The problem with trying to group players into positional rankings is when the big league team is pushing more and more players with versatility, that can play multiple positions all over the diamond. So here’s one extra ranking for the 2022 season: Super-Utility.
A lot of young players already can play a couple of positions. Almost any shortstop will also play second. A lot of third baseman can also play first. Outfielders might move from corner to corner. But this list will focus more and the players that go beyond the usual position combos. The Giants under Farhan Zaidi started to pursue this with one of Zaidi’s earliest trade acquisitions in Mauricio Dubón, a middle infielder who the Giants started playing center field to expand his usage.
What makes a Super Utilityman for this list is a player who gets outside of the usual positional expectations. Not just an infielder who can move from second to third to short. These are players who can play both the infield and outfield, and be used for all sorts of matchups.
So here are three players that spent much of 2021 all over the diamond. Two started playing brand new positions this season that give them this Super-Utility positional future. The third has been preparing for this since high school.
#1 – Will Wilson
After trading for Wilson in 2019, the Giants finally got his debut in spring of 2021, and he spent much of March in big league camp playing all over the diamond for the Giants. Though he spent much of the regular season in the minors playing shortstop, it appears the Giants see him playing second and third as well. And once he got to the Arizona Fall League, he began playing a new position: center field. With his athleticism adding another premium position, it gives him more chances to fit into the Giants’ plan down the line.
#2 – Brett Auerbach
No player exemplifies the Super Utilityman role as much as Brett Auerbach. Auerbach began working on playing multiple positions in high school, and spent the 2021 season playing from the catcher to center field. The only positions he didn’t play this season were shortstop, first base, and pitcher. And he did it while still hitting well at the plate and getting a quick promotion from Low-A to High-A. It’s hard to imagine a guy in the Majors playing everywhere from catcher to center field in the same season, but if anyone could do it, it’s Auerbach.
#3 – Simon Whiteman
The fastest player in the system, Whiteman earned his way up to Double-A playing all over the infield, getting on base, and stealing bases. But later in the season, the Giants began putting Whiteman out in center field, where his speed was an asset in the field. Whiteman doesn’t flash a lot of power, and at times he was a bit overmatched in Richmond hitting for contact, but he still got on base to take advantage of that speed on the basepaths.