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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.

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"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.

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• 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.

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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.

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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 fellow future Friar Fernando Tatis Jr. But he is closer to the Majors than Tatis, and at least arguably having a better year. Urias is the more polished of the two prized infield prospects, with an advanced approach that has produced a .407 OBP at Triple-A. He looks like he'll play a solid second base in the big leagues. Urias may never be a basher, but he's shown some improved pop this year, which will help him keep drawing walks at the top level.
ETA: It could very well come after the non-waiver Trade Deadline, once San Diego clears some space for him.

Video: COL@PIT: McMahon doubles the lead with RBI single

Rockies
Prospect:
Ryan McMahon, 1B
MLB Pipeline rankings: Rockies' No. 2 prospect, overall No. 38
Why you should keep an eye on him: You may not have heard, but the Rockies haven't gotten an awful lot of production out of first base this year. And McMahon can hit, posting a .355 average in the Minors last year. He's scuffled some this year, including in a 60 plate-appearance look with the big club, but he's come on since he was sent back down to Triple-A. Meanwhile Ian Desmond is hitting .180 with a .233 OBP, and has a .671 OPS since joining the Rockies last year. There's also been talk of giving McMahon a look at second base, but that seems like a tough ask. Still, it's an indication that he's on the big club's radar.
ETA: Like Verdugo, McMahon is certain to get a September callup, and likely to get another before then.

Matthew Leach is the National League executive editor for MLB.com.

San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Jon Duplantier, Ryan McMahon, Austin Slater, Luis Urias, Alex Verdugo

Beede's progress to continue in Minors

Giants prospect strikes out 6 but allows 5 runs in loss to Padres
MLB.com

SAN DIEGO -- Tyler Beede proved he can strike out Major League hitters. Sustaining a thorough effort against them must wait for another time, as the Giants' 10-1 loss Sunday to the Padres demonstrated.

The Padres treated Beede like the novice he was, scoring five runs off him in 3 2/3 innings. Three of the six hits he yielded were doubles. A two-out walk he issued in the third inning generated a pair of Padres runs. The right-hander did amass six strikeouts, which gave him something positive to cling to.

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SAN DIEGO -- Tyler Beede proved he can strike out Major League hitters. Sustaining a thorough effort against them must wait for another time, as the Giants' 10-1 loss Sunday to the Padres demonstrated.

The Padres treated Beede like the novice he was, scoring five runs off him in 3 2/3 innings. Three of the six hits he yielded were doubles. A two-out walk he issued in the third inning generated a pair of Padres runs. The right-hander did amass six strikeouts, which gave him something positive to cling to.

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"My stuff plays," said Beede, the Giants' No. 1 selection in the 2014 Draft. "It's just a matter of being more polished later in the count."

Not surprisingly, Giants manager Bruce Bochy announced after the club's third straight defeat that Beede would be optioned back down to Triple-A Sacramento. There, he can continue his development and gain more of an understanding of what he tried to do in two starts with the Giants. Besides, Johnny Cueto will rejoin the starting rotation Tuesday and Jeff Samardzija will shortly follow. The Giants have no need for Beede right now, especially in his current state.

Bochy said Beede will focus on the bookends of pitching: getting ahead of hitters more frequently in the count, and then putting them away. This is particularly a must with runners on base.

"That's when you have to make your pitches," Bochy said. "We were living in the heart of the plate. That doesn't work."

Not much worked for Beede. Christian Villanueva doubled home two runs in the third inning before Jose Pirela and Freddy Galvis drilled consecutive run-scoring hits in the fourth, finishing Beede -- but only temporarily.

Video: SF@SD: Galvis rips an RBI single to center field

"I have a lot of confidence coming out of these two starts," Beede said. "It's just a matter of going down there and refining some things."

Other aspects of the Giants' performance looked troubling.

Left-hander Josh Osich, who looked so promising as the season began, allowed two runs and three hits while walking one in 1 2/3 innings. His ERA ballooned to 6.14.

San Francisco's erratic offense mustered seven hits and scored only in the second inning off Padres starter Joey Lucchesi. Nick Hundley singled, moved to third base on Evan Longoria's single and scored on Brandon Belt's sacrifice fly.

