The San Francisco Giants have been getting production from some key players. However, not everyone is joining in on the fun. Andrew McCutchen, Brandon Crawford, and Austin Jackson have struggled for much of this season. But, are they ready to break out?
McCutchen’s struggles are more a result of bad luck, rather than poor hitting. He continues to hit a lot of balls hard. But, he has nothing to show for it yet. His luck looks like it is about to change quickly.
McCutchen is known for being a slow starter. His stats in April are vastly different from that of the rest of the season. This season is no different. The good news is it is not longer April. May has come to turn McCutchen into a good hitter again.
In his last 7 games, McCutchen is batting .278 with a .889 OPS. This includes 7 walks against 7 strikeouts. It feels like McCutchen has been finding a few more hits recently. And, the stats support this claim. He is not hitting with a lot of power, but he is finding a way to get on-base. The power will come as the weather warms up, but this small sample is an encouraging trend.
Similar to McCutchen, Austin Jackson has been in the midst of a massive slump. It has not gone unnoticed. Giants fans are calling for Jackson to be released, demoted, or excommunicated. None of which will occur. This is probably a good thing, too.
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Jackson has come to the plate in key situations recently, and delivered. He had a key RBI double against the Dodgers, and another one against the Padres.
Jackson is tracking pitches better. He is making better contract, rather than rolling over the ball for a ground out or weak pop fly. In his last 6 games, Jackson is batting .313 with a .826 OPS. That is the kind production the Giants were hoping for when they signed him. It is a small sample, but encouraging nonetheless.
Lastly, Brandon Crawford gets the popular vote for favorite Giant. Perhaps, it is the hair. Or, it is the beard. Or, it could even be Crawford’s glove that makes him so darn likable.
Regardless, Crawford’s bat has gotten off to a slow start. The small sample is not as kind to Crawford. In his last 7 games, Crawford is batting .217 with a .588 OPS. These are not exactly earth-shattering numbers.
With Crawford, it is how he has hit the ball over the past several games. He has barreled-up baseballs more consistently. He had 2 hits yesterday, and got a sacrifice fly RBI on a line drive to the right fielder. So, the stats do not show it yet. But, Crawford looks poised to break out of his early season slump.
Small samples can be misleading, but trends form from small samples. McCutchen and Jackson appear on the brink of breaking out of their respective slumps. Crawford is not too far behind. A few more breaks for Crawford, and he will have better numbers in no time. These are good signs for a Giants team that needs to rely on offense now.