Giants Five surprising takeaways from 2020 ZiPS projections
Further decline from Giants veterans
Despite the positive outlook on some of the Giants power hitters, Szymborski and ZiPS are bearish on veterans Brandon Belt, Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, and Evan Longoria.
Fans are well aware by now that Posey’s power is not what it was in the early half of the 2010s. Though ZiPS has him leading the team with a .273 batting average, he is projected to hit seven home runs in 2020, just as he did last season.
And then there is Crawford. The Giants likely expected more of the same when they signed him to a six-year, $75 million extension following a 21-homer campaign in 2015. Instead, he has failed to match that level of power production and his offensive numbers bottomed out in 2019.
He’s projected to hit just .245/.313/.376 for an 85 OPS+ with 11 home runs in 2020.
Likewise, Longoria (17) and Belt (15) are also projected to fall short of the 20-homer plateau.
With none of the established power hitters on the team projected to reach 20 home runs, it may be up to the next generation of Giants to pick up the slack in the power department.
Will the Giants find a trade partner for Longoria and allow Zach Green to take over at third base? Will Belt be benched more often to give someone like Chris Shaw additional playing time?
Those questions will not be answered until the final weeks of spring training, if not later, but it is clear based on the projections that the Giants will need to find power sources among their young core.