Best San Francisco Giants of the 2010s: 38. George Kontos
George Kontos was a steady middle-relief option for the San Francisco Giants, making 300 appearances in his six seasons with the team.
The San Francisco Giants acquired George Kontos from the New York Yankees in exchange for catcher Chris Stewart on April 4, 2012.
A fifth-round pick by the Yankees in 2006 out of Northwestern University, Kontos began his pro career as a starter before shifting to the bullpen in 2010.
He made his MLB debut a year later with a September call-up, appearing in seven games and posting a 3.00 ERA with six strikeouts in six innings.
The Giants saw enough to trade for him and he immediately stepped into a regular role in the bullpen. While he never served as the team’s closer or even in a key setup role, he was a reliable middle reliever throughout his time in San Francisco.
- 2012: 44 G, 5 HLD, 2.47 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 9.1 K/9
- 2013: 52 G, 5 HLD, 4.39 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 7.6 K/9
- 2014: 24 G, 1 HLD, 2.78 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 7.5 K/9
- 2015: 73 G, 14 HLD, 2.33 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 5.4 K/9
- 2016: 57 G, 9 HLD, 2.53 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 5.9 K/9
- 2017: 50 G, 5 HLD, 3.83 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 9.6 K/9
He turned in four scoreless appearances during the 2012 NLDS before getting knocked around a bit in the NLCS and World Series, but he was still a contributor to the team’s World Series title.
Despite solid numbers in 2014, he was left off the postseason roster, though he again deserves credit for playing a positive role in a title winner.
All told, his time in San Francisco was worth 3.6 WAR, and he’s spent time at the MLB level with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees since departing.
After starting the season with the Washington Nationals Triple-A affiliate, he was released and he’s now pitching for the independent league Long Island Ducks.
The 34-year-old may have reached the end of the line in his big league career, and he was never a superstar, but he was a positive contributor on some good San Francisco Giants teams.
Check back here regularly as we count down the 50 best San Francisco Giants of the 2010s.