Ray Guilfoyle posted a piece on MLB Trade Rumors recently, in which he suggested that because the San Francisco Giants were considering relocating Buster Posey to first base, that Brandon Belt should be traded. Specifically, Guilfoyle advocated exchanging Belt for Josh Bell, a promising outfield prospect that he feels will replace the just-departed Michael Morse in left field. The author suggests the Giants could use some youth in the outfield.
Whereas that may be true, a player with a total of only 24 games at any level higher than single-A ball, may be stretching the limits of youth. Besides, the point of this piece is not to question the object of the author’s interest, but to reject the idea completely that San Francisco would consider trading the guy who put them squarely on the successful track to victory over the Washington Nationals, in the just-completed National League Division Series.
Belt started slowly in 2011, making several excursions back and forth between San Francisco and Fresno. That low inside pitch, identical to the one with which he ended the 18-inning affair in Washington DC, just gave Belt conniption fits as he struggled to adjust. But adjust he did, going two steps further towards the end of the 2013 season, making his much ballyhooed changes with both his grip on the bat and his position in the batter’s box.
He ended that season with a bang and started out in 2014 explosively, hitting nine home runs by the time he was injured in the third week of May.
If not for his injuries in 2014, Belt was on a pace to slam thirty home runs.
Both of Belt’s injuries in 2014 were the result of getting hit by a baseball, the first while batting and the second when he was struck in the face by a ball thrown during batting practice.
Jul 5, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt (right) is congratulated by catcher Buster Posey (28) after hitting a two run home run during the tenth inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Belt did make it back, with still a couple of weeks to prepare for the playoffs, and he was clutch in the postseason, finding ways to get it done from the big blast just referenced, to his laying down the first bunt single of his career in the World Series. In coming to the plate and noting that the defense had the shift on, he spontaneously decided to make the Royals pay for it.
Belt is the best defensive first baseman the Giants have employed since J.T. Snow, and his six-foot, five-inch frame is built for first base. His calm demeanor belies his Texas upbringing and his place among the Southern contingent is solid. Were Belt to remain healthy for an entire season, there is no doubt that he would clobber thirty home runs or more.
Without knowing what the third base solution is just yet, it is impossible to determine for certain where in the lineup he would bat, but with Pablo Sandoval gone, it is not out of the question that Belt would bat third, followed by Buster Posey and then Hunter Pence.
What Guilfoyle proposed makes no sense whatsoever. Brandon Belt is a proven commodity who just played a huge hand in the National League Division Series victory over the Washington Nationals. Josh Bell is a kid with a possible future in Major League Baseball. To trade Belt, even if it is to move Posey to first base, is ludicrous.
Bell for Belt sounds musical enough but there is more than the difference between a “T” and an “L” between the two.
May 29, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; San Francisco Giants first baseman Michael Morse (38) hits a two run double off of St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Trevor Rosenthal (not pictured) during the eighth inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports