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San Francisco Giants: A way too early look at the 2022 outfield

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 24: Gerardo Parra #8, Kevin Pillar #1 and Steven Duggar #6 of the San Francisco Giants congratulate each other following victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in a MLB game at Rogers Centre on April 24, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 24: Gerardo Parra #8, Kevin Pillar #1 and Steven Duggar #6 of the San Francisco Giants congratulate each other following victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in a MLB game at Rogers Centre on April 24, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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PHILADELPHIA, PA – JUNE 02: Austin Slater #53 of the San Francisco Giants singles in a run during the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies during a game at Citizens Bank Park on June 2, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was Slater’s first Major League hit and RBI. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA – JUNE 02: Austin Slater #53 of the San Francisco Giants singles in a run during the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies during a game at Citizens Bank Park on June 2, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was Slater’s first Major League hit and RBI. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

The Revolving Door of Left Field

The reason I call it the revolving door of left field is because that is exactly what it has been. We’ve seen everyone from guys who aren’t currently in the organization anymore like Connor Joe to backup catcher Stephen Vogt throw out there in an attempt to muster some offense at the position.

Currently, it seems that Yastrzemski has made left field his home until his play falters or someone else supplants him. But who will be the guy in 2022?

The answer is Austin Slater.

The 26-year-old seems bound to re-join the Giants sometime soon thanks to a stellar .296/.431/.544 batting line that includes 12 doubles and 10 home runs in 211 plate appearances.

With Yastrzemski exceeding expectations and Slater reworking his swing and benefitting from more time in the minors to perfect it, it makes sense that he has not received a promotion to this point, but it’s only a matter of time.

Slater has always been a good contact hitter, but there were questions about his power even though he showed flashes of it from time to time. With his new swing, Slater has already doubled his home run total at Triple-A last year in 26 fewer at-bats.

He seems to have unlocked the power that the Giants wanted him to find and with a continuance of solid play and improvement at the major league level, there’s no reason to think he can’t be the starting left fielder at the MLB level in 2022.

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