SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Chris Shaw has changed positions on the diamond. To facilitate that transition, he changed his diet.Nobody, apparently, has asked him to change his swing.• Spring Training informationShaw ranks No. 1 on MLB Pipeline's 2017 list of Giants prospects, lending the impression that his ascent to the Majors
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Chris Shaw has changed positions on the diamond. To facilitate that transition, he changed his diet.
Nobody, apparently, has asked him to change his swing.
• Spring Training information
Shaw ranks No. 1 on MLB Pipeline's 2017 list of Giants prospects, lending the impression that his ascent to the Majors is inevitable. It just might be, given his propensity for power hitting. Shaw hit 24 home runs last season, including 18 for Triple-A Sacramento in 360 plate appearances.
A non-roster invitee who's attending his first big league camp, Shaw's likely to return to Sacramento to begin the season. Like all rookies, he's striving to leave a positive impression with the Giants' decision-makers so they'll think of him first when the right time for a promotion comes along.
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Shaw wisely leaves all assumptions to others.
"Once everybody puts on the jersey, we're all the same guy -- out there competing, trying to make it to that next level," he said Tuesday. "The prospect rankings don't mean anything when you step in the box."
What unfolds when Shaw digs in at the plate isn't an issue.
"He has that aura," said Giants right-hander Derek Law, who spent part of last season with Sacramento. "He's so big and massive, it's like he could hit a home run on any at-bat. Or he didn't do it last time, he's going to do it this time. Or he didn't do it the last two times, maybe he's going to do it this time."
The Boston College product said he derives his power from simple hitting principles.
"It's a by-product of trying to become a better hitter, and then God-given strength and size," he said. "If you're barreling the baseball and you're strong, power will follow."
Playing defense, however, has been the downfall of many sluggers. Unless they become designated hitters.
The Giants covet Shaw's bat, so they haven't seriously considered shipping him to an American League club. The only move Shaw made was from first base to left field, which the Giants believed might better suit him.
Shaw was charged with two errors in 93 starts in left field last year, both with Sacramento. This indicated he's succeeding at an outfielder's basic responsibility -- making routine plays.
Competent as this was, Shaw realized he needed to do more. So he decided to lose weight, trimming 15 pounds this past offseason from his 6-foot-3 frame. He now weighs around 226 pounds.
"I'm a little more agile out there right now," Shaw said. "I feel really good about it."
To lose the weight, the 24-year-old Shaw refrained from eating junk food and cut down on "bad carbs" such as pasta, bakery products and processed foods. He mostly followed the paleo diet (grass-fed beef, seafood, fruits and nuts) and increased his rate of cardiovascular exercise.
Giving up bread, Shaw said, was the most difficult adjustment. But, he added, "once you get into a routine, you kind of don't even think about it anymore."
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.