Giants not convinced Belt is ready for big leagues


Giants not convinced Belt is ready for big leagues

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Giants officials chewed over everyaspect of their roster Monday night. Theyll continue to digest the BrandonBelt decision.

But there is skepticism about Belts readiness succeed atthe big league level.

Even with extra roster spots afforded by Freddy Sanchez andRyan Vogelsong starting on the disabled list, sources tell me it remains verypossible likely, even that Belt will begin the year at Triple-A Fresno.

Belt is batting .380 with a .429 on-base percentage andthree home runs. Only Hector Sanchez and Melky Cabrera have a higher OPS amongplayers. Yet he remains a work in progress with the coaching staff, who areconcerned that his setup and swing mechanics will leave him vulnerable againstquality major league pitching.

The thing we continue to talk to him about is no matter howgood his spring is going numbers wise, we want to see him have good mechanics,Giants hitting coach Hensley Meulens told me. We know how he was pitched lastseason and the things he struggled with. All were doing right now is make surehes prepared, if and when hes back in the big leagues, he no longer goesthrough those struggles.

Meulens said he is trying to get Belt to stand taller andmove back in the batters box.

Hes way out in front of the batters box, Meulens said.It works for him, but want to make sure hes getting the bat head out on thosepitches middle-in and not just trying to flare it to left-center. Were on theback field using drills so he can create that feel. When his elbow goes out,the barrel actually flattens and it takes a longer time to get the bat out infront.

Hes had success in this camp, but the pitching isdifferent here. We all know that. We see a lot of minor league guys pitching inthese games. Its not to take anything away from him, but theres still somethings that were trying to refine so hell have success at the big leaguelevel.

Why does Belt stand so far up in the box? Is he trying tohit curveballs before they break?

That's one way to look at it, but Im just worried aboutthe fastball, Meulens said. I dont want the fastball to beat me. Hes a goodoffspeed hitter. We just want him to get to the fastball so hes not foulingso many off or getting beat by them. Thats what were telling a lot of hittersthis spring. Dont get beat on the fastball. Be ready to hit the fastball.

Its a comfort thing. Hes always done it. Hes had successwith it and theres no need to change in his mind. We believe that backing offa little more, especially against lefties, will give him a little more time.

Meulens said he loves Belts attitude, and echoed theconfidence of others in the organization that he has a bright future in the bigleagues.

I talk to him every day and he feels great, Meulens said. Its, 'Were trying to make you understand that I want you have a certain path to theball. Thats how you will have more success at the big league level. He says hefeel great, hes excited about playing every day and thats all you ask from ayoung player. Have him come in and feel good about himself.

We dont want to break him. Were just trying to preparehim to have success at the big league level.

If Belt begins at Triple-A Fresno, Aubrey Huff is expected to be the everyday first baseman, yielding at times or possibly shifting to left field to give occasional starts to Buster Posey.

Report: Giants make trade offer for Giancarlo Stanton


Report: Giants make trade offer for Giancarlo Stanton

The hot stove is heating up. 

Giancarlo Stanton is the biggest name swirling in trade rumors and the Giants are reportedly pushing forward in their attempt to acquire the slugger. San Francisco's front office has proposed a trade to Miami for Stanton, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic

Details of what the Giants offered have not been reported yet. 

Stanton, who recently turned 28, is guaranteed $295 million over the next 10 seasons. His contract includes a full no-trade clause and an opt-out after 2020. 

On Thursday, Stanton was named the National League MVP after hitting .281 with a league-leading 59 home runs and 132 RBI. The last MVP to be traded in the offseason after winning the award was Alex Rodriguez from the Rangers to the Yankees before the 2004 season. 

How seven Giants prospects performed in the 2017 Arizona Fall League


How seven Giants prospects performed in the 2017 Arizona Fall League

The Arizona Fall League came to an end for seven Giants prospects on Thursday as the Scottsdale Scorpions (12-17-1) came up short from playing in Saturday's championship game. 

Let's take a look at how these seven names fared against some of the top young talent in all of baseball. 

The Hitters

As the Giants are linked to trade targets in center field like Billy Hamilton and Jackie Bradley Jr., a young in-house option only helped his case in the desert.

Steven Duggar likely would have seen the AT&T outfield this season, but his season was hindered by injuries, keeping him to only 44 games between three levels. With the Scorpions, Duggar took advantage of his opportunity with more at-bats. 

Duggar left Arizona with a .263/.367/.421 slash line over 20 games. The speedy lefty also stole nine bases and hit three home runs. Even if the Giants go for an experienced glove in center field this offseason and keep Duggar, the 24-year-old has also played 135 games in right field during his minor league career. 

For the second straight year, the Giants sent catcher Aramis Garcia to the AFL. And he's sure to be coming home much happier this go around with an up-and-down campaign.

Splitting time behind the plate with three other catchers, Garcia appeared in 13 games and slashed .259/.293/.333 and hit one home run. Garcia struggled to get one base with only one walk to 10 strikeouts, but showed his natural ability to drive runs in with 10 RBI. 

Rounding out the Giants' trio of bats they sent to Arizona is arguably their top prospect, but his time in the AFL was cut short. Chris Shaw only played in five games and hit .158. He dealt with a sore shoulder.

The Pitchers

The Giants sent two starting pitchers (Tyler Beede and Joan Gregorio) and two relievers (Tyler Cyr and D.J. Snelten) to the AFL. 

Pitching for the first time in nearly three months, Beede showed exactly why he's the Giants' top pitching prospect. Beede went 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in four starts, but his final three show the potential he's full of -- 14 innings pitched, three earned runs, a 1.93 ERA, 10 strikeouts and only one walk. 

Gregorio, who was suspended this season for Performance Enhancing Drugs, pitched in eight games (three starts) for Scottsdale. He left with a 1-0 record and 5.87 ERA. In Triple-A, Gregorio went 4-4 with a 3.04 ERA this year over 13 starts. The 25-year-old presents an interesting arm that can help sooner than later in the bullpen. 

Cyr's stats don't look pretty (0-1, 5.63 ERA, 8 IP), but he's catching some attention. The right-hander was named to the Fall Stars Game and is most likely to start 2018 in Triple-A after converting 18 saves at Double-A in 2017. 

Snelten, a 6-foot-7 lefty, impressed in eight appearances out of the bullpen. He didn't allow an earned run until his final outing of the fall, bringing his ERA from a perfect 0.00 to 2.25 in 12 innings pitched.

After combining for a 2.20 ERA to go with an 8-1 record between Double-A and Triple-A in 2017, Snelten is a name to know as the Giants look to find more lefties for their bullpen.