Three San Francisco Giants Who Need to Have Rebound Seasons in 2018
Another veteran the Giants are locked into with a long-term, expensive contract, Crawford noticeably struggled at the plate in 2017. He was also not his usual self in the field, posting lower numbers than normal in terms of both DRS and UZR.
When the team signed him to his current contract, I initially thought it was a boon for the Giants. After all, a player of Crawford’s caliber coming off a 2015 season with a Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, and All-Star Game appearance would be paid way more than 6 years, $75 million on the open market, right?
However, this past season, the homegrown shortstop returned to his early career iteration of himself in terms of hitting and fielding, posting his worst dWar since 2014 and worst oWar since 2012.
The lineup noticeably lacked the proper backup for sluggers Buster Posey and Brandon Belt, and with Hunter Pence now entering his age 35 season, the onus has got to be on Crawford to become that guy.
He had a noticeable hole in his swing that pitchers exploited against sliders running inside and will need to learn to either let those go, or keep them fair down the right field line.
If Crawford returns to All-Star form, helping the team offensively and defensively, the return to relevance for the Giants will become immensely easier.