5 SF Giants players that have been extremely unlucky in 2023

A lot of things have gone wrong for the Giants this season including how unlucky some of their players have been.

Sep 8, 2023; San Francisco, California, USA; San Francisco Giants outfielder Joc Pederson (23) high
Sep 8, 2023; San Francisco, California, USA; San Francisco Giants outfielder Joc Pederson (23) high / Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
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Patrick Bailey

On the whole, no one should be complaining or worried about Patrick Bailey. He has been worth 3.0 fWAR this season thanks to outstanding defense behind the plate. Given that the bar for catcher offense is quite low, his .302 wOBA for the season is very reasonable especially for a guy that has as much defensive value as he does. However, a closer look at his numbers at the plate suggests that he could be poised to break out offensively.

While Bailey is hitting just .251 this season, his expected batting average (xBA) is actually .259. His aforementioned .302 wOBA isn't great in a vacuum, but his batted ball profile means that his xWOBA is .327 which is significantly better. Some of his underperformance is self-inflicted as he doesn't walk enough and strikes out too much, but the quality of contact is good enough that it wouldn't take much improvement in those areas to see a dramatic increase in his actual production at the plate.

Sean Manaea

Sean Manaea hasn't been the pitcher the Giants wanted when they gave him a two year, $25 million deal. In fact, his numbers have been very similar to what he posted with San Diego in 2022 where he was decidedly not great, but he has done it mostly out of the bullpen for the Giants. In 34 appearances this season, Manaea has put up a 4.80 ERA in 99.1 innings. Again, not great.

However, Manaea numbers should be appreciably better than they are thanks to healthy jump in his strikeout rate this season. With a FIP of 4.02, xFIP of 4.03, and an xERA of 4.47, we would expect Manaea's ERA to be at least a half run better than where it sits today. Some bad luck is partially to blame, but Manaea's walk rate jumping to 3.81 BB/9 this season hasn't helped. As a general rule, giving the opposing team free baserunners is bad.

Joc Pederson

Joc was fantastic last season and is tremendous for the Giants clubhouse, but the 2023 season hasn't gone according to plan. With just 13 home runs and a .337 wOBA this season, Pederson just hasn't been able to be the consistent offensive threat that San Francisco hoped he would be when they gave Joc the qualifying offer after the 2022 season.

When you look at the underlying data, though, things look much better for Pederson. He is still hitting the ball extremely hard and his xWOBA (.373) and xBA (.264) are much higher than what he has actually put on the back of his baseball card this season. It is hard to understand why his numbers have dropped this season except for the fact that he is pulling the ball a lot more and that may be playing into defensive positioning more.