With the San Francisco Giants signing veteran outfielder Gerardo Parra and reports that they are in talks with another veteran outfielder, Cameron Maybin, this much is clear: the Giants are reluctant to trust their young outfielders.
And they should be. There are nothing but question marks when it comes to the San Francisco Giants outfield. The biggest question mark has to do with the signing of Bryce Harper, but even if the inevitable does occur, the outfield is still shaky.
Even the best young outfielder the Giants have, Steven Duggar, comes with uncertainty. After a shoulder injury ended his impressive (by 2018 San Francisco Giants standards) rookie season, he comes into camp with question marks.
His speed and versatility most likely won’t be an issue, but will his bat come around and is there any lingering pain or damage in that shoulder?
The corner outfield spots just add to the doubt. 2018 looked like it would be Mac Williamson‘s big breakout year. After a stellar spring that didn’t land him on the Opening Day roster, he tore it up in the minor leagues and upon getting called up, he did this.
That home run in his second at-bat after getting called up is the last one I can remember making me audibly go “Whoa” upon seeing it. It was that impressive. His power was a needed shot in the arm, but a concussion from tripping on the bullpen mound in left field derailed his season.
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Austin Slater got lots of playing time due to outfield woes, and was supremely okay. I only really remember him whiffing horrendously on a fly ball and only being capable of taking the ball the opposite way when hitting.
Chris Shaw showed he’s got some pop in his bat, but not much else in his limited playing time last year.
With this eclectic and question-mark-riddled bunch, it is understandable why the front office is looking for more proven talent just in case the younger guys can’t produce.
It’s smart, but also reminiscent of the GM days of Brian Sabean and Bobby Evans. These moves aren’t patently Farhan Zaidi moves, so it will be interesting how the Giants choose to use their outfield veterans.
Austin Jackson was the starting center fielder for the early part of 2018, but once he declined Duggar was called up and at the very least helped the team defensively. So coming out of Spring Training we’ll see if the Giants learn from last year’s mistakes.
It would also be nice if the outfield could just stay relatively healthy for a year. I understand injuries happen and it isn’t the fault of the players, but it’s frustrating to not be able to gauge the talent you have when guys are injured.
But when the inevitable injuries and declines occur, at least the Giants will have at least one proven veteran in the form of Parra, possibly two with Maybin, to lean on.