Video: SF@SD: Belt plates Hundley to give Giants the lead

The Giants lost three games in this four-game series as their fortunes at Petco Park continued to plummet. In their last six series here, the Giants have lost five and split one.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
A prime example of how Beede can tighten up his game occurred with two outs in the third inning and the Giants leading, 1-0. Beede walked Galvis, leaving the door open for the Padres. Franchy Cordero singled, setting up Villanueva's two-run double.

Video: SF@SD: Villanueva rips a two-run double to left field

SOUND SMART
Everything in the Giants-Padres season series changed in 2016, at least in terms of games played in San Diego. San Francisco swept the Padres in a three-game series May 17-19, and since then, the Giants have struggled at Petco Park, losing 20 of 25 games.

UP NEXT
Following Monday's scheduled off-day, the Giants will confront the NL West-leading Arizona Diamondbacks in a three-game series beginning Tuesday at Phoenix's Chase Field. Cueto is expected to leave the disabled list to face left-hander Patrick Corbin.

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, Tyler Beede

Bumgarner transferred to 60-day disabled list

Special to MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants selected the contract of left-hander Andrew Suarez from Triple-A Sacramento prior to Suarez's first career start in San Francisco's 7-3 loss to Arizona in Wednesday afternoon's series finale.

In corresponding roster moves, Madison Bumgarner was transferred to the 60-day disabled list and reliever Steven Okert was optioned back to Sacramento after one day with the Giants.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants selected the contract of left-hander Andrew Suarez from Triple-A Sacramento prior to Suarez's first career start in San Francisco's 7-3 loss to Arizona in Wednesday afternoon's series finale.

In corresponding roster moves, Madison Bumgarner was transferred to the 60-day disabled list and reliever Steven Okert was optioned back to Sacramento after one day with the Giants.

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Bumgarner's move to the 60-day disabled list means that the earliest he would be eligible to be activated would be May 25. The lefty continues to recover from a fractured finger in his pitching hand sustained during Spring Training.

Suarez, the Giants' No. 10 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, retired the first 10 hitters he faced on Wednesday and attacked the strike zone effectively, allowing only four hits and striking out seven without issuing a walk. However, he fell victim to the long ball, as he allowed homers to Paul Goldschmidt and John Ryan Murphy on a pair of hanging sliders.

Video: ARI@SF: Suarez records first MLB strikeout

The 25-year-old left-hander was ultimately charged with four earned runs in 5 1/3 innings pitched. He was lifted after 83 pitches.

"I thought he did a nice job," manager Bruce Bochy said. "Sure, he made a couple of mistakes, but I thought overall, it was a pretty good job by him in his first start, his debut. Again, throwing strikes. He worked ahead, and I know there are a couple of pitches, sure, that he'd like to have back, but I thought it was pretty impressive."

The Giants have already guaranteed a second start on Sunday to right-hander Tyler Beede, who debuted Tuesday, but despite Suarez's promising outing, Bochy hesitated to offer a similarly concrete timeline for Suarez's next start.

"He'll get another chance. I can't tell you when," Bochy said. "We'll wait and see. We're talking about it now. He's going to pitch up here, I can tell you that, at some point, whether he's making another start here real soon, depending on Johnny [Cueto]'s ankle, but we'll wait."

On Wednesday, Suarez took the rotation spot of Johnny Cueto, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Tuesday following a left ankle sprain suffered during a workout.

Despite the uncertainty in his timeline, Suarez remained unconcerned.

"I'm just going through it day by day, and whatever happens, happens," Suarez said.

Do-Hyoung Park is a contributor to MLB.com.

San Francisco Giants, Madison Bumgarner, Andrew Suarez

Beede to make MLB debut, start tonight

MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants announced after their 2-1 loss to the D-backs that right-hander Tyler Beede will make his Major League debut Tuesday night when he starts the second game of the series.

Beede's arrival briefly caused apparent consternation among the Giants' decision-makers, who couldn't immediately settle on dates for Beede's assignment and for Johnny Cueto's next start. The state of Cueto's ankle, which he tweaked in his previous outing, apparently became an issue, as did Beede's scheduling. Cueto will start Wednesday's series finale, the Giants announced.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants announced after their 2-1 loss to the D-backs that right-hander Tyler Beede will make his Major League debut Tuesday night when he starts the second game of the series.

