ::

Meet Joey Bart, who parallels Posey in more ways than one. They're both Georgia natives. They're both converted catchers who embraced their new position immediately. And they both can hit. Posey has done it enough to make five All-Star teams and win four Silver Slugger awards; Bart recorded a slash line of .359/.471/.632 with 16 home runs and 38 RBIs in 57 games as a junior at Georgia Tech. His batting average and slugging percentage ranked second in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Posey became a big league regular in two seasons. Should Bart sign with the Giants and develop that quickly, he'd be ready to serve as San Francisco's backstop in 2021, the final guaranteed year on Posey's contract (the Giants hold an option for 2022).

Bart acknowledged his admiration for Posey during a conference call with reporters.

"I've liked him forever," said Bart, 21.

He's a semifinalist for two player of the year awards, the Golden Spikes Award and the Dick Howser Trophy, as well as the Johnny Bench Award for being the nation's top collegiate catcher. Posey won all of them.

"For my name to be put up there with his is just unreal," Bart said.

The Giants used their second-round Draft choice on 6-foot-11 Sean Hjelle, a right-hander from the University of Kentucky who was the Southeastern Conference's Pitcher of the Year as a sophomore in 2017.

"We're ecstatic to be able to get two guys who can contribute to the Giants in the near future," scouting director John Barr said.

Video: Giants select Sean Hjelle in 2nd Round

Barr reiterated his emphasis that the club never drafts for need at the Major League level. He did point out, however, that he and Giants scouts spoke to several ACC coaches who opposed Georgia Tech and insisted Bart was among "the best they've seen."

Bart avoided saying anything that might have made Posey seem like his intended prey.

"Those comparisions are cool," said Bart, who bats and throws right-handed. "But he's on a whole 'nother level."

Bart reached levels that were virtually unmatched this year among his peers. As a junior, he led the ACC in batting average and ranked second in slugging percentage. Defensively, he committed two passed balls, matching the league's lowest total, and posted a personal-best .992 fielding percentage.

Bart is the fifth Yellow Jacket to be named the ACC's Player of the Year and the first since Mark Teixeira in 2000. He's also Georgia Tech's first catcher to be first team on both the All-America and All-ACC squads since Jason Varitek in 1993.

Video: Draft 2018: Giants draft C Joey Bart No. 2

Moreover, Bart eclipsed right-hander Kevin Brown as Georgia Tech's highest Draft pick. Brown went fourth overall to the Texas Rangers in 1986.

One thing Bart didn't do during a visit to San Francisco last week for a pre-Draft workout was ride BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit, the railway system that links the entire Bay Area).

If he gets his way, he'll receive numerous opportunities to experiment with public transit.

"I'd love to get there as soon as possible," Bart said. "That's one thing that attraced me to the Giants. I felt like they really needed me for the future and really wanted me as well and they always want to win. They're not looking to rebuild like some organizations."

Barr was far from certain that Hjelle, 21, still would be available with the 45th overall pick.

"That was a waiting game to see if he was going to make it to us," Barr said.

Video: Draft 2018: Giants draft RHP Sean Hjelle No. 45

Hjelle commanded attention after finishing 11-4 with a 3.89 ERA as a sophomore. He wasn't as prolific this year but remained successful, posting a 7-5 mark with a 3.44 ERA.

"We like the way he handles himself," Barr said. "He doesn't look like a 6-foot-10 or 6-foot-11 pitcher because he moves so well. You expect him to be a little more gawky or something, but he actually moves his feet and he has a feel. He throws strikes. We see him being a starter in the big leagues."

The Draft continues Tuesday with Rounds 3-10. The MLB.com preview show begins at 9:30 a.m. PT, with exclusive coverage beginning at 10 a.m. PT.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants

These 5 prospects could impact NL West race

MLB.com

The National League West race has already been plenty surprising, but it also feels ... incomplete. The Dodgers and Giants are both without their aces. The D-backs are down their best everyday player. The standings seem a bit topsy-turvy right now, but it's also easy to remind yourself that these teams are sure to change over the coming months.

And that's not just a matter of injuries. Every team in the division has at least one prospect knocking on the door, players who could shape the race in their own ways if given the opportunity.

The National League West race has already been plenty surprising, but it also feels ... incomplete. The Dodgers and Giants are both without their aces. The D-backs are down their best everyday player. The standings seem a bit topsy-turvy right now, but it's also easy to remind yourself that these teams are sure to change over the coming months.

And that's not just a matter of injuries. Every team in the division has at least one prospect knocking on the door, players who could shape the race in their own ways if given the opportunity.

Here's a look at one prospect to watch for each club.

Video: Top Prospects: Jon Duplantier, RHP, D-backs

D-backs
Prospect:
Jon Duplantier, RHP
MLB Pipeline rankings: D-backs' No. 1 prospect, overall No. 68
Why you should keep an eye on him: A year after starring in the notoriously hitter-friendly California League, Duplantier has handled the jump to Double-A with ease. And he's done it while keeping his strikeout rate high and slashing his walk rate. The problem, of course, is that Arizona has plenty of pitching, even with Taijuan Walker out. What the Snakes need is a bat. Still, Duplantier has risen rapidly -- he's at his fourth level after just 30 professional starts -- so he could be putting himself in position to help if there's a need down the road sometime.
ETA: It will most likely be 2019, but Duplantier is doing everything he can to force the issue.

Video: LAD@SD: Verdugo plates Utley with a single to right

Dodgers
Prospect:
Alex Verdugo, OF
MLB Pipeline rankings: Dodgers' No. 2 prospect, overall No. 30
Why you should keep an eye on him: We could have gone with Walker Buehler here, but it seems likely he'll be losing his prospect status sooner than later. He's up, and it seems he's up to stay. Verdugo appears to have a tougher fight for a spot on the big league roster. He has the ability, though. Verdugo has excellent bat-to-ball skills, and he's using them to hit .300 yet again. He also has an exceptional arm and is at least a big league-caliber right fielder, if not a potential center fielder. It's a bit of an unusual package -- Verdugo is not really a leadoff man since he doesn't walk much, and he's not really a middle-of-the-order hitter since he doesn't hit for power. But he hits, he catches, he throws and he held his own in an audition earlier this year. Verdugo will help the Dodgers again before the year is out.
ETA: September at the latest, but it will be surprising if it's not sooner.

Giants
Prospect:
Austin Slater, OF
MLB Pipeline rankings: Giants' No. 5 prospect
Why you should keep an eye on him: In short, because Slater is raking. And one of baseball's oldest truths is, if you hit, they'll find a spot for you. In classic Giants fashion, Slater is not a highly touted tool box. He's just a guy who's producing. Slater has refined his strike zone over the years and he's torching the PCL to the tune of .396/.472/.679. He is 25 and in his fifth year of pro ball, so he may not have a ton of growth remaining in his game. But Slater is hitting, and that's the surest ticket to The Show.
ETA: It's kind of now or never; if Slater can't force his way into the mix before the year is out, it's hard to see when he will.

Video: Top Prospects: Luis Urias, 2B, Padres

Padres
Prospect:
Luis Urias, IF
MLB Pipeline rankings: Padres' No. 3 prospect, overall No. 32
Why you should keep an eye on him: Urias doesn't have quite the hype, or the famous name, of