SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- After missing almost the entire first three months of the season, Giants outfielder Steven Duggar is getting some much-needed at-bats in the Arizona Fall League. During the first week of the AFL season, those at-bats didn't turn out as well as hoped.
But after going 2-for-16 in his first five games for the Scottsdale Scorpions, Duggar broke out with four hits Wednesday night in a 9-5 defeat of the Glendale Desert Dogs. Scottsdale banged out 18 hits, the most in any Fall League game this year, to improve to 4-4 and take sole possession of first place in the East Division. Glendale dropped to 5-3 and a first-place tie in the West with the Peoria Javelinas.
Duggar improved his AFL slash line to .286/.407/.286 and stole two bases, tying him for the league lead with three. The Giants' No. 7 prospect said he wasn't dismayed by his slow statistical start.
"In terms of results, obviously they weren't there, but I felt like I was putting together some good at-bats," said Duggar, who also shares the AFL lead with five walks. "There were a few that I'd like to forget about, but throughout the course of the first week or so I felt pretty good up there. Just had some good at-bats, quality at-bats, hit some barrels."
A sixth-round pick in 2015 from Clemson, Duggar may have the best all-around tools of any prospect in San Francisco's system. He has an improving left-handed bat with developing power, plate discipline, well above-average speed, a strong arm and center-field range. He put together a fine first full pro season in 2016, batting .302/.388/.448 with 46 extra-base hits and 15 steals while reaching Double-A, but his encore was delayed much longer than expected.
Duggar strained the flexor muscle in his forearm during Spring Training. He recovered from that injury by mid-May, only to have recurring hamstring issues sideline him until the end of June. He got into only 44 games, mostly in high Class A though he did spend the final two weeks in Triple-A, batting a combined .262/.365/.445 with 18 extra-base hits and 10 steals.
While sidelined, he tried to get better by studying hitters during game action. In the Fall League, he's trying to improve his approach and his basestealing acumen.
"It's a small sample size here in terms of at-bats, but just try to put together some quality at-bats, stay within myself and work on the stealing side of things," Duggar said. "I got together with [six-time National League steals leader] Vince Coleman in Spring Training this year and really tried to work when I am on first and second, just trying to take the extra base and be able to score as many runs as I can for the team."
Duggar scored three runs Wednesday night to spark a Scottsdale lineup featuring seven players with multiple hits. Among them were first baseman Matt Thaiss (Angels' No. 3) and right fielder Troy Montgomery (Angels' No. 20), who each had two hits and a pair of RBIs. Catcher Will Smith (Dodgers' No. 8) highlighted the Glendale attack with three hits to raise his batting average to .444.
Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.