When the season began, Belt appeared to be on track to finally produce the breakout season that everyone expected of him. By April 8, he'd already hit five home runs to go along with a 1.114 OPS.
Since that fast start, however, nothing seems to have gone right for Belt. The power has remained to a certain extent, but he's pressing at the plate, leading to an unusually terrible strikeout-to-walk rate of 38-to-8. Additionally, his batting average has slipped all the way to .264, and now he'll miss the next six weeks after undergoing surgery on his fractured thumb.
It's been a mix of a lot of good and a lot of bad for Belt, but he's shown more reason for promise than doubt.
Hicks' numbers don't appear great on paper, but anyone who's followed the Giants this season knows Hicks has been an indispensable member of the lineup.
It's almost as if Hicks' season was designed specifically for someone who wanted to argue the merits of advanced statistics. Though the Giants' second baseman is hitting just .204 on the season, his .781 OPS is well beyond what anyone could have expected from him and his OPS+ of 125 ranks a respectable sixth on the team, according to Baseball-Reference.com.
Hicks also has an ISO (a measure of a hitter's raw power) of .255, according to FanGraphs, which is absolutely phenomenal. (For reference, Marco Scutaro's career OPS with the Giants is .770 and his ISO last year was .072, per FanGraphs.)
That doesn't even factor in Hicks' defensive ability, which has been top-notch so far. According to FanGraphs, only seven other second basemen have been better defensively this season than Hicks, who uses the strong arm he gained from his traditional position (shortstop) to turn a double play as well as anyone else in the league.
Though Hicks hasn't necessarily played at a "B+ level," whatever that means, he's far exceeding what was expected of him, which entailed filling a spot on the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies roster. To even be average is far beyond what was expected of Hicks heading into the season, and he's filled a role that badly needed filling.
Even though Crawford has slid back into some of his usual hitting habits, including a diminished batting average that's regressed more in line with his career average, he's still far exceeding the offensive output we've come to expect from him in the past.
For one, Crawford's OPS of .781 continues his trend of improving that statistic in every season of his career, and he's in the midst of the biggest leap yet with a total 107 points higher than last season's .674 OPS.
Crawford has also hit three home runs in May, including a two-homer game against the Braves on May 4, all while playing his usual Crawford-like defense at shortstop, which has included just two errors and plays like this.
Just about everything that could go wrong for Sandoval has gone wrong.
It's hard to decide where to begin. There's the .191/.262/.294 slash line, the 30-to-12 strikeout-to-walk ratio, the team-leading seven GIDPs and the eight RBI.
That puts Sandoval on track to drive in a paltry 33 runs this season. In any universe, that won't earn him the $100 million-plus contract he's demanding. The Panda has shown signs of life lately, with five hits and a pair of RBI in his last three games, though he'll need to string together several nice games before gaining the trust of Giants fans.