Tuesday, March 5, 2013

30 Teams in 30 Days: San Francisco Giants

By: Jordan Hostick
2012 Record: 94-68 (1st in the NL West, World Series Champions)

Key Additions:
OF Andres Torres (1 year, $2M)
RP Ramon Ramirez (MILB deal)
RP Chad Gaudin (MILB Deal)
RP Scot Proctor (MILB Deal)

Key Subtractions:
RP Brian Wilson (FA)
OF Melky Cabrera (2/16 w/ Toronto)
1B/OF Aubrey Huff (FA)
INF Ryan Theriot (FA)
RP Brad Penny (FA)

New Addition that will help the most:
            Andres Torres, traded with Ramon Ramirez for Angel Pagan in 2011, is back on the Giants after a short stint with the Mets, and I believe he’ll have the biggest impact. In an off-season in which the Giants didn’t do much, even a player like Torres, who is expected to only play against LHP, is there top addition. If he can return to his form from a few years ago, he’ll make a nice solid platoon partner for Gregor Blanco.

Spring Training Battles:
The Battle to be the next Ryan Theriot
 With Andres Torres, Hector Sanchez, Joaquin Arias and Brett Pill more than likely also getting a spot on the bench as well that leaves only ONE open spot left on the bench, there are a few players that could fill that last spot and I'm going to take a look at them now.

First up is Conor Gillaspie. He's 25, a lefty Bat and is out of options coming into this season. He can't field anything but he has had an increasing Home Run rate and his Strikeouts to Walks ratio is what makes him a candidate to make the Big League roster this Spring Training. He is a long shot, and would likely need some help injury wise to get on the roster. 

Next is Tony Abreu, who was a waiver claim by the Giants prior to Spring Training. He is a Switch Hitter, which is something the Giants could use and he is faster than Gillaspie is, which makes him attractive for Pinch Running. He has experience at Short Stop so he has a leg up on Gillaspie in that aspect as well. He’s the frontrunner for the spot.

The final guy in this battle is Kensuke Tanaka, a Japanese International who hit a .300 average last season in Japan, where the average team hits .252. Tanaka played Second Base while he was over in Japan but apparently has told the Giants that he is willing to try and play Shortstop. While its hard to say whether he will make the roster, I see him as someone that could play at some point during the season for the Giants.

Question heading into the season:
Can Marco Scutaro continue his hot play from the Giants Post-Season Run.
Marco Scutaro by far was the most important person hitting wise for the Giants last year during their post season run, while not doing so well in the NLDS only having a batting average of .150 during that series he burned the Cardinals for a .500 batting average while winning the NLCS MVP award, in the World Series he hit .250 in the 4 games they played while sweeping the Tigers. Over his career in the NL he has a .293 Batting Average so that is an upside for him having a great year for the Giants. Overall I think that as long as Scutaro can stay healthy, with him being 37 years old for the upcoming season, I think that he'll be able to contribute at least 2 WAR.

Giants Number 1 prospect for 2013:
After a dominating year in 2012, Kyle Grick, the 6”4 220 pounder from Texas is ready to prove how good he truly is in 2013. His fastball sits in the mid 90’s, but his future lies in his curveball, a pitch highly coveted by scouts. He has the ability, with a few pitches, to be a high ceiling power arm, but, if he can’t develop his secondary offerings more, a bullpen role seems likely. The ETA on him isn’t for a few years, so he has time to work on himself and polish his stuff up.

Projected Roster:
Projected Go to Starting Lineup:
1. CF- Angel Pagan
2. 2B – Marco Scutaro
3.  3B – Pablo Sandoval
4.  C – Buster Posey
5.  RF – Hunter Pence
6. 1B – Brandon Belt
7.  LF – Gregor Blanco * vs RHP
8. SS – Brandon Crawford

Projected Bench:
C – Hector Sanchez
1B/OF Brett Pill
IF Tony Abreu
OF Andres Torres * vs LHP

Projected Starting Rotation
1.  RHP – Matt Cain
2.  LHP – Madison Bumgarner
3.  RHP – Tim Lincecum
4.  LHP – Barry Zito
5.  RHP – Ryan Vogelsong

Projected Bullpen
CL RHP Sergio Romo
SU LHP Javier Lopez
MID RHP Ramon Ramirez
MID LHP Jose Mijares

Projected 2013 Record: 91-71 (2nd NL West) (Wildcard Berth)
            Overall I believe that the Giants still have the tools to make it back to the post season and potentially to make it back to the World Series. They have a well-balanced offense, although not the best, it is ok. To go along with the offense is the start studded pitching, and that’s likely going to be what will lead them into the playoffs once again.

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