SF Giants HQ: How Gabe Kapler’s staff is luring free agents, relievers to keep an eye on

Editor’s note: This story is a scaled-down version of the Giants HQ email newsletter sent out by beat writer Kerry Crowley on Tuesday and Friday mornings. To become a newsletter subscriber (it’s free!), click here.

When free agent players weigh offers and pick a destination, it seems as if they almost always choose to sign with the franchise that offers them the most money.

The rationale makes sense, but over the last two years, I’ve still found it interesting to hear about all of the other supporting factors that helped convince a free agent the Giants were the best fit.

Left-handed reliever Jake McGee and right-handed starter Anthony DeScalfani were the most recent Giants to explain why they chose San Francisco, and it’s clear money wasn’t their only motivation. Both players spoke this week about how comfortable they felt with manager Gabe Kapler and his coaching staff’s use of analytics and information to help pitchers maximize their success.

McGee, who throws almost exclusively fastballs, went into detail on the characteristics of his four-seamer and why having a staff that understands the horizontal and vertical break of the pitch can help him understand where to throw it. DeSclafani, a starter with four pitches, has an above-average slider and knows the Giants will ask him to use his best offering more often than he has in the past.

Whether it was infielder Tommy La Stella detailing how long conversations with Kapler intrigued him about finding ways to improve deep into his career or starter Alex Wood explaining how he nearly joined the Giants last offseason because their approach to analytics intrigued him, there’s an increasing number of players who now view San Francisco as a franchise that can help them understand new ways to reach their potential.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


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