It had been a while since the Giants front office made a waiver claim. As usual, the player they picked up has an intriguing background once you dig a little deeper.
The Giants on Tuesday claimed outfielder Jose Siri off waivers from the Seattle Mariners and immediately sent him to minor league camp. Siri is coming off a couple of rough minor league seasons, but like many young waiver claims the Giants have added, he does have some strong stretches in his background.
Siri broke out in 2017, posting a .341 on-base percentage in High-A ball with 24 homers and 46 stolen bases. After that season, he ranked as the 14th-best prospect in Cincinnati's system, per MLB Pipeline. They called him a "super-aggressive" hitter who could succeed "because of his ridiculous tools and athleticism."
"(T)he ability to improve his approach at the plate could allow him to become an impact, All-Star-caliber player," the site wrote of Siri at the time.
Of course, Siri has not improved that approach. That's why he was available to the Giants, and why the Mariners had previously been able to claim him in February. Once a top 100 prospect according to FanGraphs, Siri struggled in the upper minors. He had a .294 OBP and .449 slugging percentage in 2018 and was at .300 and .357 while playing in Double-A and Triple-A last season. Siri batted just .186 in 30 Triple-A games, striking out 39 times to nine walks.
There were signs of life, though. Siri had 24 homers and stole 49 bases across those two seasons, and the front office probably was able to get a scouting report from hitting coach Donnie Ecker, who came over from the Reds.
Siri is still just 24 and still has impressive tools. The Giants will take a look in hopes of adding more depth to the upper minors, and it wouldn't be a shock to see Farhan Zaidi try to squeeze him through waivers as he has done with multiple other claims. That's one way the front office has added talent to a rising farm system.