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Denard Span Giving the San Francisco Giants exactly What They Need

Jake Mastroianni
May 15, 2017; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants center fielder Denard Span (2) hits an RBI single against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the third inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
May 15, 2017; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants center fielder Denard Span (2) hits an RBI single against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the third inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /
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After a slow start and a few injuries, Denard Span has come back red hot to help the San Francisco Giants get on a roll.

I have always been a very big fan of Denard Span, but even I was questioning him early this season. He was hitting just .200 in his first 50 at-bats, and it looked like age may have been catching up with him.

Couple that with the fact that he kept getting injured and putting the San Francisco Giants in a bad position.

I wrote articles saying how Span was regressing and needed to be moved out of the leadoff spot.

However, since coming back off the disabled this month he is hitting .385 in 26 at-bats with a .385 on-base-percentage. He’s even providing a little power with 2 home runs.

It’s no wonder the San Francisco Giants have been playing better baseball now that they have their catalyst back.

I know its a very small sample size, but it’s a huge breath of fresh air to see Span playing like he has in the past.

His average has gone from .302, to .301 to .266 in the past three years. He’s currently hitting .263 in 2017.

While I don’t expect him to hit near .300 again, I will take a .280 average and .340 on-base-percentage. He’s also not the stolen base threat that he once was — he doesn’t have a stolen base this year — but I’d take double-digit stolen bases.

His defense has never been elite, but he’s going to get to most balls.

The San Francisco Giants really don’t have anyone that can replace Span in the leadoff spot at this point.

Joe Panik, who I thought would be a great replacement, has cooled off in May after a good start to the season.

Next: San Francisco Giants: Pence to DL, Williamson called up

A productive and healthy Denard Span has always been the best choice at leadoff for the San Francisco Giants. If that’s the player we have now, then I think this team will be just fine going forward.

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