1) Mac Williamson
Williamson is finally living up to his potential, albeit the games don’t count.
Before being sent down to minor league camp earlier this week, he was hitting .318 with four home runs and an impressive 1.061 OPS.
But there’s more to the story.
Frustrated that he kept hitting ground balls in this upper-cut swing era, he went to see a private hitting instructor who worked with Dodgers’ star third baseman Justin Turner. The instructor helped Williamson revamp his swing so that a hard ground ball would instead be hit in the air and over the fence.
“As frustrating as it has been for you guys, the coaches and management, it’s been twice as frustrating for me,” Williamson told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I made some adjustments here or there. Some things worked a little bit. Some things were the start of a solution and I couldn’t get through the finish line.”
At age 27, time is running out for Williamson to get his career going. The 6-foot-4-inch, 240-pound Williamson only has a .226 career average and .682 OPS over three seasons as a part-time player.
Although he was sent down, it was not for his lack of success. He’s out of options and the Giants have strong candidates such as Gregor Blanco, Gorkys Hernandez, and Steven Duggar who can help them defensively.
With Andrew McCutchen, Hunter Pence, and Austin Jackson manning the outfield on Opening Day, the Giants figure Williamson can get at-bats every day in Sacramento and be more equipped for success when he eventually comes up.