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San Francisco Giants: Is Steven Duggar’s future with the team in jeopardy?

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 18: Steven Duggar #6 of the San Francisco Giants chases down a fly ball in center field in the fifth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on August 18, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 18: Steven Duggar #6 of the San Francisco Giants chases down a fly ball in center field in the fifth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on August 18, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /
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The San Francisco Giants have used a lot of different outfielders this season in their search for a spark. How has Steven Duggar’s long-term outlook changed?

Steven Duggar was once touted to be the San Francisco Giants next quality outfielder.

A sixth-round pick in 2015, Duggar reached Double-A in his first full professional season and he made his MLB debut on July 8, 2018.

He hit a respectable .255/.303/.390 for a 92 OPS+ with 14 extra-base hits in 152 plate appearances following his promotion and finished the season with 1.1 WAR. That gave him the upper hand for the center field job heading into spring training and he broke camp with the starting gig.

However, he’s failed to build on last year’s debut.

The 25-year-old is hitting just .234/.278/.341 for a 64 OPS+ and his strong defense has not been enough to offset his poor offensive production, leaving him at -0.2 WAR.

Meanwhile, between the acquisition of Kevin Pillar and the emergence of Mike Yastrzemski and Alex Dickerson, he’s become somewhat expendable.

It doesn’t help that he’s now been on the 60-day injured list in back-to-back years, including the shoulder strain he is currently nursing.

All of that leaves the Giants with a tough decision to make this offseason.

The outfield could be a focal point of the team’s offseason foray into free agency. Marcell Ozuna, Adam Eaton, Yasiel Puig, Nicholas Castellanos, and Adam Jones are among the available options in this year’s free-agent class.

If the team is able to land one of those guys, Farhan Zaidi could look to deal Duggar.

Despite his middling offense, he still holds value as a standout defender in center field. He also has team control through the 2024 season and he’ll still be making the league minimum next year, so he’s a cheap option.

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It’s been a busy season in the San Francisco Giants outfield, with players shuffling in and out as the front office searches for answers. The current group of Kevin Pillar, Mike Yastrzemski, and Alex Dickerson, along with whatever players the team might add in free agency, could force Steven Duggar out of the picture in 2020.

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