Aug 20, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; San Francisco Giants second baseman Kelby Tomlinson (37) fields a ground ball against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the third inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Currently, the back up to Buster Posey is pretty safe. Andrew Susac is a high quality player, who’s only problem with value is that he doesn’t play enough. Inconsistent play hurts a young player, and it’s worse when that player also can’t pinch hit because he needs to be available late in games if there is an injury.
Kelby Tomlinson leapt over Joaquin Arias late last year to grab hold of the “jack-of-all-infield” trades. He is able to play all over, and has a great eye up at the plate. They have even played him a little in the outfield, but he is more valuable in the role he is playing.
Oct 12, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; San Francisco Giants pinch hitter Andrew Susac hits a single against the St. Louis Cardinals during the 9th inning in game two of the 2014 NLCS playoff baseball game at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Ehire Adrianza is another infielder who is primarily a shortstop. His inability to hit for a high average has kept him in the late inning “defensive specialist” role. The problem is, the team has great hands in the infield, and doesn’t really need another with Tomlinson there. Adrianza is the one most likely on the bubble if an outfielder is acquired.
Jarrett Parker finally came into his own late last year. He started learning the strike zone in 2014 in the minors, and really showed the ability to square up pitches. He hit 23 home runs in Triple-A Sacramento before hitting 6 more with a .347 average in 21 games with the big club. He can play all three positions in the outfield, and may push Blanco for the starting job in left.
Mac Williamson is a monster at the plate. He needs to get better in the field, but the way the ball jumps off of his bat is special. He is only 24, and his role as a young Michael Cuddyer-type would suit this team very well. He could be spot-started and still be effective, and would be great to have during inter-league series’ throughout the year.
Of course, if the team acquires a left fielder, or off-season acquisition Kyle Blanks sees his potential, there could be some adjustments. Maybe Trevor Brown hits so well that the team carries three catchers.
We shall see, but that is what makes projections in December so much fun. They could be completely different in March. For now bring on February.