Chris Shaw and Jae-Gyun Hwang Update

Chris Shaw was the San Francisco Giants’ second 1st round pick in the 2015 draft, selected 31st overall.  He got off to a hot start at AA Richmond this year, slashing .301/.390/.511 in 37 games, and earned a quick promotion to AAA Sacramento.

He got off to a slow start in AAA ball, but has hit in his last 10 games, bringing his AAA OPS up to .729.  He’s 23 this year and is on track to force the Giants to make some decisions this off-season.

The Giants are trying to teach Shaw to play left field this season.  He’s played 42 games there, all this season, and the numbers aren’t pretty.  He hasn’t made any errors, but he doesn’t appear to have much range or much of a throwing arm.

The 23 year old Shaw’s long-term future looks to be at first base, where the Giants already have Brandon Belt signed through 2021.  It’s certainly possible the Giants could trade Belt this July or next off-season, but right now it would probably be hard to get full value for Belt in trade since he’s only batting .229, even though his other numbers are still fairly good.

Belt is almost certainly a better defensive 1Bman than Shaw, and that’s important when you’re taking about playing home games at AT&T Park, a yard that reduces left-handed power hitting.  Belt is also very popular in SF, although that won’t necessarily bar a trade if the Giants can get sufficient value in return, as they try to rebuild from this disastrous season.

Meanwhile, AAA 3Bman Jae-Gyu Hwang has let it be known that he intends to opt out of his contract if the Giants do not promote him to the majors by July 1st.  After playing well, but not great, at AAA for most of the first half, Hwang has lifted his OPS up to .810.

Hwang has split time between 1B and 3B this season, and his third base defense doesn’t look great — adequate range but a .937 fielding percentage in 267.1 innings played.  He does appear to turn the double play well, however.  Hwang has also played two games in left field, where he’s recorded six outs, so he could play a number of positions in SF.

I can’t imagine the Giants won’t at least give him a look in the majors after bringing him over from South Korea this past off-season.  To do so, though, the Giants will have to clear a space on their 40-man roster, which means someone will have to be released or exposed to waivers, most likely Conor Gillaspie.

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