The SF Giants head into 2021 with longtime first baseman Brandon Belt in the final year of his contract. He has been a great Giant, no matter what certain segments of the fanbase may say, and helped the Giants win two World Series championships. However, it seems quite likely that Belt may move on after this season.
The first article in this series looked at who the next starting shortstop could be for the SF Giants in 2022. This one will focus on who the starting first baseman could be next year.
Who will be the SF Giants first baseman in 2022?
Naturally, this begs the question: Who will be the starting first baseman for the Giants in 2021? This is a question that the Giants have not had to seriously consider since 2012, back when Belt was still somewhat unproven. Say what you will about Belt, but when he has been healthy, there has not been any question as to who the first baseman is going to be.
Of course, injuries have kept him off the field more than anyone would like and he has been roundly criticized throughout his career for not hitting more home runs. Nevertheless, he has been a valuable defender and a patient and streaky hitter at the plate, skilled at getting on base via the walk while also capable of getting hot with the bat and carrying a lineup.
There are not any overwhelmingly compelling candidates to replace Belt that are currently on the Giants roster. Additionally, the looming crop of free-agent first baseman is not exceptionally strong, at least compared to the shortstops that will be available. There are still some big names that the Giants could pursue though.
The following slides will take a look at several candidates who could be the starting first baseman for the Giants in 2022, including Belt himself.