The San Francisco Giants have had a "back to business" mentality during this year's spring training. The team has put last year's success behind them, and they are all ready to assume the task of defending their title of World Series Champions.
Here are three reasons why the Giants will once again with the National League West.
With a full season of Andres Torres playing center field, the Giants can be sure of two things.
Torres certainly has the speed to cover more ground at AT&T Park. He will able to track down more fly balls than previous Giants center fielder Aaron Rowand.
The Giants will also have an established leadoff hitter once the season begins. Torres also adds a higher batting average than Rowand.
It is also important for fans of Major League Baseball to know that Torres finished the season 22nd in the National League in slugging percentage (.479). He also had 26 stolen bases which put him 11th in the National League.
Torres was also voted by players and coaches as the winner of the Giants "Willie Mac" award, given to the player who best exemplifies the spirit and leadership of Willie McCovey.
Baseball fans must also keep in mind that Torres played 139 games last season which is the most he has played in a season thus far in his career. Many will agree that a full season with Torres a center field will help the Giants get off to a good start in their division.
Newly-acquired shortstop Miguel Tejada should add two elements for the Giants.
First, he will add veteran leadership to the Giants infield. While veterans may not have the speed that they used to have in their younger days, Tejada will certainly reduce the number of errors committed at shortstop and third base (if the Giants need him to play some third base).
His presence in the infield will also help the development of other players like Pablo Sandoval. Tejada also brings his .287 career batting average to boost the middle of the Giants’ lineup.
(Left to Right) Mark DeRosa, Tim Lincecum, and Pat Burrell
No one doubts that Pat Burrell was a major factor in getting the Giants to the post-season last year. And, with Burrell’s one-year contract (signed without an agent), he is now ready to do whatever it takes to help the Giants win the NL West once again.
Whether it be some time in left field, or a clutch pinch-hit late in the game, Burrell’s spring training stats, so far, are proving that he is ready for opening day.
Many will agree that Mark DeRosa’s numbers this spring training are proving that his wrist is doing well. After missing the majority of last season due to his wrist injury and surgery, DeRosa is ready to contribute wherever he can. Whether it be sharing some time at third base, or playing a corner outfield position, DeRosa is eager to help the Giants improve even more this season.
This spring has also shown that if experienced second baseman Freddy Sanchez were to get injured, Mike Fontenot will certainly be ready to step in and not miss a beat. Fontenot is batting .286 this spring, and he is confident that he can produce when his number is called this season.