The Giants announced Tuesday that they’ve signed catcher Rob Brantly to a minor league deal and invited him to Major League Spring Training. San Francisco also confirmed its previously reported minor league deals with righty Tyson Ross and left-hander Jerry Blevins.
Brantly, 30, has appeared in parts of five big league seasons, including the briefest of stints with the Phillies in 2019, when he appeared in one game and tallied one plate appearance. He’s a career .229/.294/.332 hitter in 127 games and 429 plate appearances at the MLB level. Brantly struggled through a dismal 2018 season in Triple-A but bounced back with a .314/.404/.464 showing with Philadelphia’s top affiliate in 2019. Overall, he’s a .264/.310/.388 hitter in parts of eight Triple-A campaigns.
Last season, Brantly threw out 35 percent of runners who attempted to steal against him in the minors — up from his career mark of 32 percent. He has a lifetime 27 percent caught-stealing rate in the Majors. Framing statistics at Baseball Prospectus have him hovering at slightly below average over the past few seasons combined.
The Giants will head into 2020 with Buster Posey and Aramis Garcia likely to shoulder the workload behind the plate, with Brantly and fellow offseason signee Tyler Heineman presumably in line to handle catching duties in Triple-A. Of course, the Giants have Joey Bart, the No. 2 overall pick in 2018 and one of the top prospects in all of baseball, working his way up the minor league ladder. He’ll be in big league camp as well this spring and surely draw on the experience of Posey and others, but he’s only played 22 games above Class-A Advanced, so he’s likely destined for Double-A to begin the 2020 season.