Pitcher Matt Yourkin, a left-hander who is from Napa, was one of 22 players who have been extended non-roster invitations for major league spring training by the San Francisco Giants.
Yourkin, 29, spent the entire 2010 season with Triple-A Fresno of the Pacific Coast League, going 7-8 with a 4.24 earned run average in 29 games. He made 24 starts and gave up 64 earned runs in 136 innings pitched.
The Napa High School graduate struck out 110 batters and walked 39. Opponents had a .277 batting average off Yourkin.
He was the fifth overall pick in the Triple-A phase of the 2008 Rule 5 Draft by San Francisco. Yourkin has been signed by the Giants.
Yourkin was signed by the Florida Marlins as a non-drafted free agent and has pitched in the minor leagues since 2003. He spent part of 2007 with Albuquerque, N.M., a Triple-A team.
He made his first appearance of spring training last year for San Francisco in March, pitching a scoreless inning of relief in the Giants’ 7-1 Cactus League loss to San Diego in Peoria, Ariz.
He played baseball at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga.
Non-roster invitations were also extended to right-handed pitchers Casey Daigle, Waldis Joaquin, Shane Loux, Guillermo Mota, Felix Romero, Jason Stoffel and Ryan Vogelsong; left-handed pitchers Wilmin Rodriguez and Ryan Verdugo; catchers Tommy Joseph, Hector Sanchez, Chris Stewart and Jackson Williams; infielders Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Charles Culberson, Brad Eldred and Nick Noonan; and outfielders Gary Brown, Terry Evans and Juan Perez.
Pitchers and catchers report to spring training camp in Scottsdale, Ariz., next month. San Francisco’s spring schedule starts on Feb. 25 at home against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
This year marks the Giants’ 28th spring training at Scottsdale Stadium. The Cactus League portion of the team’s spring training schedule ends on March 27.
Belt, 22, had a spectacular professional debut last year, compiling one of the best seasons of any minor league player in 2010, batting .352 with 43 doubles, 23 home runs and 112 RBIs in 136 games between Class A Advanced San Jose, Double-A Richmond and Triple-A Fresno. He was selected to the California League All-Star team after hitting .383 for San Jose.
Named a Minor League All-Star by Baseball America, Belt played one year at San Jacinto Junior College, transferred to the University of Texas and then was selected by San Francisco in the fifth round of the 2009 draft.
Showtime Networks, Major League Baseball Productions and the 2010 World Series champion San Francisco Giants are teaming up for a new series chronicling the world of professional baseball. The new series will give viewers a front row seat into the lives of the players, coaches and team personnel as they begin the arduous task of defending their World Series title through the 2011 MLB season.
A collaboration between Showtime and MLB Productions, the soon-to-be-titled series is currently in production and will be shot over the course of 10 months in numerous locations at home during the offseason, on to Scottsdale, Ariz., for spring training and during the regular season.
The series is set to premiere with a preview episode timed to the opening of the 2011 season, followed by regularly scheduled episodes during the second half of the season.