The Giants’ most heated spring training competition has all but officially come to an end. Jarrett Parker is the overwhelming favorite to beat out Mac Williamson for the starting left field job, Giants beat writer Andrew Baggarly told Murph and Mac on Monday morning.
“He was going to have to have a bad spring not to be the starting left fielder,” Baggarly began. “Now that Mac Williamson’s got a little quad strain, that kind’ve makes it all but official. Parker looks ready. Not only the numbers this spring, hitting what he’s hitting, four homers and putting starch into the ball, but having a good two strike approach, and sort of not chasing pitches and seeming like he’s more focused out there on the defensive end too.”
Parker’s four home runs are tied for the team lead this spring, and he’s hitting an impressive line of .316/.435/.658 in 38 at-bats. Parker already had an advantage heading into spring with the Giants having the option of sending Williamson down to the minors, and now that Williamson — who himself is hitting an impressive .324/.378/.559 — is due to miss time with a tight left quad, Parker has a stranglehold on the spot.
Parker’s power is encouraging for a Giants team that finished 28th in home runs last year. Parker has hit 11 bombs in 176 at-bats with the big league club over the last two seasons.
“He’s worked with Bob Tewksbury, who is the former big league pitcher the Giants hired to be a mental skills coach, quite a bit,” Baggarly continued. “You think he’s a young guy, he’s not, he’s 28 I believe, but everyone develops at different rates, at different times, and the Giants knew that all his tools were in there and it’s just taken him until now to put everything together.
“It doesn’t stop now even if he’s won the left field job slam dunk. He’s still competing these last two weeks of spring because the better he does against lefties, the less likely Bruce Bochy might be to platoon him or sit him down against a lefty. You’re always looking to prove yourself in this game, and even if you’ve won a job you can still win even more at bats, even more trust, even more of a belief in your coaching staff, your management, by just going out there and making an impact every day you play.”
Listen to the full interview below.