Last week, San Francisco Giants infielder Ehire Adrianza opened some eyes when he hit a home run on the first live batting practice pitch he faced. Now with a few days of game action under his belt, the 24-year-old is showing why he should be a part of the Giants’ major league club to open the regular season.
Adrianza, who has only 18 homers in 2507 professional at-bats, has put together an impressive power display through the early days of spring training. After grounding out in his first at-bat during the Giants’ Wednesday spring opener, he took Oakland Athletics reliever Deryk Hooker deep in the ninth inning for a three-run homer.
On Friday Adrianza flashed even more intriguing power potential, as he tripled off Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Tyler Thornburg, who unlike Hooker is an established big-leaguer. In his second at-bat, Adrianza hit another ball out to the warning track in right field. Though that ball ended up being caught, the switch-hitting Adrianza is showing that maybe he’s finally realizing the power potential that the Giants saw in him earlier in his minor-league career.
Meanwhile, Adrianza’s chief competition, Tony Abreu, has not gotten off to a good start. The 29-year-old is 0 for his first 5, and he dropped a double play ball at second during the Giants’ spring opener While it’s nonsensical to read too deeply into early spring training happenings, this is going to be a tight race, and Adrianza definitely has gotten off to a head start, particularly since he already had superior youth, durability, and fielding ability.
If Adrianza can keep up this trend of hitting for power, he would be a particularly intriguing bench piece, as his speed, power, and fielding ability would make him somewhat of a triple threat.