With the trade of Andrew McCutchen to the New York Yankees finalized on Friday, the San Francisco Giants have called up No. 4 prospect Chris Shaw.
San Francisco, already looking towards 2019 with season-ending injuries to Buster Posey and former top-five prospect Steven Duggar, will get a long look at Shaw, who has 24 home runs this season at Triple-A Sacramento. Shaw replaces McCutchen on the 40-man and 25-man rosters.
Shaw is not an elite prospect, but he’s one of the best in the Giants’ system, and now he’ll have 27 games for San Francisco to see what he can do against major league pitching. His strikeout numbers — 144 in 394 plate appearances — are concerning, and he doesn’t hit for a high average (.259 this year in Triple-A, and .289 in 2017 in 88 games with the River Cats), but he has a career slugging percentage of .509 and has hit no fewer than 20 home runs in a season since his short-season debut, when he hit 12 in 46 games for Salem-Kizer.
In the McCutchen trade, the Giants bolstered their farm system, with newcomers Abe Avelino becoming their No. 17 prospect, and Juan De Paula becoming their No. 18 prospect.
Heliot Ramos, San Francisco’s No. 2 overall prospect, is just 19, but could be in the big leagues within two seasons, meaning the Giants could have an outfield of Duggar, Shaw and Ramos, with both Mac Williamson and Austin Slater possibilities as well.