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SF Giants: Why Mike Yastrzemski is Poised a Breakout Year in 2021

Nick San Miguel
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 26: Mike Yastrzemski #5 of the San Francisco Giants is presented with the 2020 Willie Mac Award by teammate Brandon Crawford #35 before the game against the San Diego Padres at Oracle Park on September 26, 2020 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 26: Mike Yastrzemski #5 of the San Francisco Giants is presented with the 2020 Willie Mac Award by teammate Brandon Crawford #35 before the game against the San Diego Padres at Oracle Park on September 26, 2020 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
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SF Giants, Blake Snell
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 09: Mike Yastrzemski #5 of the SF Giants hits a three-run home run in the bottom of the third inning against the Seattle Mariners at Oracle Park on September 09, 2020 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

The SF Giants have been extraordinarily lucky to have Mike Yastrzemski on the team the last two years. Here is why Yaz is going to have a true breakout season for the Giants in 2021.

One could already argue that Mike Yastrzemski has had two breakout seasons in the first two years of his career. He came onto the scene seemingly out of nowhere in 2019 and became one of the best players on the Giants in the second half of the season, hitting .272/.334/.518 with 21 home runs and 55 RBI.

The fact that the Giants were able to acquire Yaz from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for pitching prospect Tyler Herb made his impressive production all the more satisfying and gained Farhan Zaidi a lot of respect from the fanbase for finding an apparent diamond in the rough.

There were some questions as to whether Yaz would be able to follow up his stellar 2019 campaign with another solid year. Some thought that he may have been a fluke, just a one-season wonder.

Mike Yastrzemski Keeps SF Giants in Playoff Hunt

However, Yaz proved all the doubters wrong in 2020, hitting .297/.400/.568 with 10 home runs and 54 RBI in 54 games. His offensive production was largely the reason why the Giants were even in the playoff hunt at the end of the season.

Yaz’s incredible story has been one of the more remarkable ones in baseball these last two years. But in 2021, he could have a true breakout season because (if he stays healthy and pandemic-permitting) it will be his first 162 game season in the MLB.

If he can produce over the course of a 162-games season as we have seen in parts of the last two seasons, then there is a very real possibility that he could become one of the superstars of the game and may even become the co-face of the franchise along with Buster Posey.

Of course, there is always the possibility that 2021 could end up being a regression rather than a progression. But, considering that at 30 years old he is entering the prime of his career, the more likely outcome is that Yaz will stay on the course he has laid out for himself these last two seasons.

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He has been the most exciting Giant to watch in recent memory, so we can only hope that Yaz will continue on his upward trajectory in 2021 and can maybe even help get the Giants back into postseason contention yet again if the stars align.

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