Shaw eager to add to Giants' championship collection
Slugging third baseman taken by club 31st overall
By Oliver Macklin
SAN FRANCISCO -- When the San Francisco Giants lost third baseman Pablo Sandoval to the Boston Red Sox in free agency this offseason, they received the 31st pick in the first round of the 2015 Draft as compensation.
General manager Bobby Evans used that pick to select Chris Shaw, a first baseman and outfielder from Boston College, and coincidentally a diehard Red Sox fan.
"That is pretty interesting that's the way everything worked out," Shaw said. "But I couldn't be happier to be with the San Francisco Giants and I look forward to working as hard as I can to get out there and hopefully win a bunch more World Series championships."
Shaw, a native of Lexington, Mass., grew up idolizing Boston slugger David Ortiz, but says he now models his game off Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo. While Ortiz has the pleasure of hitting homers over a three-foot wall in right field at Fenway Park, Shaw may have a tougher time knocking balls out over the Levi's Landing sign at AT&T Park.
"It's obviously pretty deep to that right-center gap, but I think that if I'm thinking [to hit] the other way, as a left-handed hitter, that shouldn't play to much of a factor," Shaw said.
At 6-foot-3 and 248 pounds, Shaw's frame allows him to drive the ball out of any part of the ballpark. He led the Cape Cod League with eight long balls and "established himself as the best power hitter in the 2015 college crop," according to MLB Pipeline.
Shaw struggled at the plate his freshman season at Boston College, hitting just .165, but he showed some pop as six of his 27 hits cleared the fence. He improved drastically the following season, upping his average to .329 while clubbing six homers and driving in 45 runs.
Shaw finished up his college career crushing 11 bombs to complement a .319 batting average and 43 RBIs. He fractured the hamate bone in his right hand three-quarters of the way through the season, but returned to the field 18 days after undergoing surgery.
"I probably was only 55 percent, but I was willing to do anything to help my team because we were in a playoff hunt at that point," Shaw said.
With outfielders Hunter Pence and Nori Aoki nursing injuries, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he could use Shaw to help fill the void in the outfield.
"I told him I would try to get him one at-bat today," Bochy joked Thursday.
The Giants welcomed Shaw to AT&T Park for Thursday's game, but as a spectator, not a player. The 21-year-old prospect is set to begin his professional career Friday with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes.
"I couldn't be more excited to be able to join such a prestigious and first class organization," Shaw said.
Oliver Macklin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.