Veteran Neil Walker would be perfect addition to Giants bench

Neil Walker. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
Neil Walker. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

Neil Walker could be a good depth addition for the San Francisco Giants.

If the San Francisco Giants are looking to add some depth to their roster for the 2020 season, they need not look any further than veteran second baseman Neil Walker.

You might recall Walker from his time with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was a consistent presence in the middle of their lineup for several years and even won the Silver Slugger Award in 2014 when he hit .271/.342/.467 with 23 home runs and 76 RBI.

That was a while ago, though.

His 2019 numbers show that the 34-year-old veteran is far removed from his prime. Playing for the Miami Marlins last season, he hit .261/.344/.395 with eight home runs and 38 RBI. Those are still respectable numbers, and he would add some useful depth to the middle infield if the Giants feel like they need it.

With Mauricio Dubon still relatively unproven, Walker could serve as a mentor to the young player. Not only that, but as a switch-hitter with better numbers against right-handed pitchers, he could be a nice complement to the right-handed hitting Dubon.

I still think that Dubon should get the majority of the playing time at second because he’s an exciting, young, athletic player who has a chance to be the second baseman for a good chunk of the 2020s.

That being said, it doesn’t hurt to have another infielder in the mix considering Brandon Crawford‘s decline, Donovan Solano‘s likely inability to match last year’s success, and the lack of middle infield prospects knocking at the door in the minors.

Walker could serve as a starter when Dubon needs a spell or if the team decides to move Dubon over to shortstop because Crawford has really dropped off in production with the glove and bat. As a switch-hitter, Walker would also be useful to have on the bench as a pinch-hitter.

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He played on a one-year, $2 million contract with the Marlins last season. If the Giants can bring him in for something slightly less, he would be a worthwhile addition to the team.