Hall among Giants shining in Venezuela
Quirarte, Sanchez, Dominguez also playing in winter league
SAN FRANCISCO -- Cody Hall is proving why the Giants added him to the 40-man roster this offseason.
Hall has excelled in the Venezuelan Winter League, accumulating 12 saves while recording a 0.00 ERA in his first 17 outings for Caribes de Anzoategui.
Ranked San Francisco's No. 19 prospect by MLB.com, Hall yielded one unearned run in his first 17 1/3 innings. The right-hander's fastball regularly reaches the mid-90 mph range, yet Hall isn't just a hard thrower. He also fits the Giants mold as a strike-throwing reliever. Hall has walked three batters while striking out 16 in Venezuela, following a regular season at Double-A Richmond in which he walked 14 and struck out 57 in 51 2/3 innings.
Hall, 27, probably will begin the season in Triple-A but could compete for a setup role during Spring Training against the likes of Jean Machi, George Kontos, Erik Cordier and Hunter Strickland.
Other Giants farmhands have delivered noteworthy performances in Venezuela, where Pablo Sandoval and Gregor Blanco commanded considerable attention in previous seasons.
Right-hander Edwin Quirarte, selected in the fifth round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, has posted impressive numbers while striving to revive his prospect status. In his first 18 relief appearances for Aguilas de Zulia, Quirarte recorded a 0.77 ERA while walking two and striking out 10.
Recovering gradually from the concussions that derailed his 2014 season, Hector Sanchez has avoided catching, though he has begun to reacquaint himself with hitting while playing first base and serving as a designated hitter for Tiburones de La Guaira. In 18 games, Sanchez has hit .250 (16-for-64) with one double, one home run and four RBIs. He also had struck out 14 times. Sanchez is expected to compete against Andrew Susac in Spring Training to try to reclaim the backup role he held in 2012, when he hit .280 in 74 games and helped the Giants roll to the World Series title.
Corner outfielder and infielder Chris Dominguez hit .308 in his first 20 games for Navegantes del Magallanes but displayed no power, going homerless in 78 at-bats. Dominguez appeared to have a chance of competing for the third-base vacancy left by Sandoval before the Giants acquired Casey McGehee from Miami.