Todd Linden back in camp with the Giants

The San Francisco Giants used the 41st overall pick in the 2002 draft to select Todd Linden in 2002.

They gave up on him in 2007.

Now, 10 years after he signed that first contract with the Giants, comes word that the Central Kitsap graduate is back in the Giants’ minor league spring training camp in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Strange world we live in.

Linden, 31, signed a minor league contract with the team that once considered him a “can’t miss” prospect, a possible replacement for Barry Bonds.

This would be one of the great comeback stories of all time if Linden can work his way back into a major league uniform.

The odds are against him, but the the switch-hitting outfielder is coming off a monster year … in something called the North American Baseball League. He was the MVP of the Independent League, leading Edmonton to the league title. He hit .355 with 14 home runs, 79 RBI and 23 stolen bases in 88 games.

I wrote this story about Linden in October of 2011. The theme: Would anybody notice what Linden did in the NABL? Would he ever get another shot, a fair shot to get back to the big leagues?

Aftet the Giants let him go, he played with the Florida Marlins, and spent time in the minors with the Oakland A’s, Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees. He also spent parts of two seasons playing in Japan.

And now he’s back where he started, wearing a Giants’ uniform. It must be a strange, exhilarating time for Linden.

Here’s hoping he gets a fair shot. Here’s hoping that he plays his way back on to a big-league roster. How can you not pull for him?


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