What a scout says: Checking reports on Garrett Stallings, Chris Shaw

Neither player is currently on the Orioles’ 40-man roster. Of the two, one has played in the majors, while the other has yet to play a single inning of pro ball. Both could play in Baltimore at some point in the 2021 season.

In this recent entry, I got the take and opinions from a National League scout on the O’s possible double play combo of Freddy Galvis and Yolmer Sánchez. Today, the scout takes a look at Chris Shaw and Garrett Stallings.

Shaw is a 27-year-old lefty-hitting outfielder/first baseman. He played his entire career in the San Francisco Giants organization before the Orioles added him on a waiver claim on Nov. 25. Five days earlier, the Giants designated him for assignment. They had drafted him No. 31 overall out of Boston College in 2015.

Shaw was designated for assignment by the Orioles in late January, cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk. He will likely be a non-roster player in spring training.

In 2019, between Double-A and Triple-A for the Giants, Shaw filled up the stat sheet over 120 games. He hit .294/.360/.559 with 27 doubles, three triples, 28 homers, 94 RBIs and an OPS of .919. For his career on the farm in 524 games, he’s batted .279/.340/.520 with 109 homers and an .861 OPS. Shaw has hit .153 in 72 major league at-bats over the 2018-19 seasons.

“He is a slugger and he has to slug and get to his power,” said the scout. “He is just not well-rounded enough otherwise or athletic enough to provide a lot of value if he doesn’t hit for power. In today’s game, where a Freddy Galvis can hit 20 homers and provide other value, the bar is even higher for Chris Shaw. He can’t just hit 20 homers if he played every day. He’d need to hit 30. Because everyone is hitting for power.

“I think he is a decent athlete that can play first and left field. But not, I would say, a major league average athlete. His value to a major league team comes from the power. He has plus raw power, but just hasn’t gotten to it consistently. Our reports are he sometimes cheats to heat (to get to a good fastball) and that makes him susceptible to breaking balls. Many hitters are susceptible to breaking balls and he is no exception.”

Back in December, I wrote this profile on Shaw that included a video interview.

Right-hander Stallings, 23, was acquired by the Orioles on Dec. 2 along with young pitcher Jean Pinto from the Los Angeles Angels in the trade for shortstop José Iglesias.

Stallings-Throws-Tennessee-Sidebar.jpgStallings may have been traded from a West Coast club, but he grew up in southeastern Virginia in the Chesapeake area and attended Grassfield High School. He grew up attending games at Norfolk’s Harbor Park and his first ever major league game was at Baltimore’s Camden Yards.

Stallings was the Friday night starter in 2019 at the University of Tennessee. He went 8-5 with a 3.33 ERA for the Vols that year and pitched 102 2/3 innings with 106 strikeouts and just 16 walks, or only 1.3 per every nine innings. He has yet to pitch in the pro ranks because after that heavy load of innings in 2019, the Angels shut him down after selecting him in the fifth round of the draft. Then no one played on the farm in 2020.

“In our amateur reports on Garrett and some video reports, we do like him,” said the scout. “He throws a fastball, slider, curve and change. Both a sinker (two-seamer) and a four-seamer. In the parlance of the time, he is more an east-west guy. His arm side sinker and four-seamer has some nice life. Then he kind of works the other side of the plate with a slider. He goes arm side with his changeup and fastball and glove side with his slider. Mixes in a curveball.

“Very good command and control. Threw a lot of strikes at instructs, according to reports. Pitches with a decent angle, extreme side of the rubber and has a track record with throwing strikes in college. Not overpowering, topping out around 94 (mph), sitting around 90. So he is going to have to be fine and going to have to pound the strike zone. More a back-of-rotation type of profile. Sinker, slider, command pitcher.

“There are surely examples of those type of pitchers. The Orioles traded one a few years back in Zach Davies. That turned out to not be a good move, giving up a cheap rotation pitcher for (Gerardo) Parra. Davies is probably someone that has overachieved in the eyes of the industry. But (Stallings) is kind of like a Davies, not big velocity but above-average command and control and enough pitches to miss enough bats to get some weak contact.”

Stallings is ranked as the Orioles’ No. 26 prospect by Baseball America and No. 27 by MLBPipeline.com.

For more on Stallings, click here.

Some of the rules are set: The health and safety protocols for spring training and the regular season have been agreed to by the MLB players and owners, according to various reports last night. For now - and this is still subject to change - there will not be a universal designated hitter and there will be 10 playoff teams. Seven-inning doubleheaders will return for the 2021 season as will the extra-innings rule with a runner placed at second base to start each half-inning. Roster size is expected to be 26 players, possibly expanding to 28 in September.

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