Shaun Anderson's cheering section includes Mets sensation, NL West rival

Shaun Anderson's cheering section includes Mets sensation, NL West rival

SAN FRANCISCO -- Social media has added a cool twist to big league debuts. When a top prospect comes up for the first time, the congratulatory messages from former college and minor league teammates are no longer fully private. 

If you took a spin around Twitter or Instagram last Wednesday, you saw a vast collection of Giants minor leaguers and former Florida Gators shouting out Shaun Anderson, who had a solid debut against the Toronto Blue Jays.

There was one surprising shoutout, though. San Diego Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer posted on Instagram that he was watching Anderson's debut. It turns out the 29-year-old Hosmer and 24-year-old Anderson are workout partners in the offseason at BioCore Sports Performance in Davie, Florida. 

"I guess he was watching, which was pretty cool," Anderson said on this week's Giants Insider Podcast. "He texted me after and we talked about if for a little bit."

Anderson had a lot of well-known (in the baseball world) players watching. He was part of a loaded roster at Florida that had eight players drafted in the first 10 rounds of the 2016 MLB Draft. Anderson went to the Red Sox in the third round. Top pitching prospects A.J. Puk (A's) and Dane Dunning (White Sox) were part of that class, along with budding Mets star Pete Alonso.

Anderson said he still keeps in touch with most of his Florida crew and is looking forward to the rest making it to the big leagues. Alonso is the most successful thus far, and if Anderson sticks in the rotation through the next road trip, he could face his former teammate in New York early next month. 

[RELATED: Suarez has quality start in return, will stay in rotation]

"I faced him a lot throughout college and in intrasquads and then last year (in the minors). I kind of have a good gameplan on him," Anderson said, smiling. "I can't tell anybody yet. He's been swinging the bat (well), so I'm kind of looking forward to that matchup."

For more on Anderson, including his thoughts on his debut, a breakdown of his fastball variations, and the knowledge he's trying to soak up from Madison Bumgarner, you can stream the Giants Insider Podcast here or download it on iTunes here. 

Tyler Austin, Mike Yastrzemski positives in uninspiring Giants loss

Tyler Austin, Mike Yastrzemski positives in uninspiring Giants loss

LOS ANGELES -- Giants Bruce Bochy met with the media a couple of hours before Wednesday's 9-2 loss to the Dodgers, and when a reporter brought up Shaun Anderson's first-inning issues, the manager smiled and politely cut the question off. 

"His issues?" Bochy said. "The team's, but go ahead ..."

Yes, it is indeed the team. Bochy keeps hoping something will change, but his starting pitchers seem incapable of flipping that switch. The Giants were allowing a 1.058 OPS to opposing hitters in the first inning -- that would rank fourth in the Majors for an individual hitter -- even before Drew Pomeranz gave up three runs in a very loud opening frame on Wednesday. 

Pomeranz would be charged with seven runs and a whole lot more exit velocity in the loss, as the Giants failed to take advantage of forearm discomfort that knocked Dodgers starter Rich Hill out after just one inning. 

This was, in every respect, more of the same. So let's change it up. Here are three things you can feel good about after a game like that:

--- Tyler Austin hit his sixth homer and played solid defense. 

Austin took right-hander Yimi Garcia deep to right-center, hitting a home run that just kept carrying and carrying, catching outfielders Alex Verdugo and Cody Bellinger by surprise. The Giants don't hit a lot of homers like that. 

Austin had been in a 1-for-20 skid coming into the game, but he's slugging .447 and has started to look much more comfortable in left field. Perhaps he's someone who can be a useful piece for the future. 

The most important part of that will be his ability to play left field, and after a slow start because of elbow soreness and bad weather that kept him from doing outfield drills, Austin has looked much better. The last two games have been his two best defensively since coming over from Minnesota. 

"It's just working in practice. That's the big thing," Austin said of the change. "I feel like it's coming along and getting better every day. I'm starting to feel pretty good out there. Hopefully we can keep that going."

Bochy has always believed Austin -- a DH/1B type in the AL -- has a chance to play out there. 

"He's getting better and better out there," the manager said. "He can run, he's got range, there's no reason why he shouldn't be a good left fielder."

[RELATED: Giants sign 23 draft picks; still waiting on Bishop, others]

--- Speaking of left field, Mike Yastrzemski has been much better than the other former River Cats and minor leaguers the Giants have run through this season. Yaz was a last-minute replacement for Steven Duggar, who has a tight lower back, and hit a solo blast off lefty Caleb Ferguson in the sixth. 

Overall, Yastrzemski has a .250/.316/.426 slash line while playing good defense wherever Bochy puts him. It's early, but he looks capable of being part of the outfield mix next year. Like Austin, he should get plenty of starts in the second half as Farhan Zaidi and Co. try to evaluate what they really have. 

--- I could not get to a third positive thing. Sorry. Here is a video of me eating a hot dog with bologna on it and immediately regretting some life choices. 

Giants sign 23 MLB draft picks, but still waiting on top selections


Giants sign 23 MLB draft picks, but still waiting on top selections

LOS ANGELES -- The Giants announced on Wednesday that they have signed 23 MLB draft picks, although the list is missing the biggest names. 

First-round pick Hunter Bishop, selected 10th overall earlier this month, has not signed yet. Second-round pick Logan Wyatt and fourth-rounder Tyler Fitzgerald are still playing in the College World Series with Louisville and thus cannot sign. Fitzgerald hit a home run Wednesday as the Cardinals beat Auburn. Eighth-round pick Caleb Kilian also is still playing.

The highest selection to sign thus far is center fielder Grant McCray, a third-round pick who is the son of former big leaguer Rodney McCray. Grant was one of nine position players the Giants drafted on the first two days of the draft, something the franchise had not done in 50 years. 

[RELATED: How Ramos' elite numbers compare to current Giants stars]

Overall, the Giants have signed 15 of their first 20 selections. Trevor McDonald, an 11th-round pick out of high school, also remains unsigned. It's possible that is connected to the top picks -- the Giants might need a bit of excess slot money to lock up a high school arm. 

The Giants did not have any concerns at the time of the draft about their ability to sign Bishop, a star outfielder at Arizona State. They still don't anticipate any problems.