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Giants select Bergen, Ferguson in Rule 5 Draft

MLB.com

LAS VEGAS -- Earlier this week, Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi joked that the team had enough vacancies on its 40-man roster to "take four or five guys" during the Rule 5 Draft.

The Giants were certainly more active than expected on Thursday, selecting left-handed reliever Travis Bergen from the Blue Jays and outfielder Drew Ferguson from the Astros during the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft. Assistant general manager Jeremy Shelley, who has worked for the Giants since 1994, said he couldn't personally recall another instance in which the club made more than one pick during the Rule 5 Draft.

LAS VEGAS -- Earlier this week, Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi joked that the team had enough vacancies on its 40-man roster to "take four or five guys" during the Rule 5 Draft.

The Giants were certainly more active than expected on Thursday, selecting left-handed reliever Travis Bergen from the Blue Jays and outfielder Drew Ferguson from the Astros during the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft. Assistant general manager Jeremy Shelley, who has worked for the Giants since 1994, said he couldn't personally recall another instance in which the club made more than one pick during the Rule 5 Draft.

"We feel like between the center fielder and the left-handed reliever, you got two premium position-type guys," Shelley said before departing the Winter Meetings. "You're just looking to improve the overall depth of the roster. I think that's the biggest thing. With two picks, I think we accomplished that here in the draft."

Clubs pay $100,000 to select a player in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft. If that player doesn't stay on the 25-man roster for the full season, he must be offered back to his former team for $50,000. Bergen and Ferguson will both be in big league camp during Spring Training and will be given the opportunity to compete for jobs.

Tweet from @MLBPipeline: Curious about the players picked in the Rule 5 Draft? @jimcallisMLB provides scouting reports on all 14 players selected in the @MLB phase: https://t.co/37xiuRkGAR pic.twitter.com/8z7xWM9zHJ

Bergen, 25, was a seventh-round Draft pick of the Blue Jays in 2015 out of Kennesaw State University. He mixes a low- to mid-90s fastball with a curveball and posted an 0.95 ERA over 56 2/3 innings in 43 appearances between Class A Advanced Dunedin and Double-A New Hampshire. Bergen could help give the Giants' bullpen some coverage from the left side if they end up dealing Will Smith or Tony Watson, both of whom have been the subject of trade rumors this week.

"He's a two-pitch guy, swing-and-miss stuff," Shelley said of Bergen. "I think we got a potential bullpen guy from the left side. … He has even splits in his career. He can get both lefties and righties out. He punched out, I want to say, 11.8 per nine. Low walk rate. His fastball, the swing-and-miss [rate] was double the Major League average."

History of the Rule 5 Draft

A 19th-round Draft pick of the Astros in 2015 out of Belmont University, Ferguson is a career .297 hitter with a .393 on-base percentage in the Minors. In 2018, he batted .305 with an .866 OPS and four home runs in 65 games with Triple-A Fresno. The right-handed hitter appeared in nine games in the Arizona Fall League and is now accumulating more reps by playing winter ball in Puerto Rico.

"His plate discipline is very attractive," Shelley said. "His defensive versatility is very attractive. He can play three spots. We're light on outfielders. We'll bring him into camp, let him compete and see how he does. I think he'll be an attractive piece for [manager Bruce Bochy] to evaluate in camp."

Ferguson, 26, was the second outfielder acquired by the Giants this week, as they also claimed Mike Gerber from the Tigers on Monday. They both share two traits that Zaidi has made clear he will value as he works to construct the Giants' roster: defensive versatility and the ability to get on base. The club's outfield mix now includes Steven Duggar, Austin Slater, Mac Williamson, Chris Shaw, Gerber and Ferguson, though Zaidi is hoping to add more experienced options this offseason.

In the Minor League phase of the Rule 5 Draft, the Giants selected third baseman Peter Maris from the Rays and left-hander Sam Moll from the Blue Jays. They also lost relievers Ian Gardeck and Dusten Knight and outfielder Jeffrey Baez.

Maria Guardado covers the Giants for MLB.com. She previously covered the Angels from 2017-18. Follow her on Twitter.

San Francisco Giants, Travis Bergen, Drew Ferguson, Ian Gardeck, Dusten Knight, Peter Maris, Sam Moll

Hard-throwing prospect added to 40-man roster

MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- Hard-throwing pitching prospect Melvin Adon was among a trio of right-handers selected to the Giants' 40-man roster Tuesday ahead of the Dec. 13 Rule 5 Draft.

Adon, whose fastball has reached 102 mph, is coming off an Arizona Fall League campaign in which he struck out 21 and walked three in 12 1/3 innings spanning 10 appearances for Scottsdale. He allowed just seven hits.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Hard-throwing pitching prospect Melvin Adon was among a trio of right-handers selected to the Giants' 40-man roster Tuesday ahead of the Dec. 13 Rule 5 Draft.

Adon, whose fastball has reached 102 mph, is coming off an Arizona Fall League campaign in which he struck out 21 and walked three in 12 1/3 innings spanning 10 appearances for Scottsdale. He allowed just seven hits.

