The 2019 MLB All-Star Game is right around the corner. So who will represent the San Francisco Giants at this year’s Midsummer Classic?
Someone has to represent the San Francisco Giants at this year’s All-Star Game.
So who is it going to be? And could the team have multiple All-Stars?
While this year’s team has not performed well from a win-loss standpoint, there have been a handful of standouts from an individual standpoint.
Ahead we’ll give a full breakdown of the leading candidates to represent the club at this year’s Midsummer Classic.
1B Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants
Brandon Belt has found his way onto the NL All-Star roster once before, earning a nod as a reserve during the 2016 season. It was a strong month of June that sealed his spot as an All-Star representative.
That year, he used a strong month of June where he batted .320/.384/.600 with five home runs and 17 RBI to bolster his first-half numbers to a solid .300/.402/.521 with 10 home runs and 42 RBI heading into the break.
So far this season, Belt’s numbers are not quite All-Star caliber.
- 2019: .234/.343/.462, .805 OPS, 40 H, 8 HR, 20 RBI, 26 BB, 42 K
Those numbers might not look All-Star worthy just yet, but with the whole month of June yet to come, there is time for him to catch fire again the way he did in 2016.
3B Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco Giants
Pablo Sandoval was written off as finished. Now he looks like the San Francisco Giants most productive hitter.
While he has not been a full-time starter, the numbers he has managed to produce in a semi-regular role are worthy of attention.
- 2019: .288/.321/.596, .908 OPS, 30 H, 7 HR, 18 RBI, 6 BB, 30 K
Those numbers have come in just 114 plate appearances, and he has been particularly excellent coming off the bench, tallying an MLB-high 10 pinch hits in 28 at-bats in that role.
2B Joe Panik, San Francisco Giants
After an injury-plagued 2018 season and a slow start in 2019, Joe Panik is another player who has stepped up of late.
The 30-year-old has really picked up his production since moving into the leadoff spot in the lineup, and he has been one of the team’s few consistent hitters.
- 2019: .242/.328/.348, 43 H, 3 HR, 17 RBI, 22 BB, 21 K
He batted just .202 over the first month of the season, so it’s clear that things are trending in the right direction. If he keeps hitting and keeps getting on base at a solid clip, his stat line could improve enough to make him the best option to represent the Giants.
1B/OF Tyler Austin, San Francisco Giants
Tyler Austin needs more playing time. It’s as simple as that. He possesses the most power on the team and he has produced in limited action. It’s time to see what he can do.
He is admittedly a dark-horse candidate for the All-Star Game.
That said, if he is given an expanded role in June, it’s not out of the question to think he could make an All-Star case, considering the numbers he has already posted in part-time action.
- 2019: .250/.338/.550, .888 OPS, 15 H, 5 HR, 13 RBI, 8 BB, 26 K
For now, he remains a platoon option against left-handed pitching. If he gets a chance at more regular playing time and produces, he could sneak his way onto the roster.
Now let’s move on to the pitching side of things.
While the pitching was the strength of the team in the early going this season, that is no longer the case, especially in the starting rotation.
That said, there have still been a few individual standouts in the bullpen.
RP Will Smith, San Francisco Giants
Left-hander Will Smith has been lights out in his first full season as the San Francisco Giants closer.
He returned from injury last year to convert 14 saves in 18 chances with a 2.55 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 12.1 K/9 over 54 appearances.
This season, he’s been even better.
- 2019: 22 G, 13/13 SV, 2.49 ERA, 0.74 WHIP, 4 BB, 30 K, 21.2 IP
There is little question that those are All-Star numbers.
Smith has essentially developed into the closer that the Giants thought they were getting when they signed Mark Melancon. Speaking of which…
RP Mark Melancon, San Francisco Giants
After losing the closer’s role last season while struggling to a 1.59 WHIP, Mark Melancon was relegated to mop-up duties heading into the 2019 season.
Slowly but surely, he has once again emerged as a reliable bullpen option.
- 2019: 20 G, 3 HLD, 2.53 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 8 BB, 18 K, 21.1 IP
The 34-year-old is a three-time All-Star from his time with the Pittsburgh Pirates and if he continues to pitch well while moving into more of a high-leverage role, he could sneak his way onto the All-Star roster.
So there you have it, the leading candidates from the San Francisco Giants to make the NL All-Star team this season.
Notably absent from that list is starter Madison Bumgarner. There’s a good chance he will be traded before the All-Star Game rolls around, and finding a spot among a deep crop of NL starters will be tough, so the odds seem to be stacked against him.
Who will ultimately be the choice for the Giants?
The month of June will go a long way toward determining that.