SAN FRANCISCO – The Eastern League is a tough environment for forwards, and with the season heading into its final weeks, only three eligible players have an average of over . 300. Prospect Wade Meckler hit . 336 during his short stint in the Double-A league, which puts that stint out of reach, but not only because of his comparison to other minor league hitters.
This was also Meckler’s only stop in the minors where he did not hit at least . 400. The 23-year-old ripped both levels of the A ball and hit . 400 in 10 games at Triple-A. Overall, Meckler had a .377 average and a .472 on-base percentage in 92 minor league games, and on Monday the Giants decided they’d seen enough.
With Mike Yastrzemski unavailable and the lineup desperate for a boost, the Giants called up Meckler and threw him straight into the fire against Tyler Glasow and the Tampa Bay Rays. Meckler plays center field and bats second on Monday night.
“Wade Meckler’s FanGraphs page, Baseball Reference page, or Choose Your Own Stats page is a very interesting page to look at,” said manager Gabe Kapler. “It’s just ridiculous video game numbers. Not huge numbers for home runs, of course, but the on-base stuff is very impressive. A lot of it is that he’s got really good plate discipline, really good hit-and-ball skills.
“There’s a little bit of Luis Matos there in terms of similar skill sets. Mickler is a little bit different in that the discipline on the board comes back quite a bit. We’ve seen that in spring training, a calm approach to the plate and a disciplined approach to the plate. I think given the success he’s had on Minor league level, it’s fair to assume he’ll be able to put the bat to the ball and make good swing decisions (here).”
The skill set got Meckler to the major leagues just 13 months after taking him in the eighth round of the 2022 draft, and the Giants are confident he won’t take the plunge. Meckler caught the staff’s attention this spring when he stuck to his technique rather than trying to impress, as most young hitters do in their first camp. He never wavered while earning an early promotion to Double-A, and then twice more.
The finale came on Monday, when the River Cats returned home from Las Vegas and told manager Dave Brundage Mickler he was headed to San Francisco with veteran Johan Camargo. Meckler immediately called his parents, who had boarded a plane to board from Orange County.
“Obviously when I was recruited last year I didn’t expect to be here (this close), but I did expect to be hurt,” Meckler said. “I was kind of setting high standards for myself and holding myself accountable every single day and that’s what got me here.”
Meckler comes to the park every night looking for three hits, and lately the entire Giants lineup has had trouble hitting that mark at times. As exciting as Sunday’s win was, the Giants only had one run until Patrick Bailey’s homer. They were hoping Yastrzemski would provide a spark on Tuesday, but the player suffered a hamstring relapse and will need another two weeks to rehab.
That should give Meckler a chance to show what he can do, and he’ll face a tough early challenge. Glasnow is one of the best pitchers in baseball, but Meckler isn’t planning on changing anything. His approach is always the same, and it showed on Monday afternoon when he stopped his first BP session after taking an offer.
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For the minors, Meckler would always ask his coaches if every snap during a BP was made on a ball or a shot. He did the same thing in the cage at Oracle Park.
“The ability to manage the strike zone is probably my biggest strength,” said Meckler. “I have very good bat-to-ball skills. For the most part, hitters, no matter how good or bad you swing, if you get a fastball into center field, most players hit them. I’ve done a good job working through the minor leagues to force Guys on the middle of the board and getting my fastball and not losing it.”
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