3. Every position has a strong second option
No one is going out of their way to pick the Giants for the postseason (even in an expanded format), but this roster is surprisingly deep. When you cover a team it can be difficult to avoid getting caught up in the hype from research versus what’s legitimate, but the back of the Giants roster is actually quite strong. What kills the team’s playoff chances isn’t depth, but just nonexistent elite talent.
Of course, stars are cherished because they’re hard to find. Last offseasons free-agent crop was pretty minimal in the way of available stars and the Giants shouldn’t be trading their top prospects at this point in their rebuild. So they did the next best thing. They made sure they were two deep at every position with the exception of catcher (a position hampered by Buster Posey’s absence).
Around the diamond, there is generally one proven option at a position with a legitimate younger prospect. Even with Evan Longoria and Brandon Belt on the disabled list, veterans like Wilmer Flores, Brandon Crawford, Donovan Solona, and Pablo Sandoval complement each other and the less proven options like McCarthy, Dubon, and Darin Ruf.
In the outfield, Hunter Pence and Mike Yastrzemski both played like above-average everyday players last season. Alex Dickerson has shown Giants fans plenty of flashes in the outfield as well. Combined with the flexibility and potential of Davis, McCarthy, and Slater, the Giants actually have depth before San Francisco has to touch its incredible prospect depth at the position.
Some proven big-leaguers like Yolmer Sanchez, Brandon Belt, and Evan Longoria will also join the team at some point. When they recover from their respective injuries, Kapler will have even more respectable options to mix and match.
Don’t get it twisted. The Giants will not have a strong lineup, but that’s from the first two-thirds of the lineup. In fact, the lineup will likely see a lot of fluctuation because the difference between the 7, 8, and 9 hitters and 1, 2, and 3 hitters could be smaller on the Giants than on any other team in the league.