Giants

Giants should target Cardinals prospect Dylan Carlson in Will Smith trade

Giants should target Cardinals prospect Dylan Carlson in Will Smith trade

The Giants added a former local prep star full of power when they selected Hunter Bishop out of Arizona State with the No. 10 pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. They could use the same philosophy at the July 31 MLB trade deadline. 

As the Cardinals reportedly have long been interested in a trade for Giants closer Will Smith, the Giants should be just as interested in a Cardinals outfield prospect. Sacramento native Dylan Carlson, who was the No. 33 overall pick out of Elk Grove High School in the 2016 MLB Draft, is the exact kind of player the team needs. 

Carlson, 20, is a 6-foot-2 switch-hitting outfielder, who has crushed the ball this season for the Cardinals' Double-A affiliate. Through 81 games for the Springfield Cardinals, Carlson is hitting .294 with 14 home runs and a .902 OPS. He's stolen 13 bases, too. 

Though many outlets project Carlson as a right fielder in the major leagues, he has the ability to play all three positions in the outfield. This season, he's played 62 games in center field, nine in right and five in left. He also has showcased a strong arm with 32 career outfield assists in the minors.

While every member of the Giants outside of Smith was on vacation during the All-Star break, Carlson joined Giants prospects Joey Bart and Heliot Ramos on the NL squad at the Futures Game. He started in right field and went 1-for-2 with an RBI single. And he's been on fire since showcasing his talents against the best prospects in baseball. 

In three games since the Futures Game, Carlson has gone 8-for-15 and hammered a solo shot to right field Thursday night. 

Carlson is an interesting case to look at with him being a switch-hitter, too. He has way more at-bats left-handed this year than from the right side -- 253 to only 60 -- and has had some more success as a lefty. From the left side, he's hitting .300 with 10 homers and a .917 OPS compared to .267 with four long balls and an .838 OPS right-handed. But many evaluators believe his right-handed swing is more consistent.

Here's a look at Carlson's spray chart for his entire career in the minors, via Baseball Savant. It's clear he has power to all field as a switch-hitter. 

The Giants need right-handed power hitters with how Oracle Park plays, but Carlson being a switch-hitter shouldn't scare off the front office. His left-handed power could be just as valuable if the team does indeed move in the fences to cut off Triples Alley in right-center field. 

[RELATED: Five bold predictions for Giants in second half of season]

Now, would the Cardinals trade their No. 2 prospect who looks to be on the fast track to the big leagues? Trying to acquire him surely will be a tough game of tug of war for the Giants front office, and it could certainly cost more than a few months of Smith. If that is the case, the young outfielder is worth it. 

The Giants need to get younger, more powerful and more athletic at the trade deadline. Carlson checks all the boxes. 

Bud Selig: Barry Bonds not all-time home run king, Hank Aaron is

bondsusatsi.jpg
USATSI

Bud Selig: Barry Bonds not all-time home run king, Hank Aaron is

Is Barry Bonds deserving of a spot in the National Baseball Hall of Fame?

It’s a question more difficult to answer now that the steroid wall at the helm of the Baseball Writers Association of America is slowly beginning to crumble. But it remains one of the biggest debates across baseball.

But how does Bud Selig feel about it? Not necessarily as a big-league executive, but as a fan. 

The ninth Commissioner of Major League Baseball was a recent guest on The Dan Patrick Show and was asked his thoughts on the controversial subject. He has some biased as he’s close friends with Hank Aaron, and even said in his book that having to name Bonds as the all-time home run king “didn’t feel good at all.”

Bonds currently holds the all-time record with 762 career homers. Asterisk or not, they stand by his name.

Aaron hit 755 across 23 seasons.

As a fan …

“Well, I’ve never really answered that,” Selig told Patrick. “But I will say this to you, in my mind, even though Bonds holds the record, and I’ve said ‘records are records,’ I think you know how I feel about Henry Aaron.”

The former Milwaukee Brewers' team president and owner said he and Aaron had just spoken recently about this like they sometimes do. 

Patrick wanted to confirm Selig’s beliefs that Aaron should have the title of home run king. Selig confirmed.

And would Selig vote Bonds into Cooperstown?

“That’s one I will not answer because what I’ve said is I did everything I could do,” he explained. “Remember this, Dan, and I don’t have to tell you this, baseball not only didn’t have a drug-testing program -- we went through the cocaine era -- a serious problem in the ‘80s. Twenty-nine guys get convicted, four go to jail, and they couldn’t get a drug program.”

The Hall of Famer himself is glad those responsibilities are on others. 

“So, I’m proud of where we are," Selig said. "But I’m going to let the writers decide that -- they can decide that.”

[RELATED: Selig reflects on 'misery' of Bonds' home run chase]

Patrick wanted to know if Selig’s thoughts on Rogers Clemens mirrored that of Bonds -- once again, as a fan. 

“No, I don’t want to answer.”

Gaints pitcher Johnny Cueto to take big step in comeback from Tommy John

Gaints pitcher Johnny Cueto to take big step in comeback from Tommy John

DENVER -- At some point in the next 15 days, the Giants will have to decide whether they want to trade their ace at a time when they're back within striking distance of a playoff spot. No matter what they decide, the rotation will get a nice boost down the stretch. 

Johnny Cueto will pitch in a rookie league game in Arizona the first week of August, manager Bruce Bochy said, taking a huge step in his return from Tommy John surgery. That will be Cueto's first rehab appearance and will put him just a few weeks from a return to San Francisco. 

The Giants and Cueto have always viewed Sept. 1 as a target date and he has had no setbacks during the long and tedious recovery process. For a while, it seemed Cueto's return would simply be to give everyone peace of mind before the 2020 season. But now Cueto may be coming back to a team that finds itself within shouting distance of a playoff spot, and he's said to be keeping an eye on the surging big league roster. 

It would be unrealistic to expect Cueto to be his old self in September, and he would face pitch count restrictions upon his return. At the same time, the right-hander somehow had a 0.84 ERA in his first five starts last season as he battled elbow pain, so perhaps he really could come back and contribute right away. 

[RELATED: Giants, Dodgers accomplish feat for first time in 123 years]

Cueto hasn't pitched in a big league game since last July 28. During the time away he has dropped more than 20 pounds, and team officials have been thrilled about his command and stuff in bullpen sessions.