Beede, Duggar highlight Giants headed to AFL

Beede, Duggar highlight Giants headed to AFL

SAN DIEGO -- The Giants will use the Arizona Fall League season as a form of workers' compensation. That is, certain Minor Leaguers will receive extra work to compensate for playing time they missed this year due to injury.

Right-hander Tyler Beede, the Giants' top pitching prospect, and outfielder Steven Duggar, who could emerge as a candidate to make next year's Opening Day roster, are among the farmhands named Tuesday to participate for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the AFL campaign that opens in early October.

2017 Arizona Fall League rosters
Click on the AFL team name to see complete roster.
AFL club MLB clubs
Glendale CLE, CWS, LA, PHI, PIT
Peoria ATL, BOS, SD, SEA, TOR
Salt River ARI, BAL, COL, MIA, MIL
Surprise KC, MIN, STL, TB, TEX
Scottsdale CIN, LAA, NYM, NYY, SF
Mesa CHC, DET, HOU, OAK, WSH

Typically, players chosen for the AFL are considered close to reaching the Majors. Both Beede, who was limited to 19 starts by a groin injury, and Duggar, who had appeared in 38 games entering Tuesday after enduring elbow and hamstring ailments, might have been promoted to San Francisco by now had they remained healthy.

Beede, ranked by MLBPipeline.com as the Giants' No. 3 prospect overall, and Duggar, rated seventh in San Francisco's system, will be joined by at least two other players from the organization: right-handed reliever Tyler Cyr and catcher Aramis Garcia, the Giants' eighth-ranked prospect. Both are currently stationed at Double-A Richmond.

Giants first baseman-outfielder Ryder Jones, who posted a .302/.380/.429 slash line with Scottsdale last fall, agreed with the widely held notion that an AFL stint can serve as the final boost a player needs to reach the Majors.

"The competition is obviously really good," Jones said. "It's kind of your first taste of big league-caliber arms."

Or bats, for pitchers. Chris Stratton made six AFL starts last year; he has advanced to San Francisco's rotation.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy expects the 24-year-old Beede, who went 6-7 with a 4.79 ERA before being sidelined, to make his presence felt at Spring Training next year.

"He's somebody who'll be competing to be on our club, whether it's in the rotation or the bullpen," Bochy said.

Duggar, 23, is currently Triple-A Sacramento's starting center fielder, though he has received most of his activity this year with Class A Advanced San Jose. He entered Tuesday batting .252/.360/.446 overall.

Garcia, 24, played in the AFL last year after a horrific facial fracture sustained in a baserunning collision limited him to 47 games in the Minors. He began Tuesday hitting .269/.319./481 in 99 games for Richmond and San Jose.

Cyr, had appeared in 45 games before Tuesday and owned a 4-2 record with a 2.09 ERA and 18 saves in 20 chances.

• Asked about the status of first baseman Brandon Belt, who remains sidelined with concussion symptoms, Bochy said cautiously, "I think he'll play this year," though he indicated nothing was certain.

• Outfielder Austin Slater (right groin strain) has graduated to performing baserunning drills and could begin a Minor League injury rehabilitation stint as early as this weekend, Bochy said.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.