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Giants Five surprising takeaways from 2020 ZiPS projections

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 26: Mauricio Dubon #19 of the San Francisco Giants hits a home run in the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Oracle Park on September 26, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 26: Mauricio Dubon #19 of the San Francisco Giants hits a home run in the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Oracle Park on September 26, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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San Francisco Giants
Giants outfielder Chris Shaw.

Chris Shaw leads the Giants with 20 HR

Szymborski is putting a lot of faith in first baseman/outfielder Chris Shaw.

He is projected to lead the Giants in home runs in just his third year in the big leagues.

The ZiPS projection gives Shaw 20 home runs for the 2020 season to go with 66 RBI and a .239/.293/.425 slash line.

The first reason that stands out is that there is no guarantee Shaw will even make the Opening Day roster.

Barring a spring training trade, first base is still likely to be manned by Brandon Belt in 2020. So to make the team, Shaw will need to win a spot in the outfield and edge out several of Steven Duggar, Austin Slater, Tyler Austin, Joey Rickard, and Jaylin Davis.

Even if Shaw earns a spot on the Opening Day roster, he will need to earn playing time alongside fellow left-handed hitters Mike Yastrzemski and Alex Dickerson, perhaps serving as a co-platoon mate to Darin Ruf, should he make the team.

In other words, he has a lot of players to beat out to earn at-bats.

Additionally, Shaw his hit an uninspired .153/.244/.222 across 82 plate appearances at the MLB level the past two seasons.

If this projection comes to fruition and Shaw demonstrates the ability to consistently hit the long ball at the MLB level, the 26-year-old could yet be a long-term piece of the puzzle in San Francisco.

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