The 24-year-old Adon, who's ranked 19th among Giants prospects by MLB Pipeline, also finished 2-5 with a 4.87 ERA in 16 appearances (15 starts) this year at Class A Advanced San Jose.

"He's a very talented young man with a great arm and a bright future ahead once he gains confidence and controls the strike zone better," said Giants special assistant Will Clark, who scouted Adon this past season.

Others added to the 40-man roster were Sam Coonrod and Logan Webb.

Coonrod, 26, spent most of 2018 recovering from Tommy John surgery. Ranked No. 30 on MLB Pipeline's organizational prospects list, he struck out 23 in 11 2/3 innings over 10 appearances, which were divided between Rookie League and San Jose.

Webb split the 2018 season between San Jose and Double-A Richmond. His combined ERA was 2.41 in 27 games (26 starts). A California League Mid-Season All-Star as well as the Giants' No. 11 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, Webb limited right-handed batters to a .187 average.

The Giants also outrighted right-hander Chase Johnson to Triple-A Sacramento. San Francisco lost right-hander Julian Fernandez, who was claimed off waivers by the Marlins.

San Francisco has 36 players on its 40-man roster.

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 encouraged by Adon's AFL performance

MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- Before Melvin Adon is ready to ascend to the Majors with his triple-digit fastball, the Giants must make sure they're ready for him.

Adon, 24, possesses a starter's durability and the potential to be a closer. It'll be up to San Francisco which ultimately suits him best.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Before Melvin Adon is ready to ascend to the Majors with his triple-digit fastball, the Giants must make sure they're ready for him.

Adon, 24, possesses a starter's durability and the potential to be a closer. It'll be up to San Francisco which ultimately suits him best.

"I think he can be great, no matter which role he's placed in," said Matt Yourkin, who has coached Adon since the Giants signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2015 and is Class A Advanced San Jose's pitching coach.

Adon, ranked as San Francisco's No. 19 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, thrilled the Giants with his Arizona Fall League performance this year. Working exclusively in relief for the Scottsdale Scorpions, he struck out 21 and walked three in 10 appearances spanning 12 1/3 innings. The right-hander allowed just seven hits.

"He's always had good stuff," Yourkin said. "It's just nice to see it come together and show the refinement that he has been working on."

Further work was necessary for Adon, who walked 34 batters in 77 2/3 innings over 16 appearances (15 starts) with a 4.87 ERA for San Jose. His dramatic improvement in his strikeout-to-walk ratio reflected his diligence in learning to command his slider, which complements a fastball that has reached as high as 102 mph.

Video: Hernandez, Adon impressing in Arizona Fall League

Switching from starting during the regular season to relieving in the AFL helped Adon focus on improving incrementally. He was free to try to develop a single secondary pitch, not multiple deliveries as a starter would.

"Being in a bullpen role took the onus off of having to feel like he had to have a three- or four-pitch mix," said Matt Buschmann, an assistant director of player development for the Giants who recently joined a group of his counterparts to observe the AFL. They returned to San Francisco with the sense that Adon's bullpen aptitude "was really, really exciting to see."

The Giants are in no rush to determine Adon's future. His development and the pitching staff's evolution likely will make the decision for them.

"It's one of those great problems to have," Buschmann said.

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' Williams extends scoreless streak in AFL

MLB.com

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Garrett Williams continued his dominant Arizona Fall League pitching streak Monday, tossing five more scoreless innings as the Scottsdale Scorpions defeated the Glendale Desert Dogs, 7-5, at Camelback Ranch.

Williams, the Giants' No. 20 prospect, didn't allow a run for his third consecutive start on his way to his second AFL win this season. He finished his five-inning outing with five strikeouts, no walks and no earned runs.

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Garrett Williams continued his dominant Arizona Fall League pitching streak Monday, tossing five more scoreless innings as the Scottsdale Scorpions defeated the Glendale Desert Dogs, 7-5, at Camelback Ranch.

Williams, the Giants' No. 20 prospect, didn't allow a run for his third consecutive start on his way to his second AFL win this season. He finished his five-inning outing with five strikeouts, no walks and no earned runs.

"Honestly I feel better today than I did last outing," Williams said. "So, progressive movement forward and work from there."

• Gameday

Through his last three starts, Williams struck out 14 batters, walked only three and allowed no runs. He has a 0.60 ERA through four games and is showing his ability to control games against some of the MLB's top prospects.

"To be able to pitch to such a high level of talent here, with all the prospects and everything, really just getting confidence out of it," Williams said. "Knowing my stuff can play at a higher level and knowing that I have the fastball command and being able to control all of my pitches for strikes. The confidence is there and I'm feeling good."

After struggling through his 2018 Minor League season, where he finished the year 3-9 with a 6.06 ERA, Williams is beginning to show why he is considered one of the Giants' top pitching prospects.

"This season was a grind for me," Williams said. "Kind of struggled it out the whole season, so it was nice to have a clean slate.

"I'm honored to be representing the Giants here. I'm thankful that they chose me, so that gives me some confidence, knowing that they still believe in me and like I said, clean slate … and just working on my stuff, command, and getting better every day."

