Ranking San Francisco Giants Outfielders This Spring
By Jake Mastroianni
There is a lot of competition among the San Francisco Giants outfielders this spring, and we’ll rank how each one has performed thus far.
In my opinion, Andrew McCutchen is the only lock in the outfield right now to be an every day player.
The way I see it, center and left field are up for grabs. So ignoring McCutchen, who is hitting a solid .400 this spring any way, we’ll rank the others competing for time in the outfield.
In just 13 at-bats so far this spring Blanco has made a big impression collecting 7 hits, including a double, triple and a home run. The Giants know what they’re getting from Blanco, and I think he has a good chance to make this team.
Mac has received the most at-bats of anyone this spring with 27, and he’s made good use of that extended time by hitting .370 with 3 home runs and 12 RBI. The one glaring weakness is that he’s struck out eight times and has yet to draw a walk. Regardless, if Mac keeps up this torrid pace he could receive a shot to start in left field.
3. Chris Shaw
Shaw has also had a good spring hitting .318 in 22 at-bats with a .375 on-base-percentage to go along with 3 doubles and a home run. The Giants number two overall prospect is knocking on the door and could take the starting job in left field if he continues to impress.
I think a lot of people were expecting Duggar to win the center field job this spring, and he’s certainly making a solid case. Through 24 at-bats he’s hitting .292 with a .346 on-base-percentage. The Giants third overall prospect has shown some pop as well with 3 home runs. As long as he continues to produce, I think he’ll get a shot to start in center.
Jackson has only played in four games this spring, but is 3-for-8 at the plate with a walk. He is probably a safe bet to get the start in center field, but I’d like to obviously see more from him this spring.
Slater is someone who I thought looked like a solid major league player at times last year. I still think that talent is there, but he hasn’t had the best start in spring training hitting just .222 in 18 at-bats. With the depth of young outfielders we have ahead of him, Slater could become trade bait.
The battle for the fourth outfield spot is not looking good for Gorkys as he’s hitting just .176 in 17 at-bats with 7 strikeouts, but he does have a .33 on-base-percentage with 4 walks. If I’m choosing between him and Blanco right now, I’m going Blanco all day.
It’s been a disastrous spring for Parker who looks completely lost at the plate. So far he’s hitting just .192 in 26 at-bats with 15 strikeouts. I know he’s had his moments at the big league level, but I think it’s time to move on and see what the younger kids can do.
9. Hunter Pence
Granted he hasn’t had much playing time, but Pence has collected just one hit in 12 at-bats. The veteran is safe to make the Opening Day lineup, but personally I think his spot in left field should be in question.
Bruce Bochy has limited the time of veterans like Jackson and Pence to give the kids a chance to prove themselves, but honestly I still need to see more from Jackson and Pence.
We’re less than three weeks away from Opening Day. Most guys have around 20 at-bats, so it’s time to start thinning out the crowd.
Next: San Francisco Giants Closer Mark Melancon is Giving Cause for Concern
I’m interested to see what happens if Shaw and Duggar continue to hit. I’m perfectly fine with giving the young guys a chance to play with veterans backing them up.