In 2012, the Giants put out a press release that highlighted the inclusion of top prospects Gary Brown and Joe Panik on their list of non-roster invitees. If you dug deep in that release, you found the names of two others who weren't at all known in the Bay Area but would play a key role in championship runs.
Gregor Blanco and Joaquin Arias were non-roster invitees that year. Ryan Vogelsong, Andres Torres and Santiago Casilla count as other success stories from the championship years, and even this version of the Giants has found some non-roster gold. Dereck Rodriguez was an unknown in camp two years ago. Donovan Solano was a non-roster invitee last spring.
You already know all about Joey Bart and probably Sean Hjelle, but the odds are good that at least a couple of the others announced Monday will become contributors for the 2020 Giants. At the very least, given the level of roster churn under Farhan Zaidi, you're likely to see quite a few of these guys get a shot of some sort this season. Here's what you need to know about the 18 guys invited to camp on Monday ...
He needs no introduction. Bart is the organization's top prospect and one of the best prospects in baseball, period, and the Giants are eager to get him to the big leagues after a strong 2019 and a brief demolition of the Arizona Fall League.
Bart should be the story of camp, and given that Buster Posey usually sees just a couple dozen spring at-bats, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Bart behind the plate every other game in the Cactus League. Bart should start the season in Triple-A but it won't be long before he's in San Francisco.
The 28-year-old actually scooped the Giants on Monday, announcing his signing on Twitter.
A 24-year-old from Aruba, Chadwick Tromp had a .286/.389/.610 slash line in 26 Triple-A games last year with seven homers. He was slowed by shoulder surgery in 2018, but he's young for an available catcher and has flashed improved plate discipline as he has reached the upper levels of the minors.
The Giants don't have any catching depth behind Buster Posey, Aramis Garcia and Bart, so there's a real opportunity for both Heineman and Tromp to compete with Garcia but also lock up a Triple-A job.
The versatile infielder played 10 games for the Giants late in the year, going 7-for-22. He was outrighted to Triple-A after the season and signed a minor league contract, just like ...
The corner infielder was placed on the 60-day DL in early September with a hip injury, which cost him a shot at a call-up but also got him a month's worth of service time and big-league pay.
The Giants signed Green and Adames at the same time in November, providing some infield depth. The 25-year-old hit 25 homers in 297 plate appearances in Triple-A but went just 2-for-14 in the big leagues. Right now, he doesn't have much competition behind Evan Longoria.
The Giants signed the 27-year-old back in October. Robinson has played every position but pitcher and catcher in the minors.
The 28-year-old made 26 appearances for the Giants last season but was non-tendered in early December. The staff liked Rickard's defense last year and he could again have a path to outfield time given how left-handed the current outfield mix is.
Taken by his hometown Diamondbacks in the fifth round of the 2013 draft, Westbrook has a .280/.334/.431 slash line in seven minor league seasons. He's a right-handed hitter who had 16 homers and a .358 OBP across two levels last season.
The right-hander made his big league debut for the Rockies in 2016 but has bounced around, including a year with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows.
Carasiti got back to the big leagues with the Mariners last year, starting five games as an opener and relieving in six others. He had a 4.66 ERA in the big leagues and a 3.53 ERA in the minors.
This completes a nice comeback for the Bay Area native. A right-hander who was in camp two years ago, Cyr was set back when he needed surgery to repair an elbow fracture.
He missed most of the 2018 season but came back last year to post a 1.97 ERA in 38 appearances, with more than a strikeout per inning. Still just 26, Cyr looks to be back in the bullpen mix he was about to join before he got hurt.
The Giants picked up the right-hander early in the offseason but then non-tendered him. The 25-year-old had a 4.24 ERA and 9.5 strikeouts per nine as a minor league starter and made two late-season appearances for the Rockies.
Perhaps the biggest news out of Monday's non-roster announcement was Hjelle's inclusion. A second-round pick in 2018, Hjelle will draw a lot of attention. He's the organization's best pitching prospect and he also happens to be 6-foot-11.
Hjelle repeats his delivery well and has a good feel for pitching, and he cruised through Low-A and High-A last season before getting knocked around a bit in six Double-A starts. Overall, Hjelle had a 3.32 ERA in his first big league season. He should start this year in Double-A, but the Giants want to be aggressive with their best prospects and Hjelle could reach the Majors this year.
A 30-year-old right-hander who pitched in an independent league for two years, McNutt was with the A's organization last year. He's currently tearing up the Mexican Winter League, with 24 strikeouts and one run allowed in 15 2/3 relief innings.
McNutt has a fan in Matt Daniels, the organization's coordinator of pitching sciences:
Preview of stuff pic.twitter.com/2ygLZNW5yF— Matt Daniels (@OneGun45) November 23, 2019
The only left-hander on the list, Moll had a 2.39 ERA as a reliever for Richmond and Sacramento last season. Moll was taken in the third round by the Rockies in 2013 and made 11 appearances for the A's in 2017.
The 27-year-old made 15 appearances for Sacramento last season, posting a 5.08 ERA as a swingman.
The 30-year-old has started games each of the past three seasons for the A's, and he has a 4.53 ERA in 45 big league appearances. The Giants have plenty of pitchers already in the mix for rotation spots, but they're thin at the Triple-A level.
Signed out of the Dominican Republic, the 24-year-old has been in the organization for seven years. Vizcaino pitched well out of the bullpen for San Jose and Richmond last season, although walks have always been an issue.
The right-hander had flexor tendon surgery while in the minors with the Rangers in 2017 and was included in the Matt Moore trade while rehabbing. Wolff missed time last year, too, but he had a 1.78 ERA in 25 relief appearances. Wolff has averaged double-digit strikeouts per nine at every stop he has made in the last three seasons.