The New York/San Francisco Giants are one of the most historic franchises in the league so you’re sure to see many Hall of Famers on this list.
Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Juan Marichal, Christy Mathewson, Barry Bonds, Madison Bumgarner, and Buster Posey all are universally recognized as some of the greatest Giants players ever, but the big question is where do they stack up against each other.
Before we get started there are a few qualifications that each player has to have in order to make it onto this list:
Hitters need to have at least 3,000 plate appearances for the Giants
Pitchers need to log at least 1,000 innings as a starter
As it pertains to the list, it is based on FanGraphs’ Wins Above Replacement leaders among position players and pitchers in addition to objectivity and subjectivity including weighing how many games a player played in a Giants uniform, if they won any World Series, etc. Position players were favored over pitchers because they played more games and therefore, usually had a bigger impact on a daily basis. Another factor was Performance Enhancing Drugs, which came into play for certain players.
There were some players that didn’t hit those thresholds or simply weren’t good enough but they still made a big impact so let’s give them an honorable mention.
- Vida Blue
- Sergio Romo
- Jeff Samardzija
- Barry Zito
- Brandon Crawford
- Pablo Sandoval
- Brandon Belt
- Kevin Mitchell
- Orlando Cepeda
- Red Ames
This list is not just limited to the San Francisco Giants. You will see some players that were a part of the New York Giants.
Let’s get to the list. Your top 30 Giants players of all-time.
NY/SF Giants best players all-time: No. 30: Tim Lincecum
“The Freak” is obviously a legend in San Francisco, so I had to slip him into the top 30. Tim Lincecum was one of the best–if not the best–pitchers in the game from 2008-2011. He was a four-time all-star in that time span with two Cy Young awards and he was part of the 2010 World Series team. In each of those seasons, he pitched at least 200 innings with an ERA under 3.45.
He didn’t pitch just one no-hitter, he pitched two of them against the same team (the San Diego Padres). Unfortunately, Lincecum pretty much fell off of a cliff after the 2011 season, as he never was able to have an ERA under 4. His last season with the Giants was in 2015 when he only appeared in 15 games. His final season in the majors was with the Angels in 2016.