Williams dueled with Glendale's starter and Orioles prospect, Chris Lee, as each pitcher threw five shutout innings to open the game.

The floodgates opened for Scottsdale during a six-run sixth inning that gave it a lead over Glendale that it held for the remainder of the game.

Taylor Trammell, the Reds' No. 3 prospect (No. 17 overall), went 2-for-5 with two RBIs for Scottsdale, and Mets No. 2 prospect (No. 58 overall) Peter Alonso finished the game 1-for-5 with one RBI.

"I heard that it [Fall League] was fun, it's a blast and so far, I'm having fun," Williams said. "It's an easy, laid-back atmosphere, a lot of great guys here.

"The atmosphere in the locker room is fun. Trying to keep it smooth and easy so, just having fun continuing to play baseball and getting better."

Jake Goodrick is a senior journalism student at Arizona State University. This story is part of a partnership between MLB.com and ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

San Francisco Giants

Pipeline names Giants' Prospects of the Year

MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants believe that catcher Joey Bart and right-hander Shaun Anderson will form the battery of the future. Make that the near future.

Bart and Anderson were selected as the Giants' Minor League player and pitcher of the year, respectively, by MLB.com. Though Anderson, who reached Triple-A this season, conceivably will arrive in the Majors more quickly than Bart -- the Giants' No. 1 selection (second overall) in this year's MLB Draft -- the organization might not have to wait too long before they unite in the big leagues.

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants believe that catcher Joey Bart and right-hander Shaun Anderson will form the battery of the future. Make that the near future.

Bart and Anderson were selected as the Giants' Minor League player and pitcher of the year, respectively, by MLB.com. Though Anderson, who reached Triple-A this season, conceivably will arrive in the Majors more quickly than Bart -- the Giants' No. 1 selection (second overall) in this year's MLB Draft -- the organization might not have to wait too long before they unite in the big leagues.

Each team's Hitting and Pitching Prospects of the Year were chosen by the MLB Pipeline staff. To receive consideration, players must have spent at least half the year in the Minors and appeared on the team's Top 30 Prospects list.

Bart, 21, is expected to ascend to the Majors quickly -- akin to fellow catcher Buster Posey, who played 172 games in the Minors before reaching the big leagues to stay in 2010. Already, Bart rose from 35th to 23rd in MLB Pipeline's recently revised list of baseball's Top 100 prospects.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

Bart's physique alone (6-foot-3, 220 pounds) excites talent evaluators. Those dimensions merely hint at the skill that's rarely found in such abundance among catchers.

The prodigious hitting ability that Bart displayed at Georgia Tech, where he captured Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year honors, was in evidence during his 51-game professional trial, which featured 45 games at Short-Season Rookie-level Salem-Keizer. Bart slashed .294/.364/.588 with 13 home runs and 40 RBIs this season.

"He has 'plus' power to all fields and ability to drive the ball," said former Giants catcher and Minor League manager Steve Decker, who's now a special assistant in San Francisco's baseball operations department. "He handles the breaking ball and triggers on the mistake breaking ball up, which is a good sign for a young hitter. That's one thing that stood out when I went to watch him in college and watched him over the summer."

Video: Top Prospects: Joey Bart, C, Giants

Decker made special mention of the right-handed-hitting Bart's raw power, "especially to right-center field."

This is partly the product of maintaining a consistent hitting approach.

"When you see a young hitter go up there and he has a plan and he has an ability to do different things, he's just advanced," Decker said. "Whoever worked with him, whoever his offseason hitting guru was in high school or college, did a nice job with him."

Bart also showed promise on defense, which is every catcher's top priority. Decker praised Bart's apparent physical durability and flexibility, as well as his receiving and pitch-blocking techniques.

"I mean, there are things he's going to have to clean up through player development to get to the other end," Decker said. "But the skillset is there."

Video: Top Prospects: Shaun Anderson, RHP, Giants

The same could be said for Anderson, 23, who joined the Giants in the July 2017 deal that sent utility man Eduardo Nunez to Boston.

Just as the Giants benefited from this year's emergence of Dereck Rodriguez and Andrew Suarez, who bolstered the starting rotation, the club hopes that this process of replenishment continues next season with Anderson.

"I would imagine he'd be right there, putting himself in position in Spring Training to battle for those spots," Decker said.

With Double-A Richmond, Anderson posted a 6-5 record with a 3.45 ERA in 17 appearances (16 starts). He faced somewhat of an adjustment with Triple-A Sacramento, finishing 2-2 with a 4.18 ERA in eight starts. Overall, the right-hander accumulated 127 strikeouts in 141 1/3 innings in 2018.

"He has a polished approach," Decker said. "He's aggressive with his fastball and in off the plate, which I really liked. He commanded the outside corner with the slider and expanded with his breaking stuff. ... He's a younger guy. But he did have a maturity on the mound and an [ability] to adjust, which I liked."

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 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.

View Full Game Coverage

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.

View Full Game Coverage

"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.

View Full Game Coverage

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.

View Full Game Coverage

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.

View Full Game Coverage

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.

View Full Game Coverage

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.

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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