With baseball finally making it’s return, fans from Seattle to Miami (which is a very impressive Ticket to Ride railroad if you’ve been playing board games in lieu of baseball) could not be happier to finally be able to watch their favorite players suit up and play in any sort of official game. Let’s go 805 miles south of Seattle to good Ole’ San Francisco where expectations aren’t exactly high around the league for this team. With legendary skipper Bruce Bochy hanging up his over sized cap, the Giants brought in former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler as his replacement. Kapler has huge shoes to fill with a team that is projected to finish toward the bottom of the league. We now know that Buster Posey is opting out of the 2020 season, so what is it going to look like for this Giants team without their leader and franchise cornerstone?
The Giants are not exactly a young team. Everyone knows that they have one of the oldest rosters with an average age of 29.7 according to statista.com. This next season their roster could look something like this when healthy, or at least this is how I think it should look:
Not a lot of people have faith in these players here, but as a Giants fan growing up watching the championship teams of the early 2010s, I firmly believe anything is possible. This team could very much benefit from a 60 game season; in their best 60 game stretch last season the team went 37-23. That would be an impressive feat for this team above to accomplish. According to Pecota standings projections, the Giants are projected to finish with 24.9 wins, so a 37 win season would be extremely impressive. A 30-30 season for this team could be seen as a massive success.
The most intriguing player who could have a huge effect on this season is Joey Bart. Bart is next in line to be the leader behind the dish with the Giants. With Posey sitting the season out, Bart could see plenty of playing time during this season. With such low expectations for San Francisco as a whole, why not let Bart start 40-50 games? He has impressed in camp both behind the dish and at the plate, and seems like the logical choice for Kapler to pencil in behind the dish. If not Bart, I would expect Tyler Heineman to get the starting spot at catcher as the catching depth on this team is fairly weak. There isn’t a lot separating the few remaining catchers on this roster, and the fact that Heineman can switch hit may give him the edge over the likes of Rob Brantly or Chadwick Tromp.
Another player to keep an eye on would be Hunter Pence. After taking a quick trip south to play for the Rangers for a year, Pence returns to San Francisco after he impressed in Texas. Pence could fill in nicely into the now universal DH, as he is a 37 year old outfielder who will be going into his 13th major league season. He thrived as a DH in Texas, earning an All star nod and smacking 18 home runs in 83 games. He could bring some much needed pop into a lineup that is always desperate for some dingers. San Francsico has always had low home run numbers, but with the addition of Pence and some newly brought in outfield fences, this problem could be solved.
My last player to watch is going to be Tyler Rogers. Rogers has made some headlines after he broke into the league as one of the few submarine pitchers in the bigs. His funky delivery has been pretty effective against opposing batters, as he was able to work to a 1.02 ERA with a 0.7 WAR in 17.2 innings pitched in 2019. Spreading that over a full season and you might just have a future closer after Watson moves on from the Giants. He has some great stuff and is just fun to watch as you don’t see very many guys pitch release 8 inches off the ground. Look for him to be possibly the most important man in the bullpen this season.
Featured Photo: Oracle Park from @SFGiants on Twitter