How Good Could Veteran San Francisco Giants Be?

By Marc Delucchi
Brandon Belt celebrates with SF Giants teammate Evan Longoria. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)
Brandon Belt celebrates with SF Giants teammate Evan Longoria. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images) /
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SF Giants, Evan Longoria
Evan Longoria, San Francisco Giants (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images) /

Giants veterans looking to bounce back – Evan Longoria

                    G      PA     AB    2B   3B   HR    AVG   OBP  SLG
2019       129   528   453   19    2     20    .254  .325  .437

Of the four players profiled here, Sandoval may have been the most productive, but Evan Longoria was the best everyday player. As was a trend for many of the veterans on the Giants roster, Longoria’s performance still failed to live up to the standard set early in his career.

Longoria performed like a league-average hitter for the third consecutive season and at a certain point, set to turn 35 later this year, is it reasonable to expect much more from Longoria?

For a player of his age, injuries are a huge concern, but can also be a sign for hope. Longo dealt with plantar fasciitis during last season and had to miss some time while he recovered. Like Belt, the team has said he’s dealing with an oblique issue that will keep him out for Opening Day, but he should be back relatively soon. Assuming he finds his way onto the field for the majority of the season, this was his best 60-game stretch in 2019:

                       G      PA     AB    2B   3B   HR    AVG   OBP   SLG
6/2-9/6      60    234  215     8     1      12   .307   .355   .521

Well… it’s hard to argue with that. If you want to make a case for a resurgent Evan Longoria, the crux of your argument should rest on this stretch of play. For a decent chunk of last season, Longoria performed like the perennial MVP candidate he was in Tampa Bay. Longoria’s injured list stint broke up this stretch of play and so it took him just over three months to compile his 60-game production. Giants brass surely hopes that when Longoria returns from his oblique strain, he can replicate that success.

There’s no denying it’s impossible to know what to expect this season. The uncertainty leaves a lot of questions, but for a team that seemed destined for the cellar of the NL West like the Giants, it creates new possibilities.

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The aging veterans that, if healthy, will make up the majority of San Francisco’s lineup all had successful 60-game stretches in 2019. Now the question is if any will be able to pull it off in 2020.