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San Francisco Giants: Giving the players their final letter grades

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 24: Manager Bruce Bochy #15 of the San Francisco Giants walks to the dugout prior to the game against the Colorado Rockies at Oracle Park on September 24, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 24: Manager Bruce Bochy #15 of the San Francisco Giants walks to the dugout prior to the game against the Colorado Rockies at Oracle Park on September 24, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 13: Tyler Rogers #71 of the San Francisco Giants pitches during the eighth inning against the Miami Marlins at Oracle Park on September 13, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

Will Smith: A

Smith was one of the better relievers in baseball, making this an incredibly easy grade to assign. The impending free agent had a 2.76 ERA in 63 games, and he converted 34 of his 38 save opportunities. His performance this season earned him a spot on the NL All-Star team, and he was a major contributor to the Giants success in one-run games while serving as the team’s closer.

Trevor Gott: B

For much of this season, Gott looked like a shrewd addition after he was acquired via a waiver claim from the Washington Nationals last offseason. He posted a 4.44 ERA, but his 3.12 FIP suggests that he pitched much better than his ERA. Much of the damage done to his ERA occurred late in the season while he was battling a forearm injury. All in all, he was a nice surprise, giving the Giants plenty of quality innings as a middle reliever. He’ll be back in 2020.

Tony Watson: C

The deceptive left-handed reliever struggled down the stretch, finishing the season with a  4.17 ERA across 54 innings. Watson’s peripheral numbers also regressed in a number of areas, including strikeouts, hits allowed, and home runs allowed. He has a $2.5 million player option that could be exercised, especially since the free-agent market has not been kind to older relievers in recent seasons.

Reyes Moronta: B-

Moronta will miss much of the 2020 season recovering from a torn labrum, but the 2019 season felt like a step back for the 26-year-old reliever. On the year, Moronta recorded a 2.86 ERA across 56.2 innings of work, and he was often tasked with getting the Giants out of a jam. The ERA was solid, but it was accompanied by a 3.57 FIP, and he continued to battle command issues. Perhaps expectations were a bit high, but he did not seem as reliable as he was in 2018.

Shaun Anderson: B-

Anderson got just a small taste of life as a reliever, but he impressed. The rookie is no stranger to the bullpen, having pitched exclusively as a reliever at the University of Florida. Across 13.1 frames, Anderson posted a 6.08 ERA to go along with 15 strikeouts. On the surface, the ERA does not look great, but Anderson seems to have the mound presence of a closer. While pitching out of the bullpen, he showed the ability to bump his fastball velocity to 95 mph while pairing it with a four-pitch repertoire to get plenty of swinging strikes. He could be the bullpen X-factor in 2020.

Sam Coonrod: B

Coonrod finally made his rookie debut after creating plenty of buzz during his time as a prospect in the San Francisco Giants organization. The 26-year-old posted a 3.58 ERA and only allowed 19 hits across 27.2 innings of work. Coonrod featured a power fastball that averaged 96.5 mph, and he was an uncomfortable at-bat for opposing hitters. He showed enough to be penciled into next year’s bullpen.

Jandel Gustave: B

Gustave was another shrewd offseason addition by Zaidi. He had previously pitched for the Houston Astros, but he became a free agent in 2018 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Zaidi wasted no time in bringing Gustave to the Giants organization, and it looks like a move that could pay dividends for years to come. Across 24.1 innings, Gustave recorded a 2.96 ERA while only allowing 18 hits. He struggled down the stretch, but that could be due to fatigue as it was his first season back from the surgery.

Tyler Rogers: A

Rogers took full advantage of the bullpen audition taking place in September. The submarine-style reliever spent parts of seven seasons in the Giants organization before finally making his major league debut. The promotion was long overdue, and he impressed while quickly earning Bruce Bochy’s trust in high-leverage situations. Across 17.2 innings, Rogers only gave up two earned runs while proving to be difficult to barrel-up. He will start next season in the Giants bullpen, and could quickly be called upon to for high-leverage opportunities once again.

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So there you have it, final letter grades or each of the San Francisco Giants key contributors in 2019. Agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments or on our Twitter page.

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