Through 11 games this season, the Giants have used 14 different position players, including four left fielders (Jarrett Parker, Chris Marrero, Gorkys Hernandez, and Aaron Hill) and three third basemen in (Eduardo Nunez, Conor Gillaspie and Hill).
It’s clear that Bruce Bochy values versatility on defense, and the Giants are making sure their top prospects are comfortable fielding multiple positions.
Here’s a look at how three of the Giants’ top minor league hitters are being used defensively...
Christian Arroyo, 21, Triple-A Sacramento River Cats
2017 stats: 7 G, .407/.448/.630, 11 H, 1 HR, 3 2B, 7 R, 5 RBI
Defensive stats: SS (3 G, 29 Inn., 0 E), 2B (2 G, 16 Inn., 0 E), 3B (2 G, 14 Inn., 0 E)
The Giants’ top hitting prospect has exceeded expectations in his first week of Triple-A ball. Arroyo is on a seven-game hitting streak and he belted his first home run of the season on Thursday.
Many consider Arroyo to be the team's third baseman of the future, but by grooming him at multiple defensive positions, the team could make him a valuable piece for Bochy sooner than later.
Jae-Gyun Hwang, 29, Triple-A Sacramento
2017 stats: 7 G, .280/.357/.400, 7 H, 1 3B, 1 2B, 4 R, 3 RBI
Defensive stats: 3B (3 G, 26 Inn., 0 E), 1B (2 G, 18 Inn., 1 E), LF (1 G, 8 Inn., 0 E)
Hwang made his first career professional start in left field Thursday and caught all four balls hit his way. The bat-flipping internet sensation was a power-hitting star in Korea as a third baseman before signing a minor league deal with the Giants in the offseason. He showed his pop with five home runs in 27 spring training games.
Hwang also stood out to his teammates this spring with his hard work, winning the Barney Nugent Award.
“Players love him, and the way he’s come out every day and the effort he puts in. He’s been inspiring with how hard he has gotten after it every day,” Bochy said on Hwang winning the award.
Chris Shaw, 23, Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels
2017 stats: 8 G, .269/.387/.462, 7 H, 1 HR, 2 2B, 1 R, 6 RBI
Defensive stats: 1B (4 G, 40 Inn., 1 E), LF (3 G, 26 Inn., 0 E)
Shaw has major-league power. His bat will be his ticket to the bigs, but his ability to play a clean left field could also be key. Shaw didn't play one game in the outfield in his first two minor league seasons, but he did play right and left field while starring at Boston College.
It’s still early in the process, but the Giants are still in search of a franchise left fielder. They've penciled in 10 different Opening Day left fielders in the past 10 seasons.
Around The Horn
— Veteran outfielder Drew Stubbs made his debut with the Sacramento River Cats on Thursday. He was used as the DH and went 0-for-4 with 3 strikeouts.
— Here’s video of Arroyo's first Triple-A home run. He hit three all of last season. That number is expected to go up this year.
— Slade Heathcott is another interesting outfielder to watch. The former 2009 first-round draft pick of the Yankees is hitting .346/.414/.423 in eight games for the Richmond Flying Squirrels.