Brandon Crawford is off to a nice start following a forgettable 2019 season in which he posted a .654 OPS across 560 plate appearances. With the addition of Yolmer Sanchez and Wilmer Flores, to go along with Mauricio Dubon and Donovan Solano, the Giants have more depth behind Crawford than at any point in his career.
No one has more to prove than Crawford in 2020. In terms of OPS+, Crawford has been a below-average hitter (85 OPS+ in 2017 and 75 OPS+ in 2019) in two of the last three seasons. In addition, the defensive metrics paint him as an average shortstop at this stage in his career as he was worth 0 DRS in 2019.
With the added depth at shortstop, Giants team president Farhan Zaidi has essentially communicated that the long-time Giants shortstop will need to produce, or see a dip in his playing time going forward.
To his credit, Crawford has made a solid first impression to the 2020 season by collecting four hits in nine at-bats with a home run and six runs scored.
He seems to be running around the bases better as well:
It goes without saying that there will be plenty of eyes on the heir apparent to long-time Giants catcher Buster Posey. Joey Bart has shown plenty of power in his brief, professional career, and this has carried over into spring training.
Bart’s professional resume has been slowed by injuries. Specifically, he sustained a broken hand twice in 2019 due to errant pitches. Despite that, Bart remains one of the best catching prospects in baseball.
He has looked the part of a top prospect in a brief showing. In 10 at-bats, Bart has recorded six hits, including two extra-base hits and four runs scored. One of those extra-base hits was on an off-balanced swing, but the ball was sent over the fence anyway:
Carlos Navas is a non-roster invitee who split time his time between Triple-A Sacramento and Double-A Richmond in the Giants organization last year. The reliever was signed as a 17-year-old by the Oakland Athletics in 2010, and he joined the Giants organization prior to the 2019 season.
Navas made 35 appearances in 2019, including seven spots starts. Across 84.2 frames, he posted a 3.40 ERA with a 8.7 K/9 rate.
This spring, Navas has impressed in the early going.
In three appearances, the right-handed has recorded three scoreless innings with five strikeouts. Navas has an uphill battle to climb to make the Opening Day roster as a non-roster invitee, but the bullpen competition remains wide open. If he continues to pitch well, he could be rewarded with a roster spot.