San Francisco Giants: Trevor Brown Widens His Horizons This Spring

With Spring Training games beginning this week, the San Francisco Giants plan to test the versatility of backup catcher Trevor Brown. In an effort to increase his playing time, Brown will try his hand at the infield before Opening Day.

According to Alex Pavlovic, manager Bruce Bochy intends to give Trevor Brown a chance at second base with the possibility of playing first and third during Spring Training. One one hand, this idea would increase Brown’s playing time and give the Giants infield versatility. Yet, inexperience might limit his options outside of catching.

Following his late-season debut, Brown adopted the role of backup catcher in 2015. It comes with no surprise that the highly-decorated Buster Posey unintentionally keeps Brown from a full-time role. Unless Brown’s dream is to remain a backup catcher, leaning on his on-field flexibility helps ensure his roster spot with the Giants.

Second only to catching, Brown played 97 games at second base during his four seasons in the minor leagues. Through 97 games and 860.2 innings at second, he recorded a .974 fielding percentage and turned 53 double plays. A majority of his games at second came in 2013 with the Class-A Augusta Greenjackets and Class-A+ San Jose Giants. In fact, he played 74 more games as a second baseman than he did as a catcher. Through 786 innings and 88 games, Brown committed only 11 errors while turning 46 double plays.

As he worked his way through the minor leagues, Brown gradually transitioned exclusively to catcher. Playing to his inexperience, he is two years removed from the last time he played the infield. Before he spent 72 games behind the plate for the Class-AAA Sacramento River Cats, Brown played eight games at second base in San Jose. Once again, he fielded exceptionally and without error through 72.2 innings. Most recently, he played second with the Class-AAA Fresno Grizzlies in 2014, but it only for two innings of one game.

Other Options

If Brown were to transition to another position to increase his playing time, second appears to be his best option. Although he occasionally manned first base during his minor league stint, he only played 12 games there. Nonetheless, history shows that if a catcher is making an adjustment to any infield position, it is typically first base.

Despite the obvious talent of this young ballplayer, adding third base to Brown’s workload seems highly unlikely. Aside from playing one game at third in 2016, Brown has never played the hot corner since the Giants selected him in the 2012 draft. Brown’s situation joins several moving pieces the Giants look to nail down by the end of Spring Training.

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