On Sunday, the San Francisco Giants picked up a prospect pitcher and cleared up their outfield picture a little, by trading center fielder Billy Hamilton to the New York Mets for right-handed minor league pitcher Jordan Humphreys.
Humphreys, 24, made a comeback from 2017 Tommy John surgery late in 2019, getting two innings in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League before allowing just one run in 11.1 innings in the Arizona Fall League. Humphreys was ranked as the Mets #14 prospect by both MLB Pipeline and Baseball America.
MLB Pipeline added Humphreys to the Giants prospect list at #23.
The trade ends the prospect of Billy Hamilton joining the Giants major league roster. Hamilton was signed as a minor league free agent before the season, but undisclosed injuries during summer camp kept him away for most of the warmup period, and he’d joined the team late. Meanwhile, the Giant have been dealing with a crowded outfield of players they want to get a look at, even sending down Jaylin Davis, who had been receiving complements all summer camp, as Darren Ruf had impressed and Steven Duggar returned from injury.
The Mets had a need for a center fielder when their backup center fielder Jake Marisnick was put on the injured list with a hamstring injury. Their starting center fielder is Brandon Nimmo, but he is not an elite center fielder defensively and like to replace him late in games.
According to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, the move is unrelated to Sunday’s disappearance of Yoenis Cespedes, saying the Giants and Mets had been talking Saturday about the move.
The Mets DFA’d Humphreys on Wednesday as part of a roster crunch to add Ryan Cordell, another center field option they added to deal with the loss of Marisnick. The Mets had added him to the 40-man roster last season to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft, but he was not expected to help the Major League team this season.
On Sunday, the Giants designated Jandel Gustave from the 40-man roster to make room for Humphreys, who will head to the Alternate Training Site in Sacramento. The Giants also called up Andrew Triggs from the ATS as they put Drew Smyly on the 10-day IL with a left finger strain.
Humphreys throws a fastball in the 92-95 mph range with high-spin and good carry, and has a good slider he pairs with it, and a changeup. He threw a high-spin curve before his injury, but in the AFL last season, did not throw it and instead added a slider. He also has good control.
Gabe Kapler in an interview on Saturday said “He had a lot of carry through the zone before Tommy John. He still has a lot of carry through the zone.” He added “He’s a strike thrower and a real prospect for the Mets, and we’re excited to have him.”
“If you look at Humphreys’ track record, he had some pretty dominating performances as a starter in the lower levels,” said Giants general manager Scott Harris. “His fastball has unique characteristics that play up in the zone.”