Buster Posey: C+
Posey returned surprisingly quickly after having hip surgery last summer, but his bat never showed up. On the year, he hit .257 to go along with a .688 OPS and only seven home runs. That batting average and OPS represented career lows by a wide margin. It was the catcher’s age-32 season, and the question will persist into the offseason of whether Posey can return to form. Despite the surgically repaired hip, Posey lived up to his reputation as a solid backstop. He finished the season with 14 defensive runs saved (DRS), which should put him in the conversation for a Gold Glove.
Brandon Belt: D
Belt’s season was similar to Posey and Brandon Crawford in that he struggled at the plate while playing average to above-average defense. The difference is that the expectations are much higher for a first baseman from an offensive standpoint. Belt finished with a .234/.339/.403 line in 616 plate appearances. The good news is that he stayed healthy throughout the season, but he failed to produce with the bat. The batting average and OPS represent career lows for the University of Texas product. Despite that, Belt continued to show a knack for getting on base while posting a 13.5 percent walk rate and the third-highest OBP (.339) on the team with a minimum of 150 plate appearances. Still, it was down year.
Dubon only tallied 109 plate appearances with the San Francisco Giants, but he showed flashes of his exciting potential. He posted a .279/.312/.442 line and slugged four home runs. The 24-year-old hit a total of 24 home runs between his time spent at Triple-A and at the major league level. He showed a contact-oriented approach as he had a strikeout rate of only 18 percent to go along with a less-than-ideal 4.5 percent walk rate. Still, he showed enough potential with the bat to be penciled into next season’s Opening Day lineup. Defensively, Dubon showed excellent range and the ability to handle both second base and shortstop.
Brandon Crawford: C-
Similar to Belt and Posey, Crawford’s bat took a huge step back in 2019. Across 560 plate appearances, the long-time shortstop recorded a .228/.304/.350 line to go along with a 75 OPS+. That OPS+ indicates that he was 25 percent worse than the league-average hitter. As Crawford heads into his age-33 season in 2020, the question remains whether his bat can return to its 2016 form when he posted a .772 OPS. In addition, his defense took a noticeable step back. According to the defense metrics, Crawford posted 0 DRS as well as a 0.0 Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR). With that being said, he still makes some tremendous plays with the glove. If his 2019 performance carries over into 2020, he could see a diminished role.
Longoria had a nice bounce-back season with the Giants in 2019 after a rough introduction to the National League in 2018. He continues to show a premium glove at third base, and the defensive metrics agree as he recorded 6 DRS. With the bat, he posted a .254/.325/.437 line to go along with 20 home runs and 69 RBI. He can provide good value if he continues to post offensive stats around league average as he did in 2019. The slick-fielding third baseman was worth 2.4 bWAR, which was significantly higher than the likes of Posey (0.9), Crawford (0.6), and Belt (0.6).
Similar to many Giants hitters, Longoria was a much better hitter on the road, posting an .870 OPS compared to a .658 OPS at Oracle Park. That OPS at Oracle Park is a bit of an eyesore, but it represents an improvement over the .615 mark he posted in 2018. Perhaps, he is learning to exorcise some of those Oracle Park demons.