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Which current Giants will be part of the next contender?

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - SEPTEMBER 21: Catcher Buster Posey #28 of the San Francisco Giants bats during the game against the Atlanta Braves on September 21, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - SEPTEMBER 21: Catcher Buster Posey #28 of the San Francisco Giants bats during the game against the Atlanta Braves on September 21, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images) /
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San Francisco Giants, Mike Yastrzemski
Giants outfielder Mike Yastrzemski. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

Giants outfielder Mike Yastrzemski

There was no bigger surprise performer during the 2019 season for the San Francisco Giants than Mike Yastrzemski.

He posted a .272/.334/.518 (123 OPS+) line with 21 home runs across 411 plate appearances in his rookie campaign.

At 29 years old, the left-handed hitter got a late start to his career, so it is fair to wonder if his production is sustainable in future seasons.

Despite a slightly concerning 26 percent strikeout rate, there is not much below the surface that screams regression in 2020.

For the first time in his career, Yastrzemski entered spring training with a spot on the Opening Day roster. In addition, the Giants are giving him extra work in center field to fill the defensive void that was created when the Giants parted ways with Kevin Pillar.

If the Vanderbilt product proves he can handle center field for the foreseeable future, the Giants will have one less premium position to fill as they slowly build up their roster. Center field is not a position that is often associated with power hitters, but Yastrzemski could become that type of player.

Assuming that the Giants will be competitive again in the next two or three years, Yastrzemski’s career arc still fits where the Giants are at in the competitive cycle.

He would be the high IQ, veteran presence that a team needs as its transitions from a veteran-heavy roster to one that is more youthful.

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