Beede's arrival briefly caused apparent consternation among the Giants' decision-makers, who couldn't immediately settle on dates for Beede's assignment and for Johnny Cueto's next start. The state of Cueto's ankle, which he tweaked in his previous outing, apparently became an issue, as did Beede's scheduling. Cueto will start Wednesday's series finale, the Giants announced.

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Beede's recall will become official Tuesday. The Giants' initial motivation for summoning him was to keep the rotation's other starters on their regular four days' rest.

Beede said before Monday's game, "All I know at this point [is] I've got my spikes on and I'll get ready for whenever they call my name."

Beede, 24, was San Francisco's No. 1 selection in the 2014 Draft (14th overall). Due to inclement weather in Tacoma, where Sacramento opened its season, the Giants sent Beede to join Class A Advanced San Jose to prevent him from getting too much rest. He pitched a five-inning one-hitter last Thursday against Inland Empire at San Bernardino, allowing one run while walking three and striking out four. MLB Pipeline ranked Beede fourth among the organization's top 30 prospects.

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, Tyler Beede

Suarez or Beede? Giants mum on 5th starter

Samardzija continues working toward return from injury
MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- Rather than ask Bruce Bochy who will be summoned from Triple-A Sacramento to start Wednesday against Arizona, a clever reporter phrased his question to the Giants manager to try to elicit a specific response: Which rookie will be summoned from Triple-A Sacramento to receive the pitching assignment, Tyler Beede or Andrew Suarez?

Bochy paused briefly before responding.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Rather than ask Bruce Bochy who will be summoned from Triple-A Sacramento to start Wednesday against Arizona, a clever reporter phrased his question to the Giants manager to try to elicit a specific response: Which rookie will be summoned from Triple-A Sacramento to receive the pitching assignment, Tyler Beede or Andrew Suarez?

Bochy paused briefly before responding.

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"Either or," he said. "How's that?"

Until Bochy announces a decision, this mini-issue could prompt a spirited debate, at least among Giants fans. Except for the obvious difference that Beede throws right-handed and Suarez is a lefty, there's little separating the two, at least on the surface.

Beede entered the organization with a higher pedigree as its No. 1 selection in the 2014 Draft (14th overall). But Suarez impressed many, including Bochy, during his rise through the Minor League system. Both performed impressively in their 2018 debuts. Beede threw a one-hitter for five innings, Suarez a one-hitter through four.

Video: Top Prospects: Tyler Beede, RHP, Giants

MLB Pipeline ranked Beede No. 4 among the organization's top 30 Minor League prospects. Suarez is 10th.

Samardzija staying busy

Right-hander Jeff Samardzija (strained right pectoral) remained on course to rejoin the starting rotation. He's scheduled to pitch in an extended spring game in Arizona on Monday, along with left-hander Will Smith.

Samardzija continued his recovery by throwing the equivalent of two innings off an indoor mound Friday. Though he'd prefer to resume pitching as soon as possible, he insisted he won't jeopardize his physical recovery by rushing his rehabilitation.

"We want to be malleable with the schedule," Samardzija said.

• After Friday's rainout, Bochy wanted to rearrange the starting rotation while affecting a minimum number of pitchers, explaining why he limited the shuffling to moving Derek Holland's next turn from Friday to Monday.

• Left fielder Hunter Pence was back in the lineup Saturday, despite a mild right thumb injury. Bochy explained the ailment interfered more with Pence's throwing than his hitting.

• Bochy affirmed that right-hander Johnny Cueto's right ankle, which he tweaked while pitching Wednesday, is fine.

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, Tyler Beede, Andrew Suarez

Giants prospect Hinojosa suspended 50 games

MLB.com

Giants Minor League shortstop C.J. Hinojosa, who is the team's No. 17-ranked propsect according to MLB Pipeline and currently on the roster of the Class A San Jose Giants of the California League, has received a 50-game suspension without pay following a second positive test for a drug of abuse in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. 

The suspension of Hinojosa is effective immediately.

Giants Minor League shortstop C.J. Hinojosa, who is the team's No. 17-ranked propsect according to MLB Pipeline and currently on the roster of the Class A San Jose Giants of the California League, has received a 50-game suspension without pay following a second positive test for a drug of abuse in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. 

The suspension of Hinojosa is effective immediately.

The 23-year-old is recovering from an Achilles injury sustained last season. He hit .265/.321/.340 in 99 games with Double-A Richmond, where he was likely going to begin the year once he's healthy.

San Francisco Giants