San Francisco Giants: 4 Reasons Nate Schierholtz Should Be Everyday Leadoff Man

Manny Randhawa@@MannyBal9Correspondent IIIAugust 16, 2011

San Francisco Giants: 4 Reasons Nate Schierholtz Should Be Everyday Leadoff Man

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    When you think of what a leadoff hitter for a world championship-caliber team should look like, what type of stats come to mind?

    How are a .277 batting average, 9 home runs, 41 RBI, and a .326 on-base percentage sound?

    Sounds about average, right?

    Now compare that with a batting average of .235, 7 home runs, 20 RBI, and an on-base percentage of .299.

    The first set of stats is those of Giants outfielder Nate Schierholtz, who possesses a rare combination of speed and power that makes him a good leadoff candidate.

    The second set of stats are the average numbers belonging to Andres Torres and Aaron Rowand, the two outfielders San Francisco Manager Bruce Bochy has been platooning in the leadoff spot in the batting order for most of the season.

    Here are five reasons why Nate Schierholtz should be slotted into the leadoff position in the lineup ...

1. The Ability to Reach Base

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    Nate Schierholtz's on-base percentage of .326 isn't exactly stellar, but it also isn't the .299 combined OBP of Andres Torres and Aaron Rowand.

    Neither is it the team OBP of .302.

    The only starter (with the exception of a hitter that should be hitting where he is in the lineup - Pablo Sandoval) that has a higher OBP than Schierholtz is Cody Ross (.328), whose batting average (.242) is 35 points lower than Schierholtz's.

2. Speed

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    As big of a guy as he is (6'-2", 215 lbs), Nate Schierholtz can run.

    He is 7-for-11 in stolen base attempts this season, but could steal more bags under the right conditions.

3. Power

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    When the Giants score first, they often win, and the Giants have been falling behind way too much lately.

    All the more reason to have Nate Schierholtz in the leadoff spot.

    Schierholtz has hit nine homers in 314 at-bats this season, which, if translated into a full season of 600 at-bats would result in 17 home runs.

    With that type of pop at the top, San Francisco's lineup could look a lot different.

    Imagine Schierholtz (.277), Jeff Keppinger (.299), and Pablo Sandoval (.309) hitting in the first inning of each game.

    The Giants would have a much better chance of scoring early and putting immense pressure on their opponents, who more often than not are facing a quality arm from San Francisco's starting staff.

4. Ability to Score Runs

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    Nate Schierholtz is currently second on the Giants in runs scored, with 39. When he reaches base, there's a good chance that he's going to come around to score.

    When Schierholtz has produced, so have the Giants.

How the Lineup Ought to Look Right Now

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    With Carlos Beltran on the disabled list and several Giants either injured (e.g. Andres Torres) or slumping, Bruce Bochy should give serious thought to a lineup that looks something like this:

    1. Nate Schierholtz CF

    2. Jeff Keppinger 2B

    3. Pablo Sandoval 3B

    4. Brandon Belt LF

    5. Aubrey Huff 1B

    6. Cody Ross RF

    7. Orlando Cabrera SS

    8. Eli Whiteside C

    9. Pitcher's Spot