The Giants have purchased the contract of outfielder Tyler Colvin from Triple-A Fresno, where he has been hitting exceptionally well against right-handed pitchers. Colvin, a North Augusta product, could get a lot of starts in left field in place of Michael Morse, who’s shifting to first base for the Giants, filling in for the injured Brandon Belt.
The Giants placed Marco Scutaro on the 60-day disabled list to clear a 40-man roster spot for Colvin, who has previously played in the big leagues for the Chicago Cubs and Colorado Rockies.
Signed as a minor league free agent during Spring Training, Colvin owns a .241 batting average with a .743 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) in 384 Major League games with the Cubs (2009-11) and Rockies (2012-13). A left-handed batter, Colvin hit .298 against right-handed pitchers and .267 overall in 35 games at Fresno.
Colvin has seen major-league action in parts of five seasons. In 2012, his first year with the Rockies, Colvin showed promise – batting .290, posing an on-base percentage of .327 and slugging .531. He hit 18 home runs, 27 doubles, 10 triples and drove in 72 runs in 452 plate appearances.
But he took a step back last year, earning only 75 major-league plate appearances and registering a meager .160/.192/.280 line in the process, while striking out 27 times. He did hit at Triple-A, however, hitting .275/.377/.480 in 269 trips to the plate for Colorado Springs. Colvin eventually went on the shelf because of a disk injury in his back. The Rockies outrighted him in September, and after going unclaimed, he elected free agency in October.
Over five big league seasons, Colvin has hit .241/.289/.454, faring considerably better against right-handed pitchers. He has played all three outfield positions, spending the most time in right. He also has played 36 games at first base.
Colvin, 28, started his career with the Cubs before heading to Colorado in a trade for Ian Stewart. The 13th overall choice in the 2006 draft, Baseball America considered Colvin the game’s 75th-best prospect after the 2007 season. He displayed a good amount of power in 2010 with the Cubs, hitting .254 with 20 home runs and 56 RBIs.
But that season was cut short when he was hospitalized after his chest was punctured by part of a shattered bat. Colvin was standing on third base in a game at Florida when he was struck by a sliver of Welington Castillo’s maple bat. The wound was only a few inches from his heart and could’ve been much more serious, but there was minimal external bleeding and he fully recovered.