As a team, the SF Giants have put together a disappointing season with a 61-62 record while sitting 5.5 games out of the third Wild Card spot. However, plenty of individual players still have something to prove, and in some cases, need to show more if they are going to be on the roster next season.
3 SF Giants players who are on the roster bubble for 2023
There are no assurances that any of the pending free agents including Wilmer Flores, Joc Pederson, or Brandon Belt will return. On the other hand, Carlos Rodón will almost certainly opt-out of his contract, whereas the Giants hold a $13 million team option on Evan Longoria with a $5 million buyout.
Next year's roster might look a lot different given the team's struggles and the organization's need for star power. However, there are plenty of holdovers that need to prove that they can carve out a role in 2023.
1. Outfield Mike Yastrzemski
This is the second straight disappointing season for Mike Yastrzemski at the plate. Last season, he posted a 106 OPS+ with 25 home runs in 532 plate appearances. In his brief major league career, that looked like an outlier in an otherwise strong track record.
He got off to a blistering start in 2022, slashing .302/.409/.476 with four home runs, 16 RBI, and 25 runs in 154 plate appearances in the first two months of the season. The power numbers were not quite there, but he was producing at such a high level that is seemed like he was poised to be an All-Star.
Since then, his performance at the plate has cratered. He has posted just a .162 batting average in 265 plate appearances since June 1. In total, Yastrzemski has slashed .211/.310/.687 (93 OPS+) with 12 home runs, 44 RBI, and 54 runs in 419 plate appearances.
More importantly, he has struggled to the tune of a .715 OPS against right-handed pitching in 2022. He just has not given the leverage that they desire in these matchups and that could hurt the left-handed bat if these numbers do not improve.
To his credit, the 32-year-old outfielder has been one of the better players on defense for a Giants roster that has struggled mightily with the glove. He has been worth +5 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and +2 Outs Above Average (OAA) in the outfield.
His numbers have been similarly strong (+3 DRS, +3 OAA) in center field. Outside of Yastrzemski and Bryce Johnson, the Giants do not have another true center fielder on the 40-man roster. That will help Yastrzemski in 2023, but his bat will need to produce as well. The good news is that he has three minor league options remaining, so he carries a lot of roster flexibility if he does not.