San Francisco Giants: Creating the Ultimate 5-Tool Player

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San Francisco Giants: Creating the Ultimate 5-Tool Player
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Okay, the Frankenstein monster is merely a product of Mary Shelley's imagination.  

But, it being the season of speculation for baseball writers across the country, it's only natural a few of us behind the keyboard occasionally allow our own imaginations to run a little rampant. 

The San Francisco Giants function as a well-oiled machine, with each player serving a specific and essential role in keeping the machine going.  

What if we took the best parts of the machine and combined it into one highly efficient, extremely effective hybrid?  

Now that could be a winning idea.  

In the spirit of imagination, here are five elements that, combined, would create the ultimate San Francisco Giant.  

 

1. Brandon Crawford's Glove

The  2012 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award, an honor bestowed upon Brandon Crawford for being the organization's top defender, was well-earned in 2012.  

Although Crawford had a rocky start in at the season's outset, committing 12 errors in his first 59 games, he tightened up defensively as the season wore on.  Over the course of the postseason, Crawford only committed one error in 16 games.  

Crawford's expert glove-work and range at shortstop is truly impressive.  His defense is not only a sight to see, but his exceptional play in the middle of the infield helps the team win.  Crawford ranked third among National League shortstops in defensive runs saved, posting a plus-12 in the category. 

 

2. Angel Pagan's Speed

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

In order to create the ultimate San Francisco Giant, one cannot pass up on center fielder Angel Pagan's speed and sheer athleticism.  

Especially playing in pitcher-friendly AT&T Park. 

In 2012, Pagan managed to peg a staggering 15 triples and 38 doubles.  His speed enabled him to stretch singles into extra-base hits, as Pagan is not notorious for his power at the plate. 

Additionally, Pagan accumulated a team-leading 29 stolen bases.  This total has the potential to increase next season, as Pagan only batted in the leadoff position in 80 games in 2012.  

Speed is an integral part of the Giants' success.  Possessing few players who hit for power, the Giants employ a small-ball strategy.  And, in order for the strategy to work, the Giants need players who can make things happen on the base paths and who have the ability to steal an extra 90 feet. 

 

3. Pablo Sandoval's Raw Power

Speaking of hitting for power...

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Third baseman Pablo Sandoval is one of the best natural hitters in the game today.  A safe statement, considering Sandoval crushed not one, not two, but three home runs in the 2012 World Series opener. Two of those home runs came off of the "unhittable" Justin Verlander. 

While Sandoval will swing at any pitch in any location,  the notorious free-swinger somehow connects with these seemingly unhittable pitches.  In fact, this quality makes Sandoval an enigma for opposing pitchers: you can't pitch around him, and he's a threat at the plate no matter the location of the ball.

Just look at the three pitches Sandoval launched in Game 1 of the World Series.

The first: a high-and-inside fastball from one of the best flamethrowers in baseball.  

The second: a ball, outside.  The exact opposite location of the previous home run. 

The third: a slider in the dirt.

As long as Sandoval stays healthy in 2013, look for his power numbers to only increase.  

 

4. Marco Scutaro's Intellect

A quality often overlooked is a player's "baseball smarts."  Veteran second baseman Marco Scutaro is a certified genius based on his baseball IQ. 

Scutaro's putout in Game 2 of the World Series encapsulates this point.  Scutaro made a perfect throw to Buster Posey, who tagged out Prince Fielder and thereby prevented an important run from scoring.  

Yes, Scutaro made a great throw.  Breaking down the play further, it was ultimately Scutaro's intellect on the field that allowed the out to be made.  Scutaro was acting as the backup to the relay throw by left fielder Gregor Blanco.  Blanco overthrew his intended cutoff man, shortstop Brandon Crawford. 

However, Scutaro was in perfect position as Crawford's backup relay.  Without skipping a beat, Scutaro intercepted the throw and fired the ball to Posey for the out. 

Phew.  Confusing. 

Luckily, not too confusing for the seasoned Scutaro.  



5. Buster Posey's Bat

Leon Halip/Getty Images

Catcher and reigning NL MVP Buster Posey is the most consistent offensive weapon in the Giants' arsenal.  

His 2012 numbers:

.336 BA, .549 SLG%, 103 RBI's

Posey also possesses a patience at the plate absent from the slugger Sandoval's game.  In 2012, Posey walked 69 times.  

Rookie of the Year in 2010, two World Series Rings in three seasons, and an MVP award—Posey has had about as stellar a start in the Majors of anybody in the history of the game. 

And he's just getting started. 

 

The best part about this creation: it's real.  The Giants have Crawford's glove, Pagan's speed, Sandoval's power, Scutaro's IQ, and Posey's bat—just in separate packages. 

Add to the mix a potential break-out season for first baseman Brandon Belt, a return to All-Star form for right fielder Hunter Pence, one of the strongest pitching cores in Major League Baseball and a clubhouse full of role players ready to contribute, and the need for a fictional superstar disappears. 

The Giants have proven that playing as a team is more important that performing as an individual. 

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