The end of the season is near and one of the year-end events that excite the fan base is the Willie Mac award ceremony. The award is named after longtime SF Giants first baseman Willie McCovey and is awarded to the most inspirational player both on the field and in the clubhouse. There are three Giants players who should merit serious consideration in 2022.
3 SF Giants players who take could home the Willie Mac Award
The Willie Mac award is voted on by everyone in the organization. It is a fun event because past recipients usually attend to show support for the current recipient. Last season, LaMonte Wade Jr. earned the award due in part to his breakout campaign at the plate and his extremely clutch hits in the later innings.
The Giants organization began to hand out the award in 1980 with power-hitting outfielder Jack Clark being the first recipient. Mike Krukow, J.T. Snow, and Bengie Molina have each received the award multiple times.
At 69-74, the Giants have had a disappointing season. That said, the players are still going out there each day and playing as hard as they can. A few names stand out as particularly impactful Giants this season.
1. Infielder Wilmer Flores
Wilmer Flores has quickly become a fan favorite for a lot of reasons including his steady demeanor and consistent production at the plate. He has been a fantastic addition since inking a three-year, $9.5 million pact prior to the start of the 2020 season.
The good news is that Flores will remain in a Giants uniform through 2024, but his contract includes a mutual option for 2025. The right-handed bat has registered a .233/.318/.309 (103 OPS+) with 18 home runs, 65 RBI, and 66 runs in 529 plate appearances.
His home run output (18) ties a career high, which he previously set in 2017 and 2021. His RBI and runs totals lead all Giants hitters. It has been another solid season for the 31-year-old at the plate.
There is one moment from this season that stands out in terms of Flores' leadership. In a moment of frustration, Carlos Rodón kicked a bat in the dugout that hit Thairo Estrada in the shin. Flores quickly came to Estrada's defense as he was clearly concerned with the young infielder's well-being. Flores is more of a quiet leader in the Giants clubhouse, but he has the respect of his teammates. It feels like he should be the favorite for the Willie Mac award.