Posey to stay with hockey-style mask


Posey to stay with hockey-style mask

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- After experimenting with a traditional, two-piece catcher's mask for most of the winter, Buster Posey is going back to his old standby.

He wore a hockey-style helmet when he caught six innings on Tuesday and said Wednesday that he plans to stick with what he knows best.

"It's a feel thing more than anything," Posey told me, adding that his line of sight and peripheral vision were the same with both masks.

A few months ago, Giants manager Bruce Bochy applauded Posey's decision to experiment with the two-piece mask, saying he believed that it cushioned the impact of foul tips better than the newer styles because it sits more flush on the head. But Bochy backed Posey's decision on Wednesday.

"You've got to be comfortable back there," Bochy said. "All the studies show there's no real difference between them when it comes to absorbing tips. It's what he's accustomed to and that's so important back there. He's going with the mask he likes."

Posey is looking more and more comfortable in the batter's box, too. Serving as the designated hitter on Wednesday, he laced two singles and also hit a bases-loaded lineout to first base. He's letting the ball get deep on him -- a sign he is trusting himself.

"I've felt comfortable all spring, really," he said.

Giants agree to multi-year deal with OF Austin Jackson


Giants agree to multi-year deal with OF Austin Jackson

SAN FRANCISCO -- The overhaul of the Giants' outfield is complete.

The Giants agreed to a two-year deal with center fielder Austin Jackson on Monday, the team announced. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the deal is worth $6 million. The team did not immediately confirm the financials of the deal, but per Heyman, clauses could take it up to $8.5 million. Those figures would be in line with the goal of staying under the luxury tax threshold.

"We are excited to have Austin join the Giants. He is a talented and versatile player who will strengthen our roster and provide additional depth at all three outfield positions," Giants Senior Vice President and General Manager Bobby Evans said in a statement.

Jackson was worth 1.9 WAR last season while posting a .869 OPS for the Cleveland Indians. He mashed left-handed pitching, batting .352 in 122 at-bats. That trait could allow Jackson to platoon with Steven Duggar if he's ready early in the season. 

Jackson is the clear frontrunner now to start in center field on opening day and help fix a glaring defensive issue. Andrew McCutchen has already been installed as the new right fielder and Hunter Pence will slide over to left.


Giants first round pick makes top 100 prospects list


Giants first round pick makes top 100 prospects list

SAN FRANCISCO -- The annual Baseball America top 100 prospects list backed up two widely held beliefs about the Giants farm system: The organization still does not have a lot of high-end prospects and a newcomer is viewed as the best of the bunch.

Heliot Ramos, last year's first-round pick, was ranked as the 79th best prospect in the game, but he's the only Giant on the list. 

Ramos, 18, is the name just about every opposing front office asked for in trade talks this offseason, but the Giants view him as a potential five-tool center fielder. He already appears to be one of the steals of the 2017 draft. After being selected 19th overall, Ramos hit .348 in rookie ball with a .404 on-base percentage and .645 slugging percentage. He hit six homers in 35 games and stole 10 bases.

Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna is the top prospect on the list, followed by Shohei Ohtani and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 

The Dodgers have four players listed before Ramos and the Padres have four of the top 32 prospects as they try to rebuild and get back into NL West contention. The A's have four players in the top 100: lefty A.J. Puk (30), shortstop Franklin Barreto (43), shortstop Jorge Mateo (64) and outfielder Dustin Fowler (88).