The San Francisco Giants have been one of the most consistent franchises in baseball in recent memory, winning championships in 2010, 2012, and 2014. The Giants have become a modern day dynasty, in the same ranks as the Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL, and New England Patriots of the NFL. This season the Giants look to get back on top of the baseball world and win their fourth title in eight years.
Sep 3, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; San Francisco Giants left fielder Angel Pagan (left) and center fielder Denard Span (center) and right fielder Hunter Pence (right) celebrate the final out of the ninth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. San Francisco won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
- Denard Span CF: The 32-year-old Span enters his second season with the Giants and ninth season in the bigs. Span isn’t speedster he once was but has the ability to get on base and set the table for the batter behind him. While not having his best statistical season he still put up decent numbers for San Francisco. Span hit for a 266 average, hit eleven home runs and drove in 53 runs. Not exactly eye popping numbers but something that could definitely go up if the players behind get on base consistently.
- Brandon Crawford SS: Kind of an interesting spot for Crawford in this lineup however with his on-base percentage I feel as if he would be perfect to hit behind Span and ahead of Buster Posey and could put together a career year doing so. Crawford took a step back last season from his breakout year in 2015 but looks to rebound and make the Giants winners again. Last year he hit for a 275 average, with twelve home runs, and drove in 84 runs. If in fact Crawford hits second in this lineup this season look for the RBI total to go down, but average, and possibly home runs numbers to go up.
- Buster Posey C/1B: Posey is the heart and soul of this Giants team and no doubt the leader both offensively and defensively. Though primarily a catcher he will get his fair share of games at first typically on days where they play a night game followed by an early game the next day. Posey has been one of the best catchers in all of baseball for a long time now and shows no signs of slowing down. In 2016 he hit for a 288 average, adding fourteen home runs, and driving in 80 runs, I could see those numbers going up greatly if Span and Crawford are consistently doing their jobs and getting on base.
- Brandon Belt 1B: Brandon Belt is slowly becoming a household name, however not for his flashy defensive plays, or 400 foot home runs, but more so his consistent play at first base for the Giants. He won’t put up jump off the page numbers, but numbers that will make you wish he was on your team. Last year Belt posted a 275 average, 17 home runs, and drove in 82 runs. He’s another player that I could stats only getting better, and boy would Giants fans love that.
- Hunter Pence RF: Pence may be the most household name on this Giants roster outside of Madison Bumgarner, and for a reason you wouldn’t think. It’s not his play, or even his beard, it’s the things fans make up about him, and put on signs to bring to the ballpark. Signs like “Hunter Pence eats pizza with a fork,” or “Hunter Pence whispers sorry when he catches a fly ball.” All jokes aside Pence is one heck of a player for the Giants as long as he’s healthy which can be an issue. He only played in 106 games last season which isn’t what you want out of a “star” player. In those 106 games Pence posted a 289 batting average, thirteen home runs and brought in 57 runs. Numbers he hopes to replicate in a full season in 2017.
- Eduardo Nunez 3B: The Giants have moved on from Matt Duffy and turn to 29-year-old Nunez to fill that hole. He played 141 games last season between the Minnesota Twins, and the Giants, and had a pretty strong year for the most part. He hit for a 288 average, 16 home runs, and had 67 RBI’s, all of which were career highs. He looks to build off of a strong season and be a threat for the Giants moving forward.
- Jarrett Parker LF: Currently the Giants website has Mac Williamson as the starting left fielder but I believe that Parker will win the job out of camp. Overall Parker is the better hitter, and offensive presence, and could contribute to the Giants everyday lineup. He would enter his first season as a starter and could definitely change the game for the Giants. His career numbers (while limited games and at-bats) look solid. He has a 267 average, with eleven home runs, and 28 RBI’s. Even if Parker is a step behind Williamson defensively I think he best fits this left field position.
- Joe Panik 2B: Panik enters his third season as the everyday second baseman for the Giants, and is a pivotal part of one of the best double play combos in the bigs. Panik and Crawford may make up the best middle infielders in baseball and they’re exciting to watch. However Panik had some offensive woes in 2016 and looks to right his ship in 2017. He’s entering his age 26 season and looks to become another offensive threat to solidify this Giants lineup. In 2016 Panik only hit for a .239 average, with ten round trippers, and 62 RBI’s something he’ll need to greatly improve upon if he wants to be the everyday second baseman moving forward.