While the offense as a whole has underperformed all season, San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt has been swinging the bat well in the month of June.
The San Francisco Giants do not have much in the way of impact offensive players. When he’s swinging it well, a strong case can be made that first baseman Brandon Belt is the most talented hitter on the team.
The 31-year-old entered the month of June with a .234/.343/.462 batting line. While that is far from star-caliber production, his .805 OPS made him one of the few above-average performers on the roster.
Despite lacking prototypical power at the first base position, Belt has produced at a high level throughout his career. He entered the season with a 124 OPS+ and 22.7 WAR in eight big league seasons.
While the San Francisco Giants are clearly in rebuilding mode and figure to be aggressive sellers on the trade market this summer, Belt is still owed $17.2 million in 2020 and 2021, which makes him a bit trickier to move than someone like Madison Bumgarner or Will Smith who are in the final year of their respective deals.
That said, if Belt keep swinging the bat like he has in June, there may yet be a market for his services. In 40 plate appearances this month, he’s hitting .357/.550/.536 with more walks (12) than strikeouts (7).
He is also currently working on a 17-game on-base streak that stretches back to May 23. With that, his on-base percentage for the season is up to .378, which is puts him in the top 20 among qualified NL hitters.
The Giants have an interesting potential long-term piece in Tyler Austin in need of more playing time if he is going to show he can be a long-term piece, and they also have first baseman/outfielder Chris Shaw waiting in the wings in the minor leagues.
If the front office can find a way to move Belt while saving part of the money he is owed, acquiring a quality prospect or two, and opening up more playing time for younger guys, it would be a solid move across the board.
Continued productivity will be a big part of the equation.