It was nearly impossible to get Chris Shaw out Monday night.San Francisco's 10th-ranked prospect went 5-for-6 with a homer, three RBIs and two runs scored in Triple-A Sacramento's 12-11 win over Salt Lake at Smith's Ballpark. .
It was nearly impossible to get Chris Shaw out Monday night.
San Francisco's 10th-ranked prospect went 5-for-6 with a homer, three RBIs and two runs scored in Triple-A Sacramento's 12-11 win over Salt Lake at Smith's Ballpark. .
Shaw said he's simplified his approach this season, which has yielded positive results.
"I think in years past, I've always kind of thought that I needed to take something to the plate that I'm working on," he said. "For me, I feel that just speeds things up a lot. So this year's been a real get back to your roots, get back to basics and just go up there and just hit, compete, think with the pitcher, think along with what you think you're gonna get and try to put a good swing on it."
The 25-year-old outfielder delivered three of his hits in each of the first three innings of the game.
In the first, Shaw took an 0-1 two-seam fastball on the outer part of the plate from Jason Alexander to left field for an RBI single. The 31st overall pick in the 2015 Draft was thinking the right-hander might start him off inside to get him off the plate a little before throwing off-speed stuff away.
"Sure enough," he said, "I got a changeup later in the count." He promptly lined a run-scoring double to left in the second.
Gameday box score
Salt Lake's Zac Ryan couldn't solve Shaw either. The righty's 2-1 pitch was lined to left for another RBI double.
"I'm not blowing smoke here when I say I'm literally going up there and just trying to hit," he said. "I'm not thinking about much."
Jeremy Rhoades faced Shaw to lead off the fifth. Shaw described the righty as a sidearmer with a funky delivery and a fastball that hit 96 to 97 mph.
"Chances are with that angle, if he's gonna come in, he's gonna have to paint it," he said. "So just kind of just give him that part of the plate and just look to drive something to left-center. Luckily, he gave me a slider that I was able to handle."
The 6-foot-3 lefty ripped the 1-2 slider over the fence in right for his 11th homer of the year for the River Cats.
Shaw needed a triple to complete the cycle, but he was hardly thinking about achieving that milestone.
"Today was a travel day, legs are a little heavy," he laughed. "I don't know if I had it in me tonight."
Shaw flied out to center against position player Kaleb Cowart in the seventh, but lined a single to center in the ninth off another Nick Franklin for the second five-hit game of his career. He notched five hits on April 11, 2018 against Reno.
Shaw began the season in Double-A Richmond and was promoted to Sacramento on May 30. In 35 Pacific Coast League games, the Boston College product is batting .291 with 18 extra-base hits and 38 RBIs with a .922 OPS. Shaw smacked 24 homers for Sacramento last season and earned a promotion to the Major Leagues, where he appeared in 22 games for the Giants.
In the past, the native of Stoneham, Massachusetts, tried thinking about what he needed to improve on as a hitter in order to reach the Major Leagues, but ultimately realized a simplified approach and a good rapport with River Cats hitting coach Damon Minor would best help him going forward.
"I've been with Tiny for a long time," Shaw said, referring to the 6-foot-7 Minor. "He knows my swing. He knows what to look for, if something's getting off a little bit. But he's also really good at knowing that I gotta keep it simple. I can't think too much about swing path or whatever, because I start getting in trouble when I do that."
Salt Lake scored four runs in the seventh and four more in the ninth, but the game ended when Sacramento catcher Aramis Garcia -- San Francisco's No. 19 prospect -- picked Jose Rojas, who represented the tying run, off third base.
"That was actually pretty fitting to end that way," Shaw said. "Anything that could've happened in that game happened."
Shlomo Sprung is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @sprungonsports</a