San Francisco Giants: The Best Willie Mac Award Seasons

By Michael Saltzman
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Matt Duffy (2015)

Wins Above Replacement: 4.9

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Duffy ended up only playing one full season in San Francisco. Even that year he didn’t earn the starting job at third base until five weeks into the season. However, from that moment on he became a fixture in the Giants lineup throughout the rest of the year. Not only had Duffy rarely ever played third base before 2015, he had never even played in Triple-A.

After being brought up straight from Double-A in 2014 and helping the Giants off the bench win the World Series, Duffy earned a spot on the 25 man roster out of Spring Training. Not only did Duffy go from a bench player to the number three hitter in the Giants lineup, he also became a finalist for the Gold Glove at third base.

It truly was a remarkable season for Duffy. He ended up being the runner-up for the Rookie of the Year award, losing out to Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs.

Brandon Crawford (2016)

Wins Above Replacement: 4.5

Crawford shared the 2016 award with relief pitcher Javier Lopez. After an All-Star season in 2015, Crawford backed it up with an even better year in 2016. He won the Gold Glove for the second straight season and finished with a slashline of .275/.342/.430 for an OPS of .772. For the second straight season he also drove in 84 runs while finishing 2016 12th in the Most Valuable Player voting.

Next: Happy Birthday Willie McCovey

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