2015 San Francisco Giants report card (Part I): Infielders edition
Aug 14, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants third baseman Matt Duffy (5) throws to first base against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
#50 Matt Duffy (A)
Whoever says that this 2015 season was a waste of time and worthless because San Francisco didn’t make the playoffs, Matt Duffy is the absolute ideal counter-argument. Just over a year ago, Duffy was playing with the Double-AA Richmond Flying Squirrels. All in just one season, Duffy became the everyday third baseman, the fan-favorite, the number three hitter in the lineup, “The Duffman”, and possibly the 2015 NL Rookie of the Year. Duffy would end up 12th in hits, 35th in doubles, and 4th among third baseman in fielding percentage in the National League.
San Francisco went from offering Pablo Sandoval $90 million and being rejected, to trading for a much less talented Casey McGehee, and finally to the future of the Giants in Duffy. It was quite the year for the former Long Beach State Dirtbag.
149 Games, .295/.334/.428/.762, 12 home runs, 77 RBIs, 28 doubles, 77 runs, 12 stolen bases, .965 fielding percentage, 4.9 WAR.
Apr 10, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants third baseman Casey McGehee (14) follows through during the fifth inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
#14 Casey McGehee (C-)
For most guys who hit just .212, lose a starting spot, and eventually get released, I would not give them any higher than a D- grade. However, McGehee is a bit of a special case here. McGehee may not have been a Giant for long but I truly believe he possessed the San Francisco Giants culture in his personality and heart. Just take a look at what McGehee told Duffy when he lost his job and found out he was being released from the team (via Matt Duffy in The Players’ Tribune):
“Hey, they’re sending me out,’’ he said. “I just want you to understand that this isn’t your fault. You did what you were supposed to do — which is to force the issue. And you did that. You shouldn’t feel bad. You did great. When I was a rookie in Milwaukee, I took Bill Hall’s job — and I felt bad for a month. Probably more. I don’t want you to do that. That’s important to me. Do not feel bad for one second.’’
This in itself is bigger than baseball. This is simply showing integrity and being a good person. Whatever happens to the career of Casey McGehee in his baseball career, I will always respect the man for what he did for this team and the career of Matt Duffy.
Final Statistics (w/ San Francisco):
49 Games, 127 at-bats, .213/.275/.299/.575, 2 home runs, 9 RBIs, 5 doubles, 27 hits, 7 runs, -0.6 WAR, .938 fielding percentage.