The Giants had quite a few unexpected contributors last year en route to a surprising franchise-record 107 wins. Among that group was a player quietly acquired a month before the start of Spring Training. An unheralded pickup at the time, LaMonte Wade Jr. turned out to be an impressive find who could be a valuable part of the San Francisco outfield for the next few seasons.
Last February, San Francisco picked up Wade from the Twins as part of a one-for-one swap that sent righty Shaun Anderson to Minnesota. Wade, 27, had briefly appeared in each of the prior two seasons for the Twins but had a grand total of 113 big league plate appearances under his belt. A .211/.336/.347 hitter in that time, he had an impressive strikeout and walk profile but little else on his MLB resume.
Yet the Giants saw something of interest in Wade, whether based on their scouts’ evaluations or his minor league numbers. He’d hit .246/.392/.356 in Triple-A in 2019. The left-handed hitter only popped five home runs, but his 14.4% strikeout rate and 16.8% walk percentage at the minors’ top level were both far better than the league average. It was an interesting showing, but Wade’s lack of power was concerning for a player whom most scouting reports suggested was best suited for the corner outfield.
It’s easy to understand why the Twins front office felt that moving Wade was subtracting a depth option from an area of organizational strength. They already had Byron Buxton and Max Kepler entrenched in the outfield, and top prospects Alex Kirilloff, Royce Lewis and Trevor Larnach all looked to be approaching themselves. (Kirilloff had debuted in the majors during the 2020 postseason). Wade wasn’t at the level of those other players, and he was entering his final minor league option year.
Yet the deal backfired for Minnesota essentially immediately. Anderson allowed 12 runs in 8 2/3 innings with the Twins before being designated for assignment. Claimed off waivers by the Rangers, he bounced around between a few organizations before finally clearing waivers last month. He’s a member of the Blue Jays now but no longer occupies a 40-man roster spot.
Wade, on the other hand, had a quality showing in his first extended MLB look. He hit .253/.326/.482 with 18 home runs over 381 plate appearances for San Francisco. He became a bit more aggressive at the plate, and his walk and strikeout numbers (8.7% and 23.4%, respectively) were actually fairly ordinary.
Instead, Wade hit for a surprising amount of power. In addition to the 18 homers, he rapped 17 doubles and three triples. That’s a 28-homer, 27-double pace over 600 plate appearances (roughly the equivalent of a full season’s worst of playing time). His .229 isolated power far outpaced the .171 league average. According to Statcast, his average exit velocity, barrel rate and hard contact rate were each a fair bit better than the league mark.
That’s not to say the Twins gave away a future star. The Giants deployed Wade almost exclusively against right-handed pitching, leveraging their strong depth to put him in position to succeed. As a result of the heavy platooning, his rate numbers were probably better than they’d have been had he been asked to play everyday and drawn more assignments against tough lefties. As scouting reports had suggested, Wade was also primarily limited to the corner outfield and first base, only picking up two starts in center field.
Not all deals have to bring back All-Stars, though. The Giants have already gotten the better end of the swap, and Wade looks to have a good chance of being a quality contributor within the San Francisco outfield mix over the next few seasons. If that proves to be the case, the deal will be a nice feather in the cap of president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi and his staff — an example of a team successfully pulling from another organization’s area of depth to unearth a valuable addition to their roster.
Slow news day. Go Giants!
Man, what a steal
Dude was strangely clutch like big shot bob for a year
Except for the post season. When he played in 5 games and batted .100 with 1 hit .
The Giants. Lol
Hhmm @tonyG, strange how EVERY member of your Padres hit 0.00 in the playoffs.
I think you mean.000, but pointing out Wade’s underperforming in 5 games does seem silly.
Sample size, sample size, sample size
Yes ^^^ (thanks)
@giantsphan but the Padres were tied for the LEAST amount of postseason losses last year! They even lost fewer postseason games than the supposed champion Braves! Checkmate
Lol painful man
“…played in 5 games and batted .100…”
Could there be a more clueless take? Mixing games played and hits is an indication of a complete baseball dunce.
With starters averaging 4-5 ABs, and sometimes 6 ABs, per game. saying 5 games implies anywhere from 16 to 25 ABs. Anyone familiar with how baseball is played would know a 1 AB, pinch hit appearance, would count as 1 game played. Apparently someone thinks everyone else idiot by saying, he played 5 games with only 1 hit.
16 to 25 ABs is already a small sampAnd only someone completely ignorant of baseball would think 10 ABs, which is what Wade had in the 2021 PS, means anything at all.
I meant 4 to 5, and as many as 6 PAs, not ABs.
0.00 and .000 actually have the same value, so, try not to tell other people what they mean.
The righties he faced in the post season… walker buehler twice and max scherzer.
Sid Bream Speed Demon
I was about to post the same thing. If someone had a perfect batting average, it would list at 1.000, not .1000. Pompous dopes that aren’t correct get under my skin.
What a large sample size. By the way, do you consider clutch to be in a particular game or by the moment? These are two different perspectives.
How’d the Padres do? lol padres. You’re obsessed with the Giants and it’s adorable. Must’ve been real tough for you to see the Giants and Dodgers win and Padres be a complete and utter joke, just like you sweetie.
FloridaMan1988 – You wouldn’t say “meh” if you’d seen him day in and day out. Also very clutch. Wade has real talent and has become a fan favorite in SF.
Love it when players are spotted in ways that maximizes their production. Put 2-3 of these guys on a roster and they often outproduce a player making big money that the team gets stuck with for years after his peak performance. Unfortunately, that production seldom lasts long. Teams have to stay on top of the situation.
Jordan Luplow was spotted well for Cleveland and then Tampa for a but, but the league caught on. Now he’s with Arizona. And of course the Giants hit it big with Darin Ruf in 2021.
The Giants join the Rays and Brewers in recognizing how to deploy players like this. In Wade’s case he’s also a decent defender as well.
Ducky Buckin Fent
Yeah, hitting on a some of these quiet little pickups is huge. Dodgers have been good at that.
Brian Cashman – GM NYY Yankees – has hit on some position players in recent years. Voit & Urshela have both been productive players for us. Both could be starting next year & that certainly wouldn’t be terrible or whatever.
Got the best out of Didi & Tauchman too.
But I think Matt Blake – pitching coach NYY Yankees – seems to be having quite an impact on these smaller pitching trades/signings. Last year they found: Luetge, Peralta, Rodriguez, Holmes, & Cortez. 4 pretty good middle relievers & an old school swing arm.
Starters were a mixed bag.
I really like Taillon. He’s a good mid rotation starter. But after that, we didn’t get much help. Kluber was good but he wasn’t available much. & Heaney was flat out terrible for us.
However, their work in the pen was fantastic & super encouraging. Yanks might be one of the few teams that really don’t need any bullpen arms. That’s good! I hope Blake can locate that starting arm we could use. Most of the easy solution, Big Names are off the board. So I think it’ll be a trade. Interested to see who Blake & Cashman like here.
Wade at least looked like an outfielder… Lurch ( Larnach) and and Rooker ( Rookie)… neither of them looked like they belonged in the outfield…although Karloff ( Kirilloff ).. is supposed to be an outfielder.. he looked at least capable of playing defensive 1st base…. and Frankly Kepler’s bat fell off the map.. .211/.306 /.719.. with a putrid .157 /.248/ .509 v. left handed pitching.. so one has to again question the Dynamic Duo Front office ability to see talent..
you’re questioning the Twins FA for keeping the likes of Kepler and Larnach over Wade?
Chipper Jones' illegitimate kid
Reactionary fans are reactionary
Not kepler… questioning why Kepler wasn’t platooned… Lurch… well he isn’t an outfielder.. his foot work is terrible, his reads are terrible, his breaks are terrible his arm is terrible… so why do they have him as an outfielder over wade?… because they don’t know their players…. why Not trade him at peak value… now the league can see how bad of an outfielder he is.. its on video… that means his trade value is squat… better to trade them when they are prospects instead of after they become suspects…. but this front office has no eye for talent… they think those numbers with the bat told them everything… it surely doesn’t..
Wade showed he was better than Refsnyder or Cave.
Larnach, Rooker & Kirilloff are better prospects & younger.
Wade would not have been a difference maker for the Twins last year. They need starting pitching.
It does seem clear that you’re “someoldguy” with that dinosaur take.
I’m sure you were one of those that thought SaYno was better than Killebrew when you 1st saw him….
Classic Farhan move finding something shiny in the trash. Too bad this one is a flash in the pan.
Hey! You I got a like for once!!!
Oh wait, that’s probably just from you liking yourself…yeah, that is the only way.
Notice how no one agrees with or likes your takes dude?
Giant4Life – There you go again. Your dumping on Farhan has become so transparent in virtually every post you make, I’m not sure you have original contributions to make. Surprise me.
G4L, was this just a play on words? If so, not bad. “flash in the pan” was originated from the gold panning era referring to seeing gold in the pan. I.E. seeing something shiny. If you were clever by accident, that would be more likely due to the fact that you’re borderline dumb. Examples of shiny trash are too numerous to list in Farhans case. But since I have to read your foolishness I’ll list some Farhan shiny trash, which btw greatly contributed to 107.
Some relievers (Alvarez, etc.)
Some AAA depth (vosler krizan mccarthy bishop, etc)
All shiny trash that helped develop and support 107. Some might say it’s has yet to be determined whether the Giants future will be golden, but winning 107 games ON THE WAY to the future is kinda proof how good Farhan is. Of course some posters will talk about “luck” and “career years”. Luck and career years lead to team goals of contending for playoffs or reaching .500. When you win 107 games, a little more than that existed. Specifically, finding talent others didn’t see and therefore didn’t find. That’s what Zaidi did. That’s why he won executive of the year. So G4L, if you truly are a Giants fan, which I doubt, you can continue being dumb OR you can be excited about the future.
