At 16-19, the San Francisco Giants are not exactly where they wanted to be when the 2023 regular season began. Newcomers like Michael Conforto, Mitch Haniger, Sean Manaea and Ross Stripling were expected to all play key roles on this year's squad.
After all, such a talented group seemed primed to take down the always-dangerous Los Angeles Dodgers, who had lost some premier names in free agency this past offseason and replaced them with the likes of Jason Heyward and David Peralta.
Instead, the team is currently, 5.0 GB from first place with a -21 run differential. Through and through, the club cannot seem to get going. Conforto is hitting .170 and Haniger .200. Manaea sports an ERA that you would typically see from a position player and Stripling already can't hold down a consistent spot in the starting rotation.
Elsewhere on the roster, David Villar, who was widely expected to be the club's everyday third baseman all year long, has already lost his handle on a full-time gig and has a .145 average in just under 100 at-bats. Need I say more?
Fortunately, there are a handful of players whose names have flown under the radar to begin the year, and are quietly putting together solid performances through the first month-plus, including a few names that nobody thought would find such successes during the current campaign.