San Francisco Giants: The Best Willie Mac Award Seasons

By Michael Saltzman
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Jeff Kent (1998)

Wins Above Replacement: 4.4

Kent was traded to the Giants in 1997 and he immediately made an impact in the middle of the Giants order. After a stellar season that included 29 home runs and 121 runs batted in, Kent followed that up in 1998 with a slashline of .297/.359/.555 for an OPS of .914. He added 31 home runs and 128 RBI’s.

Fans were torn when the trade was made because many fans wanted the team to keep fan favorite Matt Williams. However, two seasons into Kent’s time in San Francisco he won over the locker room with his play on the field, and clearly meant something off the field as well by winning the Willie Mac award.

Ellis Burks (2000)

Wins Above Replacement: 5.0

Burks was one of the best power hitters in the game when he came to the Giants in 1998. By 2000, the Giants had built an intimidating lineup that included home run power at several places in the lineup. Burks also performed well in the outfield, which was much harder than fans realized right field at AT&T Park would be.

Maybe for that reason alone is why Burks was honored with the Willie Mac award that season.

Burks’ bat was undeniable, however, as he hit an incredible .344/.419/.606 for an OPS of 1.025, he also added 24 home runs and 96 runs driven in. Burks also ended up 15th in the MVP voting.