San Francisco Giants Madness: 1-4 Seeds Announced

By Michael Saltzman
3 of 5
June 13, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Matt Cain (right) pitches during the eighth inning against the Houston Astros at AT
June 13, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Matt Cain (right) pitches during the eighth inning against the Houston Astros at AT /

3 Seeds:

Matt Cain

Matt Cain joined the Giants major league staff two years before Lincecum and is still with the organization heading into 2017. His run from 2006-2012 is one of the most underappreciated in San Francisco Giants history.

Cain had a 0.00 ERA in his first time pitching in the post-season in 2010. He was also the ace of the staff in 2012 that included a perfect game during the regular season.

All 27 outs of Matt Cain’s perfect game.

His three World Series rings says everything about the career of Matt Cain. Cain pitched every fifth day and gave the Giants a chance to win. That kind of consistency gave him the nickname “The Horse” and also may have led to his injury history since 2013.

I wrote in December how my Giants wish is to see Matt Cain healthy in 2017. As a fan, he is one of the best pitchers I ever saw on the mound in San Francisco. I would love to see him pitch healthy once again. Compared to other pitchers on this list, he will go down as one of the all-time greatest Giants in team history.

Orlando Cepeda

“The Baby Bull,” Orlando Cepeda, was one of the greatest Giants to ever play the game and his enshrinement in Cooperstown proves that. Cepeda played the same position as fellow Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, and eventually was traded to make room. However, that doesn’t change the impact Cepeda had in San Francisco.

Cepeda’s career highlights over 17 seasons in the Major Leagues.

Cepeda began his career in San Francisco in 1958, just as the Giants began playing in the city and Cepeda won the Rookie of the Year award that season. From 1959-1964, Cepeda went to the All-Star game every season with the Giants. After missing several games in 1965, Cepeda was traded 19 games into the 1966 season. Cepeda would go on to have his best season of his career the next year in 1967 for the St. Louis Cardinals.

While Cepeda was a Giant, he hit 226 home runs and drove in 767 runs over nine seasons. His excellent slashline of .308/.352/.535 with the Giants established him as one of the best hitters in the game during his career. His OPS of .887 while with the Giants is sixth highest in San Francisco history.

Orlando Cepeda’s acceptance speech in the Baseball Hall of Fame

Jeff Kent

Jeff Kent was the greatest power hitting second baseman in baaseball history. His 337 career home runs are proof of that. Kent’s best seasons came hitting behind Barry Bonds with the Giants.

Kent came to the Giants from the Cleveland Indians in a controversial trade that sent fan favorite Matt Williams out of San Francisco. Williams, who will soon appear on this countdown, was the best player on the Giants not named Barry Bonds, and new General Manager Brian Sabean made a decision to shift this team’s makeup and give the team to Bonds.

The trade did more than that, however, as it gave Kent a place to flourish. Hitting cleanup in the Giants lineup led to an MVP season in 2000 as well as the best years of his career. Kent would go on to slash .297/.368/.535 for an otherworldly OPS of .903 over six seasons in San Francisco. His numbers at AT&T Park from 1997-2002 were better than any numbers he put up before or after in his 17 year career. Kent went to three straight All-Star games from 1999-2001 and would help lead the Giants to the 2002 World Series. Kent hit three World Series home runs in 2002 and had an OPS of .911.

Kent could easily be looked at in a negative light with Giants fans for being the main player in the Matt Williams trade, not getting along with Barry Bonds or for ultimately joining the Dodgers in 2006. However, as fans look back on his career as a Giant, fans realize the impact he had and the effort he gave to make the Giants one of the best teams in the game.

Jeff Kent’s 17 seasons in the big leagues.

Buster Posey

Gerald Dempsey “Buster” Posey III may already be one of the greatest catchers in baseball history. He is the highest rated catcher in team history, passing Hall of Famer Buck Ewing in career War this season.

Posey joined the Giants in May of 2010, winning Rookie of the Year and leading the Giants to the World Series his rookie season. After an injury abruptly ended his 2011 season the following May, Posey came back in 2012 and had his best season.

Posey’s Grand Slam off Mat latos that helps clinch the 2012 NLDS for the Giants.

He won the MVP, Comeback Player of the Year and Silver Slugger award while starting in the All-Star game and winning another World Series.

Posey’s glove saves a run in the 2012 World Series.

After helping lead the Giants lineup and pitching staff to a third World Series in 2014, Posey continued to improve his game. In 2015, Posey became a finalist for the Gold Glove, giving annually to the best defensive player in the National League at their position. In 2016, he won the award, establishing once and for all that Buster Posey is the best catcher in the game.