Batting Ninth: Mauricio Dubón, center field
What about George Springer? If this is a perfect Giants lineup, there’s a fair argument to be made that Springer should be playing center and batting in the middle of the order, but the offense is covered. Springer has been a good defensive center fielder at times, but that performance has been a bit erratic. Entering his thirties, he’s probably best suited in right field going forward.
As great as Yastrzemski was last season, defense is not his strong suit. Pairing him with a questionable defender in center could be a recipe for disaster, especially with a lot of unknowns surrounding the pitching staff. Mauricio Dubón had never played the outfield in a professional game prior to 2020. Yet, in his first season in centerfield, he was the Giants best defensive everyday center fielder in recent history. Yes, he was even better than Kevin Pillar.
Even if his bat does not develop past his career .274/.325/.407 line, that’s more than enough to justify his spot if he can continue improving defensively. Things might be different if the lineup looked like it did in 2018, but the fact that Dubón could easily bat at the bottom of the lineup allows the Giants to make sure they have a well-rounded lineup. They do not need to throw Pat Burrell types out in left field to generate offense because they can get that production elsewhere.
Dubón is also young. He made some improvements with his plate discipline last season, but that remains a work in progress. Still, the 26-year old has a knack for putting the ball in play and mashing against left-handed pitchers. Not bad for a number nine hitter.
There is still plenty of offseason left and an abundance of ways for the SF Giants to fill out the remaining holes on their roster. For now though, it’s fun to dream about just how good their lineup could be on both sides of the ball next season.