SF Giants: Giving the Players their Final Letter Grades
By Jeff Young
The condensed, 2020 season has come to a close and we are ready to hand out letter grades to each of the SF Giants players.
The SF Giants exceeded expectations and gave the fanbase the thrill that comes from a much-needed playoff run.
Gabe Kapler‘s inaugural campaign got off to a rocky start after struggling to manage the bullpen in the early going, but he found his footing as the season wore on.
It should be noted that the quick restart to the season did not allow pitchers to build up arm strength, so I think managers were in an uncomfortable position of having a quicker hook on their starters, which put more pressure on the bullpens.
As pitchers rebuilt arm strength, Kapler’s bullpen management was not nearly as polarizing as it was when the season started. That said, he did have hiccups down the stretch.
Despite falling short of a playoff berth in the final game of the season, this appeared to be a strong year for the 45-year-old in his first season in San Francisco. The Giants finished with a 29-31 overall record, and the case could be made that they should have had an even better record.
The offense was a huge surprise. As a team, the SF Giants generated a 115 OPS+, which was the fifth-best mark in the National League. They did a lot of good things with the bat, including hitting the ball harder and at a better angle than they had in previous seasons.
However, the pitching did not hold up. As a whole, the staff pitched to a 4.64 ERA. That said, they went with an unusually inexperienced bullpen by choice as they looked to find arms that they could rely on in future seasons.
With the season in the rearview mirror, it is time to reflect and evaluate how each of the players did by assigning a final letter grade. The SF Giants had plenty of players put on the Orange and Black uniform, but only players who remained on the active roster until the end of the season will be evaluated.
For example, Jeff Samardzija was designated for assignment on Saturday, so he will not be evaluated.
Only position players with over 100 plate appearances will receive a grade. Similarly, only pitchers with 15 innings or more will be graded. The grades will be broken down by the infield, outfield, starting rotation, and bullpen. Let’s get started!