The Next Home Run Derby Champion for the San Francisco Giants
By Jake Mastroianni
The San Francisco Giants have not had a Home Run Derby champion since 1996, so we’ll look at who could be the next one to win.
Barry Bonds was the last San Francisco Giants player to win a Home Run Derby. He was also the last Giants player to participate in a Home Run Derby back in 2004 when he lost in the semi-finals.
In 1996 Bonds beat Mark McGwire in the finals to win hist first and only Home Run Derby crown.
So who will be the next San Francisco Giants basher to take home the crown? Or at least participate in the derby.
On the current roster, the only two possible candidates are Brandon Belt and Buster Posey. Belt’s career high for home runs in a year is 18, while Posey’s is 24.
Posey seems to be on a decline in home run production, while Belt is improving. He already has 16 home runs this year, so he should easily break his single-season record of 18.
Those numbers would normally be good enough to get Belt into the derby, but it’s a big year for home runs in baseball. Everyone National League player in the Home Run Derby this year has at least 20 home runs at the break.
Next on the list is Chris Shaw. The former first round pick hit 21 home runs in 502 at-bats last year between High-A and Double-A. This year he’s hit 15 home runs in 290 at-bats between Double-A and Triple-A. That puts him on pace for about 25 home runs this year.
If he continues to develop as a power hitter, he could find himself in a Home Run Derby for the San Francisco Giants pretty soon.
More from Around the Foghorn
- SF Giants: 2021 team is approaching franchise milestone
- SF Giants: Brandon Belt is a qualifying offer candidate
- SF Giants: Outfielder Ka’ai Tom signed to minors deal
- SF Giants: Reliever Reyes Moronta clears outright waivers
- SF Giants sign veteran 1B John Nogowski to minor league deal
Through 361 minor league at-bats, Heath Quinn is hitting a home run once in about every 21 at-bats. This year, before getting injured, he was hitting a home run about every 18 at-bats. There is plenty of pop in Quinn’s bat, and he could be the next great power hitter for the San Francisco Giants.
The other two possibilities were both drafted this year. The San Francisco Giants certainly went into the 2017 MLB Draft focusing on power bats.
Heliot Ramos and Jacob Gonzalez both give the San Francisco Giants a legitimate power threat in the future. They are both still too young to know just how good of a power hitter they will be. But the ability and size is there for these two to hit 30-plus home runs in the big leagues one day.
To be honest, there isn’t much hope in the immediate future for the San Francisco Giants to be represented in the Home Run Derby. Of course, you never know what could happen in trades and free agency. Maybe the San Francisco Giants go out and get Giancarlo Stanton — that would be something.
Next: San Francisco Giants Minor League Spotlight: Jordan Johnson
If I had to take a guess right now, I’d say Jacob Gonzalez is the most likely candidate to make an appearance in the Home Run Derby for the San Francisco Giants.