I agree. Every team is doing the same thing that FZ is; making waiver claims and MiL depth signings, looking for bounce-back and breakout candidates. The only difference is FZ seems to be more successful at it. So, it’s odd that G4L’s take amounts to complaining about FZ being better at what every other PBO/GM is doing.
I’m not sure why I posted cuz I try to avoid G4L exchanges. Same with Giants74 and the TG19 troll. But I get so irritated I can’t help myself. It’s so clear that FZ and “his people” have a great eye for talent. And they still have some old regime guys that are in the “his people”. To me, Estrada. for example, is very talented, so how come these other GMs missed out. Same with Yaz. Like you say tad, FZ is just that much better than the rest
and the Twins Dynamic Duo stink at it… how else would you explain most all their free agents were a total bust this season.. with the exception of Cruz… if you can’t bat above .500 in your team additions… you need to be out of a job…
The idiom “flash in the pan” pre-dates panning for gold. It actually derives from a musket misfiring (17th century).
Correct! Apologies, claude raymond, but you’ve been served.
damn, that hurts. Psycho Tim, you’re psycho
This is news? Wade is a core part of the team now.
Backup Catcher to the Backup Catcher
The Giants had a lot of players perform well after not doing as well, or poorly, with their previous team.
Never saw in his previous stats, majors, or minors, the power Wade provided. Magee, and DiSclafani were two other nice finds.
Giants will have their hands full in 2022 vs. the Dodgers and Padres after a season when everything they did seemed to work out. Hey, wouldn’t mind seeing them do better and win 108 games this year. I’ll settle for 90-95 and a wild-card.
lumber and lighting
Kid had saddle sores,a lot of heavy lifting exactly when they needed it.Very nice find!When Farhan was with the Dodgers he found Muncey and Taylor.He seems pretty good at spotting excellent matchups that really help your club.Last yr he found Yaz.This yr he’ll grace us with another talent I’m sure.SF sure picked the rt guy to make decisions.
What a joy to see a young man have an excellent season! Hitting a homer over your mom’s head is pretty cool. Lots of late game heroics for mr Wade. “Late night LaMonte” was fun to watch. As a Willie Mac award winner He will always be a Giant!
Sorta expected to see the nickname “Late Night LaMonte” a little further above.
Yeah and Willie Mac winner. Never was in the post so I thought to add those two things. When I logged on a idiot called him a flash in the pan. He might be but what a spectacular flash.
Padres fan here…..with Wil Myers on the last year of his mega-contract it would be nice to have options like Wade Junior for us in Right Field. Anyone know of a good trade for this to happen?
WMaybe ask the Mets about Dom Smith or Jeff McNeil?
But you guys just signed Nomar Mazara, so I think you’re good.
That’s true Moonlight. Let’s see what happens!
I doubt it. But whenever the next season starts, I have high expectations for Trent Grisham.
Seems like we got the better end of the deal when acquiring Grish from Milwaukee.
I forget, who did Brewers get?
Brewers got Luis Urias
They got back Eric Lauer (3.19 ERA and 134 ERA+ in 119 IP in ’21) and Luis Urias (23 HRs, 111 OPS+ in 490 AB in ’21). As for Grisham, he had a robust OPS of .891 on June 30th and finished the season with an OPS of .740, with only 4 HRs after the All-Star break.
So who do you guys think “won” the trade?
I agree. From what I’ve seen, Grisham really impresses me. He seems to be a solid ballplayer. He’s a good defender, and just turned 25 years old.
Wade had a solid year but he’s the epitome of unsustainable. Can’t hit LHP at all. Declined as the season went on. He’s a utility player going forward.
He was a utility player going backward. Started a lot cuz others were injured. Not sure why so many people see “flashes in the pan”. And unsustainability. Coaching had huge role in SFGs performances. Same coaches still.
Levine should have been fired. they hung on to Jake Cave instead of Wade.
Wade is the exact kind of guy that the Twins would have needed to back-up Buxton whenever he goes down.
Kapler was asked recently which player he thought would make a good manager. Came up with Wade. The guy works hard on his game. Long may the results of that work continue.
One thing this article neglects to mention: I believe he set the record for most times he drove in the tying or go ahead run in the 8th inning or later. He did it against the Dodgers TWICE. He hit a screamer that was barely foul against Scherzer in the 9th! That’s why we call him Late Night LaMonte or LaClutch!
Referring to Byron Buxton as an OF fixture is hilarious.
In defense of the Twins on the Anderson/Wade Jr trade, late night LaMonte revamped his swing during the off season to tap into his power. I believe one of the guys who helped Wade Jr was friendly with one of the many Giant coaches. So they had an inside track and exploited it, which is all good for me!
So don’t anyone go hatin on the Twins, they had no idea they were giving up on Late Night LaMonte.