A first-round pick of the Giants (#31 overall) in the 2015 MLB Draft, Shaw started 2016 with the High A San Jose Giants, playing in 72 games and slashing .285/.357/.544 slash line with 16 home runs and 55 RBIs before being promoted to the Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels on June 30, where his numbers dipped a bit over the last 60 games of his season, falling to a .246./.309/.414 slash line with five home runs and 30 RBIs while playing first base over his last 60 games at the level.
At 6-foot-4, Shaw has an athletic build and square shoulders, which allow him to generate plus power in his swing, and he is notably confident in the box. During his load he lifts his bat off his shoulder and his hands stay even with his shoulders, and then they raise slightly before dropping into his slot. He takes a short, balanced stride with quick hip rotation, and combined with his quick hands and strength, it generate a powerful swing with a slight uppercut finish. His quick wrists allow him to keep his hands back until the ball is deep in the zone, which has translated into some improvement in pitch recognition, and power to all fields.
During this season’s opening series, he hit one home run while making consistent hard contact, though he did chase a few pitches out of the zone. For his abbreviated 2017 season, he’s now slashing .333/.414/.608, and doing well to work deep into counts and wait for pitches he wants to hit.
While the bat is his carrying tool, his speed is well-below average. So much so, in fact, that he has never attempted a stolen base as a pro, and he’s a borderline baseclogger when he does get on.
The confidence on display at the plate does not translate to defense, where his footwork is well-below average – at times struggling to find the bag with his feet, and making the routine plays look more difficult due to the lack of situational awareness around the bag. In my views, I saw him trip over first base while trying to set up for throws, and also set up on the wrong side of the bag to receive throws.
Run and defensive deficiencies aside, Shaw has the raw athleticism to still be successful at the major league level thanks to his bat. He’ll need to clearly show improvement at first base to hold down a regular spot on a 25-man roster as a major league regular, and he can still reach a ceiling as an average, everyday first baseman if he can work out the defensive kinks, but right now, a more realistic role seems to be that of a part-time utility player in the National League, or as a DH/1B for an American League club.