Wade Meckler

Why Zaidi believes Giants prospect Meckler can be ‘special'

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No one in the Giants organization has risen quicker through the ranks this summer than 23-year-old outfielder Wade Meckler.

Meckler, an eighth-round draft pick by San Francisco last year, started the 2023 season with High-A Eugene. He was promoted to Double-A Richmond after 20 games, and again to Triple-A Sacramento two months later.

His journey is on the fast track to the big leagues thanks to an elite approach in the batter's box.

"He sees the baseball so early and can commit to swinging or shutting it down so early,” Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi told NBC Sports Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic and Laura Britt on the latest “Giants Talk” podcast. "Even at that level, you can see when someone does it in a really special way.

"It reminded me a little bit of LaMonte [Wade Jr.] and how he does it, and obviously Brandon Belt was the same way when he was here. That is just such a carrying skill."

In 64 games across three levels this season, Meckler nearly has registered an equal amount of walks (37) to strikeouts (39). He's batting a combined .370/.468/.513 with just 20 of his 88 hits going for extra bases -- 13 doubles, three triples and four home runs. Among Giants minor leaguers with at least 250 plate appearances this season, Meckler ranks first in walk-to-strikeout ratio (0.95), second in strikeout percentage (14.1) and ninth in walk percentage (13.4).

He does it by following his hitting philosophy that directly aligns with what Zaidi and the Giants' front office prioritize in batters.

"It's about making sure I'm swinging at strikes, making sure I'm doing damage and punishing fastballs in the middle of the plate," Meckler told Pavlovic last month. "If I do those two things, if I'm not missing fastballs and I'm not chasing, eventually you're going to force someone into the middle of the plate, right? A lot of times guys' off-speed pitches are chase pitches. If I can lay off those, I'm probably going to get a fastball. That's all I really care about.

"If I hit a home run, great. If I get a single, great. I try to dumb it down and simplify it as much as I can. Force the pitcher into the middle of the plate and do not miss fastballs."

If only stringing together quality at-bats were that easy. But Meckler makes it look that easy most nights.

He was promoted from Eugene to Richmond to Sacramento in a matter of months. But when could Giants fans witness Meckler getting on base in the Orange and Black?

"When you combine [his plate discipline] with Wade’s bat-to-ball skills, it has a chance to be a really cool offensive package, and a really productive offensive package here," Zaidi said. "And it could be very soon."

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