Wednesday, March 13, 2019

2019 Pre-Season Profile: San Francisco Giants


The San Francisco Giants have a new front office to try and restart one of the most storied franchises in the league.  Is greatness coming back to the Bay in 2019?

2018 Predictions
3rd in NL West
Half of the Giants' Opening Day roster will not be on the Opening Day roster in 2019.

2018 Results
73-89, 4th in NL West

The Giants made a bunch of fascinating moves heading into the 2018 season that ended up not working that great.  Andrew McCutchen ended up traded mid-season, Evan Longoria did not return to his All Star level, and the top arms in their starting rotation spent significant time on the DL.  What some (like me) saw as a team that had the potential to compete for a playoff spot turned into a team that just disappointed.

Additions / Subtractions

There were several significant moves this offseason for the Giants that had very little to do with trades or free agency.  The first of these would be Farhan Zaidi being named the new President of Baseball Operations.  Zaidi comes over from the Dodgers and is known for his use of advanced metrics in his player evaluation.  This is a brand new venture for what has been known as one of the most "old school" organizations in the game.  At the start of Spring Training, manager Bruce Bochy announced this would be his last season as Giants manager.  Moving to the field, ace Johnny Cueto will be out most if not all of the season with Tommy John surgery.  As for actual offseason moves, the biggest move made was the fish they didn't catch.  The Giants were one of the last teams in the running for Bryce Harper.  This left them with the most significant acquisition of the offseason being Drew Pomeranz.

Most Important Hitter
Steven Duggar

One of the biggest mysteries of the Giants offseason is how they didn't make a move to improve their outfield.  Yes, they were in late on Harper, but they needed something as none of their Opening Day starting outfielders are currently on the roster.  Instead, the Giants seem to be going with some unproven young players as their outfield in 2019.  The most notable of these is Steven Duggar, a 25 year old lefty that will be starting in centerfield.  Duggar needs to have a good season to justify the lack of help given to the outfield.  Duggar has the potential to be a solid outfielder, but the question will be is he ready to be the anchor of their outfield already.

Most Important Pitcher
Dereck Rodriguez

The biggest surprise for the Giants in 2018 was the emergence of Dereck Rodriguez.  The son of Hall of Fame catcher Pudge Rodgriguez, Dereck is a hard throwing starting pitcher that posted a 138 ERA+ over 118 innings in 2018.  As the Giants start to look at a future youth wave coming into San Francisco, this 27 year old starter might be a future ace of this staff if he can follow up last year with another great season.

Prospect to Watch
Tyler Beede

The Giants may have won 3 World Series titles in the last 10 years or so, but the biggest knock on this organization has been a lack of development among their prospects.  They are starting to turn things around as they have two players in the top 100 prospects (their last two first round draft picks), however they are far from the big leagues at this point.  The prospect most likely to make an impact this season is Tyler Beede.  Beede, the 7th ranked prospect in their system, made his debut for the Giants last season in limited time.  Once looking like a top starting pitcher prospect (was my Prospect to Watch in 2017), he is now projecting to be a power bullpen arm.  Beede has a shot at being a major contributor to the Giants in 2019.

2019 Prediction
5th in NL West

The Giants are starting to enter a transition in their organization.  Although they still have a lot of quality veterans on their roster, the learned in 2018 that retooling around the current core might not be a viable option anymore.  They need to start over, and this season might finally be what convinces them to do it.

Fearless Prediction
Madison Bumgarner will be traded to the Brewers mid-season.

There were many rumors surrounding Madison Bumgarner this offseason, speculating whether he would be moved to start replenishing their farm system.  Although the right offer never came through, if MadBum returns to his dominant self and stays healthy this season, what for him to be traded to a team that really needs an ace, like the Brewers.

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