SF Giants News

South of the Border Updates

By Amanda Gill

The San Francisco Giants have 12 players currently on teams playing winter ball that are south of the border. Three of them have spent time in the Majors: Brandon Belt, Hector Sanchez, and Brett Pill.
Brandon Belt went yard in the Dominican league for the first time on Sunday, October 16th. A fan favorite, Belt went to play winter ball this year in what he deemed to be his baseball “summer school”. The Giants sent him to play for the Leones del Escogido because he had spent so little time in the minors, and had not accumulated many at bats. Their hope is that he will figure out his swing and come to spring training prepared for whatever his second Major League season has in store. With GM Brian Sabean stating that veteran first baseman Aubrey Huff will be given a much shorter leash this year (just enough to hang himself with), after what was a disappointing season; Belt could be seeing much more playing time, either at first base or outfield, in 2012 than he did in 2011. Through eight games so far, Belt has hat at a .286 clip with one homerun, six walks, seven strikeouts, two doubles, and two stolen bases. He has spent time in left field, right field, and first base with Escogido so far.
Hector Sanchez, a switch hitting catcher who spent limited time this year in the Majors, is currently playing in the Venezuela League for the Tiburones de La Guaira. He has played six games, hitting with a .400 average, one homerun, three RBIs, two walks, and five strikeouts. With Posey’s return to the Majors seemingly imminent, Sanchez will probably spend most of the 2012 season in the minor leagues, most likely with the Giants’ Triple-A affiliate: the Fresno Grizzlies.
Brett Pill, another rookie first baseman, is supposed to play for the Tomateros de Culican but his debut has been delayed due to muscle soreness. It’s exhausting being Pill the Thrill.