The San Francisco Giants only All-Star in 2017 was Buster Posey. A routine appearance for him behind the plate in the 2018 All-Star game makes sense. But right now, the Giants have two more pushing at an all-star pace.
San Francisco Giants fans love to watch the off-field bromance of, “The Brandons.” Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford, fixtures in the Giants’ infield since 2011, and part of the 2012 and 2014 World Series Championship runs, “The Brandons” have been engrained in the fan culture surrounding the San Francisco Giants since they put on a uniform. Both are in the midst of All-Star level campaigns.
Brandon Crawford started the season miserably, hitting .189 over March and April, his worst stretch through those dates since 2012 where he hit .203. He’s now had the best May of his career, so far, hitting .449 so far, more than 100 points higher than his best May (2015). He’s now sitting at .302 with an OPS of .786.
His wRC+ (112) is third amongst NL Shortstops, which is incredible considering how bad of a start he had. He has the highest Average of all NL Shortstops, 40 points higher than the next two, Trea Turner and Addison Russell. Only Turner and Paul DeJong have higher wRC+, and again, Crawford was terrible for more than a month.
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Is his rate sustainable? Probably not. But if he’s in the middle of what he’s doing now, and what his average is, you’re probably looking at an all-star appearance from Crawford. As for the other half of “The Brandons”…
Brandon Belt leads the Giants in Homers and RBI, and is on pace for 37 homers if he matches his career high in plate appearances. He’s hitting .308 while slugging .577, good for an OPS of .985. Where do those numbers stack up against the rest of the competition?
Well, he leads all National League first baseman in Homers, Slugging percentage, WAR, wRC+, and is second in OBP, Average and OPS. Should he be the starter?
Well there are a few months to decide still, and Freddie Freeman has been playing lights out as well. But there is really no first baseman in the NL Class that is within that “top tier” of Freeman and Belt.
The fun part about Belt’s game is that the defensive numbers are also near the top tier in the NL when it comes to the advanced stats like dRS and UZR. He has the highest UZR (2.2) and is tied second for dRS (4) amongst NL First baseman, level with Joey Votto and just behind Paul Goldschmidt (5).
So should these two be all-stars? No doubt about it, especially if they continue these trends. It seems like both have made some differences in approach and they have paid off incredibly. The Brandons have been revitalizing the Giants offense while McCutchen struggles, Posey’s power is absent, and Joe Panik is on the DL. It’s what you would expect of two vets, and you hope that it continues as everyone else works to find their stride.
*All stats in this provided by FanGraphs