Friday, October 10, 2008

Claiming Travis Denker

Today we claimed 23-year old 2B Travis Denker from the San Francisco Giants.

A native of Southern California, Travis went to Brea Linda HS before the Dodgers drafted him in the 21st round in 2003. There wasn't much of an adjustment to pro ball for Travis as he hit .311/.372/.556 in about 250 pa's during that first summer in rookie ball. Given that performance, Travis made the jump the following season to full-season A ball in Columbus, the South Atlantic League affiliate of the Dodgers. He didn't slow down there going .310/.417/.556 before moving up to the High-A Florida State League.

In 2006 Travis split time in multiple ways - between Low-A and High-A and between 2B and 3B. Given the standard he had set, it was a down year for him offensively, but he still managed a .375 obp and actually walked more than he struck out. Travis then stuck in High-A (and at 2B) in 2007 putting up a nice year in the Florida State League before being traded to the Giants late in the year. The move to the Cal League was fortuitous for the San Jose Giants, as Travis hit .400 the rest of the way.

The Giants moved Travis aggressively in 2008, as he spent about half the year in AAA and finished his season in the big leagues hitting .243/.333/.486 in 42 Major League plate appearances.

There aren't many advantages to having a season like we did in 2008, but it does put us near the front of the waiver line for the next six months which helps in situations like this one.

16 comments:

Loren said...

What are the Padres looking at him to do? Provide depth in the middle infield/3B in AAA? AA? Be involved in the competition for the 2B job with Rodriguez/Gonzalez/Antonelli? I like the pick up I'm just not sure where he fits in

Aaron B said...

Giants fan here. saddening day for many of us. I hope you enjoy your young second baseman with some patience and power! Ha, who needs one of those? oh wait

field39 said...

Am I missing something here? Travis doesn't sound like the type of player who is usually available on waivers. Why did he show up on the waiver line?

Marcello said...

Are these irrevocable waivers? Is there any way the Giants can keep Denker if they choose?

Melvin Nieves said...

Hey Paul, thanks for the info on Travis.

Any thoughts you're able to share on the Peavy situation?

The EveryServer said...

Interesting pickup. Is there anything you can share about the Peavy trade talks or the possible sale of the team?

Jason said...

This is a little strange Paul. I know you can't speak for anyone else, but SF is the second organization to give up on Denker (I do qualify trading him for a 37 y/o PH 'giving up'). What is the deal? He's posted solid splits, shown patience at every level and hasn't been given a legitimate opportunity at the big league level. Why would SF let him go with, seemingly, only Velez and Frandsen as their incumbent 2B?

Joe said...

What current or former 2B would you compare his game to?

Alex said...

As a Giants fan all I have to say is "........"

Denker is certainly not a blue chip prospect by any stretch of the imagination, but when you are the Giants and you have so very little talent at the higher minor league levels it is preyty inexcusable to not keep Denker on your 40 man. I mean who did the Giants need to protect, Steve Holm? Eugenio Velez? Brian Bocock?

Denker is a guy who should have been in the running for a starting job in 2009 with the Giants, and now he might be able to compete with Antonelli for a job in SD.

Considering you got Denker for nothing, this is a great move in my opinion, because Denker is young, cheap, and has the upside of possibly becoming a league average 2B. The guy was 22 for most of the year and posted a .375 OBP his first time around in AAA. Yes, the PCL is an offensive league, but it is still very encouraging. Denker also posted the highest LD% of his entire career (19.9%) in AAA last year, which is a very encouraging sign.

Also, as an observer, the time I have seen Denker play in person he seems to have a great approach at the plate (although this is probably because he stands out next to most Giants hitters who don't have good approaches at all. He's patient, has a short quick swing, and has a little bit of pop in his bat. I can't make a good read about his defense in such limited games, but nothing stood out either way to me, but I'm sure you guys know a lot about his defense.

As far as a Major League comp, I'd say Mark Loretta with slightly more pop. We'll see if he can have as good of a career, but I hope so, because I've always liked him as a player

ownagejoo said...

Another AAAA scrub for the Padres to keep the pay roll down

Riley said...

If I recall correctly, Chad Huffman played second base in college. Is there an chance we see him return to that position considering our lack of production and depth in the big leagues?

Ryan said...

brea-olinda

not that it matters

hector said...

Paul,

What do you predict will be the career for Matt Bush?
If the Padres do not protect him for the rule V draft, I am afraid he will become a "Hamilton" for another team willing to take a risk on him.

Jason @ IIATMS said...

Nice pick-up, Paul. It's not an advantage you want often, but while you have it, make it work for ya! Good work.

bullpeners said...

Sounds like he needs a little more development and to work on defense a lot more. But a good bat is always a good thing to find.
On another note, I am sad for the loss of Dirk Hayhurst from this organization. I have enjoyed his writing and his personality. His pitching did not come thru this year but losing someone of his quality is a loss to the Padres. I wish him the best in his future.

Cpt Top Off said...

Hector,

Come on, get real. Bush and Hamilton are on different planets as far as talent is concerned.