Besides Dereck Rodriguez, Steven Duggar was probably the most fun starter to watch on the San Francisco Giants in 2018.
Unfortunately, since the San Francisco Giants can’t have nice things, his season was cut short due to injury. If he stays healthy in 2019 he could have himself a breakout season.
While Duggar only hit .255, it’s clear that his speed and defensive prowess made up for his deficient bat. Plus, it was his first year seeing big league pitching, so his lackluster batting average can be excused.
But the big thing with Duggar is he provides a spark. The Giants don’t have many players who can ignite an offense by turning a double into a triple or stealing a base late in the game. They’ve sorely missed that sort of player in recent years but I think they have found their man in Duggar.
Not only that, but what he provides on defense is much needed as well. The Giants haven’t had sustained homegrown outfield talent in a good long while, so having a spry 25-year-old comes in handy with an outfield as spacious as AT&T’s.
It will be interesting to see how Duggar comes back from his injury. If you’ll kindly, or not so kindly, recall, Duggar tore his labrum diving back to second base after overrunning second base in late August.
It was a brutal reminder that in these last few years the baseball gods have not smiled upon the San Francisco Giants. Even when they get a young talent who is exciting to watch he’s ripped from our grasp too soon.
Not only did Duggar miss the last month of the season, he missed valuable playing time and at-bats, which would have served him well going into 2019.
Don’t be surprised if he’s a little rusty coming back at first. But once he gets his flow back don’t be surprised to see him have a big year in which he establishes himself as the starting center fielder of the San Francisco Giants for years to come.