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San Francisco Giants: Who was the biggest disappointment in 2019?

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 13: Buster Posey #28 of the San Francisco Giants hits an RBI single during the sixth inning against the Miami Marlins at Oracle Park on September 13, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 13: Buster Posey #28 of the San Francisco Giants hits an RBI single during the sixth inning against the Miami Marlins at Oracle Park on September 13, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
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San Francisco Giants
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 10: Brandon Crawford #35 of the San Francisco Giants hits an RBI single in the bottom of the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Oracle Park on September 10, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Brandon Crawford

Written by: Jeff Young

Brandon Crawford has developed a reputation as a slow starter, but it feels like he never really got going with the bat in 2019.

The longtime Giants shortstop posted a .228/.304/.350 line to go along with a 75 OPS+. That OPS+ indicates that Crawford’s stat line was 25 percent worse than the league average hitter.

That level of productivity is difficult to justify, regardless of how good a player is defensively.

The problem with Crawford is that his glove is also not what it once was. The three-time Gold Glove winner is known for his incredible range, and for making difficult plays look easy.

However, his defense has been on a downward trend since 2016, when he posted 20 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS). In 2019, Crawford posted 0 DRS and a 0.0 Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR). These defensive metrics suggest that the 32-year-old has become an average shortstop. At times, the eye test may disagree, as he continued to make some stellar plays, but it seemed like Crawford lost a step in 2019.

From a defensive standpoint, Crawford was a disappointment. The glove has always been better than the bat, so any offensive production was a bonus. However, the question will be whether the glove can return to its Gold Glove form as Crawford enters his age-33 season.

With two years and $30.4 million remaining on his contract, which includes a full no-trade clause, the Giants will likely not be able to find a trade partner. If Crawford’s overall decline carries into next season, he could quickly see diminished playing time.

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