San Francisco Giants: 5 Players Who Could Help Fix Broken Offense in 2012
The San Francisco Giants don’t need to overhaul their entire lineup to fix a broken offense. They just need the perfect pieces to bring it all together.
The 2010 World Champs are officially eliminated as postseason contenders and it’s time to start thinking about who will fill the void next season.
San Francisco’s offense is the worst in the majors. However, the ability of the team to hold on to first place for most of the season and only be mathematically eliminated in their 158th game highlights just how good their pitching staff really is.
Now is the time for this franchise to capitalize on a window of opportunity in which they posses some of the best arms in the league, by focusing on hitting.
When healthy, this lineup has the potential to support it’s pitchers. The highly anticipated return of 2010 NL Rookie of the Year Buster Posey and veteran second–basemen Freddy Sanchez will be a start.
However the team is going to need something extra to redeem itself from the embarrassing numbers put up this season.
San Francisco needs a leadoff hitter. They need speed and the ability to get on base. This team desperately needs someone who can set the table for guys like Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey.
Michael Bourn is batting .293 with 58 stolen bases for Atlanta, which leads the majors. The Braves acquired him at the trade deadline, and he will be a free agent at the end of the 2012 season. He is eligible for arbitration after 2011 and if the Braves don’t resign him, San Francisco should jump at the opportunity.
Andres Torres was a good leadoff man for the Giants in 2010, batting .268 with a .343 OBP, but has failed to repeat that success in 2011. Torres has struggled all season batting just .224 with a .313 OBP. He is eligible for arbitration at the end of the season.
San Francisco is better off spending on the threatening spark-plug that Bourn is than resigning Torres.
The 28-year-old is in the prime of his career, and will not come at a cheap price. However he is just what this team needs offensively, and is also a perfect replacement for Torres in centerfield.
Since the Giants acquired Carlos Beltran at the trade deadline, he has hit .335 with seven home runs. He became the offensive centerpiece to the team, but that was not enough to fix their problems. After all, what is a centerpiece with no counter–parts?
Beltran came to San Francisco because he wanted to win, and that did not happen. The 34–year–old veteran will be a free agent after 2011 and would better complement a lineup with a healthy Pablo Sandoval, Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez.
However it is going to take more than that to re–sign him. The All–Star made revealing statements that his “decision will be based on what this organization is willing to put together”. By that, he means that Sanchez and Posey are not enough to bring him back to a team with the worst offense in the majors.
He pointed out the need for a leadoff batter. If San Francisco can acquire someone like Micheal Bourn, Beltran would be much more inclined to return.
If his production at the plate is not enough, Carlos Beltran will further improve this club by pushing them to pursue someone who can help him solidify the lineup. He sees the potential in this team and might inspire management to capitalize on that.
These acquisitions will be costly. However they will prove to be worth their weight. If the Giants can spend on Bourn, it will be easier to negotiate a reasonable contract with Beltran.
The Giants top prospect took a bumpy ride through his rookie season. However much of the disappointment in what could have been a promising debut should be blamed on the management.
Brandon Belt struggled in his first stint, hitting just .184 in April. Since then he has been shuttled back and forth between San Francisco and Triple A, barely given a chance to adjust to big–league pitching.
However Belt has shown his potential, and needs a chance to turn expectations into reality with an everyday role in 2012. Versatility as a corner–outfielder as well as first basemen will help his cause.
Belt has dominated at the minor league level, batting .343 with 31 HR’s. Now he needs to learn how to handle the big boys. Skipper Bruce Bochy convinced the 23–year–old to play winter ball in the Dominican Republic, which is certain to give him a jump–start for 2012.
Belt won’t solve the Giants’ problem alone, but a break–out season will help fix this ailing lineup.
Those who underestimate the power of this young superstar to carry this team must have forgotten the reason why he was crowned the 2010 National League Rookie of the Year in the first place.
When Buster Posey was called up to the Majors in late May 2010 there was no productive Pablo Sandoval. Now that the Kung–Fu Panda is back in action, Posey can rejoin him in 2012 to fill the void left by players like Cody Ross and Aubrey Huff who have failed to live up to their contracts.
Posey is expected to make a full healthy return by Opening Day of 2012 in which case he will undoubtedly fuel this offense.
The return of Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez next season represent an automatically improved lineup. Any other additions would put this team over the top in conjunction with the pitching staff.
San Francisco can’t have all of the names on this list, especially if they are going to keep their pitching staff in tact for the years to come.
Buster Posey, Freddy Sanchez, and Brandon Belt will all be there with high hopes in 2012. However Carlos Beltran’s indicated that the Giants need a leadoff hitter before they should focus on acquiring another bat like himself.
Coco Crisp is batting .267 with 8 HR’s for Oakland and has 46 stolen bases. The 31–year–old would be a good alternative to the coveted Michael Bourn because he comes at a much cheaper price, and is still an upgrade to Andres Torres.
Going after Crisp will allow San Francisco to target more than one offensive fix this season.
The Giants had a quiet offseason before 2011 and know better than to try and work with what they’ve got.