Tyler Heineman and Rob Brantly always were expected to compete as Posey's backup entering the season. Now, 25-year-old Chadwick Tromp (that's with an o, not a u) has entered the race with a red-hot bat in Giants Summer Camp.
There's reason to understand why many fans are wondering who Tromp is, and might not have heard of him at all. The Giants signed the Aruba native to a minor league contract in January with an invite to spring training, and he only had one hit in 10 at-bats. He has taken complete advantage of this second go-around, though, ever since players arrived at Oracle Park on July 1.
Tromp was a late addition to the Giants' 60-man roster, joining the party on July 4, and on Sunday, he displayed the kind of power that has opened eyes around the coaching staff. The right-handed hitter homered twice -- once off righty Jeff Samardzija and once off lefty Sam Selman -- in San Francisco's Black-Orange scrimmage.
Chadwick Tromp hit his second homer of the day, and he got an air high-five coming around third and some waves in the dugout. pic.twitter.com/ET9mMu3Qty— John Shea (@JohnSheaHey) July 12, 2020
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Tromp is a bit of an unknown among Giants fans. So, what does his past tell us about the possible next Giants starting catcher?
Shoulder surgery ended Tromp's 2018 season early after he hit .264 with just two home runs in 53 games for Triple-A Louisville as a member of the Cincinnati Reds' organization. The injury kept him off the field until mid-summer when he went to the Arizona Rookie League on a rehab stint. There, Tromp hit .271 with two homers, five doubles and a .910 OPS before joining Louisville in mid-July.
Tromp, who always has been seen as strong defensively with a keen eye at the plate, had a power resurgence his second time in Triple-A. He homered in both of his first two games back with Louisville, and turned July into his own Home Run Derby. The catcher hit .385 with six long balls, 14 RBI and a 1.077 slugging percentage in just nine games.
In Louisville's first game in August, he went deep again. Tromp homered in five consecutive games from July 26 through Aug. 2, and knocked in 12 runs.
5 STRAIGHT GAMES WITH A 💣 FOR CHADWICK TROMP! pic.twitter.com/AmPhclMZGM— Louisville Bats (@LouisvilleBats) August 2, 2019
And then, he never homered again the rest of the year. Tromp hit just .196 with 18 strikeouts over 16 games in August. It was far from the dominant display he showcased the previous month.
Tromp, who's a stout 5-foot-8 and 221 pounds, just turned 25 in March. He hasn't made his MLB debut yet, and has gone through two extended stints in Triple-A. The last time he hit over .300 in a season was 2017, in Advanced Single-A. He also played for the Netherlands this offseason in the Premier 12 and went deep against the Dominican Republic, but he struggled over just eight at-bats.
Tromp's minor league stats are far from dominant, with a .702 career OPS, but he has shown the ability last season and in Summer Camp to catch fire at the plate.
More than anyone looking to get a fresh start, Tromp is coming in with a clean slate for the Giants. Even newcomers like Darin Ruf have more of a history on which the Giants can go off. It only makes sense with everything going on that a wild card like Tromp finds himself having a chance to the lead this team behind the plate.
From Buster to Chadwick, the Giants might have their next perfectly weird name to announce to a crowd of nobody, and he's taking advantage of the opportunity.