I don’t know what we’re going to do without four days of regular season baseball games that matter, but now begins that time until the Giants find themselves playing their ninety-fifth game against the Diamondbacks on Friday. As the time goes by, you’ll see many first half review articles with some input on previews for the second half by our Around the Foghorn staff. I’ll get things rolling by talking about the lineups that Bruce Bochy has written down: whom has occupied which spot the most, and how has that player done there over the course of the season? There have been sixty different lineups written down (eighty if you include the pitchers), but can you guess which player has occupied which # spot in the batting order the most this year? As long as you’ve tuned in to at least half of the games this season, I think you can provide a pretty good guess.
Jul 13, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants right fielderHunter Pence
(8) hits a three-run triple during the fifth inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Leadoff — Angel Pagan: While he may be out for the rest of 2013, he holds an eleven game lead over Gregor Blanco for the player that’s batted leadoff the most for the Giants in 2013. He put up a .263/.315/.376 line, and while that may not be overly impressive, it is better than what Andres Torres has put out there, as Torres has had spells of bad defense this year.
#2 — Marco Scutaro: Batting second, Scutaro has been great for the number two spot, and with how often he gets on base, I wouldn’t mind seeing him leading off if Blanco or Torres get really cold. His .310/.365/.395 line with only 2 HR gives you a guy that gets on base often, yet he’s not a big masher. Those mashers in the lineup shouldn’t be batting so high the lineup, anyway. Scutaro has started two games batting third in the lineup, and in an extremely small sample size theater, has a .556 OBP.
#3 — Pablo Sandoval: Despite his injuries, Pablo has easily batted here more often than anyone else has, batting a .278/.316/.417 line with 8 HR batting in the third spot in the order. His OBP of .317 for the year is lower than any other year he’s played with the Giants, his strikeout rate higher, all the while immersed in conversations over his weight, you can understand why the Giants are frustrated in a player that can do so much better.
#4 — Buster Posey: In his eight-five games started, Posey has split time between third and fourth, but has been penciled in fourth fifty-three times this year. Posey has put up a .280/.369/.477 line with 8 HR batting fourth, but in the thirty-two games he’s batted third, he has been noticeably stronger, throwing down a .381/.428/.619 line with 5 HR. Both sets are small sample sizes, but it’s also something to consider.
Jul 12, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (28) hits home two runs during the sixth inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
#5 — Hunter Pence: Pence as you may know has started every game for the Giants and has started about two-thirds of those games in the five spot. Through May, Pence looked like someone that was going to get paid a ton of money, but has since cooled down a little. In the 5 spot he has summoned a .274/.315/.477 line with 9 of his 14 HR in 2013. Pence’s .305 on base percentage for the year is also the lowest of his career, but some of his peripherals show his production is not career-worst.
#6 — Brandon Belt: The most polarizing player in the game from Nacogdoches, TX has done alright batting sixth, galloping to a .304/.378/.538 line, which everybody should be happy with for someone that low in the order. He has hit 8 of his 10 homers in that spot, the other two coming when he batted right before the pitcher while he was going through his cold spell.
#7 — Andres Torres: This guy was signed to be a platoon player to face left-handed pitching and then gets over-extended with Pagan’s injury, and while he has played more than we’d like, he’s still performed well against LHP (.314/.351/.419). Batting seventh, however, he’s put up a .257/.299/.385 set of numbers which are lower than ideal, but fit for the lower rung of the batting order.
#8 — Brandon Crawford: Looking at his numbers for the season in the 8 spot, it’s hard to be disappointed with the production one could put up there. .280/.337/.398 for the handsome out of Pleasanton, CA. If that’s what he does all year in the spot before the pitcher, I will be very happy with that.
So, how’d you do? If you replaced one batter with the other, no problem, maybe you were thinking of one of these other common lineups from the 2013 season:
For the record, Blanco has batted leadoff the most for all his starts, where he’s gone .268/.335/.356 on the year.
We’ll continue to have more material for you to swim through as we attempt to survive this long break without Giants baseball!