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SF Giants: Brandon Belt’s surge has powered winning streak

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 10: Brandon Belt #9 of the San Francisco Giants reacts after his two-run home run during the seventh inning of a game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on September 10, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 10: Brandon Belt #9 of the San Francisco Giants reacts after his two-run home run during the seventh inning of a game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on September 10, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
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SF Giants, Brandon Belt
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 05: Brandon Belt #9 of the San Francisco Giants bats against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the bottom of the second inning at Oracle Park on September 05, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The SF Giants have won seven straight games including sweeps against the Colorado Rockies and the Chicago Cubs on the road. This winning streak has coincided with a hot streak at the plate from Brandon Belt.

SF Giants: Brandon Belt’s surge has powered winning streak

We have seen this in the past from Belt. When his bat gets going, he can carry an offense. The question is, how long can this streak continue?

That question remains to be seen but it is tough to ignore that Belt’s bat has been on fire recently and that he is poised to finish the year on a high note. Since the Giants nabbed a surprising victory last Sunday against Walker Buehler and the Los Angeles Dodgers, the left-handed bat has slashed .476/.560/1.048 with three home runs, seven RBI, and eight runs scored in 25 plate appearances.

During their seven-game winning streak, the Giants have been involved in a handful of high-scoring efforts. That said, it has usually been a rally started or capped off by Belt that has given them the initial lead in these games.

In total, the longtime Giants first baseman has registered a .258/.365/.933 line (149 OPS+) with 23 home runs, 48 RBI, and 52 runs scored while being worth 1.8 WAR in 323 plate appearances in 2021. He currently leads all National League first baseman (minimum 300 plate appearances) with a .933 OPS and is second in baseball behind only Vladimir Guerroro Jr. (1.013 OPS).

It bears mentioning that durability is the biggest question mark with Belt, but there is no denying the value that he brings to the game with his bat.

As the Giants are preparing for a playoff run, the hope is that Belt’s resurgent bat remains hot when October baseball begins. While the focus is on the postseason, a lesser narrative is beginning to take shape involving his future with the club.

The 33-year-old first baseman is in the final year of a five-year, $72.8 million extension that he signed back in April of 2016. He should see plenty of interest on the open market as one of the better first baseman available.

However, given how the Giants have thrived due in part to surprising performances from their veteran core including Belt, there will likely be interest in a reunion.  The front office extended Brandon Crawford earlier in the year with a two-year, $32 million deal and that two-year deal could serve as a template for Belt. The financial side of it will be different as Crawford has been one of the best shortstops in the game.

Related Story. SF Giants: Hitting prospects week in review

Nevertheless, the contract status will wait until the offseason. The good news is that Belt is on a tear and the hope is that his hot streak leads to a strong finish that carries over into the playoffs.

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