The Giants selected Slater in the eighth round in 2014 out of Stanford University. He hit .347 in the Northwest League in his debut, then followed up with a .294/.334/.381 line between High-A and Double-A in 2015. In 2016 he added power to the equation, hitting 18 homers with a .305/.395/.500 line in the high minors.
Slater ranked 12th on the pre-season San Francisco Giants Top 20 prospects for 2017 list with the following comment:
12) Austin Slater, OF-2B, Grade B-/C+: Age 24, eighth round pick in 2014 out of Stanford; hit .305/.393/.500 with 18 homers, 57 walks, 89 strikeouts in 390 at-bats between Double-A and Triple-A; good track record of hitting going back to college and had no problems adapting to high minors; opinions on tools vary: depending on the source, raw power, speed and arm all rate anywhere between 45 and 55; call it 50s all-around; more instinctive than toolsy; glove average in outfield and at second base but versatility is nice. ETA 2018.
Before his promotion this week he was hitting .332/.381/.460 for Triple-A Sacramento.
Slater is a right-handed hitter and thrower, listed at 6-2, 215, born December 13th, 1992. As noted in the pre-season report, his physical tools are average in every way. That’s not a bad thing if you have the skills and polish to make them work on the field and Slater has shown that, tapping his power more often over the last year and maintaining his all-field contact hitting ability. His glove fits best in left field but he can also handle right, can play center in an emergency, and has experience at second base.
Down the line Slater looks like he can hit .270-.280 with occasional power and the versatility to play several positions. He’s not a star but he should be a useful role player.
Here’s some video of Slater by Adam Hayes