It's been less than 3 months since the Giants drafted Connor Gillaspie with their supplemental pick back in June, but they feel he's ready to be thrown into the fire. The Giants have really begun a full on youth movement over the last couple weeks, but the Gillaspie call-up was definitely not on the radar. Gillaspie didn't even sign his deal until about 6 weeks ago, so I don't think anyone was really expecting too much from him at even them minor league level. He was only hitting .268 with 8 RBI and only 4 extra base hits in 84 at-bats in low-A ball. However, the Giants' brass obviously feel that he's close enough to at least get his feet wet in the bigs. The 21 year-old third basemen had great success last summer in the 2007 Cape Cod league, winning MVP honors while hitting close to .400 playing against the best amateurs in the nation and excelling with the wood bat. Part of the reason the Giants feel he can ascend through the system so quickly is because he has hit so well with the lumber in the past, but asking him to start doing that against big league pitchers, fresh out of College might be a stretch. Regardless, it's not going to hurt anything by giving him a few at-bats this year. He hasn't played yet, as of Tuesday night, but it should only be a matter of days before we see the kid being dubbed "The Next Bill Mueller".
The Giants top young rookies have continued to carry the team offensively over the last couple weeks. It was good to see Nate Schierholtz connect for his first major league home run of his career on Saturday. One thing I've noticed about Schierholtz this September as opposed to last is his patience at the plate, He's only walked 1 time in 23 plate appearances, but he's working the count more and his .500 batting average is showing it. He's joined Traivs Ishikawa and Pablo Sandoval as guys' who are certainly working themselves into a role in 2009 with this team. In a perfect world, the Giants could convince the Braves, or maybe the Mariners to take Randy Winn back this winter to open up right field for Schierholtz, but all signs are pointing to another log jam in the Giants outfield heading into 2009. As of now, Dave Roberts, Randy Winn, Aaron Rowand and Fred Lewis are slated for roster spots in 2009, with Jon Bowker in the mix as well. There is a good possibility that Roberts could get dealt this winter if the Giants eat the majority of his remaining contract, which would make Nate the 4th outfielder and ensure him around 400 at-bats. Still, I think one of the Giants' top priorities heading into the off-season has to be finding Schierholtz an everyday spot in the 2009 lineup.
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