When Brandon Belt drove in Hunter Pence on Friday night, it set Belt’s career high for RBI in a season, with 69—not exactly historically significant total. He has since driven in more three runs, which gives him an outside shot at reaching 80. This is Belt’s fifth season as the San Francisco Giants’ full-time first baseman, and just this weekend he reached 70 RBI in a season for the first time.
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Belt also hasn’t hit 20 home runs in a season. He has scored 67 runs this season, which is nine short of his career high, a pedestrian 76. His mediocre home run power and run production seems to align with his .271 career average, though his gap power and high walk rate don’t. It’s kinda odd that Belt is low in the RBI AND runs departments, considering that he has walked 90 times and hit 41 combined doubles and triples.
I would think that someone batting in the middle of an order would drive in more runs, and that someone with a .389 on-base percentage would score more often. Part of me thinks that the power numbers say that he is never going to evolve into a force in the middle of the lineup, at least in lefty-averse AT&T Park. But a part of me thinks his overall stat line would be a lot more impressive if his teammates hitting around him were more productive.
So, I still find myself in the conundrum of sympathizing with both Belt camps: the ones who think he’s a key member of the Giants’ lineup and those pining to see him go.
Any chance he ever puts up a season with a .290 average, 25 home runs and 90 to 100 RBi? If he played his home games in Yankee stadium, I’d say he has a good chance. In San Francisco, it’s not likely. But I don’t want to give too much weight to the stadium, considering Brandon Crawford topped 20 home runs and 80 RBI last year, and we’ve seen other non-Barry Bonds lefties, such as Aubrey Huff, put up decent power numbers in AT&T Park.
What’s my point? I don’t really have one, other than that I’m just giving the Belt lovers some info to support their argument, while giving the Belt detractors fuel for their cause. And to point out that we’ve watched Brandon Belt for quite a for years now, and he still hasn’t evolved into much of an offensive force.